She met him when she was seventeen, just before she went to university. A few months after graduation, they got married. She was a virgin, she had kept her promise to God to stay pure and give her best to her husband. He adored her, respected her and he did all that could be done to show that he cherished her- so it seemed on the surface. They had an exemplary marriage, a marriage that served in the church: their giving, involvement in supporting where it was needed, leading with the ladies and men’s groups and mentoring young people. Never in her wildest dream could she have imagined what was to strike her on that fateful Friday Youth Group All-night Prayer meeting.
As they hosted the youth group that night, she wandered unsuspectingly into their study only to find her husband pants down with one of the young ladies. The truth unraveled, her husband had been frustrated and unsatisfied with their intimacy levels and turned to a means of coping that left him an addict. Over their five years of marriage his growing infatuation with sex had left him infected and in many affairs which the wife was not aware of.
Love does hurt at times! Just as it was with Judas Iscariot in Matthew 26:14-16, so are many of us in our relationships. Judas did not betray Christ because he hated him, nor for lack of money. It was not because they had quarreled and had irreconcilable differences. Judas a hunger for money which even the treasury he cared for could not satisfy. Though he was with those Christ had chosen, he was not one of His. When we fail to ground ourselves in Christ, it does not matter that we can serve and look like one of His, one day the truth will come out. That which we worship will consume us.
Just as Christ died for all, including Judas, we are challenged to see people like the husband in our story as people God loves. When they slip we are called to guide them back to Christ. In the anger, disappointment and confusion of our painful situations, it’s easy to vow never to forgive and trust again. But the death of Christ reminds us of His forgiveness and love for all – for we all have sinned, like the husband and like Judas.
I pray that God will grant us His grace so that we may have the humility and love of Christ to embrace even those who may hurt us and in obedience lead each other to God through Christ.
TO THINK ABOUT: In what ways have you betrayed Jesus and used His name to feed your ego or your lust in how you deal with people in general and especially those who are affected and infected by HIV and AIDS?
Written by:; Leonard Tapiwa Makoni, Counsellor Transformation Team (Pvt) Ltd, ‘Churches, Channel of Hope’ Facilitator.