I remember very well the first time I ever cheated in school, I was seven years old and it was a spelling test. The word was “of” and I remember that I put down the spelling as “u v”, I guess like most 1st graders would, but upon hearing the correct spelling of the word I erased my “uv” and replaced it with “o f”. This gave my teacher the impression that I knew how to spell the word the whole time. The unsettling thing about all of this is not that I cheated on a spelling test at age seven, but really how hard it was to tell anybody about it. Mistakes are one thing, we all make them all the time, but confessing them is a whole other ball game. Confessing requires us to put on humility, dismiss pride, shun condemnation and accept the grace God has extended to us. Coming clean about unfaithfulness in a relationship is the exact same way.
Cheating in a relationship is kind of an interesting thing, because relationships are governed and run by a set of rules that are unwritten. For most people it’s simply common knowledge that there are certain things you just don’t do when you’re in a relationship with someone, whether it’s dating or marriage. Because these rules are unwritten, owning up to violations of them can be extremely hard to do. In most cases if we really tried we could hide and cover them for a very long time without anyone ever knowing something happened. When we cheat there’s most often only one other person present at the time and they are never in a hurry to address the transgression that just occurred, let alone deal with how to tell the other parties involved. This is where God comes in and is your ONLY road to freedom, peace and healing through this situation.
The Bible makes it very clear that anything done in the dark will eventually be brought to the light. Translation: nothing that we ever do will stay hidden forever. Sooner or later it will be known and we will have to deal with it. And often the longer we wait for that process to happen the messier and uglier things get. However God is our refuge, He is who we run to when things get crazy and He is there to help us through it. As backwards as it may sound, Jesus has to be the first place we run when we’re unfaithful. Cheating is first and foremost a violation of God’s law, not just a breaking of one of our unwritten laws as humans. Realizing we sinned against God long before we ever sinned against the person we’re in a relationship is essential to the restoration process. 1 John 1:9 says that when we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. This is great news! Knowing that God is standing there with open arms anxious to extend forgiveness to us should be all the more motivation to run to Him.
When we mess up in life condemnation and guilt are always right behind us accusing us of our wrong and demanding judgment. But running to God and allowing Him to wrap His arms of love and grace around you will set you on the path to getting back on track much faster and healthier than anything else will. God will also give you the wisdom and courage required to tell the one you are in the relationship with what happened. This is the part we are responsible for, acknowledging our fault and asking for forgiveness. How they respond is completely out of our control. I won’t guarantee that they will desire to stay in relationship with you and everything will be wonderful, but I promise you that running to God and allowing Him to help you through every step of the way will help heal you, address the problem and lead to you avoiding ever being in this situation again. People’s love is conditional, but God’s love is unconditional and we will never outrun it. Accept it and let it lead your steps the rest of the way.