Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
More Christians could learn from that fool from Proverbs 17:28 who held his tongue when it comes to marriages ravaged by adultery. Sadly, the advice (and condemnation) come all too freely for faithful spouses.
Here a few with my response a la Chump Lady (whose ridicule response to cheater-speak is my inspiration for this post):
Naive Christian: Well, I don’t want to judge. There’s always two sides to a story.
DM: That’s a rather strange response to adultery coming from a Christian. I wonder: what could she possibly tell you that would make committing adultery justifiable or okay? Please illuminate me on how “her side” of the story could change God’s condemnation of her adultery.
Naive Christian: You sound hurt and angry. Don’t take this wrong, but I really think you need to work on forgiving him. You don’t want to be bitter.
DM: I am hurt, because I have been soul raped. I am angry because I have suffered great injustice. These are appropriate and healthy emotions for what I have experienced. I am grieving major, major losses. What I do not need at this time is the weight of your self-righteous judgment. I need a friend like Jesus who weeps with those who weeps and actually cares about injustices.
Naive Christian: That’s awful that she cheated on you. But I hope you aren’t considering divorce. God hates divorce, after all.
DM: God must hate adultery more than divorce for He divorced Israel over it in Jeremiah 3:8. I see no problem following God’s example, do you?
Naive Christian: She didn’t do anything worse than you already did in your marriage. You need to look at your own sin.
DM: I never cheated on her. So, you got your facts wrong. It sounds like you need to repent to me for repeating such a slanderous lie. Consider our “friendship” over if you do not.
Naive Christian: You just need to give him more sex and make yourself more attractive to him. Love him back.
DM: This is great advice if he hadn’t cheated and had expressed an adult-level ability to request more sex in our marriage. However, we now have a sin situation. The Bible prescribes rebuking and requiring repentance for such situations. It does not encourage us to ignore or even enable it as following this advice does!
*A version of this post ran previously.
Republished with permission from www.divorceminister.com.