(week one) Small group study notes
“A little lie is like a little pregnancy - it doesn’t take long before everyone knows.” C.S. Lewis
When you are at your weakest point, your only other option is to rely on God.
Jesus was betrayed. Those closest to Him were the ones that hurt Him the most. Sometimes physical pain is less painful than the words spoken against you. I would imagine that when the crow cried three times over, the betrayal Jesus experienced is much like the pain a wife experiences in the midst of betrayal within her vow. Jesus knows our pains. He became man so He could understand our hurts, our anxieties, and our deepest flesh wounds. There is nothing Jesus doesn’t understand and is waiting to be your Friend in the darkness.
Betrayal is ugly. You can’t ignore it or like a weed it will corrupt your foundation and cause bitterness to tear your life apart. God’s Word is truth and it will fertilize your soul and bring light to the darkness. Don’t allow the pain to determine your tomorrow.
Part of healing is being able to see past the betrayal and allow it to bond you closer to your spouse.
When you are faced with a trigger, how do you respond and communicate your worries with your spouse?
Betrayal and Bitterness can cause us to hear things differently as we mix the facts with the negative opinions of those facts.
“My husband loves another woman.” “I’m ugly and not worthy of his love.”
“I was deceived in my marriage.” “I will never be able to trust him again.”
“The betrayal hurts so deeply.” “I will never forgive or be healed.”
“This has never happened in my family before.” “Our reputation is destroyed.”
“Our marriage has failed.” “I’m a terrible wife and mother.”
Your entire thought process will become distorted and inaccurate when under stress turmoil. Make sure we separated the facts from fantasy.
“Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s sin. You are going to live with those consequences anyway whether you like it or not, so the only choice you have is whether you will do so in the bondage or bitterness or in the freedom of forgiveness. It may seem unfair and you may wonder where the justice is in it, but justice is found at the cross, which makes forgiveness legally and morally right.
Jesus took the eternal consequences of sin upon Himself. God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”. (2 Corinthians 5:21) We, however, often suffer the temporary consequences of other people’s sins. That is simply a harsh reality of life all of us have to face.”
Neil T. Anderson
The Bondage Breaker
Christ left no room for bitterness when He died on the cross to save us from our sins. Big or small. It’s all the same to God, but as humans we give our sins a scale rating and make the smaller ones seem like a lesser evil compared to the ultimate betrayal of our marriage vows. Bitterness will seep into every area of your life if not forgiven. I have seen divorces of over 30 years still hold grudges against each other due to hearts not allowing forgiveness. Friendships ended because of bitter roots and marriages on edge of collapse because it’s just too hard to face the pain and trudge through the emotions. Sure it’s easy to say it but, to walk it is much harder. Bitterness is satan’s deceit that robs us of joy.
The other side to bitterness is that it allows those hurt to become historic tomorrow. By that I mean in the middle of an argument we yell out in frustration and hurt, “I feel this way because YOU did this to me. It’s your fault I’m having a bad day. I did this because you did it first to me!” Bitterness will show up if forgiveness is not spoken. It is that nasty weed that will keep coming back if not cut at the root and controlled by the Word of God.
We need to remember that we’re all capable of any sinful action and we all need grace given to us as well. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
What bitterness do you have in your life that needs to be brought to the foot of the cross?
What joy has satan robbed you of?
James 3:14-15 “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from Heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.”
Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
Shame (Satan’s Bondage)
We have to consciously make a decision to not let the shame creep over our wounds and make scars of regret. There’s no sign on our backs that states: My spouse betrayed our wedding vows. Yes, it may feel that way as shame is like an article of clothing that covers you with embarrassment, guilt, and seems to overwhelm your emotions. Shame is satan’s way of silencing you. There should be no shame in obeying and following Jesus.
God does not judge us for simply feeling. God walks by our sides as we work through the emotions of the pain caused against us. Don’t let satan take that obedience from you.
In what ways have you been able to bring your guilt for your shame to the cross? Being able to recognize cross roads and building Godly character out of it is a huge accomplishment!
Has shame changed your lifestyle and your perspective of yourself?
Isaiah 61:7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs."
Genesis 3:10 “He (Adam) answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
1 John 1:9
About the Author
Stephanie is a stay-at-home mommy to four little blessings. Married for 16 years, Tim and Stephanie find new ways to enjoy intimate time together while raising the young family.