So is my ex correct in saying that God forgives him, so it is all ok

2014-07-19 13.29.42

Dear Divorce Minister,


My ex-husband, who has been having an affair for two years, tells me that he has prayed to God and everything is ok between him and God. He continues to go to Church each Sunday with our daughter (nobody there knows he has been committing adultery and I go to a different church now)  and he still considers himself a good Christian.  He explains this by saying that God forgives us all our sins and that God loves us all and wants us all to be happy. Jesus died for us so that we all can be forgiven.  All it takes to get into Heaven is believing that Jesus Christ is God’s son. But yet he  hasn’t stopped seeing his girlfriend or filing for divorce. 


One of your early posts on Letting Go of False Guilt talks about God’s forgiveness. 


“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9, NIV).


“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NIV).


If my Ex read that, he would apply it to himself to explain why God is ok with him.  How do I respond to him?  I am conflicted about all of this. My friends tell me that God will punish my ex at some point, but then I read about God’s forgiveness and I believe in God’s forgiveness. So is my ex correct in saying that God forgives him, so it is all ok?  How can God love and forgive and still punish those who do wrong?







Dear Perplexed,


To begin, I would like to remind you that Satan is most dangerous when using a little bit of truth mixed with his lie. I talk about this in my post entitled: “You Don’t Have to Agree” (link here).


As I see it, your stbx (or ex?) husband is abusing a truth about forgiveness to provide cover for his adulterous sin. This is not right. And anyone who actually cared about his soul would call him out on this encouraging true repentance on his part.


While I have written about forgiveness and its availability to all, I think it may be helpful to remember what Scripture teaches concerning sin and true repentance. Directly after writing about how Christ’s blood cleanses us from our sins (i.e. we are forgiven by Christ’s blood sacrifice), the writer of Hebrews gives his readers this exhortation:


If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth,no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. -Hebrews 10:26-31, NIV

Such are sobering words about instructing followers of Christ to aim for righteous living. Here are the words of a righteous God who does not take sin lightly nor the abuse of His Son’s blood. And He will judge the abuser. It is best to turn from our sin.

It sounds like your stbx husband missed this passage or was never warned as he continues to see his girlfriend and push through the divorce. Those are actions of continuing in sin. I hope someone in his church loves him enough to warn him of the dire danger to his soul in light of these truths.

As to his claims about God wanting him to be happy, I would push back to say God wants him to be holy (see I Peter 1:15-16). We are to reflect God’s character. Last time I checked, happiness is not one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). And holiness is a very important character aspect of God, and we ought to seek to be holy as it marks us as set apart from the world.

Finally, I am sorry that your stbx husband has twisted the Bible to hurt you and cause further confusion. While forgiveness for all is available, that does not mean our sin is ever okay. Christ had to die to cover it. So, God takes our sin deathly seriously. Also, forgiveness does not mean consequences do not follow from our actions or choices. For example, we can forgive a rapist and still allow the justice system to send him to jail. Jail time is a consequence for breaking the law.

I hope this helps, Perplexed, and I hope you hear my heart is saying these things as not for anyone’s destruction. My hope is all turn from their sins truly and find forgiveness. However, I am a realist and acknowledge some will choose a life of sinful rebellion over a life of holiness in the end. Such choices, I am convince, break God’s heart.


Divorce Minister

12 thoughts on “So is my ex correct in saying that God forgives him, so it is all ok”

  1. Thank you for the great answer. My STBX had done the same thing. He was the head of Consistory for 4 years in our church and helped hire all the wonderful staff we have. He has sung in the choir and was even the lay preacher one Sunday. He doesn’t seem to think there’s anything wrong with seeing OW (a college girlfriend who lives in the middle of the country), leaving his marriage of 30 years and two daughters. He thinks he is golden because he told me before they actually slept together — so in his twisted mind that absolves him from doing wrong. Looking back at all this I can’t help but think that his years of piety and being a pillar of the community were all a sham. He’s a narcissist and all those things brought him glory. He still continues to sing in the choir but his years on Consistory are over; however, he is still an Elder. His timing is such that he has now moved onto OW who feeds his soul… He will one day be called before God and I hope he finds himself in Limbo.

    1. Susan-I’d feel the same way about hoping he finds himself in limbo. I won’t knock you for being real about that. So it’s not adultery b/c he told you before they had sex? What the crap?! Isn’t there supposed to be a process to keep Elders accountable? That’s usually part of the church discipline process. Did they just skip over that?

  2. This is the same behavior of the OW who was cheating with my EX. She constantly puts scripture and posted on facebook of their 3 years together and being thankful for her true love. We had been divorced a year. She has been married and divorced three times. She is like the mistress version of the Jesus Cheater. The ex broke it off with her for about a month awhile ago to try to repair relationship with our children. She asked all prayer warriors on facebook to pray for them to reconcile and they did. I’ve never understood how she can be so blatant in her homewrecking behavior, quote scriptures, go to church every Sunday and believe she deserved happiness at the price of my daughters’ and my pain. My ex just left and never came back. Her “Christianity” and prayers for their relationship seem so false to me.

