Aftershock Devotional Series #5:
Take Care of Yourself
As you move toward healing in light of your spouse’s sexual sin, taking good care of yourself will help you find firm footing.
Nine ways to care for yourself
Be responsible for yourself
Your spouse’s behavior isn’t your fault, and it’s not yours to fix. Your responsibility is to be who God created you to be.
Keep it between the ditches
On one side of your journey is the ditch of passivity, where you try to keep the peace. On the other side is the ditch of aggression, where you try to protect yourself and hurt your spouse as much as they’ve hurt you. The better place? The level road of assertion between the ditches, where biblical principles offer healing.
Develop a support group
Gathera handful of friends you can trust — who will be present, listen attentively, and respond wisely. (Don’t lean on someone of the opposite sex or anyone you might be attracted to.)
Determine to persevere
Your goal is to run the race in front of you even when it feels unbearable. Stay in the lane that leads to restoration and keep running. Then, no matter what happens after you cross the finish line — regardless of whether your marriage is restored — you’ll be whole.
Pray and act
Don’t use prayerful waiting as an excuse not to face something you fear, such as setting necessary boundaries. If nothing has changed since you found out about your spouse’s behavior, work with a Christian therapist to take the wisest course of action.
Remember the truth
The truth is that sexual sin damages your marriage. That your self-respecting actions may be the very thing that jumpstarts the healing journey. That marriages can be healed. Speak these truths to yourself daily.
Get off the merry-go-round
You’ve repeated the same warnings to your spouse over and over, and it hasn’t worked. So stop. Say something like, I’m concerned about harmful patterns to our marriage, and I’m asking you to join me in a counseling appointment I’ve set up. Either way, I’m committed to talking with someone who can offer support and insight because I desperately need it, and our marriage does, too.
Clinging is a form of enablement; it allows the problem of your spouse’s sexual sin to stay the same. Instead, develop self-respect. Don’t let fears of financial disaster, abandonment, or what other people say keep you from the truth that your security is grounded in your relationship with Christ.
Balance self-care with care for your spouse
Caring means balancing your hurt with an understanding that God loves your spouse — and that they’re potentially able to change with accountability and effective help. The best thing you can do is let them see you walk with a healthy self-respect as you also pray for them with godly compassion.
These principles are drawn from the book Aftershock: Overcoming His Secret Life with Pornography—A Plan for Recovery by Joann Condie and Geremy Keeton.
Next month: Make Decisions and Prepare for Action