My wife and I have encountered a young couple who is in the midst of the battle over infidelity vs. fighting for their marriage. I wanted to post the email I sent to the husband this morning, but didn't want to do so without his permission.
One comment the wife in that situation made regarding her own sinful choices, her low self image, and her identity was, "Once a cheater, always a cheater." That's how she views herself.
I used to believe that as well.
When I confessed the names of the women I'd cheated with, I wasn't ready for my wife to offer forgiveness. Not only was my self image low, but I sincerely despised myself as a person. I actually spoke these words to my wife, "If I stay- If I'm forced to stay, I'll continue this pattern. I will cheat again. It's the only way I can cope with this marriage." Oh my dear God forgive me for ever uttering those devastating words. I'm broken, just reading those words again. I'm so disappointed in myself for allowing such darkness to guide my words and actions. I was so wrong. Those words were whispered into my ear by the father of lies.
There is more to say about the specific ways a cheater who has either confessed, or who has been caught responds, but I want to stay focused here on the aspect of one's name and identity.
I am here to say that the common label, promising relapses or continual sinful choices is incorrect.
"Once a cheater, always a cheater," is another lie. Don't let that lie set a course for you to follow. In Christ Jesus, we are transformed. We have been given a NEW NAME! I am no longer labeled or called, "Cheater." I am now called, "Redeemed." There are two passages in the Bible that talk about the concept of being given a new name. One is Revelation 2:17, the other is the short chapter of Isaiah 62. I encourage you to read those two passages and rejoice in your new name.
I've also included a video by MercyMe, entitled "Greater" that talks about this very subject.
Do you believe that your past or even present choices define you? Listen to the Word of God, and find renewed hope through faith in Christ Jesus!