I’m not your average cheater. You know that person that has to listen to a long diatribe from Jeremy Kyle about how they don’t deserve the person they’re with and how much their cheating habits disgust him….yeah that’s not me. I’m far from being a saint but cheating is just so out of character for me, that after the… shall we call it…‘brief encounter with polygamy’ (‘affair’ sounds a bit harsh and ‘betrayal’ just too deep) I went on an emotional journey where I learnt lots about myself and about the world.
I suppose you want all the gory details! I do have some shame so you’re just going to have to fill in the gaps but I will give you some background info:
Prior to the ‘brief encounter with polygamy,’ (even I’m starting to feel like cheating is a new cool thing with that title- it totally isn’t) I’d been in an off and on, mainly on, relationship for a long while. Average puppy love turned intense relationship as puberty came and went and my hormones finally relaxed long enough for me to decide how I felt about things. That was me: average girl in love. I was happy! When I wasn’t happy, it was the usual breakdown in communication/ misplaced expectations that everyone goes through. What I am trying to say is…
I didn’t have a real reason to cheat.
I know it sounds cliche but one thing actually did lead to another and then BAM, I had made a mistake that filled me with regret. But hey, you didn’t sign up to listen to my sob story, I’ll get on to the useful things I learnt.
1) Everybody can cheat
I guess this sounds like I’m justifying my actions but I promise you, that isn’t the case. After going through the whole period of regret and confession ( I had to confess; I’m a bad liar, and I knew he’d know what I’d done) I realised that I was wrong to think I was above cheating. I don’t know if I thought I was above cheating because of the length of my relationship or because of how great the relationship was going at the time, but cheating forced me to wake up and realise that I wasn’t less likely than the next person in a relationship to make such a grave mistake.
2) Dragging out apologies doesn’t help
So the morning after I had still had that half-sick feeling you get after doing something you regret. I was determined to make it right between us and I vowed to do everything in my power to make up for the day before… but it wasn’t the same. I didn’t know whether to say something or just carry on as normal. I couldn’t just push it under the rug because I wasn’t allowing myself to stop feeling guilty. That’s when I realised I had to address the problem.
3) Cheating doesn’t mean it’s over
I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking the same: I didn’t deserve to be in an amazing relationship when I couldn’t even stay faithful. I won’t try and defend myself because you’re right. However as Christians, we are able to enjoy a love we do not deserve every single day. I’m so aware that I don’t deserve the love God gave me when Jesus died on the cross.
Last week I slipped up and for a moment put a priority above God. I deserved punishment but instead he surrounded me with his love when I came to him to ask for forgiveness; I once again realised the true extent of his greatness despite how underserving I am.
I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now: I was cheating on God
We’ve all heard the analogy that John used describing Christ as the bridegroom and the church as His bride. Have you ever thought about what that means in real terms? Here’s what I realised: Amongst all the great things that come with a relationship, there are rules. You know the difference between casually seeing someone and then becoming an item? Now you have categorised your relationship , categories bring boundaries and preconceived rules about what is and isn’t ok. Unless you sign up to this new age logic which states that no-one can be faithful so we should all live in polygamous relationships, you understand the importance of staying faithful. When you entered into the relationship with Christ you committed yourself to him and him alone. We never think of being married to Christ but it shouldn’t even be too hard to imagine. God is a jealous God. He doesn’t want to share your heart with Tom, Dick and Harry, or, Coursework, Boyfriend, and Career.Staying faithful to God means keeping him as number one. Everything can have its proper place in your life but nothing else should inhabit your heart the way that God does; nothing else should take his place.
I hope you can learn something from my experience of cheating. You need to invest into relationships to keep them going. Also, in the same way temptation causes people to cheat in human relationships, temptations can cause our eyes to wander from God. From someone who’s been there and done that; it’s not worth it. Nothing and no-one can compare to the love that God gives you. Sin might be sweet for a night but we all have to live through the morning after. Let’s aim to stay faithful, affairs just aren’t worth the scandal.
Love lots DC X