Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
-Ephesians 6:10-12, NIV
As a naturally sensitive and introspective person, I was especially vulnerable to lies about my identity from my ex-wife and her compatriots.
Ultimately, I know these lies came from a much more sinister source (see quote above); however, these vessels still chose to speak death into my life. And I chose to be open to these people, because I trusted them as family and alleged friends. This was unwise on my part.
An important lesson one must learn to heal from adultery and divorce is that one only controls oneself. By extension, this also means one is only responsible for one’s own choices, decisions, and actions.
However much that you would like your cheating spouse to truly repent or come back to the marriage, you do not control that. That is their decision to make or not. And God will hold them–not you–accountable for that decision at some point.
This lesson about personal responsibility applies to dealing with the lies concerning your character:
While you do not control whether or not your cheater lies about you (or others lie about you), you can choose whether or not to agree with them or give them “air” time in your brain.
Some important lies to dismiss:
“You are worthless.”
Truth: You are worth the blood of the Creator of the Universe (Romans 5:8)!
“You drove me to cheat by …. (fill in the blank with tailored made hurtful statement)”
Truth: We are responsible for our own actions and decisions. You did not decide to cheat. The adulterer/adulteress made that decision completely on their own and will answer for it (2 Cor. 5:10).
“You must forgive me (and reconcile with me).”
Truth: God calls us to forgive everyone (e.g. Mt 6:14-15). But God does not tell us to trust everyone (e.g. Proverbs 26:25). And God tells us we are under no moral obligation to reconstitute a marriage after adultery (e.g. Mt 19:9).
“You’re a failure because your marriage ended in divorce.”
Truth: You are no more a failure than God is a failure. He divorced Israel over repeated adulteries (Jeremiah 3:8). The failure is upon the ones who chose adulterous sin over the covenant. The moral failure is completely theirs, not yours.
“Everyone will reject you and abandon you because no one wants you.”
Truth: God always wants you. (“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” -Psalm 27:10, NLT)
In closing, I want to expose a scheme the Devil uses to damage us:
He will seed the lie with grains of truth in order to get us to swallow the lie whole.
For example, he will tell us we must forgive and get us to think God requires us to trust our soul rapist again. God does not require that. It takes true repentance on the cheater’s part for that trust to be rebuilt, if ever it is.
Also, beware of the partial truths utilizing your actual faults. It is still a lie if it is only a partial truth.
This trick is as old as the Garden of Eden. Satan uses the partial truth of God’s prohibition to not eat the fruit of the forbidden tree mixed with deceitful additions.
Pay attention to the additions.
Do not take a bite. Reject the fruit whole.
Remember: Satan tempted Jesus even using Scripture (Lk 4:9-11).
In my opinion, Satan is the most dangerous when he is using partial truths or abusing truths out of context as was the case with Jesus. I want to be clear, though. By saying this, I do not mean your ex or cheating spouse is Satan, but rather I am saying they are speaking lies, which is Satan’s native tongue (John 8:44). They are partnering with the Father of Lies.
Remember: While you do not control whether or not the lies are spoken about you, you do control whether or not you believe them.
Reject the lies.
Hold fast to the truth.
*A version of this post ran previously.