Does God care if you violate your marriage vows?

Their marriage was falling apart. They knew it.

Tom and Sandy Ralya admit they were both violating their marriage vows.

“Our marriage was teetering on the brink of divorce,” she remembers. Like Jed and Rose King, the tormented lovers in the movie THE SONG, they were headed for marital disaster.

In the film, Jed – played by Alan Powell – is the son of a musical superstar who finally breaks out of his father’s shadow with a runaway hit song. Ironically, the song is inspired by Jed’s love for Rose – but its breakaway success begins to doom their marriage. On concert tour, Jed begins to fall for his beautiful backup violinist – who wows the crowds and stirs his passions. Lust shoves aside reason. Jed is tempted, stifles his deep love for his adoring wife and refuses to look at the truth.

Truth was also Sandy’s problem, she tells Focus on the Family. “What was the truth about me? What was the truth about my husband?” she writes. “The truth about me? I was stuck in a rut of ineffective, sinful behavior to get my husband’s attention about his sin. I preached, withheld love and returned evil for evil. I devoted all my energy to fixing him.

“The truth about him? He was emotionally abusive, doing his best to control whom I could see and when, what I could wear and what I could eat. When I didn’t do something Tom’s way, he punished me with verbal abuse or the silent treatment.”

Tom and Sandy recently shared their experience with the Focus on the Family audience.

“The truth certainly warranted speech,” writes Sandy. “But not just yet. Love needed to come first. When you are hurt by someone you love, the pain goes deep. What should you do with that kind of pain?”

In THE SONG, Jed finds himself battered by the same passions, anger and emptiness that tormented King Solomon thousands of years ago. The film, which will be released September 26, is actually drawn from the sexiest book in the Bible, the Song of Solomon – in which Solomon pens his great love and, yes, marital lust, for his gorgeous wife.

In real life, Sandy says she, too, found herself seeking truth from the Bible. Did God care that she was in marital hades? That both she and Tom were being unfaithful to their vows in a variety of ways?  “Had I not obeyed Ephesians 4:15, I doubt I’d be married today,” she admits. Indeed, “I discovered this passage in Ephesians and began to speak the truth in love to my emotionally abusive husband.

“As I began to study this verse, the temptation to plunge right in, speaking my mind, was strong. But God was leading me to examine the truth first."

Thousands of years ago, Solomon’s father, King David wrote the divinely inspired Psalm 55 – and Sandy points out how verse 22 “reminds us that God will take your burdens when you bring them to Him, but He doesn’t want you to go away empty handed. He wants you to exchange your pain for His love. Once you are filled with His love, you’ll have something precious to give to others. Even those who have hurt you.”

She and Tom saved their marriage.

In THE SONG will Jed and Rose save theirs?

“When you’ve found the truth and combined it with love, it’s time to speak,” advises Sandy. “You must speak the truth in love if the truth about someone you care about involves sin.”

Such as unfaithfulness with a beautiful violinist -- played by the sultry Ali Faulkner of the Twilight saga -- on stage in front of cheering thousands.

“Speaking isn’t as easy as it sounds,” says Sandy. “The trick is knowing how to speak. The way in which you communicate the loving truth will often determine whether you will be heard.”