I have never cheated on anyone, and I praise God for that, but I understand that I certainly could have. It’s a huge blessing that I’m not incredibly rich or incredibly good looking, as I imagine that all sorts of temptations are opened up behind those twin doors.
I am so blessed that God has kept me from infidelity, and even more so that He has given me the ability to put myself into the shoes of someone who has. While we often focus on the evil done, we rarely focus on the good that is still present in the person who has sinned.
I was engaged once, and I ended up finding out that trips my fiancée was taking for work and pleasure were, well, for pleasure, if you know what I mean. It’s a really rough thing to learn—I didn’t feel manly, I didn’t feel confident; in every way I felt like a loser. Yet while it was one of the worst times in my life, it wasn’t my lowest point by a mile, and prepared me for worse things to come.
While that sounds like it’s bad for me, I want you to put yourself into the shoes of someone who has been unfaithful. So you cheated, but you’re truly repentant—how can you recover? David was a broken man over his sins with Bathsheba, and he was a man after God’s own heart. Consider this poetry from Psalms 51:16-17,
“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
You, God, will not despise.”
Today, consider the cheater who has repented. Consider her broken, contrite heart. Consider his regret. Consider his pain. Consider how he wants to overcome the past. Help this person recover. Cultivate the good—the bad has been weeded out. This doesn’t mean that it’s best to stay with them, or better for either of you, but it does mean that you can show extraordinary mercy, either in reconciliation and staying together, or being amiable and supportive while finding a new mate.
Let me know if I can serve you.