Lectured on Real Repentance Irony


“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.'”

-Matthew15:8, NIV

My tolerance for religious hypocrisy was low before going through my divorce. That tolerance was lowered even further through my experience with more than my fair share of religious hypocrites in my marriage’s dissolution and aftermath. These were people who used God-language and/or care-language as a cover for hate and/or destructive prejudice.

A classic example of this was my former father-in-law (FIL):

This professional pilot thought his grasp of theology was superior to the counsel received from my parents–lifelong Believers–and my theology as a professionally trained plus licensed minister. To put it mildly, he lacked humility, IMO.

In particular, my ex-FIL was proud to tell anyone who would listen about what he believed were the steps to true repentance. He wrote them out and even told my best friend all about them as aimed at me–i.e. his identified reprobate. He was so busy finding “flaws” in his (then) son-in-law that he did not pause to consider his own house was out of order.


In general, it is a very, very bad idea to become the marriage referee for your child’s marriage.

The irony of all these lectures and teaching upon repentance was how silent he became as soon as it was confirmed that his daughter was committing adultery. 


He talked big about honoring God. However, honoring God became less of a priority when it became clear that his own daughter had been lying and cheating in her marriage to me. I guess his commitment to real repentance ended when his own family were the one(s) who needed to follow his draconian, legalistic steps.

At least, that is what his actions and silence communicated to me.

That said, I write this not to say I harbor unforgiveness towards my ex-FIL. What he did wrong is now between him and God. My point is that this sort of hypocrisy is garden variety for faithful spouses. I bet my readers could supply a story of their own “ex-FIL” so to speak.

The irony of a pastor who rails against “the gays” only to be discovered frequently male prostitutes or who preaches about purity but is soliciting hookers on the side is a cliche. I am just tired of the hypocrisy, honestly.

14 thoughts on “Lectured on Real Repentance Irony”

  1. My FIL was an honorable and highly respected guy. His daughter told me she wanted a divorce one year to the day after he passed away. She had already been stepping out for years, as I found out later.
    Her pastor brother married us in the church his father helped start. He gave me exactly (0) words of encouragement through our separation,divorce or since…Thanks Bro!

  2. My FIL and cohorts called me an adulterer. Their preacher friend was a prophet, and they suppositely relied on his prophesy and my other faults as a prof that I must be one. Even her aunt said that God reviled to her that I was unfaithful. I have hard time processing all this mystical beliefs.
    But in the end the irony is that it all turned out to be opposite.

    1. On subject of family refereeing: My FIL and cohorts passed their demand to me through our pastor and elders, that they will consider talking to me if I get baptized by Holy Spirit.

      1. Then few weeks later in-law kids trashed my house and sold my tools to another brother in Christ ( friend to my FIL) from my church to raise funds for their daughter to divorce me.

        1. When I offered to by my tools back, this brother in Christ declined to sell it back to me, explaining to me that he already paid too much for my tools and he no longer has all of them. I then offered to buy the remaining tools, and was declined as well. This post really triggered my painful memories. I now have hard time trusting bothers in Christ… No longer have category in my mind about one group being more trustful then non believer.

          1. Broken_Hurt, your church is a snake pit. Shake the dirt off your sandals and leave. Then file a stolen property report with the police.

          2. Actually my pastor, elders, and many church members supported me. They made many attempts to talk in-law family to come to their senses. And in the end, put FIL on discipline watch and let go my wife as a member. Just because some members treated me badly I will not leave my church.

          3. I did file stolen property report with police. They called my wife to investigate. She told them that I left her w/o money, thus she needed to sell them to feed the kids. So police told us to work this out in divorce court.

    2. Well then, I guess I must be a prophet too because I have some mystical beliefs that the FIL and cohorts were adulterers! What they did is nothing more than an abuse tactic dressed up with religious icing. It sounds like others abused your kindness as well. I’m very sorry. It took me a long time to learn how to set boundaries with those who abused my kindness. If you are still in the middle of the divorce, please protect yourself if you haven’t already. Photograph possessions, cancel any joint credit cards. Once you come out the other side of this mess, I think you will have a bright life ahead of you with people who actually respect you.

  3. Yep, I have ex MIL stories. DM, God must be so proud of you for standing up for the truth. God bless you.

Comments are closed.