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As usual, the posted answers do a much better job than I could of giving Biblical answers to this question. I just wanted to add something that I think needs added to the other answers. Heeling is important when this happens, FOR BOTH PARTIES. My best advice is to pray, each of you, FOR the other party. Not for God to change them, not for God to punish them, but for God to bless them, forgive them if necessary and HEAL THEM. Not to heal them from the act as in changing the fact that they were capable of the sin, but from the hurt. Pray that God does not punish them, rather forgive them, even if you do not believe that you can. I understand how hard this will be in the beginning, but make yourself do so. Regardless of how you feel at the time, praying FOR them will help to heal YOU once you get to the point of meaning it with your whole heart. GOD will do the rest. Remember, Jesus did not die for the sinless.
Infidelity in marital relationship is very painful and most times brings out the worst in the injured party; but as believers the scripture admonishes in Phil 2vs 5 that we should have the mind of Christ.Christ had a forgiving nature and the believer should toe the line of Christ and forgive the erring partner.Prayer must be made on behalf of the person who has committed the sin and bitterness must not be given a place in the home.God of course is the ultimate healer of all wounds and will do so if given the chance.
I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." Matthew 19:9 Now Jesus is not saying that you must divorce your spouse by any means, but that it is acceptable. As far as forgiveness, I do not believe that it is mandatory to forgive those who don't ask for it. Much like in the parable of the unforgiving debtor in Matthew 18:21-35, the master punished the servant who didn't forgive the debt of another who asked for it after he himself had his own debt forgiven. The master didn't punish everyone who didn't forgive debts, just the one who accepted his forgiveness but wasn't willing to do the same for someone else. Does God forgive sin if one doesn't repent and ask for forgiveness? For us, it can be healthier to forgive and not hold onto hate and pain. If the cheating spouse doesn't repent for their actions and ask to be forgiven and be willing to work towards healing the relationship, forgiveness is not required. If they do repent and ask for forgiveness, then I think it is our duty as Christians to forgive. That does not mean that we have to stay with them. It is our choice.
Well, my husband cheated on me. Husband of 20 years. I had a hunch, but no proof. THEN I got proof. Apparently one ended in an abortion. Too much for me. What did I do? I divorced him. I prayed for him and the woman. I don't want anyone to perish for eternity. It's been four years, and I still pray for his soul. I don't want him back, but I don't want him to die in his sins. As for the other woman....they are not together. Love lasts, lust doesn't. I pray she finds the one for her. I can't throw stones at her either. I belong to Christ and my identity was in Him. I am always safe and secure under His wing! Our God is awesome, isn't He? I wish my ex could experience His love!
In 1971 I married my high school sweetheart. We settled in to our home and two years later had a son. We both considered ourselves Christians because we both attended a "Christian" church as children and we were married in a "Christian" church. We attended church one time in the 4 years we were married. In the summer of 1975 when the neighborhood kids would come over for a pool party I noticed she seemed to gravitate to the oldest teenage boy. She would sit beside him rather than me. I thought nothing of it at first, after all he was fifteen, she was twenty two. Then one evening about a month later his nine year old brother said he had seen them kissing and he saw him put his hand where it should not have been on her. I was shocked but dubious so I laid a trap. They both fell into it. I pleaded with her to think of our son and begged her to stop the affair. She said she would but didn't. A month later I sued her for divorce in the hopes that this would shock her into thinking straight. It delighted her instead. Now she could get rid of me and continue the affair. The boy's father and the prosecuting attorney however had other plans. They both stepped in and threatened to arrest her if she didn't stop immediately. Her mother got wind of what her daughter was doing and moved in to the house which effectively stopped the physical part of the affair but not the emotional part. I was forced out of my home and into a little two room apartment. At this juncture I remembered an old friend who had visited us about 18 months prior and had told us that she was now a born again Christian. I knew she was a churchgoer before and at the time had no interest in what she was saying, but I sure was now! I called her and told her what was going on and she asked me if I was a Christian! Of course I said I was, and that I had been to church for three weeks in a row! So she asked me if I was saved. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. My church believed that if your good works outweighed your sins you on on your way to heaven. This born again or saved stuff was completely foreign to me. The following week she invited me to attend her church on Sunday, and she and her mother met me at the church's front door. That morning I received Christ as my Lord and Savior and that evening I was baptized. I felt certain that now that God was in my corner He would save my wife and we could reconcile and all would be well. An elder and his wife visited my wife that week and invited her to church and she said she would be there. She never showed. They stopped again and my wife said the baby was sick so she decided to not come but she would be there the next Sunday. Again she never showed. Now that I was a real Christian and my new church told me that God emphatically hates divorce, I called my attorney and told him to drop all divorce proceedings against my wife and that I was moving back home in three days. Two days later she sued me for divorce. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and begged, and cried, and wept bitter tears and repented. Sixty days later she got her divorce and she moved 300 miles away and back in with her parents. i picked up the shattered pieces of my life and allowed Jesus to put them back together. Seven weeks after the divorce I met the woman of my dreams. A born again Christian whose mother had been divorced and could sympathize with me. Five months later we got engaged and one year later we married. We just celebrated 43 years of wedded bliss. My ex called six months after she abandoned me and decided that maybe we could make it after all. I told her no we could not. I was now a born again Christian and she was not so marrying her again was out of the question. She is still unsaved. I have prayed for her nearly every day for 44 years.
Well, firstly as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we should ask ourselves as an introspection, why such an evil matter has happened to our spouse/us. Do we pray daily as Jesus taught us how to pray? (Mathew 6:9-13); if we do, we will be delivered from any kind of evil matter. Secondly, we have no right to judge our spouse, since we are also a sinner like her/him (John 8:7-11) since every human being has a knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:22) and having the potnetial of doing good and evil. Thirdly, forgive and we will be forgiven as we pray to our Father in Heaven, asking Him to forgive our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6: 12) We believe, these are not easy responses, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have to deny ourselves and take up our cross. (Mathew 16:24-28).
Who better to look to for an answer to 'how to handle infidelity' than to look at the way women of the Bible dealt with it. This question is different for men and women. The reason It's different is due to perspective, pride, ego, social structures, tradition, and a list of other gender considerations that go unnoticed by even the church and It's leadership. The women of scripture turned the other cheek when their men played the field in a way that today's woman would never think about doing! Why? When did the woman decide to hold her husband accountable for his disloyalty to his wife and children as well as his lack of dedication to the sanctity of marriage? The progression of time brought about political and social change that has been greatly beneficial to the family institution and to the personal lives of men and women. Nowhere in scripture do we read where a man kept his cool while his wife had children by other men the way women did when men like our hero giant killer David had his first six sons by six different women in Hebron (1Chr 3:1-4). How were they able to handle this back then as opposed to now? I don't believe the man of that day even realized he was cheating his wife AND himself. But that doesn't diminish the anguish the woman undoubtedly endured as a result of his ignorance. What was her response? Her response to his behavior was love, peace, patience, gentleness, faith, goodness, meekness, self-control, emotions that don't need to be regulated (Gal 5: 22-23). The believer, man and woman alike, when faced with such spiritually debilitating circumstances, must follow the Spirit, staying in step with His leading and promptings throughout life. The Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil approach to settling family matters usually doesn't align with the way the Lord delivers the righteous out of all his afflictions (Psalm 34:19).
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