Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the LORD are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall. – Hosea 14:9 NLT
A cheating spouse is one of the most challenging situations to face. When the cheater is unrepentant and refuses to stop, there seems to be little hope for restoration, but all things are possible with God.
The Old Testament book of Hosea tells the story of a prophet commanded by God to take an unfaithful wife. Gomer was more than unfaithful; she was a prostitute. Hosea knew going into the marriage that God wanted him to be a living example of God’s love for His people.
For fourteen chapters, Hosea gives a dark prophecy about the sins of God’s people and the price they would pay for their spiritual adultery in worshiping idols. God’s people had turned from Him, but His love was unfailing. He called His people to repent time after time. Hosea 14:9 gives hope to those who are discerning and a strong warning to those who continue in sin.
When trust has been broken, and there is no sign of repentance or change, you have every Biblical right to end your marriage. (Matthew 5:32)
Whatever you choose, here are 4 things you should do first:
1. You must immerse yourself in the Word of God and prayer. You must be convinced in your conscience concerning your next steps. Study what Scripture says about adultery and divorce. Ask God to give you definite direction and for the Holy Spirit to guide you. The Apostle Paul says that we are members of Christ’s Body, and we should not forsake the gathering of the Church. It is dangerous to isolate yourself. If you are not already an active church member, you should get involved this Sunday. Seek out a support group from your church.
2. Surround yourself with godly people who will give you godly counsel. Find a qualified counselor or pastor who can help to guide you through your grief. Speaking about our struggles is the first step to overcoming them.
3. Speak to an attorney concerning your legal options and your future. If you decide to take legal action, you must be prepared to follow through with it. There will be financial and social ramifications to ending a marriage, and you must be well-prepared for the coming storm.
4. Regardless of the legal outcome, you must forgive your spouse and guard your heart against bitterness. Jesus was asked how many times we should forgive an offender. His response was seventy times seven a day. In other words, we are always required to forgive. Conversely, we cannot expect forgiveness if we are unforgiving. Furthermore, bitterness will lead to our own destruction. You cannot control your cheating spouse, but you can manage your response to them. Remember that the Lord’s paths are true and correct, and they will be life to you. Immerse yourself in Scripture and prayer. Surround yourself with support and godly counsel. You can have peace during grief and anger. You can move forward and have the joy of the Lord.
1. Which of these points do you need to do first?
2. How can you guard your heart against bitterness?