    1. DDC- they’d seem false to me too. Good grief. Was she divorced b/c she continues to sleep around? Do her supposed prayer warriors know she was committing adultery? hehe my somewhat snarky, very blunt, though very honest, response to that fb shout out would have been: “I’ll pray for you to stop committing adultery.” Watch her quickly delete that comment and her fb “face” turn bright red.

  3. Ouch! I am not justifying anyone’s bad behavior; I am still subjected to quite literal over the top character assassination here among other attacks from my husband who is married to me but going around introducing his mistress as his wife. Ladies, sin is sin. While adultery is incredibly painful for the victim, you gain no points with Our Lord with unnecessary remarks at another person’s expense. Would my life be easier if my very ill behaved and totally selfish husband were dead? Of course. But God wants all of us to be saved. I get it. Do I agree? God didn’t ask my opinion. So I let Him handle it. How many times as a parent have you experienced a child be mean to a sibling and then be equally sad when the other retaliated in kind. Please stop this nonsense. We all hurt, but let’s encourage healing and recovery by being our best. Please do not undermine the value of this blog with comments that are not worthy of you are in the Lord. When we are making mean comments, the evil one is being fueled. The evil one has brought enough destruction,don’t you think? Thanks for letting me sound off.

  4. M- Thanks for your comments. You’re right, sin is sin. However I will stand by what was written from each lady. The path of healing and recovery is encouraged by being honest, not by being your best self. Honesty doesn’t always mean your best self. For many, being the “best self” often means wearing some sort of mask and putting on a show of some kind b/c for whatever reason, it’s not safe to be honest. The journey for each person varies and it’s a disservice to tell the faithful spouse they’re not allowed to wish evil on the person that just blew up their lives. As you yourself said, you are not one to never make comments like the ones they did. Let them say their comments, it’s part of their process and it’s a process you’ve been through/are going through. You need to vent as much as they do.

    I did speficially say that I won’t knock anyone for being honest. The comments the ladies made were quite benign, especially in comparison with what is often shared on Chump Lady, and I know you are familiar with that site. They are being real and it’s okay to have someone agree that something seems amiss. I will point you towards the comments under the post on anger related to Divorce Care that Chump Dad posted. Divorce Care is a faith based ministry and says very bluntly that thoughts of wanting to wreak havoc on the cheating spouse or saying that you wish them to end up in purgatory are very normal and part of the anger process, which is necessary for healing. Staying in control doesn’t necessarily mean never saying what you’re really thinking, it’s knowing not to take an extreme action, such as physically attacking someone, on the thoughts that come. Examples of cries for justice such as wanting your enemies dead are strewn throughout the Psalms as well. This post does a good job talking explaining it:

  5. Slander is slander. Slander veiled in velvet gloves is slander. More importantly it doesn t promote healing. The longer a person focuses on the pain, the more opportunity for a hardened heart. Your husband s ability to translate these extraordinarily difficult emotions into a thoughtful articulation will empower people to stand up for themselves and assist greatly in their healing. I have benefitted greatly, and borrowed quite freely from his remarks. And people listen. They don t hear the rage, and as a result they hear the damage experienced because the words register, it sinks in. Seeds are planted and The Lord will do the rest. The minute A “friend” sneaks in a supportive jab, people turn to another topic. Slander is not of The Lord. We. Are challenged to walk with Him consistently.

  6. I wasn’t criticizing the writer. I was challenging you to not add fuel to their fire. It doesn t help them. I am familiars. divorce care and subscribed to it for two years. Allowing one to vent is one thing, suggesting what you did in your response and getting catty is what I challenged you as a leader on.

  7. While being a resource on adultery and divorce, this blog is also a place where I hope people can come and be honest about their feelings. I hope they feel safe to do so free of judgment about those feelings. So, I agree with Mrs. DM that it is a good thing to be honest in sharing those feelings even if they don’t sound nice. As I read her, Mrs. DM was just validating that these are understandable feelings to have under the circumstances described by Susan and DDC. Mrs. DM was being empathetic.

    M, I suspect your concern is about cursing these cheaters or getting stuck in a downward spiral, which would be unhelpful and not edifying. Both are legitimate concerns to be avoided by Christians. But I do not think we get there by denying our feelings, which we do not control. We only control what we do with those feelings and Mrs. DM is clear that one ought not to do anything sinful in anger (see Eph. 4:26).

    It is okay to cry out in pain. And it is okay to cry out for justice. If we can be understanding for our human children who are deeply hurt and acting in such ways, I am sure God is at least as good of a parent as we are to our kids.

  8. Righteous Anger – things that break God’s heart and anger Him too. But I cannot act out in my anger – vengence is the Lord’s. After 30 years of my “christian” cheating husband (STBXH) I was just too angry. He is angry at me for being angry.
    He should be angry at himself for choosing sin repeatedly. Thank you DM for making it clear to me on your site that I did nothing to deserve this and yes, I feel angry at all the people who twisted the Word over me to “calmly” offer continued forgiveness, keep my marriage in tact (?) and mostly don’t show anger at the perp.
    I’m grateful for this site, it is setting my mind straight though God’s Word.

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