How to Cope With a Christian Cheating Spouse
by Angie Lewis 3/04/2010 / Marriage
The Christian community needs to reflect upon this article and put it into practice if they want to see change happening in the home. It is up to the Christian community to bring back marriage and family values. I am sorry to say that many Christ Ones have lost their way and are not heeding God's message on marriage.
What do most Christian people do when they discover their spouse had or is having an affair? They ultimately go to their friends, family and or pastor of their church and publicly expose their spouse's sin. This would be ok if any of these people could actually do something to help. Going to these venues does nothing to heal the relationship and in some instances can be more detrimental to the marriage. Let me explain.
If you go to your church and publicly expose your spouse's infidelity, the church will most likely tell you to divorce your spouse because of this scripture. "And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery" (Matthew 19:8)
Except it be for fornication is not talking about married couples but betrothed couples. Betrothed couples were also considered husband and wife. Betrothal is the commitment leading up to the actual marriage. It was Jewish custom for young couples to be betrothed before being marriage because of age, maturity, and or financial reasons. The father arranged the marriage and if the father saw a good match for his daughter they were betrothed.
In the scripture above Jesus was talking with the Jewish community about betrothed couples, which were known as husband and wife. If one of the betrothed couples committed fornication it was allowed to get a divorce and not peruse the actual marriage. In other words, this scripture is NOT a loophole for divorce. Many good Christian people have been mislead to believe that this scripture (Matthew 19:8) gives justification for divorce.
Marriage according to God, the One who created and established marriage gives no escape from marriage, and that is because marriage is a lifetime commitment. Once we are married we are married until our spouse dies, then we are free to remarry, but we must marry in the Lord. "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will, only in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:39)
Now if you go to your friends and family they will be biased towards you and your happiness because well-meaning friends and family love you and want what is best for you and they will tell you to divorce your spouse. But we just learned that adultery does not give justification for divorce and that marriage is for a lifetime.
I realize that some of you are married to ongoing adulterers. What can you do? You are married to an unbeliever and God tells us what to do about that. "But to the rest I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman, which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him" (1 Corinthians 7:12-14)
God's ideal would be for the believing spouse to be the shining light of Christ and help the unbeliever in their wayward ways. It is God's will that couples do all they can to work on restoring the marriage. "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by her husband, else were your children unclean, but now are they holy." (1 Corinthians 7:14)
Yet, no wife or husband should continue to serve an unbeliever, who is not willing to repent and come into the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have prayed about reconciliation and have remained patient in the Lord and asked for healing and restoration of your marriage and the unbelieving spouse still remains in adultery or committing adultery then let them leave the marriage, so as to not weaken your own faith in Christ. "But if the unbeliever depart let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. (1Corinthians 7:15)
The above scripture does not mean to "get a divorce" but means you are not under bondage to serve the unbeliever in the marriagelet them go. If God meant to get a divorce, it would say that. Nowhere in the bible does it talk about remarriage. This is why it is so important for Christians to marry equally yoked Christians and not to rush into marriage! Marrying unbelievers causes numerous marital problems and suffering.
We are called to forgive our enemies. For some this is hard to grasp, but it makes so much sense.
I want my spouse to forgive me when I sin
I want God to forgive me when I sin
I am to forgive others as Jesus Christ has forgiven me? (Colossians 3:13)
I am to treat my neighbors (spouse, family friends, acquaintances, strangers) in the way I would like to be treated?
If I hold a grudge against another I will not be forgiven? (Mark 11:25)
Forgiveness is one of the keys that open our hearts to God where true freedom from being a slave to sin can be found. Did you know NOT forgiving is a sin and it brings sin into our lives because of carrying around a bitter heart? Even if your spouse continues to commit sin against the marriage, you need to forgive themit is for your own spiritual enlightenment. Adulterer's need to come back into the faith and repent. Walk your Christian walk and be the Christian that God wants you to be!
I'm going to quote from one of my articles here because it is so true: "It is not getting a divorce that will make everything all better but staying married to your first spouse, working through the problems and learning from them. When couples resolve to work on the marriage it involves long-suffering. It involves determination and compromise, and it involves commitment, and doing the right thing, even if husband and wife are suffering for it. He rewards them with strength and faith in Him and with personal character and spiritual resolve, both of which benefit the marriage considerably."
"Consider it a pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him". (James 1:1-5)