Steps To Healing From Emotional Hurt
Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:10-11
What do you do when your head and your heart don’t agree, besides hurting a lot? A young woman who is a Christian, unhappily married and wanting to find the right person and marry, meets a man, usually married and a few years older than she, and he begins to give her attention. He makes her feel important and tells her how turned on he is by her, that she is exactly what he has been looking for all his life.
That’s when the serpent looks beautiful and whispers sweet words he wants you to believe. Once a person has become involved, it’s exciting, heady, high-octane emotional stuff. Individuals with a lackluster marriage get turned on in ways that never happened before. One woman, a Christian of several years, said, “I keep praying that my friend will become a Christian because then he will not want to have sex with me.”
Then the bottom drops out. As one person put it, “My life is a mess. Even my work is being affected. I cannot concentrate on my work anymore. I am very weak. What should I do?”
Extricating yourself from an emotional entanglement isn’t easy, but it has to be done. The first bit of advice I would give isn’t to hit you over the head with a Bible verse. Your conscience is alive and well. But I have to tell you that men and women view affairs from a vastly different perspective. Men are physical; women are emotional. Men often feed women a line to break down their resistance, which, in turn, uses them. Lust, not love, is the basis of attraction.
I’m convinced that perhaps the major reason why God said relationships outside of marriage are wrong is that our deep emotional needs can never be met this way. A woman searching for real love yields to sex and then ends up with shattered dreams and emotions. She’s in pain.
The first step is to realize that what has happened is wrong. It’s bad for you and will never result in the happiness or the fulfillment you want out of life. That’s why God calls it sin. Painful as it may be, you’ve got to break off a relationship once and for all, closing the door forever. This may mean a change of jobs, certainly a change of phone numbers. It means saying “no” and not even leaving the door open an inch.
It is also important to realize that God is a loving God who doesn’t condone wrongdoing but does forgive our sincere confession of wrong. I am reminded of Psalm 103, which says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:12-14).
The next step, having confessed your wrong before the Lord, is to forgive yourself. Stop playing the “stupid-me-I-should-have-known-better” game. It wasn’t that you didn’t know better. You just didn’t want to believe what you knew. Hence the battle between your head and your heart. The reality of life is a shocker.
Ultimately, you have to get on with your life. The good news is that the past doesn’t have to be a blight on the future, which is as bright as the promises of God. An old saying goes, “Once burned; twice shy.” Enough said. Remember, our Father knows best.
Resource reading: John 8:2-11.