Thursday, March 17, 2016
How Can I make Restitution If I cheated on my Husband?"
I am sure that you have read or heard the saying, “Restitution is doing the right thing," but I will tell you that there are certain cases when “Restitution is doing the wrong thing.” A few years back a pastor told one of his Christians who was married to three wives to divorce two of them and remain with only one, if he wanted to be a member, talk more of being a leader in that church. The man did. Years later, another pastor came and preached that it was wrong theology, so the man remarried one of the wives who was still single to make restitution, and he waged a lengthy suit to recuperate the other one who was married. While one scripture or passage does not make a doctrine; however, the said principle is frequent in the Bible. Restitution is a predilection theme in the bible (Ex 22:1; Num 5:7; 2 Sam 4:6) because God prefers a contrite spirit, so He would show mercy and not sacrifice (Mt 9:13); nonetheless, there are cases where restitution could be impossible.
For example, if you premaritally slept with someone’s daughter or killed their father; no matter how contrite you are, you cannot make any restitution because it is life for life and not life for money or things, albeit, you can alleviate their pain with financial and moral compensation. Having sex with another person, other than your spouse is adultery, and adultery like illicit sex and murder are some of those sins that one cannot make restitution, not even with money because sin is not redeemable by money. It does not mean they are not forgiveable.
Let us start by defining the word restitution before we can know if you will be able to make restitution. Online version of law.com defines restitution as:
Returning to the proper owner property or the monetary value of loss. Sometimes restitution is made part of a judgment in negligence and/or contracts cases. 2) In criminal cases, one of the penalties imposed is requiring return of stolen goods to the victim or payment to the victim for harm caused. Restitution may be a condition of granting a defendant probation or giving him/her a shorter sentence than normal.
If you pilfered or scammed your husband, there is possibility of restitution. There are two things you need to do; you must pay back what you took fraudulently, and then he must accept you back into his life like the case of Zacchaeus (Lk 19: 8). Furthermore, restitution is done when it is feasible and practical for the better good of the doer and the sufferer. If you committed abortion, you cannot restitute to him the dead baby or restore the child's life back.
Notwithstanding, there is another phase where confession to the person you wronged sexually may be helpful. If you seized another woman's husband during your adultery; you must return the husband back and ask the wife for forgiveness because it would bring peace, sanity and faith to all concerned. Despite the fact that God will forgive you if you confess for snatching the husband of someone else, you still have to ask for forgiveness from the wife whom you hurt in your adulterous stupor. In this case though, you can only make restitution if the victim is still single and wants the husband back, but you cannot keep him as a side man, anyway if she refuses. Some people will snatch another’s spouse and after finding out that he or she is not really what they thought they were, they will want to give him or her back; whereas, it was “Un bon débarras!" If the victim is married, there is nothing you can do about because they cannot go back to their ex-wife ((Lev 18:18). In this case, you only ask for forgiveness. That is because a spouse who ran away cannot go back if the ex is already married. The reason that will be bad is because you will be taking him or her from someone else who is already married to her. In this case, an apology will be enough. You see, according to worldly wisdom, you pay some money for pain and suffering. That is because they are not looking at it as a sin but as a broken code or a violation of the law. If they looked at it as sin, they will merely ask the individual to offer repentance.
Nonetheless, if it is possible to return the seized spouse, it is like dropping their gifts at the altar to make peace (Mt 5:23-24), else whatever service or good deed they do is regarded as filthy rags (Is 64:4). It is heartless and lacking in Christian ethos to just go as if nothing has happened because you have asked forgiveness from God and He has forgiven you. If the spouse is married already, it becomes a non restitutionable offense. When a sin becomes a non-restitutionable offense, the only decorous thing you can do is at least ask for forgiveness from the person whose spouse you sinned with or you merely ask forgiveness from God. I personally believe that spouses should not tell their wives or husbands if they committed adultery because in most or all cases that I have seen, the marriage did not survive. More so, there is no way they are going to make any restitution. Even when they confessed, there was always mistrust. However, I think that it is not worthy seizing another person’s spouse when there are so many single women. You see, he that is fooling around with someone’s spouse is tired of living. You should do everything you can to stay away from someone else’s spouse, and you may live longer!
Until then, you should ask for forgiveness from God and make restitution wherever possible.
St Arrey of Ntenako
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