Will This Person Cheat on Me?
Recently a beautiful single lady asked me to write about the reasons people cheat. We’ve all heard the stories. Maybe we’ve even watched it happen in our own families or in the family of a close friend, and we know firsthand the pain it causes.
When a husband or wife decides to cheat, the entire family is impacted. Hearts are broken and people are left wondering, “What just happened? And why did it happen?”
The Bible tells two well-known stories of men who were tempted to commit adultery. One was King David, who fell for a married woman and eventually had her husband killed. The other man was Joseph, who absolutely refused when his master’s wife tried to get him into bed with her.
Both of these men loved and served God; God even called David a man after His own heart. So what happened? How is it that men and women we trust, people who are walking with God, can really mess up in this area? Leon and I know some couples who seemed rock solid and mature. We never would have imagined seeing them fall into unfaithfulness, but sadly they did.
How do you know if this person you’re thinking about marrying will be faithful to you? There isn’t a foolproof system out there, but here are a few things to consider.
What Is Cheating?
When you start looking up statistics on cheating, you find out right away that not everyone agrees about what “cheating” actually means.
Is flirting with somebody at work cheating? How about flirting with somebody online or going to dinner with a person you’re attracted to but they’re married to somebody else?
Truth About Deception, a website that discusses why people lie to and cheat on those they love, says, “Cheating is complex because the definition varies so widely. However, when someone violates a partner’s expectations, the emotional outcome is the same—their partner feels betrayed and rejected.”
No matter what “cheating” might mean to us, three things remain true.
1. We Need to Stay in Love with Jesus and Obey His Word
In many cases, faithfulness in marriage seems to be linked to a deep, satisfactory, and joyful relationship with Jesus.
With many couples who ended up cheating on their spouses, I have observed that they somehow “let go” of their relationship with Jesus. I’m not saying they lost their salvation, but they somehow stopped trusting in God’s love for them, or perhaps they never felt like He loved them at all. Because of that “wall” in their relationship with Him, they haven’t received the healing they need.
The Bible says that we need to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (Jas. 1:22–25). When we are “doers” of God’s Word, we take it seriously. We put Jesus first in our lives—not because of a religious rule or because we feel like we “have” to, but because we love what His Word says and we love being in close relationship with Him.
As we begin to “do” His Word, we find the strength to stand firm and say, “If I do this, it would not be good for my spouse. This would not be good for me or my relationship with God.”
We obey what God says because we know that His desire is to protect us and our loved ones. Again, we don’t obey Him out of obligation, just because we think it’s expected of us. We seek Him and do what He says because He is our joy. The key to accessing His blessings is obedience, and the key to accessing His heart is repentance.
2. We Need to Break Generational Patterns, Know Ourselves Better, and Set Good Boundaries
People cheat for many different reasons. Very Well Mind lists things like conflict avoidance, a self-esteem boost, financial pressures, insecurity, feeling like you need to escape, and several other reasons.
Struggling with lust is also a big one, but there are other reasons people cheat and they might surprise you.
First, I think that some people are more prone to certain pitfalls because of their backgrounds and temperaments. Why did King David fall into adultery and unfaithfulness but Joseph didn’t?
David had everything—he was a successful king with multiple wives and plenty of other women who were willing to sleep with him—but it seems he felt lonely in the moment. He was supposed to be with his warriors in battle, but this particular spring, he chose to stay at home (2 Sam. 11:1). Clearly, he had grown discontent. Many men and women are discontent in their relationships with their spouses, and the question that remains is “Why?” We need to know ourselves well and be willing to go to battle for our relationships.
Second, I have seen cycles of unfaithfulness in families. The grandparents cheated, and the parents cheated, and then eventually the children cheated. It is like these families somehow carry cheating in their blood—it’s very difficult for them to stay faithful.
Yet I have also seen the power of the blood of Jesus cut through those hurtful patterns, and people began to walk in incredible victory.
If we walk with Jesus, have relationship with Him, understand the power of His love for us through His death and resurrection, if we really understand what He has done for us—the chains that bind us become like kite string that snaps with just a small amount of force. Jesus can break all negative patterns from past generations.
3. We Need to Run Away from Sin
Finally, we need to learn how to run away from sin (1 Cor. 6:18; 2 Tim. 2:22). When we choose to entertain adulterous thoughts, it’s because something is missing in our relationships: first in our relationship with Jesus and then also in our relationships with the people we love.
If we’re struggling, we need to go to God and have an honest conversation with Him about what’s happening. Why are we having these thoughts? Why are we considering being unfaithful? Our first reaction to any temptation should be to shut the door, like Joseph did in Genesis 39:9. He asked, “How can I sin against my God?” We protect our relationship with Jesus and we protect our hearts.
Is This Person in Love with Jesus?
So how do you know if the person you care about will be faithful to you?
It comes down to their relationship with God. How close is this person to the Lord’s heart? Are they walking in love, pursuing Jesus, and willing to obey His Word? Is God impacting and changing them at a deep level? Have they been healed of past sexual experiences and soul ties?
If their heart is set on Jesus, they won’t be “comfortable” with unfaithfulness.
My prayer for you and your loved ones, as well as for my husband and me, is that you remain in Jesus’ perfect and unconditional love and that you keep receiving the healing available in Him.
For more information on sex, marriage, and finding the person who is right for you, get a copy of Becoming the One by Salomé Roat. Click here to learn more.