Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey: Wives Finding Comfort After Sexual Betrayal is for women who need help applying the gospel to their marriage in response their husband’s sexual sin.
Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey addresses such issues as suffering, shame, troubling emotions, forgiveness, and the process of rebuilding trust. The content aims to come alongside a hurting wife and minister to her heart, regardless of where her husband is at in the process of repentance. Each of the 10 lessons in the Participant’s Guide corresponds to the lesson notes in the Leader’s Guide, which assists facilitators with the discussion and offers helpful suggestions for navigating complex and deeply personal issues. The Participant’s Guide is also available as a free digital download.
This resource is meant to help wives, and those who want to support them, in three ways. Firstly, it addresses difficult topics biblically and compassionately, giving women a vocabulary to navigate their struggles. Secondly, the study promotes discussion and interaction, so discipleship relationships can flourish. Finally, this resource encourages women to look to Jesus and God’s Word as their ultimate source of comfort, hope, and transformation, while simultaneously encouraging them to take practical steps of faith.
Here’s an excerpt from the first session, “Unexpected Suffering: Face Painful Revelations.”
Painful information has been revealed and, most likely, your emotions and thoughts feel like a piece of driftwood on a stormy ocean. You’ve been tossed into a world you didn’t know existed: your husband’s sexual unfaithfulness… Your unwanted, unexpected suffering has upended what you thought about your life, husband, and marriage—and what kind of future you have with this man.
Jesus is with you in this unwanted place and his first words to you are not “get over it,” “forgive and forget,” or “this is your fault.” No! His invitation is to draw near, listen for his love, receive his comfort, and lean on his strength. The journey in front of you will not be short or easy but he will be with you each step of the way.
The study can be used in many contexts, including one-to-one mentoring relationships and small groups. Friends, mentors, counselors, and godly, faithful women in the church can all journey with these women as facilitators. Male church leaders and counselors will also benefit from the content as it provides a map for walking with hurting wives.
Accompanying the written resource are two brief videos by the author to introduce the Participant’s Guide and the Leader’s Guide and to orient readers to the content.
Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey
Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey: Wives Finding Comfort After Sexual Betrayal is the fruit of over 14 years of ministry and care to hurting women. The content was written by Ellen Mary Dykas, Director of Women’s Ministry at Harvest USA.
Ellen Mary Dykas is the Director of Equipping for Ministry to Women for Harvest USA. She joined Harvest USA in 2007 as our first full-time women’s ministry staff. She’s authored several Harvest USA mini-books, a women’s curriculum, a devotional, and, most recently, Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey: Wives Finding Comfort After Sexual Betrayal. Ellen will now focus on producing new content and developing training for churches. She’s excited to build on her 16 years here through teaching, writing, and training. Ellen received her MA from Covenant Theological Seminary and a graduate certificate in biblical counseling from Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF).
I cannot recommend Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey highly enough. I know of no other resource that does what this one does. It brings concrete and practical gospel wisdom, comfort, direction, and hope to women going through one of the most challenging, heartbreaking, and hard-to-share life experiences. The beauty of Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey is that the content of this resource is anything but general. It is wisely designed to reach into each woman’s individual experience with gospel help that is form-fitted for her particular struggle. It is my prayer that this wonderful gospel tool will receive wide recognition and use.
— Paul David Tripp, Pastor, Counselor, Author of New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional, Sex in a Broken World: How Christ Redeems What Sin Distorts, and Marriage: 6 Gospel Commitments Every Couple Needs To Make
Flowing from years of ministry experience, Ellen Mary Dykas has written a biblically saturated, Christ-centered curriculum that provides a wise, compassionate, and hopeful path forward for wives suffering from the pain of their husbands’ sexual infidelity. Full of guided engagement with Scripture and thought-provoking questions for self-reflection and discussion, this is an ideal resource to promote healing for women in a group setting within a local church.
— Michael R. Emlet, Dean of Faculty and Counselor, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF), Author of Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners: Loving Others as God Loves Us
This workbook, and the opportunity it presents for women to pursue healing in a group, is a needed resource for the church—one that fills a glaring void in most of our ministry offerings. Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey is both theologically rich and immediately practical. The readings, exercises, and group discussion questions draw the participant into the healing presence of Jesus over and over. The format is accessible and can be used right away by any group leader who wants to help women heal. Participants will be nourished.
— Jen Oshman, Author and Women’s Ministry Director
Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey is like a friend who comes alongside you in your darkest hour when no one else is willing or able to. Ellen Mary Dykas acknowledges the painful realities of sexual betrayal with raw honesty, but even more, with the profound comfort, healing power, and life-giving hope of Jesus. May these pages be a balm to your wounds and a practical but gentle guide that will help lead you into the safe and healing arms of Christ.
— Sarah Walton, Coauthor of Hope When It Hurts and Together Through the Storms, Author of Tears and Tossings
What courage it takes to open this book after betrayal. What you will find within these pages is not idle words or a list of tasks. Instead, Ellen serves as a gentle and humble guide, carefully carving out a safe place for you to fix your eyes on the Lord and draw near to him. Ellen helps us adjust our perspective amid the fog of hurt so that we better see not only our circumstances and our story, but also the Lord who loves us. He knows our hurt and is present, tending to us, caring for us, and helping us. This is a resource I’m grateful to have as I come alongside women. Not only will this book help you begin to share your hurts, but it will enable you to consider your unwavering hope in the community. Your faithful Savior loves you and is with you in each step of this journey. Ellen reminds you that you are not alone, that even holding this book in your hands is one courageous step nearer to Jesus who has offered himself as the Way, Truth and Life! My prayer for you is that the truths found in this book will be more than a bandage for your hurting heart, but rather a balm that will work deeply from your head, into your heart, and eventually be lived out by faith in the days and years ahead.
— Meaghan May,PCA Elders’ Wives Liaison, PCA Committee on Discipleship Ministries
What a wonderful resource to help the multitude of women who are experiencing betrayal with the epidemic of sexual brokenness among men. When you are suffering it’s so, so important to be grounded in the comfort and wisdom of Scripture. Thank you, Ellen, for helping the church with this guide to sanity and wisdom!
— Paul E. Miller, Author of J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life
Coming alongside women who have experienced betrayal is challenging. We struggle to know how to enter in and what to say or do to provide lasting help. To this end, Ellen Mary Dykas has given the church and Christian counselors a gift. With Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey, she’s taken out the guesswork by providing a resource that offers these women what they need most—Jesus, the One who knows what it is like to be betrayed and who is able to enter into their every emotion. Even more, he fills the emptiness, hurt, and shame with himself—the perfect Bridegroom.
— Kristen Hatton, M.A., LPC-C, Author of The Gospel Centered Life in Exodus, Face Time, and Get Your Story Straight
The majority of the men who come to Harvest USA for help are married, and the majority of their wives are struggling to find support in navigating the pain, confusion, anger, and fear that accompanies sexual betrayal. This curriculum is the fruition of 15 years of faithful, patient, humble ministry to hundreds of hurting wives by my colleague Ellen Mary Dykas. If you or someone you know has just had their entire life turned upside down by infidelity, this resource will meet you in the trenches. You will be cared for, you will be given space and time to grieve, you will not be judged, and most importantly, you will be consistently led to your sympathetic high priest, Jesus Christ.
— Mark Sanders, Director of Discipleship, Harvest USA, Coauthor of Discovery: A Biblical Support Group Curriculum for Men Pursuing Sexual Integrity