Do I have to forgive my cheating husband or wife because I'm a Christian?


You put your full trust in someone only to discover one day that your husband/wife has cheated on you. It is extremely painful. It is an inexcusable betrayal. And at some point, it will certainly feel unforgivable. But as a Christian, the Bible has always talked about forgiveness. So now you ask, do you have to forgive him/her just because you are a Christian? Do you really need to? Let's talk about some of the main concerns here.

What the Bible Says About Forgiveness

Yes, you must forgive your husband/wife. However, take note that you do not forgive him/her because you are a Christian, but because this is what God wants you to do. Matthew 18:21-22 says:

Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

Your heart is full of anger and pain that it is quite hard to forgive someone who has hurt you so much right now. Some people will use the time to heal the wound, but this is not necessary for you.

Colossians 3:13 says, "Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."

The mere thought of knowing that God always forgives our trespasses should be enough for you to open your heart and forgive your husband/wife.

Don't forget that the ultimate symbol of forgiveness was when Jesus died for our sins and when God sacrificed His only son to do that. If you can fully realize this, you won't have any reason not to forgive someone else, no matter how much that person hurt you.

Love is Unconditional

Trying to trust someone who has betrayed you will be easier said than done, but it is doable. Arguably the most popular Bible verse about love is seen in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and it says:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

It is clear here that love must withstand everything. If you can just go back to the marriage vows you made, you told each other that you would be with each other through thick and thin. This is a vow you must uphold no matter how tough things get.

Heal and Understand

When you are the one cheated on, there are times when you feel self-righteous. You will wonder why your husband/wife did this to you, and then you will blame him/her for your marriage troubles. You will always point the finger at the offender but not at yourself. However, you might be forgetting that marriage is always a two-way street. I'm not saying you caused the betrayal, but doing some self-reflection may help.

Remember that you and your spouse are both humans. Humans are sinful by nature and will be drawn to temptation as a natural instinct. This is why God wants to be the center of your marriage. With that said, forgiveness comes with understanding and healing your wounds. Understand why this has to happen, and if you still can't fully understand, you have to trust the Lord that He has a plan for why this happened. Proverbs 3:5 says:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

You can't also keep nursing your wounds; this will hold you back. Forgiveness means letting go and not clinging to resentment toward your spouse. Healing will take time. Keep praying for God to help you heal.

Marriages will always have their ups and downs and infidelity is unfortunately a common problem for married couples in today's world. Don't think that you are alone in this predicament. Find comfort in knowing that whatever you are going through, God is beside you and will always be there to help you through. Let go and let God help you open your heart to forgive. And yes, you can still save your marriage.