Lately I’ve been cheating on the love of my life.
There. I’ve said it. It’s out there.
Infidelity is always a touchy subject. Those who have cheated know that cheating doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person. It is rarely intentional, always a mistake and generally symptomatic of an underlying problem in your relationship. People rarely cheat when they feel happy, loved and fulfilled in their relationship; it is usually in response to problems that already exist and are yet to be addressed appropriately. I hope I do not sound as though I am excusing infidelity – of course not – I just think we spend far too much time viewing complex situations in black and white terms and it is only when we experience these complex situations ourselves that we will realise that none of us reside in the ‘black’ or ‘white’ areas of life, we all live in the murky grey, full of good intentions and questionable outcomes.
Like all affairs, mine wasn’t supposed to happen. As I’ve said in previous posts, I am constantly grappling with my faith, and my belief. I am not one of those Christians who believe they have all the answers – no, not at all, I still question God every day about things I see in the world and the things that happen to me. I am slowly still learning that:
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
I don’t think (well, I hope) that God is angered by my questions; if He wanted robots who could not think for themselves and could only been controlled by Him, He would have created robots, not humans. God has given us the mental capacity to question and to wrestle with His truth; while we are called to have faith, we are not called to have blind faith without questions. Why would we build our lives upon a Truth that we are yet to question and understand? Once we accept Jesus as Lord, it is our job to figure out who he is, what he requires from us, and how we can become all that he desires. My on-going mistake is thinking that this job includes understanding everything that happens to me and this mistake was probably the cause of my infidelity.
At first my misdemeanours appeared insignificant. A couple of missed Morning Prayer times here and there, a day or two where I ‘forgot’ to read my Bible. To the average Christian, these things may ‘just happen’ but I knew deep down that something wasn’t quite right: I’m all about rhythm and routine, I rarely just let things ‘happen’ so letting something as important as spending time with my Love fall through the cracks of life was completely intentional. Pretty soon I wasn’t sure where I was standing. You see although it wasn’t a full out, no-turning- back affair (there was still communication happening), I knew that my heart shifted. I didn’t mean to keep cheating on Him but it soon became easier to cheat than to face my growing problems and dissatisfaction.
I think my dance with infidelity revealed an aspect of God that I was yet to experience. When I finally returned to God and admitted my mistakes, a part of me wanted God to react in the way a man would if I had cheated. I wanted God to shout, I wanted Him to tell me what a horrible person I was and how neglected He felt. I wanted Him to lash out and send me back to all the people I had spent time with and all the people I had elevated into positions that they had not deserved.
But He didn’t.
Instead of harsh words, I was only met with an embrace which made me question why I ever left.
Instead of reminders of my indiscretion, He only reminded me of how precious I was to Him.
Instead of anger, I only felt love.
If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.
2 Timothy 2:13
In the same way that I cannot understand why God allows certain things to happen, I am yet to understand how One can be so faithful to those who continuously stumble and fall, and faithful to those who reject Him every single day. God’s love is sung about daily but His faithfulness isn’t sung about enough. You see:
God doesn’t change
But you remain the same, and your years will never end.
God doesn’t walk away
No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
God doesn’t hold grudges
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs
1 Corinthians 13:5
God gives me a clean slate
Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean
In times of uncertainty, when everything appears to be falling apart instead of falling together, it is easier to seek solace in the arms of another instead of working through the uncomfortable silences, the questions and the hurt with the one you love the most. While running away may seem easier, it will always leave you feeling empty, as running to another will not fix the problems you currently have. God’s faithfulness is not an excuse to run out on Him every time the path we are walking becomes unbearably rocky. Our job is to cling to Him no matter the situation remembering He is faithful and will always bring us through.
Lots of loving,