“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and IF they repent, forgive them.”
-Luke 17:3b, NIV (Emphasis Mine)
IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
-I John 1:9, NKJV
AN IMPORTANT “IF”
When Christians encounter situations where marital infidelity has taken place, they seem to loose their common sense. Cries for the faithful spouse to “forgive” the cheater are loudly proclaimed without thought to the biblical conditions of godly forgiveness.
Pastors and other Christian leaders are quick to ignore the important “IF” in both these verses on forgiveness.
Jumping on the adultery victim to forgive is not following the biblical model of forgiveness. A true student of the Bible would know enough to pause first to ascertain whether or not the cheater has confessed and repented before even breathing a word about forgiveness.
That is what the “IF” in these two verses teach us. They tell us not to rush into so called “forgiveness” unless the condition of confession and repentance are not met.
Sadly, many faithful spouses will live out their existence without a full confession of the cheater’s sins against them. Thus, they will certainly not even get close to the cheater actually repenting.
The most these faithful spouses is entrust the hurt and wrongs to their ever-loving and just God for Him to handle as He sees fit.