Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. -Hebrews 13:4, NIV
Adulterous spouses have no shame. On one hand, they will willfully and maliciously disregard how their selfish sinful choices impact their children, and then they will invoke their names in trying to manipulate the faithful spouse to do their bidding when they do not want to face a divorce and the consequences that come with that.
It is disgusting.
Plus, it is an example of a major cheater disconnect.
They do not see how they are hurting their own children by choosing to soul rape their spouse. Cheaters forget their children are half of their spouse. When they treat him or her with contempt, they are saying they hate their children (half of them anyways) as well. This is the main reason I encourage faithful spouses to never badmouth their cheating exes in front of the kids keeping it to naming the actions and not invective.
Besides that disconnect, adulterous spouses are directly causing instability for the kids. They are making it harder for the faithful partner to be available to parent as he or she has to deal with the extreme trauma the adulterous spouse has just inflicted upon them. And that is not even touching on all the financial instability the cheating may cause as well.
Yeah, that sounds like cheaters really care about the kids.
And I have a problem with Christian leaders using this excuse to rug-sweep the adultery without actually addressing it. They are all too willing to accept less than full repentance in order to serve their god–keeping marriages “intact.” It’s “for the kids!” Really, I think it is for vanity meaning the pastor wants to talk about the marriages he or she “saved.” Savior Complex anyone? Wave the shiny prospect of keeping the marriage together in front of them, and they are more than happy to put the screws on the faithful spouse to take back an adulterous spouse despite Scripture (e.g. Mt 5:32) and even when red flags concerning the adulterous spouse’s lack of repentance exist.
Do not get me wrong:
I am all for miracles and the miraculous restoration of marriages ravaged by adultery.
But it needs to be an actual miracle, not a false-miracle. Real and total repentance needs to happen. If not, then the children get to live in a home still ravaged by the ongoing sins of adultery and deceit. They are taught that adultery is tolerated, and divorce is a worse sin than unrepentant adultery. Those are very damaging and unbiblical lessons to teach.
Besides, back in the Old Testament times, I am sure children were involved in similar situations with a parent who committed adultery. God did not view keeping the marriage intact “for the kids” as reason enough to allow the marriage to continue back then. He commanded the Israelites to kill the adulterous spouses (e.g. Deut. 22:22) and thereby definitively ending the marriage.
So, let us not use the kids as a smokescreen for the real issues when adultery has taken place. The focus needs to be on full repentance by the adulterous spouse. If the faithful spouse chooses not to exercise his/her God-given permission to divorce (see Jer. 3:8, Mt. 5:32, 19:9, etc.) and the adulterous spouse is granted the miracle of character transformation through actual repentance, then we can rejoice that God has done a miracle remaking a marriage killed by adultery.
And remember: Actions tell us the truth.
If the adulterous spouse really cared about the kids, then he or she should have thought about that before committing adultery and not when they are faced with the consequences of their poor choices.