After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” – Job 42:7-8, NIV
These sayings of stupidity may originate from exes who abused God’s name to cover for their adulteries, or they might have come from sincere–yet truly naive–Christians who were and are hopelessly clueless in trying to “help” (the later is the most analogous to Job’s friends).
Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar blamed Job for his suffering, and the above quoted passage expresses God’s perspective on their counsel:
It made God seriously angry!
And I am confident God is angry with many of His children who slander His Name by giving similarly bad advice concerning His heart towards faithful spouses.
So, without further ado….
Stupid Things Naive Christians Say To Faithful Spouses:
“Maybe you should just date her more?”
Response: I must have missed the chapter and verse for that approach to dealing with marital infidelity. Was that before or after the passage instructing the Israelites to stone the adulteress and adulterer to death?
(By the way, I am not advocating for doing that today to be clear.)
“She didn’t do anything to you that you didn’t already do to her.”
Response: Actually, she DID do something to me that I did not do to her. I didn’t commit adultery and rape her soul. She did. But I suppose you have to tell yourself that blatant lie in order to feel alright having her as your “friend.”
“It’s just a piece of paper. The divorce happened in the heart a long time ago.”
Response: Try telling that to a judge when you’re being tried for bigamy. It is more than just a piece of paper. Sounds like someone is justifying adultery here.
“There’s always two sides to a story.”
Response: I am curious–what story could someone possibly tell that makes committing adultery okay in the eyes of God?
“God hates divorce.”
Response: God may hate divorce, but He hates sin and adultery more. God divorces Israel over her repeated adulteries after all.
“It’s a headship problem.”
Response: No, you’re confused. It’s a sin problem–as in in “Thou shalt not commit adultery” sin problem.
“A wife’s actions are just a reflection of her husband’s.”
Response: Was Israel’s adulteries then just a reflection of God’s “poor” husband skills? A wife’s actions are her own. She will be held responsible for her own choices just as Israel was in the Old Testament.
“You let yourself go.”
Response: Because it says “Thou shalt not commit adultery unless your spouse lets herself go?” I guess I missed that annotated version of the Ten Commandments. It must come out of the Cheater’s Translation.
“You need to learn to submit better.”
Response: The submission problem here is not the faithful spouse’s. The one needing to learn to submit here is the adulterer–i.e. to his marital vows and God’s commandment not to commit adultery.
“Aren’t you going to stay together for the kids?”
Response: I’d rather have given them a home without an adulterous betrayal. But since my cheating spouse took that off the table. I will give my kids a home based in truth and righteousness than built on adulterous lies and sin.
“But you made a promise to God, not just your spouse.”
Response: God places blame for breaking such vows on the adulterous partner. After all, God does not blame Himself for breaking such vows when He divorces Israel.
“You do realize that you practically drove her to do it? Right?
Response: Sounds like you believe she was justified in cheating on me. Please, enlighten me, where in the Bible does it say we are not responsible for our own sin before God?
Please feel free to submit your own in the comment section below!
*And a shout out to Chump Lady’s potty-mouthed and inspirational version of this coming out of cheaters’ mouths (link here).
***A version of this post ran previously.