I know of someone where I work who claims to be a Christian that is committing adultery. Should I stick my nose in, or is it none of my business? How should a Christian respond?
We live in a “morally coward” world today. It’s ironic that everyone wants to KNOW ABOUT the “dirty secrets” but when it comes to taking a stand or getting involved, we are quick to invoke “it’s not my business” or “I don’t want to be judgmental” routine.
As Christians, this is wrong on both counts. We are not to want to know all the “dirt” that is going on. Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, cheating, lying, stealing… it’s all titillating and juicy. It feeds our flesh to be in on all the gossip and secrets.
However, let it fall to us to actually do something about it, and then we begin to pontificate about “casting the first stone” and “picking the stick out of our own eye”. This is simply moral cowardice, plain and simple.
The exact opposite should be true. We should avoid all the “dirt” our society seems to revel in and we should be unwavering in our actions and moral responsibility when it faces us. So with that preachey soap box disclaimer in place here’s my advice:
YES, it is your business if you know someone (and the parties involved) engaged in adultery, especially when they are professing Christians. As I said, it has become common place today to say “it’s not my business” or “I’m not getting involved” or “I don’t need the hassle”. More cowardly is the comment “they will get mad at ME if I expose them”. Oh, the persecution…. someone might get mad at us.
In my personal experience (through this ministry, counseling and personal friends) I have know a fair number of people whose spouses committed adultery and ALL SORTS of people knew about it but never told them. I have know instances where twenty or thirty people knew about a cheating spouse and every single one of them had the typical excuses for ignoring it (“not my business”; “I don’t want to judge”; “they will get mad at me”).
It amazes me that we are so “scared” of our moral and Christian duty (or so enamored with our feelings and reputation) that we would rather the victimized spouse suffer humiliation, heartache and ridicule than risk having the adulterer “be mad at us”. Heaven forbid, an adulterer just called me “self righteous and judgmental”… my life is ruined.
As Christians it is our duty to confront sin in our Christian family. The world cannot be expected to act any differently (however, I still hold the firm opinion that even an unsaved person deserves to know if their spouse is cheating on them).
James 4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (NKJV)
I can’t tell you specifically how you should handle the situation but I can tell you that because you are aware of it, you now have a duty as a Christian and friend to respond. The “professing Christian” adulterer must be confronted and ideally (but not likely nowadays) should be subject to church discipline (Matt 18:15-18; 1Cor 5:3-5; 1Tim 1:20).
You should seek the counsel of your Godly leaders about how to specifically proceed in your particular situation but I will leave you with an example of how I chose to respond when I found myself in the same position.
It was at my place of employment. The male involved was a single, professing Christian. The female involved was married and a professing Christian but not exactly living up to her profession of faith (the single male “appeared” to be).
As a manager, I had heard a few whispers and comments about them. I was a social friend of the male, and actually was moderately good friends with the female and her husband (and two kids).
One day I saw their cars at the office on a weekend which normally wouldn’t be too suspicious but in this case was. So I actually let myself in the locked doors quietly with the stated purpose of “catching” them, thus giving me a reason to confront them.
I found them in an office with her sitting in his lap. Now if this had been boyfriend/girlfriend, then “none of my business”, but since it was single male and married female (even though in their words “they weren’t doing anything”), obviously the gig was up.
In their embarrassment, they quickly departed. That Monday, I tracked them both down separately. Armed with the assumption of their infidelity and adultery, I confronted the male first.
I told him that it was now public knowledge that he was committing adultery with a married female co-worker. I told him this was shameful on his part both as a Christian and employee. I told him that if he did not immediately cease, I would do whatever I had to do to expose his behavior to the management of the company because his choices were detrimental to the business itself. I also rebuked him as a Christian and implored him to seek forgiveness, counsel and accountability. He didn’t like me very much. Told me to keep my nose out of his business. (obviously my assumption was true since he did not deny it)
Since the female was married and had children, I was a bit more demanding of her. After discussing how her behavior shamed her professed Christianity, I simply told her she had 24 hours to tell her husband or I would. She would have shot me dead if she could have.
I told her I would not sit by and allow her husband to the victim of her choices. I told her that SHE was the wrong doer, not him. He deserved to know. I told her that if I did not receive a call from him within one day telling me that he knew of her adulter and with WHO, I would meet with him and tell him. MY CONCERN WAS FOR HIM FIRST, THE VICTIMIZED SPOUSE, NOT THE REPUTATION OR THE FEELINGS OF THE WRONG DOER.
Of course, my first concern was simply obeying God and I felt it clear that I had a moral and spiritual obligation to act as I did.
In the vernacular of my teenagers, she absolutely “hated my guts” for quite a long time after that. In the end, years later, I received a nice card from her, thanking her for what I did. They are still married today, over 10 years later.
Now, every story is not going to end up happy. That is not the point. The point is, when you are faced with a situation that calls for moral courage and obeying God’s commands, this “its none of my business” and “who am I to judge?” nonsense just doesn’t fly.
Pray, seek counsel, get advice, read your Bible…. the specific answer of HOW to respond may not be easy to determine, but your duty to respond and act is.
Readers, what’s your counsel? I could use your help with something this subjective. Share your thoughts on the message board. Go here….