You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
-Malachi 2:14, NIV
By now, I bet most people have had to suffer through the public service announcement on each movie about digital piracy. It is not a victimless crime. Apparently.
Pastors and Christian leaders need to spend more time making similar PSAs about adultery:
Adultery: it is not a victimless sin.
Like the motion picture folks are trying to do with digital piracy, we need to start sensitizing Christians into seeing the real people who are hurt by infidelity. It isn’t victimless. Adultery victims do exist.
Often when I hear about adultery from the pulpit, the usual pastoral move is to talk about God’s forgiveness available to the adulterous spouse. That is good and sound theology.
However, the focus on cheaters from the pulpit hurts my heart. It is focus that excludes care for the soul raped spouses and the families blown up by the deceit and treachery inherent in adulterous betrayal(s).
How can you care for someone if you do not see them or dare mention them in their plight?
I do not think I have ever heard a pastor or minister preach about a faithful spouse having to go into the doctor to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases because his/her spouse was sleeping with another. Precious little, if anything, is said about the shame and fear–“Maybe I caught a life-threatening disease through my cheating spouse?”–that comes with that.
Nor have I heard the sermon on adultery that talks about the faithful spouse vomiting for weeks curled up in the fetal position from the emotional and spiritual pain that comes with discovering the other spouse had been lying and sleeping with another for months or years!
Yes, God forgives a sinner repenting of adultery. However, that does not mean the sin is without real victims. Those victims do not get to avoid the grave and natural consequences of such treachery. We–adultery victims–do not magically get back the weeks or months of vomiting and walking around in a numb daze wondering what just happened and how can we ever be safe again.
It is past time the Church saw adultery victims:
Adultery is not a victimless “crime!”