My wife, Mary, and I were on a plane traveling to the Midwest and it was the dead of winter. We were conducting our first weekend marriage seminar in this frozen, sub-zero temperature state. We jumped off the plane and onto the small airport tarmac to be greeted by the coldest, howling wind we’ve ever felt. Our eyes began to water and our noses started to run. It was cold.
As we became acquainted with the pastor of the church who kindly picked us up at the airport, he informed us that we were going straight to the church building to meet with his two eldership couples that were awaiting our arrival. I thought, “Wow, he’s not wasting any time putting us to work.” He then said, “Boy, am I glad you guys are here. We have a problem that we would like the two of you to address.” “What’s the issue? “ I asked. He then said something we had never, ever heard before and haven’t heard since. “It seems that the husband of our one eldership couple is in an affair with the wife of the other eldership couple,” the pastor cautiously revealed. “We want you to meet with them.” I then asked if the “non-affairing” spouses are aware of what has happened and is about to happen. He assured us they were totally unaware.
There we sat with the first couple as the husband confessed to his wife his ongoing affair with a woman she trusted and was in ministry with. We watched as her face began multiple, visibly painful contortions. And then the tears began to flow and flow using tissue after tissue. Her body slumped lower and lower in her chair. It was like she was literally shriveling up right there in front of us. I have wished ever since that meeting we had videotaped the wife’s pain-filled facial expressions and body language. If I could show it to you, you would never, never, never desire to bring that level of pain to your worst enemy, let alone your spouse. Don’t, please don’t.