There is another step to take in your personal recovery before your focus shifts primarily towards the possibility of marital restoration (if desired and possible). By this point, the line between personal and marital restoration may feel blurred as one leads more naturally to the other.
As you read this chapter, it is important to emphasize again that you are not looking for the “explanation of” or “way to make sense of” your spouse’s sin. Sin is illogical. Trying to make sense of it will keep you locked in pain and confusion. What you are seeking in this chapter is to regain a sense of meaning for life that can include both the wrong that was done while also providing hope and direction for the future.
For five steps we have examined how your life has been disrupted. We have looked at pain, history, and consequences as if they were pieces to a puzzle. We have sorted the pieces to understand them better. We have looked at how you are prone to put the pieces together in destructive ways. We have mourned that the puzzle is broken.
Now we are going to begin putting the pieces together again within the frame of the gospel. This frame extends the picture beyond any of the pieces we have examined and creates a larger context for experiencing each piece of the puzzle differently. In contrast to the way the suffering story connected the pieces, this gospel story re-framing turns a tragedy picture into a redemptive one. This will not be quick or easy, but it can be pervasive and “worth it.”
We will work through understanding how the gospel story makes sense of your marriage in five questions: (1) who am I now, (2) who is my spouse now, (3) who is God, (4) what is sin, and (5) is love worth pain? We will look at these questions in light of the reading you have already done. We will not be able to give a particular reframing of your specific marriage story, but hopefully we will give you the framework to make sense of your marriage differently and with real hope.
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