I want to first say that Amy is amazing. Her faith in Christ combined with her love for me is out of this world. She has endured the ugliest of sin against her and yet, stayed the course of relying on her God to carry her through. She has never taken credit for her willingness and ability to stay with me through this recovery process. Check out her blog at www.rogers5online.blogspot.com.
A second factor in Amy's willingness to stay with me was my response. How I responded early on and throughout this recovery process is a critical piece of this recovery "puzzle." She was willing to stay and fight for our marriage as long as I was willing to do the same.
I am so grateful that I have been able to do the hard work of recovery. I don't take credit for what God has miraculously done in me. For some reason, God has seen fit to help me be remorseful, patient, accountable and willing to stay and work through my bundle of personal baggage. I haven't done the recovery process perfectly. I still have a ways to go, but I know and have said many times, "Apart from Christ I can do nothing."
Some characteristics that have helped Amy stay with me and fight for our marriage are...
- Remorse and Godly sorrow - being saddened by my sin against God and her, and not just feeling bad that I got "caught."
- Accountable to other men - being open and honest with other men and leaning on them to walk me through this difficult journey
- Patience and kindness - not rushing Amy or this process and being patient and gentle with her when she is struggling.
- Willingness - I have yet to tell her to "get over it" and "let's move on." I want her to take as long as she needs in order to heal. I also want to do what I need to do in order to get healing - whether it be counseling, Bible study, etc.
- Supportive of her - when I show her support and help her with work, the kids, the house stuff, etc. We are a team and I want to do life with her.
- Date her - I want to show her I love her and keep our relationship alive and vibrant. Some days I do this well and others I don't, but my desire is to serve her and express my love for her regularly.
- Honesty - I want to answer her tough questions and be open with her. She has full access to my email, phone, texts, etc. I want to keep radical boundaries with females and not put myself in situations that would lead to problems.
- Pursuit of Christ - I need and want a growing relationship with Christ. I have to get up early each day and journal, pray and read so I can hear from God and trust Him more. I love that time in the morning.