Now before we even get started, let me answer one of the most commonly asked questions: If he cheats, is it your fault? No.
No matter how badly a man is treated within a relationship, how neglected, how deceived, as long as you guys are still officially in a relationship, cheating is not okay. Two wrongs will never make a right.
With that said, it’s also important to know that cheating will always be the physical result of a much deeper issue. Quite often, these issues could be addressed and worked on before it gets to the point of cheating, so here’s the answer to “why do Christian men cheat?”
5 Reasons Christian Men Cheat
1. They have abandonment issues
This may sound weird to people who don’t struggle with abandonment, like why would a guy do something to destroy something he’s afraid of leaving him? That doesn’t make sense. At the same time, if all you’ve been told in life is that all good things come to an end, then it puts a fear of good things deep inside you.
We’ll see ourselves as inadequate, especially in good relationships, and by cheating we’re proving to ourselves that we’re unworthy. As dumb as it sounds, often destruction hurts less than rejection.
2. Bad community
No guy is perfect. Period. Every guy needs Jesus. Sometimes we even have Jesus, but we distract ourselves to the point where we’re isolated and trying to defeat the voice of Satan alone. Not good odds.
Going along with this is the epidemic in the church of men idolizing women. No community is tough, but being surrounded by guys that consistently point out women’s features before their personalities wears on you and subconsciously trains you to value women for looks. Once the objectification determines our attraction, it only becomes a matter of time before someone else offers something that you don’t have. Men need to be surrounded by godly men with big voices who aren’t afraid to call a guy out who starts to stumble. If you catch Satan’s lies early, they are a lot easier to defeat than when you wake up next to a stranger and realize how wrong it all was.
3. Grass is always greener
Discipline. Women, pay attention to how well men do things that they don’t want to do. The annoying things in life. How do they handle bills? How do they treat laundry? Can they do the dishes? Seems basic, but our culture is FULL of phrases like “do what makes you happy” and “you deserve better.” Just turn on any episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and you’ll find the show trying to get you to cheer for a break up or an affair because the one they’re with isn’t “the one.”
Men cheat because they believe it’s an option. They buy into the lies that culture tells us, that we have needs and we have a right to go where these needs are met. The reality is, love, by definition, is self-sacrifice. Dying to your own desires to serve the desires of someone you…love. Love isn’t shown in buying flowers or saying nice things during the honeymoon phase, it’s shown in the service. Find a man who ACTS like he loves you and you’ll never need to hear him say it (okay totally not true, you’ll still want to hear it, but you get the point and it sounded more poetic to end like that).
4. Nicholas Sparks
Feeling wanted. Men might try to tell you otherwise, but they want a Nicholas Sparks-esque relationship. We want the woman to be crazy about us, we want to be impressive, we have a level of masculinity (sometimes arrogance) that wants to be needed. Women have this too, it just can look differently.
We love opening the jar that’s too tight for you to open, we love paying for dinner and holding doors, and we love being appreciated. The problem is, we can tend to base our love off of TV shows and movie screens instead of biblical responsibilities. When we feel like fulfillment is tied to a necessity that our girlfriend doesn’t have, we look elsewhere. This doesn’t even have to be a physical thing. I’ve often seen high school pastors find unhealthy satisfaction from female attention from teenagers, I’ve seen CEOs flirt with their receptionists, and I’ve seen men running nonprofits only hiring college girls who will laugh at their jokes. Sometimes the girls don’t even realize their involvement and are just simply innocent bystanders in making men feel needed.
As children of God, we were created to desire a love where we’re fully known and fully loved. When we look to find that kind of love from humans, we’re left wanting, we’re disappointed and can cheat thinking that we’ll find it in the next one. God is the only one who is capable of being “your everything.”
It’s never ‘just an act’ and it always ‘means something’ to cheat. I could never tell someone what to do after being cheated on, but no matter what, it’s important to remember grace while recognizing superficial repentance. One thing I know, ladies, is that Jesus doesn’t cheat, not even death, He took it straight on for you. The rest is just minor details trying to distract us from the greatest love story ever told.
By Lairs Johnston
About the Author: Lairs is the chief of sinners, saved by grace, with a life that just goes to show you God can use anyone. His passions are fighting sex trafficking, talking about depression and helping high school students have a voice. He may only be 28 and a half but he can read at a 30-year-old level.