How To Forgive Your Spouse After The Affair

By Angie Lewis

The first step towards forgiveness is to understand how Christ has forgiven us. He didn’t say, “First prove to me that you won’t sin again, and then I will forgive you”. No, He said, “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin”. Christ has already forgiven us and we have not even shown Him that we have stopped sinning! This is how we are to forgive our spouse.

Go now and leave your life of sin.
John 8:11

What does this mean? It means there are people who really feel remorse for their sins and will actually stop sinning and follow Jesus! That person could be your spouse. Like Jesus, we too must give our spouse the benefit of the doubt and forgive, especially if they have sought out forgiveness and are repentant for their sin. We forgive because Jesus has already forgiven us!

When others are caught in sin, are you quick to judge them? To do so is to act as if you never sin! It is God’s job to judge, not ours. Our role as Christians is to show compassion and forgiveness. Perhaps we think it is not fair to forgive our spouse when we’re in so much pain, but until we decide to forgive, and take the steps toward it, the pain will remain and we will be resentful and bitter over it.

If someone sins against us, as in the case of adultery instead of seeking resentment or revenge we should instead, confront him or her about the sin. This creates a much better chance at restoring the relationship.

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two other along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Matthew 18:15-16

The principle of forgiveness is right in front of our face every time we read the bible, and yet, we aren’t getting it. Instead of forgiving what are we doing? We are seeking divorce, separation, revenge, resentment, blame, mistrust, jealousy, and other harmful emotions. And all of these powerful emotions hang on until we can finally grasp the concept of forgiveness for ourselves. Perhaps we need to seek forgiveness of our own sins first, so we can understand this wonderful Christ-principle of forgiveness.

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
Luke 1:4

Forgiveness not only benefits the receiver but it also benefits us. Forgiving our spouse frees us to love wholly, just as Christ loves us. Instead of hanging on to our emotions that are causing us pain and frustration we should honestly seek Christ and ask Him to help us to forgive. The Holy Spirit within us will give us the opportunity to release our spouse from the pain of our emotional outbursts through our forgiveness and mercy for them.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

On the other hand, if a spouse is not remorseful for his or her actions and they continue sinning against the marriage, then understand you are married to an unbeliever. There are principles for living with an unbeliever in scripture that you should refer to. Unbelievers do not understand what true forgiveness means because if they did, they would not continue harming themselves and spouse with their self-seeking pleasures and continue being a slave to sin.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Hebrews 10-26-28

Even though we are married to a spouse who continues to sin against the marriage we are to forgive them. So how are we going to forgive a spouse who keeps on sinning against us? Christians must be willing to live by the principle of forgiveness that Christ has taught us. Anyone who claims to be Christian and live their life in obedience to Christ’s teachings will not have a difficult time forgiving others of their trespasses against them.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times’? Then Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times’.
Matthew 18:21-22


Christian gifts are sweetest when they are won with prayers and adorned with thanks.

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