17 May 2013
How Do You Forgive A Cheating Spouse? Wait… Do You?
Wednesday May 15th, 700 Club Founder Pat Robertson answered a question on his broadcast from a woman who wrote in asking how she can forgive her husband for cheating. The question was posted as if she has decided to try to forgive her husband and move forward, but that she has found forgiving him to be difficult. Now once I was able to get past all of the horrible things written about Pat Robertson just because he’s Pat Robertson (It’s amazing how much most sites hate him), I had to think about the advice actually being offered to the woman. Here’s what was said:
Now I ask you: What would you tell her?
Many of us would first want to ask the question ‘is she sure that she wants to stay in the marriage?’ God may tell us to forgive others for the things they do as we each need forgiveness for our own mess. However, that is one of the few places in which even God does not say you must remain in the relationship. He may not advocate divorce, but biblically it is allowed in that instance. Though many do choose to forgive and go on to have happy marriages. Many others say they will forgive but don’t and both parties remain in a bitter relationship for however long. Some spouses forgive one instance but the offending spouse just keeps doing it. And one of the current trends is the open marriage. (It’s a trend in the sense of being openly acknowledged. It’s been present as long as marriage has been.) Do open marriages avoid the pain and bitterness that often comes from infidelity? Do they make things easier or harder? There are the obvious dangers of disease and extramarital pregnancies? But what are the deeper issues? How does it affect the mind and heart of each spouse?
Considering the current success rate of marriage (both among believers and nonbelievers) I dont think we can expect everyone to trust the dogmatic assumptions of past generations. So I ask you, what works? And is that answer the same for everyone?
Is it the standard definition of marriage? Is that working? Or are there elements of God’s intended marriage that are missing from most of our modern definitions? Is that the reason for infidelity?
How do we avoid it? Do we just lower our standards? Do we try harder to satisfy our spouse so there is less reason to stray? Do we forgive and think about the best in that person? Or go with another perspective altogether?
When do you forgive, and when do you move on? Please join the discussion and comment below.
I will post my response to these questions next week.