Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!
– Luke 12:24, NLT
Words are weighted.
It is harder to dismiss hurtful words from someone who is close to us than from some stranger. A family member knows us. Or they ought to. And we trust (or trusted) them.
A real human temptation is to look to another for validation and self-worth. I know I fell into this trap for far too many years (see Proverbs 29:25). It made me especially vulnerable to my former wife’s attacks when my first marriage went sour.
Even if I did not have an inordinate “fear of man” problem, her and her cohort’s attacks would have still hurt immensely. They would hurt because I had trusted her (and them). Their words were weighted through how close I had allowed them to get to my heart.
This dynamic–in part–is why adultery and the hurtful words of an adulterous spouse are so nasty. A spouse is the closest person in your life as they are one with you spiritually (e.g. Mt 19:4-6). They were given unique access to your heart and have chosen to betray you via adultery as well as–in many cases–with especially hate-filled words.
Yet, in the midst of the storm, it is important to remember:
A Cheater Is Biased
A Proven Liar.
A cheater bias ought to go without saying. Like a naughty child loosing the privilege to go to the beach, a cheater is all about saying that they never wanted to go anyways. In other words, cheaters are all about discounting what they foolishly lost through their wicked treachery–i.e. the faithful spouse, etc.
Just as this move does not make the trip to the beach less valuable or fun, it does not make the faithful spouse suddenly less valuable either.
Unfortunately, the cheater has decided making himself/herself feel better takes precedence over your feelings. Like choosing to cheat, they have decided it is acceptable to hurt you if that means they might feel a little better.
That is the place from which those nasty, devaluing words originate. It is a place of gross distortion. That is what sin does. It distorts our ability to grasp reality and relate to others. Sin breaks relationships.
So, “consider the source” is a wise word of counsel in these situations. Do not allow the words of a liar and cheat be the final say on your worth. It is far better to let God set your self-worth, which Jesus says is weighted as far more than the birds in His beloved creation.