When it is not up to you…


“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

-Matthew 23:37, NIV

An injustice faithful spouses experience when divorce is on the table is being blamed for not “fixing” the marriage or keeping the family “intact.” I call it an injustice as a faithful spouse cannot fix that which he or she did not break. Further, an abandoned spouse here in the United States cannot stop a divorce even if he or she desired.

A marriage ravaged by adultery or infidelity is not a fixable marriage if the cheater is unwilling to own his/her choices and change.

Remember: Christ taught us that sin flows out of the heart of the sinner alone (e.g. Mark 7:21-23). Adultery and lying are sins that came out of the cheater’s heart alone.

This injustice is perpetuated by Christians as a result of believing “The Shared Responsibility Lie” or accepting “It Takes Two To Tango” thinking regarding infidelity.

The marriage is destroyed by adultery and infidelity. God did not instruct the Jewish people to rebuild such marriages in the Old Testament. He taught them to end them (e.g. Deuteronomy 22:22). And nowhere in the Bible do I find God blaming a faithful partner for such a marriage ending. Nowhere.

It is hard enough dealing with all the grief that comes with discovery a spouse has so intimately violated and treacherously betrayed you. Faithful spouses do not need the added burden from well-meaning but ill-informed Christians pressuring them to fix what is not up to them to fix. Faithful spouses can no more set this straight, than they could prevent their respective spouse from cheating on them.

Adultery is a heart issue. It is wickedness rooted in the cheater’s heart. A faithful spouse does not have access there and does not control that. Such is a matter between the adulterous sinner and God. It is up to that individual to decide whether or not to repent. It is not up to the faithful spouse even if he or she so desired.

It is unnecessarily adding salt to raw wounds to ascribe control over this situation to faithful spouses when we often are painfully aware of the reality that we have no control.

God allows sinners to reject Him and walk away from His extravagant offer of grace. People walk away permanently from God all the time. Why is it so hard to believe the same thing happens in marriages ravaged by adultery as well with one spouse just refusing the other and rejecting responsibility for his/her sins?

Please, let us not add any more to the tremendous burdens faithful spouses already bear!