I recently saw a post by Cosmopolitan stating “I have cheated on every boyfriend I’ve had and if you are in your early 20’s, so should you.” My initial reaction was shock, but shock gave way to sadness. Reality is, cheating should never be celebrated nor should it be an experiment we conduct in order to achieve an end goal. If you want to self improve, don’t decline the well-being of others in the process.

Being an individual who has cheated on my husband when I left him to pursue my feelings of the same sex, I can speak into this as much as I don’t want to. When you cheat on someone you’ve pledged yourself to, you are committing an act that not only hurts the individual but it hurts yourself. You are lying and betraying a trust that was pivotal in bringing the relationship to where it stood and ripping it apart seam by seam. The damage you are doing to the person in the process is excruciating. It should not be applauded or smiled at, it is betrayal.

The more I see men and women of faith, especially those with a large platform, fall victim to this deceit from the enemy the more I feel propelled to share my story in order to help those not fall prey as well. I can’t stand that I cheated on my husband in the past. I’m thankful that God has restored my marriage, but I am disappointed that we had to work through that in the first place because of my actions. It is absolutely terrifying to know that one day my son will hear this story, but I’m praying that God’s grace will cover me when the time comes. It is not easy to talk about betrayal, especially when you are the person who did the betraying, but that’s exactly what cheating is: betrayal.

We don’t like to use that word in our society, but it’s reality. You betray the person you love when you go behind their back and cheat. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or not, it’s wrong. I remember when people would give me a pass. I would say how I married too young and I never had time to explore my sexuality. I felt trapped into the typical marriage union and that I needed out in order to be who I truly was. When I explained to individuals that I left my husband to pursue women, I was patted on the back and was admired for my courage to live out my truth.

My truth was betrayal. My truth was damaging another individual and breaking their trust. My truth didn’t operate on a proper moral compass but was determined by where my own selfish ambition lead it. Instead of focusing on my truth, I should have leaned into God’s truth, the only truth. Although I don’t believe we are created to have same sex relationships and I could simply focus on that decision of mine during that season, it wasn’t the most damaging decision. Deciding to betray the covenant and vow I made to my husband was the ultimate punch to the gut for both of us. Although I was blinded to it at the time, I was destroying the greatest blessing that God has ever gifted me aside from salvation.

The damage and insecurity that creeps into the heart of the individual that you betray is insurmountable. It hurts, it’s debilitating, and it is excruciating for them. It isn’t something we should seek in order to figure ourselves out or to get a thrill when we feel like the relationship or marriage has hit a plateau. The Lord has called us to continue to thrive when we hit the valleys. His word says that He not only walks with us in the highs, but He walks with us in the lows. We are to put our faith and trust in Him when we reach mindsets that tempt us to seek pleasure and fulfillment elsewhere. Especially when God has given us the privilege of a platform to speak into hundreds and thousands of lives. It is a responsibility that should not be taken for granted or come at the expense of lowering your guard and allowing the enemy to sift you like wheat.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Ultimately, your girlfriend, boyfriend, fiancé, or spouse isn’t supposed to entertain and fill your “fulfillment” bank. They are not meant to deposit into your account in order for you to cash out and be happy. Should the both of you always strive after Christ and in the process work on the relationship and strengthen each other? Yes! But to rely on the other to fulfill you is not their duty. We are not called to rely on any man or woman to supply the happiness we need in life. We are called to Christ and as we seek Christ and find who we are in Him and grow in that relationship through fellowship, prayer, and praise, He fulfills us and allows an overflow of joy, love, peace, and the other fruits of His Holy Spirit to impact and create beautiful relationships with others.

“And may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, just as we also do for you.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12

We will face trials, frustrations, and hiccups in relationships but that doesn’t give us grounds to go and hurt the individual through betrayal. We are not called to get down with culture or the new “social media craze” and cheat on partners simply because it’s suppose to help us be better versions of ourselves. Being a better version of yourself will not come at the cost of someone else’s best version. Where you believe to be growing, someone else is dying. We are called to be more than that! We are the sons and daughters of Christ filled with His power! We are to operate in His love and to be the hands and feet of it. The first person who should receive such love of the Father is the very person we have pledged ourselves too.

When Jeremy found out that I was cheating on him, it completely broke him. It is not honorable watching a grown man cry because of your actions nor is it something I will ever be proud of or expect an applause because of self discovery. We are living in a world where self discovery and progressing in who we are is giving way to breaking moral obligation. I’m here to remind our future that we are better than what the world is throwing our way. We have a better alternative to the disaster and hypocrisy of our society and His name is Jesus. He is not an “alternative” but a Savior who can continually point you in the right direction for your life. Will you mess up in certain areas? Absolutely! You just read how I did, but Jesus is a Savior who forgives and forgives abundantly.

I am not proud of what I have done, but I share it in order to speak into the lives of our future and let them know that the world produces a counterfeit happiness to the real thing. Jesus is real. Jesus is all powerful and all loving. He wants to develop and strengthen your relationships, not put you on a one way track to self sabotage and destruction. The enemy wants you to sprint down that path as fast as you can, destroying your life in the process. Don’t fall for his lies and schemes. You might be in a tough spot in your marriage and the enemy is placing thoughts of unfaithfulness, but don’t give into the lie. You will only hurt yourself and the one you love. It is not worth it. It’s not. Stand firm in who Christ has called you to be and seek Him during this hardship. He will pull you through in His time.

If you are in your early 20’s, don’t cheat, don’t lie, and don’t betray. You are better than that and the future is looking to you to blaze a trail of integrity and loyalty. Continue to pave the way and point others to the person who is giving you the strength to do it, Jesus Christ.