Strong faith in God is by itself no recipe for fidelity with a spouse. Close to the Almighty? You may not have a prayer.
Just go to church, or synagogue, mosque or temple. That could keep you faithful on more than one level, a new study suggests.
Attendance at religious services is the only faith-related activity that predicts improved chances of fidelity in marriage, according to the research.
Other factors, including prayer, were found to have no unique bearing, statistically, on whether couples fooled around on each other. In fact, those who said religion was very important to them but who didn’t get to church often were more likely than others in the study to have had an affair.
Survey participants who rarely if ever attend services were about four times more likely to have had an affair compared to those who attend services with great frequency.
What’s going on?
Attending services perhaps means that an individual is hearing religious teaching on marital fidelity and the general importance of marriage, the researchers suggest. The assumption is they’re more likely to practice what’s been preached.
But the researchers also figure that attendance implies a shared commitment by spouses and a strong network of social support.
“Individuals often marry other people who are similar to them in a variety of ways, including religiousness,” explained researcher David C. Atkins of the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.
“We think that sharing similar values, incorporating values and practice into one’s marriage and family, and being part of a worshipping community all may be a part of this finding between religious attendance and infidelity,” Atkins told LiveScience. “Prayer, belief in God, strong faith etc. in the absence of attendance does not show this same relationship.”
Atkins and Fuller colleague Deborah E. Kessel detail their findings in the May 2008 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.
The religion factor
In one past survey, 23 percent of men and 12 percent of women reported having an affair at some point in their marriages, Atkins and Kessel note, adding that previous studies have consistently suggested that more religious individuals are less likely to have had affairs compared to the less religious. (Sex surveys are thought to be frequently skewed, however, because people lie about the topic.)
The researchers sought to learn what aspects of religion might predict fidelity. The study was based on a review of data from the 1998 General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center. The surveys consisted of face-to-face interviews with questions related to religion and spirituality.
The new study “calls into question the idea that beliefs without behavior may serve a protective factor with infidelity,” Atkins and Kessel conclude.
As an aside, money, or lack of it, can also suggest infidelity, the study found. Those earning between $40,000 and $60,000 a year were the least likely to report having an affair. And people previously divorced were 2.5 times more likely to report an affair in their new marriages.
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Pray for my husband has been in the sin of adultery with a woman almost a year now. I love the lord very much. We have been married for twenty one years. Please pray that he stops seeing her that she turns her back on him, gives her life to the Lord.
That our marriage is restored, that my husband falls in love with me all over again. That my husband gives his life back to Jesus. He all ways says he is going some where els but I can all ways tell when he has been with her. I pray day and night for him. I am in great despair please I beg you remember me in your prayers. Thank you so much for your time. God bless you.
Return to Miracle Prayer and Prayer Request
Today we are dramatically warned against adultery. In today’s society of baring extra skin, its easy to let the eyes wander and thoughts indulge. From billboards to books, aka, mommy porn, let’s face it: this isn’t just a male issue.
This is what Proverbs 5:5-6 says about an adulteress:
“Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.”
No thought?!! How can it be? Yet, this is exactly how the enemy works. We are tempted with ‘just one more time’ or ‘it can’t hurt to look’ or ‘just one more book, I’ll throw it away when I’m done’. The more we become accustomed to these thoughts, the easier it is to give in, all the while darkening our way, narrowing our view of our eternity to the point where we don’t see it at all & we literally give no thought to the way of life. This makes me want to shake her and shout “Wake up, girl! Don’t you know
“a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord,
and He examines all his paths.” Pr.5:21
“At the end of your life you will groan,
when your flesh and body are spent. You will say,”How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I have come to the brink of utter ruin…” Pr.5:11-14
‘Pay attention’ Solomon wrote in verse 1. I don’t think he said it gently. I think he said it adamantly, just like we do when we have something important to say to our child. Maybe he even took his son by the shoulders, got inches away from his face & said, ” ‘Pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight’. (v.1) Don’t go down the road of adultery. It leads only to death!”
Imagine a road map with people walking along the roads. Do the people take the roads marked surest to heaven or do they veer off to the side roads? Dead ends? Literal dead ends.
Dead to life.
Dead to truth.
