Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Should A Spouse Confess To his/her Spouse Of His/Her Infidelity?

The Bible is actually mute on a direct exhortation on this issue, though it is vocal on confession as a whole. When you sin, you repent and confess your sins. If one has sinned against anyone, they will do the confession in a similar setting. If you insulted someone in public, you will need to make a public confession. If you sinned against an individual, you will confess to him or her; if you sin against a community, you will confess to them. In a case where you can make restitution, then you will repent, confess and then make restitution. But the same rules may not apply in a scenario where a spouse cheats on his or her spouse because he or she cannot actually make restitution.

Sin comes from the Greek word hamartia: meaning to miss the mark. So when an individual sins, he or she has missed the mark of God’s purpose and righteousness. Thus, sin is first against God and second to human. To make amends, one has to repent and forsake their sins to have mercy (Prov 28”13). Hence, the elements of a good confession will be repentance, confession and restitution. But the question we may ask is how would a spouse who cheated on the other spouse restitute though? Would there be any reason to confess if there is no possibility of restitution? Would there be forgiveness if there is no confession, but there is repentance?

It is generally accepted that confession brings with it internal peace in addition to forgiveness of sins. Could a spouse still obtain internal peace if they do not confess to the other spouse, and if they confess and obtain peace would the victim spouse (spouse who has been sinned against) find internal peace and the initial trust that bonded the relationship?

Some believe that the offender must confess to the victim for the Bible exhorts us “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). The purpose of inter-confessions is for the penitent to find spiritual support and not for forgiveness of sins. Once the penance has been completed, the sinner obtains forgiveness, and the rest are mere traditions and formalities. In infidelity, it is proper for the infidel to be the confessor (person hearing the confession) and confessor (person confessing their sins) to maintain the original trust. With time, they will be healed as their relationship blossoms.

Most couples in their attempts to appease their consciences confess their infidelity to their spouses, but rather than build the relationship, they destroyed it. Since the purpose of the confession is to reestablish the relationship, it is proper for the penitent to confess to God alone and leave it there if the relationship will instead be ruined, especially because Man does not even forgive sins (Lk 5:21; acts 10:43).

Perhaps, the confusion arises when Jesus told the disciples “Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained” (Jn 20:22-23). The verse simply means that if you came to Christ and the disciples said your sins were forgiven, they were forgiven. Not that they had the power to forgive sins but just that by coming to Christ alone is good enough to obtain forgiveness of sins and all the disciples had to do was perfunctory pardon of sins. This is one of those acts that fits right into I Corinthians 10: 23. It is your right to confess, but is that beneficial to your marriage?  Very few marriages have survived after confessions of adultery. This confession should only be done if the spouse can digest it well; if that will add impetus to your marriage. Otherwise, it is  a very dangerous miscalculation to your marriage.

Until then, spouses should not confess their infidelity to their spouses.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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