This is what the Lord says:
“Was your mother sent away because I divorced her?
Did I sell you as slaves to my creditors?
No, you were sold because of your sins.
And your mother, too, was taken because of your sins.
-Isaiah 50:1, NLT
A major reason cheaters feel entitled to put faithful spouses on “improvement plans” with pastors and Christian counselors watching is that they do not fear divorce. They know most pastors and Christian counselors are more concerned about avoiding divorce than actually holding a cheater accountable for all the lies and infidelity.
What a cheater deserves for his or her infidelity is divorce!
Such is the biblical understanding of consequences for sexual infidelity in marriage as I see from Scripture (e.g. Deut. 22:22, Lev. 20:10, Jer. 3:8, Mt 1:19, etc.).
So, it is actually an act of altruism and incredible grace for a faithful spouse to give his/her cheater the chance to rebuild what he/she destroyed via lying and cheating. In other words, a cheater ought to be full of gratitude that she is in the pastor’s office as opposed to standing before the family court judge about to be divorced.
Somewhere along the way the Christian world divorced biblical consequences from their understanding of responding to marital infidelity.
This is spiritually unhealthy. It is the same gospel distortion as “Christians” approaching God and treating forgiveness of sins as their due as opposed to the incredible undeserved gift that it is from God.
Justice does not require God to forgive us our sins.
Neither does justice require faithful spouses to remain in a marriage ravaged by adultery.
Justice is the starting point. One does not learn to walk before crawling. Justice is the crawling level. Mercy and grace are the walking and running levels. A cheater must first master the crawling stage before he or she can master the walking or running stages.
And a good Christian “coach” grasps that and makes sure the basics are not missed.