Wake up!!! Think! “Listen!” Solomon said. Today, right now, if you have a book or magazine or movie that is not edifying to your eternal life, throw it away. ‘But it cost money to buy this.’ Exactly, but that money wasn’t spent wisely. The choice wasn’t made in the Lord. Now throw it away! A $15.00 book or movie is peanuts compared to the cost of your eternity. Let’s not wait till the end of our lives when we will groan, at the brink of utter ruin.
The beauty in this is, It’s not too late, yet!! We don’t have to stay dead!! Today if you have the sin of adultery in your heart, rip it out! Give it to Jesus! He can handle it!
Join me in prayer:
Father, help me recognize impurity at it’s introduction. Don’t let me become callus to images, thoughts and impure ways of the world. Cleanse me of anything not glorifying to You. Lay on my heart anything that isn’t edifying to my walk with You, then give me the courage to purge my heart and home of these things. In Jesus, I am an overcomer! May my thoughts, all that is in my home, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, my God. Amen.
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Things happen in your life to teach you valuable lessons. Some of those things will be actions that you inflict on yourself and other elements will be out of your control. No matter if you committed a sin or not, it’s imperative that you walk away from every circumstance with wisdom and an idea of how this situation can make you a better human being.
There is a lot of scripture that addresses sin and how Christians can rise above difficult times in life. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” The notion that God forgives his children for their mistakes is even seen in Revelation 3:19 where it states, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So earnest and repent.” Therefore, the key to finding peace and the energy to move forward is by admitting your sin – without any reservations or excuses.
Cheating is hurtful and can effect more than just the partners in a relationship. Children, family members on each side, and friends are deeply affected by infidelity. While there is no way to turn back time and choose to be faithful instead, there is one invaluable resource that can always be called upon – prayer. Inside you’re broken and probably beating yourself up. Your whole life is being turned upside down and you’re wondering ‘How did I get to this point?’ Ultimately, you’ll need to figure this out. You’ll need to undergo some serious soul searching to discover what choices or internal issues you have that caused you to be unfaithful. In order to begin the healing process, for you and your family, you’ll need to discover a forgive me prayer for the cheating spouse.
During this period of your life you will need prayer and faith more than ever. You’ll find that prayer will provide you with the hope for a new beginning and the reassurance that the end is not right around the corner. It’s important to recognize what drove you to cheat and evaluate your spouse’s feelings. A prayer to ask the Lord for forgiveness and to guide you and your spouse is crucial.
“I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. The LORD is near to me and I call on You, in truth. Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to You. Do not hide Your face from me when I am in distress. Turn Your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. You will fulfill the desires of those who fear You; You hear my cry and save me and my spouse.
Lord, I have faith in God, and You said, “If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Lord, You know my mountain of circumstances in my marriage. So I am believing You, that whatever I ask for in prayer, that I believe that I have received it, and it will be mine. And when I stand praying, if I hold anything against anyone, I forgive them, so that my Father in heaven may forgive me of my sins. Lord, with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Give your spouse time to forgive. Be patient because there are many steps in the forgiveness process – one of those crucial steps is first forgiving yourself. Sometimes we can be our most difficult critic, and admitting that can help to move mountains. Put your faith in God and allow him to steer the course. He will provide the reassurance you’ll need to move past the cheating and will instill the comfort your partner needs during this challenging time. Understand that matters are out of your control and in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ. As you recite your prayers for forgiveness, invite your partner to join – odds are they need prayer and strength just as much as you do.
Another great forgive me prayer for the cheating spouse is:
“Lord of Miracles, We come before you and lay this marriage in your hands. We ask that you would revive this husband and this wife, and draw them toward happy matrimony.
We ask that you would renew their love and passion for one another. We ask that you would untangle the conflicts and strife, and heal the hurts.
We ask that you would bring understanding and tenderness of heart. May they both embrace the miracle that you desire to do for them and with them. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
This prayer, again, reinforces the idea of commitment – which is imperative in any relationship. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you must ask the Lord to renew your love and passion for each other. Even though there may be layers and layers of hurt and frustration, it’s important to rediscover and reevaluate what brought the two of you together in the first place. Asking the Lord for guidance will equip you both with the strength to get through the infidelity. Moreover, prayer is the first step towards real forgiveness for yourself, partner, family, and friends. Acknowledging your affair and accepting the consequences that go along with your actions will allow you to move forward in your life.