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What does the Bible say about cheating? Talitha koum!

Signs. Red Flags. Flashing lights with audible sirens. Cheating usually triggers one of these.

Get Out

“Get out!” I yelled. Not my finest moment. But he caught me off-guard. So it is okay. Right? Right. My therapist said it was only wrong because I didn't do it sooner. The abuse had dragged out for too long.

The Bible says to have nothing to do with liars or cheaters (Ephesians 5:7).

“You gave him a second chance to redeem himself. Giving him a second chance is also giving him a second opportunity to abuse the relationship. You should have left earlier. He had one shot,” my therapist asserted.

I didn’t agree. “The Bible says that love keeps no record of wrongs,” I insisted.

What the Bible Says About Cheating

He smirked. “What does the Bible say about adultery?” I grunted because I knew. I didn’t like that he was challenging me with my own justification. He smiled. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

“We weren’t married! We aren’t married. He didn’t commit adultery,” I cried.

“Abigail. It’s 2023. You don’t have to be married to be in a committed relationship.” Isn’t that the truth?

Hyper-Spiritualizing Cheating

Ugh. He really said it.

I let my head fall back onto the armchair and released a frustrated sigh. “Abigail,” my therapist called me back to reality. “Do not compromise your values. You are hyper-spiritualizing what hurts, and leading yourself to compromise your values. Do not do that. It is the most dangerous thing a person can do.”

"Hyper-spiritualizing is treating matters that are not meant to be weighty with equal weight as the matters that are indeed weighty" - the Border Collie

According to the Border Collie, “hyper-spiritualizing, by definition, is treating matters that are not meant to be weighty with equal weight with the ones that are indeed weighty… Hyper-spiritual people fail to recognize the difference in matters, and thus treat every endeavor with equal weight.” Wow. I feel called out…

What God Says About Hyper-Spiritualizing Cheating

God never says to do this. In fact, He says not to:

“You say, “If someone makes a promise with his fingers crossed, that’s nothing; but if he swears with his hand on the Bible, that’s serious.’ What ignorance! Does the leather on the Bible carry more weight than the skin on your hands? And what about this piece of trivia: ‘If you shake hands on a promise, that’s nothing; but if you raise your hand that God is your witness, that’s serious’? What ridiculous hairsplitting! What difference does it make whether you shake hands or raise hands? A promise is a promise. What difference does it make if you make your promise inside or outside a house of worship? A promise is a promise.” - Matthew 23: 16-22 MSG

A promise is a promise. A lie is a lie. Cheating is cheating.

It's a hard pill to swallow. I know. But at least we can swallow it together.

How does God describe a cheater?

God describes a cheater in the following ways:

  • “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘the two will become one flesh.’” - 1 Corinthians 6:16

  • “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” - Proverbs 25:28 NIV

What God Promises You

Getting cheated on is terrible. It hurts just as bad as it does when you walk into the corner of a granite countertop. God promises this:

  • “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” - Psalm 147:3 NLT

  • “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among young women.” - Song of Songs 2:2 NIV

  • “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” - Proverbs 31:25 NIV

  • “Jesus said, “daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!” - Luke 8:48 MSG

My favorite promise from God has to be Mark 5:41.

"He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" - Mark 5:41 NIV

Talitha koum!

According to the NIV Bible, Talitha koum translates to “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”

God didn’t just say this. My friends said it. After two months of expressing my self-loathing, my mom said it. So many euphemisms for Talitha koum were said to me after the tragedy. But I don’t do well with euphemisms. I take everything at face value. If we’re alike, I’ll say it for you: Talitha koum!

Even though I just told you to get up, I still have some empathy to spare. I'm not going to cheat you of the truth about heartbreak. Healing from heartbreak is like a workout. Especially the heartbreak that is caused by cheating. There’s a warm-up of tears. Your face will get red and splotchy. I'm jealous of you if it does not.

The tears are followed by an intense tabata that makes your lungs feel heavy. But you will go on. Your heart may feel shattered in this moment. It will heal. Why? Because you have a good God. That's why. You have a God speaking the same words over you: talitha koum!

You'll get through this. Girls like us do. Not just because we are strong, but because we have a very strong God.

All the Peace (Talitha koum!),


Read more about coping with heartbreak:

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