If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel. – Deuteronomy 22:22, NIV
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Evil must be named.
It must be addressed.
So often I read and hear of people guilted into staying in a marriage ravaged by adultery “for the kids.” But where were these counselors decrying the evil of adultery before the marriage got to this point? Why are they not laying the blame firmly at the feet of the adulterer or adulteress for the destruction of the relationship? Why are they further victimizing the victim of adultery?
Let the faithful spouse decide the wisest course forward without trying to manipulate them one way or another for crying out loud!
The cheater has just raped the soul of the children’s mother or father–i.e. the faithful spouse. How about some stern warnings from the pulpit about how adultery hurts children? It is not just a wrong committed against the spouse after all. How about some stern warnings from the pulpit naming adultery as evil? That’s how God sees it. How about some stern warnings from the pulpit giving the gory details of how adultery destroys families and marriages? Because that is what it does.
Forgiveness is important. And I agree Christians are to forgive the ones who sin against them as God has forgiven all of us–i.e. the adulterous spouse included. However, forgiveness ought not to be a disguise for silence over the commission of evil.
Adultery is ugly. Talking about it makes people uncomfortable. Yet to teach the full counsel of Scripture means that we sometimes have to teach uncomfortable things.
Adulterous spouses look bad because what they did was bad. Not talking about it allows the evil to grow. It is evil as Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer so eloquently puts it above. Not to talk about it helps it continue.
Maybe if we exposed the evil to the light, then more Christians would be better equipped to walk in it?