July 20, 2012

How To Deal With A Cheating Spouse

How To Deal With A Cheating Spouse

Your Reaction to A Cheating Spouse

A cheating spouse is one who displays the height of selfishness, and causes an untold amount of pain on his/her spouse, children, extended family, and friends. Unfortunately, infidelity has become a way of life in our culture, so there is a need to write to the spouse who has suffered the transgression. There are plenty of articles, books, videos, and other resources available regarding the practical ways to deal with or react to a cheating spouse, so I’d like to concentrate on an area I have not seen covered much, but is actually the root of all the others: anchoring your worth in Christ.

Anchor Your Worth In Christ

One of my favorite past times is to get rent a jon boat, and get out on a lake for some fishing. I like to push away from the land so I can get to the parts of the water where the fish are known to congregate. The first time I went out, I rowed far away from the land, got to my desired spot, baited my hook, threw the line in the water, and began to fish. After a few minutes of focusing on bringing in a fish, I realized that my boat was no longer where I rowed it. I had drifted several yards away from my intended spot. Little did I know it at the time, but I was about to face a long and frustrating day because I never quite stayed where I wanted or needed to be.

I learned a lesson that day that has forever changed the way I fish. Each fishing expedition after the day of drifting has been much better because I now secure a hefty rope to my boat, and drop a cinder block in the water to act as a anchor. Now, whenever I row to my desired spot, I drop my anchor, and know that I’m not going anywhere.

So, what does this have to with a spouse who is on the receiving end of an affair? Here’s the point: anchor your worth to what Christ did for you on the cross instead of what your spouse did to you by having an affair.

Jesus thinks you’re pretty valuable. So valuable, in fact, he willingly gave up a divine existence in heaven to come to earth for 33 years to die on a cross. I understand you may have difficulty connecting your worth to his bloody sacrifice on the cross since you never saw his sacrifice, so let me give you an example. if you are a parent, you exercised a sort of sacrifice by caring for your unborn child physically, emotionally, and financially before you ever saw him/her. You knew the child needed pre-natal care, so you did all you could to ensure the baby was safe before he/she ever emerged from the womb. You thought the child was valuable, so you acted in self-sacrificing ways. You took time off work, you probably changed your diet, and put up with an expanding belly. If you were the father, you had your schedule changed, and tolerated changes your wife had to make that were in the baby’s best interest.

These sacrifices represent what Jesus did for you. He thought you were so valuable, he gave us his role in heaven to die for you. Because he loved you enough to make this sacrifice, it is your privilege and responsibility to anchor your value in his loving act. This is important in itself, but especially if you’re transgressed against by the one who you thought would never hurt you by cheating.

The alternative to placing your value in Christ is to place it in your spouse or marriage. Of course, it is a risky proposition to place your identity and value in a fallible human being and unpredictable relationship. If your spouse has cheated on you, I implore you to spend time building yourself up on your true worth, which is established by what Christ did for you on the cross, not by what your spoke did to you through his/her indiscretion.

You are valuable, and your spouse’s selfish act has done nothing to alter your worth in God’s eyes. If you’re reading this and you are on the receiving end of adultery, I encourage you to spend time meditating on your value in Christ. Doing this will give you the perspective, power, and purpose you need to carry out the practical measures associated with a cheating spouse (love, forgiveness, mercy, trust, etc.).

Below is a list of resources that may help you as you rediscover who are in Christ:

About the author

Kevin B. Bullard, the husband half of Marriage Works!, is passionately taking a stand for healthy and functional marriages. He and his wife, Cetelia are seasoned marriage educators in North Carolina, and are parents of three young children.

Websites:

http://mymarriageworks.org

http://facebook.com/MarriageWorks

http://twitter.com/mrgwrks

 

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