So, you find yourself stuck.
You know in your head that you did not cause your spouse’s infidelity…
But…and it is a BIG BUT…
You still feel guilty.
You wonder if you could have prevented the adultery by doing something(s) better.
You have a bad case of the “if only’s” and possibly you still FEEL like you caused it in some way. Regrets. As a chaplain mentor of mine at the VA taught me, it is okay to have regrets (i.e. “if only’s”) but living in regret is no place to live.
To begin, I must remind you that you did not cause your spouse to cheat on you. They chose to do it. AND they chose to lie demonstrating that this wasn’t just a “moment of weakness.” It took premeditation and series of sinful choices.
My point is that the adultery is 100% on them. This is an action they will be held accountable for before Jesus’ Judgement Seat (see II Cor. 5:10). Until cheaters grasps that, their souls are in dire spiritual danger as that means they are still unrepentant. They lack the basic insight and humility needed to turn (repent) from their sins.
Perhaps, you understand that but still feel awful.
While you did not cause the adultery, you likely contributed to marital problems of some sort. We all do. We are all sinners after all–and that “all” includes married, single, and divorced people to be clear. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar (see I John 1:8).
Scripture teaches us:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9, NIV).
Also, it says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (II Cor 7:10, NIV).
Finally, Paul teaches us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NIV).
As Christians, we can use these promises to combat guilt and false guilt. If we have done something wrong, we confess it to God, and we are promised complete forgiveness. If this is not real to you, I would encourage you to memorize I John 1:9 and repeat it to yourself when the Enemy tries to remind you of past forgiven sin.
This brings me to my second point:
False guilt or “worldly sorrow” is that which destroys and brings death as this verse from II Corinthians teaches us. If you are hearing condemning words, you can be assured they are not from God. He loves His Children. He does not condemn them or tell them that they are worthless. Why would He? That would be to discount the price He paid for us on the Cross–the very blood of God! Be assured these voices are from the pit of Hell. A good antidote to those voices is to repeat Romans 8:1. Use your spiritual sword–God’s word–and swat the lies of the enemy away!
Romans 8:1 is the truth about us as Believers. We are no longer under condemnation because we are Christ’s and Christ is ours. We do not have to carry guilt for Christ has made a way to lay any legitimate guilt down. And we certainly do not have to agree or put up with Satan’s attacks on us, God’s precious children. God has given us a sword. Use it!
On a personal note, I have used these verses in my life to combat condemnation and guilt. It works. And I recommend praying them regularly reminding yourself of the truth and speaking the truth into the heavens.
And remember: Do not take responsibility for things you did not do! You did not cause the adultery. Your spouse chose to sin. Do not buy that lie from Satan.