Faithful Spouses And Letting Go of False Guilt

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.

5 thoughts on “Faithful Spouses And Letting Go of False Guilt”

  1. Thank you. I am going through a real ringer of a divorce. Most of the folks I encounter are not religiously inclined, and to call the cheating spouse a looser, while his actions are those of a looser, it doesn’t help. To have some sound and kind biblical guidance through this maze that the Lord has allowed and get some sense as to what His Will is for me through this incredibly painful ordeal is so wonderful. Thank you.

  2. I fully agree with were you are coming from but I have had my STBX use scripture 1 John 1:9 as his defense. That he did something wrong yes, but God forgives. He sees this as him working on his issues. But I struggle to just put it behind me. And this is where my guilt comes from. If God can forgive, why CAN”T I, is STBX really forgiven or is it more lies. If he could so what he had done for the past 8 yrs and still present as a christian. Does he really know God?

    I know I have heaps of questions, non of which I seem to have answers for.

    1. I have similar trigger experiences when Ephesians 5 is read as it was abused to say I did not love my wife well enough (as Christ the Church). As I see that as an abuse, I suggest your ex’s use of this verse is an abuse. He completely misunderstands mercy and grace. It is not given to give us a license to keep on sinning. Not repenting is to remain in one’s sin. It is not turning from them. Paul addressed such abuse when he wrote “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2, NASB). And I would like to point out that quotation your cheater uses comes from the same letter that says, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother” (I John 3:9-10, NASB). If adultery is not a practice in continuing in sin, I do not know what is. Such verses should give your cheater pause if anything is left of his conscience. But once again, remember that we do not control another person, and they are accountable for their deeds to God. I hope this further context helps. I am so sorry God’s name/word was used in your abuse. Do not worry, though, God will not be mocked!

  3. My spouse did the same, took scripture out of context to meet his needs and took advantage of my lack of Scriptural knowledge. The proper response seems to be none directed at the abuser. Would the abuser admit you were right even if they thought so? I doubt that the Jezebel spirit that has taken residence in the weakened soul of the abusing spouse would permit it. You need to fortify who you are in The Lord. He s cheated. You do not condone it. He s trying to make you own it. Don’t. It hurts. Because you own your intimacy with him. He chose to violate that. He chose to. Not you. Whatever you do, do not respond to evil with evil.

Comments are closed.