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Evangelist Billy Graham Reveals How Christians Should Respond to Those Affected By Adultery

( [email protected] ) May 26, 2016 01:13 PM EDT
Renowned evangelist Billy Graham has urged Christians to pray for and listen to friends who have been victims of marital unfaithfulness instead of casting judgement.
In a joint venture commissioned by Proven Men Ministries and conducted by the Barna Group, researchers found that the same percentage of men in mainstream America and born-again Christians commit adultery on their spouses (35 percent). Photo Credit: Stock Photo

Renowned evangelist Billy Graham has urged Christians to pray for and listen to friends who have been victims of marital unfaithfulness instead of casting judgement.

In a Q&A published in the Kansas City Star on Wednesday, the 97-year-old told readers that the best thing to do for those affected by the pain of adultery is listened to their troubles and offer prayers for them.

"Almost nothing is more devastating than the betrayal of unfaithfulness - especially when the one who has been unfaithful shows no remorse but insists on divorce," Graham writes.

The only way to heal from such devastation is through prayer, the evangelical leader explains.

"First, pray for her, consistently and faithfully. Pray her marriage will be restored, but pray also that even if it isn't, God will encourage her and keep her from despair or bitterness. Even when hard times come and the future is uncertain, God still loves us and has not abandoned us," Graham says.

Christians should not only pray, but also listen to their friend as they go through this tough time in their life.

"Sometimes people don't need our advice as much as they need our love and sympathy and concern," the evangelical leader says, referencing Job 2:13, in which Job's friends showed him a great amount of compassion during his suffering.

"Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was," the verse reads.

Finally, Christians should encourage friends suffering from the effects of adultery to offer their worries and struggles to God.

"Others may betray us or abandon us, but Christ never will. Even in the midst of life's most confusing situations, we can have peace as we turn in faith and trust to Jesus," Graham says.

In a joint venture commissioned by Proven Men Ministries and conducted by the Barna Group, researchers found that the same percentage of men in mainstream America and born-again Christians commit adultery on their spouses (35 percent). In addition, 17 percent of women engaging in extramarital affairs themselves.

Also discovered in the recent survey is that 75 percent of men who admitted to cheating on their wives also confessed that they had more than one affair, with 31 percent of them saying they had more than five.

Proven Men Ministries founder Joel Hesch, who sponsored the 2014 survey, said the shocking statistics confirm that there "definitely is a problem with pornography and affairs among Christian men and that they are starving for the Church to step forward with solutions."

He said: "The rate of extramarital affairs appears to have a correlation to frequency of viewing pornography...A married person who views porn several times a month is ripe to have an affair."

Hesch argued that pornography is most often a symptom of dissatisfaction where a married individual seeks satisfaction from someone other than their spouse.  

"We should not be shocked that marriages are crumbling through affairs because the majority of married men are regularly viewing pornography," he said. "It is little surprise that the more frequently a married person looks at porn, which is often a form of sexually fantasizing about someone other than their spouse, the more likely they will act upon their fantasy through a sexual affair."

Hesch told One News Now that the devastating numbers aren't a call to condemnation; but rather a call to action.

"The purpose of the survey was not to point fingers, but to get a better grasp on the scope of the problem in light of ready access to pornography in this Internet era," Hesch asserted. "It's abundantly clear that pornography is one of the biggest unaddressed problems in the Church."