Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Question: confess or not?

I'd like your advice.

Some time ago, another pastor told me about a man who'd begun attending church again after a lapse of many years. Unknown to his wife, this man had been having an affair . . . but now he'd ended it, and wanted to make things right with God.

Should he tell his wife about his affair -- or was it best to keep this a secret?

My friend wasn't sure what to tell him. On the one hand, this couple probably has other issues they need to work through -- and would be difficult to do that without dealing with this issue as well.

Then too, this man's wife may have known more than she was letting on -- and even if she doesn't know now, she might find out later on. It would be better to volunteer a confession, in other words, then wait to be found out.

But on the other hand, his confession just might end this marriage. And even if it does not, it will cause great pain to his wife.

So . . . what should my friend have told this man?

Any advice?


Pastor Greg said...

For what it's worth -- I believe that public sins should be publicly confessed . . . but there are some sins that we should share only with God.

For that reason, my advice was the man should not tell his wife.

Then again, I could be wrong.

waveofthinking said...

hmm. that's tough..deep down one is inclined to think that maybe the best option would be not to confess but again, if later down the road she finds out about the affair on her own, it could hurt even more.

DonB said...

Confession is good for the soul. Or so people who have nothing to confess say. But I do think it should happen.

How about . . . ?

Write her a letter. Tell her about it and the fact that he wants her to know about it when he has proven himself first to himself. Send it to a close friend. Hold it until he can in good conscience say to her "It's been a while. I have never done it again. And never will."

If she finds out earlier, show her the letter. The postmark demonstrates the intention. The letter is the confession.

Or some variation of that.