“For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
– John 3:20, NKJV
Silence about infidelity is the same thing as avoiding the light.
It says the person does not what his or her wicked deeds exposed. They have not truly embraced repentance and accepted the consequences that follow from choosing evil over righteousness. Instead, they focus their energies at seeking the darkness and running from the light.
Jesus’ words are very applicable to such situations. He calls those people practitioners of evil.
Denial is not the same thing as forgiveness.
I am conflating denial with silence over what took place here. Personally, I do not believe in the “forgive and forget” crowd on these matters. Such thinking is not very attuned to human reality that we do not forget deeply traumatic experiences.
And surviving adultery–even fully forgiven adultery–is very traumatic!
Plus, I am discouraged to hear/read pastors and Christian leaders encourage silence about infidelity after confession–or not even.
This is not good spiritual counsel.
As people of the Light, we ought to be willing to walk in the light. Silence is a cloak for darkness. Counsel to silence the faithful spouse on these matters is to counsel keeping both the faithful spouse and cheating spouse in darkness. This is ungodly counsel. It provides sin the cover of darkness.
While I do not encourage oversharing, I also do not encourage silence and denial of a major life shaping event like infidelity discovery. Plus, I question if genuine forgiveness can take place under a “cone of silence” regarding infidelity.
Adultery impacts more than just the faithful spouse. It is a community disease. That is clearly how God perceived it in the Old Testament with His command to purge the evil from among His people (see Deuteronomy 22:22).
Similarly, the healing of the community or family cannot take place when they are unaware of essential facts–i.e. that one member committed adultery against the other. I think community aspect is often overlooked here in the USA because of our overemphasis of individualization.
Besides the community issue, I would be concerned regarding true healing for the wronged spouse as the silence call–once again–puts the cheater’s “needs” unjustly before the faithful spouse’s needs (to heal). This does not seem like a recipe for restoration.
It looks more like a recipe for bitterness as an artificial cap is put on the issue and things are rugged-sweeped–e.g. residual grief following the initial adultery confession because of the imposed silence.
When I think of true forgiveness and healing, I picture people who can talk about a wrong openly without the pain or anger originally associated with the sin.
Imposed silence strikes me as a denial that the sin took place or needs additional attention after the initial confession. Infidelity wounds will not generally heal overnight. It is cruel to expect a faithful spouse never to talk about their soul wounds again regarding this sin.
Denial and silence is not forgiveness.
They are ways to give wickedness the cover of darkness.