The husband’s gaze changed swiftly from rage to relief when he saw the great burden lifted that she seemed to be carrying. Proverbs 28:13 says: “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
Vicky’s husband had noticed that his wife was spending a little too much time at the parish office. For a season, Rev. Vicky would slip out of the parsonage for “emergency” pastoral calls, which always served as the right excuse to see her secret lover.
Months before, Rev. Vicky was spiraling down a tunnel of silent hopelessness and pain. No one knew she was dying inside. She would preach about Jesus Christ and his grace and power every Sunday – but her mind, heart and life was a mess. Her personal issues, the burdens of her congregation and her lifeless, busy marriage all combined into a chasm that left her open to the advances of a divorced man.
John had been seeing a counselor who convinced him to seek healing through the truth. “If you want to save your marriage, John, then you have to be willing to listen to the whole truth and deal with it!” Hearing about the affair was hard for him.
The point of the counselor’s advice was that unless you deal with the whole truth, then you can’t truly be healed. If you want to save your family, then that means that you must be willing to “stand firm” and go through the onslaught of pain and disappointment – deal with it and then rebuild.
Vicky has been going through counseling since she left the ministry and her family is beginning to heal. Vicky is a human being who made the wrong choice at a time of great personal pain. Having made the wrong choice does not make her into a hypocrite or a liar. On the contrary. She is brave person who decided to face the consequences of her bad choices, and in humility and repentance, is making amends.
John is also going to therapy. “Her betrayal of my trust made me feel less of a man, but I know now that she needs help,” he said. “And plus, I love her and want to save my family and restart.”
Just because John and Vicky were a ministerial family doesn’t mean that they are somehow more divine than the rest of us. They are human, after all.
Jesus says in Mark 8:36: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” What is the price you must “pay” in order for you to become the good person you know you are inside? Are you willing to withstand the fires of truth (with yourself and others) and be purified of all self deceit? When we build our lives upon the truth, we have nothing to fear.
True healing only comes through the truth. Renounce the old and start fresh. Only truth can save the soul, which is why He became a man and died on a cross for you and me.
Rev. Juan C. Rivera of Bluffton is a Latino missions consultant and counseling therapist for Jamison Consultants.