Q. During a bad patch in my marriage I had impure thoughts about a man I used to know and began to dwell on what might have been. I have never committed physical adultery or even flirted with another man, but terrible guilt is wearing me down even after having confessed my sin and folly many times to God. Is He holding this sin against me, is that why I feel unforgiven? Please advise me on what to do, I feel so ashamed and full of regret.
A. Greater than the original act of your sin, guilt is one of the strongest tools Satan will use to ensnare you and keep you out of touch with God’s grace, forgiveness and blessing. The difference between “the condemnation of the Devil” and the conviction of the Holy Spirit is that, while showing you your sin, the Spirit will always give you hope and direct you to Jesus, your Life and your Answer. So, be aware that your enemy is at work in your mind.
Repentance and Faith always work hand in hand; they are mentioned first in the list of Foundation Doctrines in Hebrews 6:1-3. The essence of Repentance is coming to God, confessing your sin to Him, forsaking it and asking His forgiveness and cleansing. According to 1 John 1:9, He will do this immediately. The reason why guilt still torments you is that you haven’t completed the process of Repentance – that is, accepting God’s forgiveness, believing that He has forgiven and cleansed you, and then thanking Him and worshipping Him for His love and grace. Try it; God’s way always works!
Take positive steps to draw close to your husband and be the wife God has designed you to be. If he is a believer, strengthen your bond with him by initiating praying and reading the Word together.