Jesus said to [Judas], “Friend, do what you came to do.” – Matthew 26:50a, ESV
This weekend has been a busy weekend of celebration. We’ve been visiting my brothers and their families celebrating little kiddos’ birthdays. First, we celebrated my niece’s birthday, and now we are celebrating our Munchkin’s birthday. She is excited to open presents, of course.
One of my brothers has two cats. The picture above is a picture of the friendlier one. I love cats. Hanging out with the kitties this weekend got me thinking about a story my dad shared about life on the farm:
He talked about how he would watch the cats busy at work mousing in the barnyard. The cat would catch a mouse and then the real “fun” began. I wonder if any of you have observed this sort of cat behavior? The cat would let the mouse go, and the mouse would run, run for its life. Then the cat would pounce and play with it for a little only to release the mouse again for a repeat until the cat grew tired of the “game.” It then killed the mouse.
I see this real life example as a metaphor for divorce baiting.
A cheating spouse will engage in marriage counseling or pastoral care with no real intention to give up their adulterous ways. They mess with the faithful spouse like the mouse who is thinking he/she has a real chance or hope for a restored marriage. Then the cheating spouse “pounces” by refusing to end it with the adultery partner or the faithful spouse discovers that it never really ended.
My suggestion is to reject the game altogether.
Be another cat.
Not the mouse.
Kill the mouse that is the marriage. Do not give the adulterous spouse any more power. Be willing to exercise your Biblical option to divorce (see Jer 3:8 and Mt 19:9) especially when repentance is far, far away for the cheater.
Do the deed.
Deliver the coup de grâce.
Call the bluff and do not hang around for the cruel “game” of false reconciliation/restoration.
Like Judas, the decision to continue in adultery and/or end the marriage has often already been made by the betrayer. It is best to get it over with already. I know as I have experienced life as the “mouse,” and that is a main reason I advocate to reject playing “the game” ending the cruelty.