DEFINITION Unfaithfulness means to be untrue to a duty, obligation, or promise.  It means being untrustworthy or acting as a traitor.  The Bible speaks of several types of unfaithfulness:  Unfaithfulness to God and His work, to friends and family, and to a spouse.


    Unfaithfulness to God.  When you accept Jesus as Savior, you are promising to make Him the Lord of your life.  When you violate your promise and do things your own way or turn your back on God or His Word, you are being unfaithful.   Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6).  The parable of the talents in Matthew 5 confirms the importance of faithfulness.

    An unfaithful spouse.  Unfaithfulness to a mate–adultery–is biblical grounds for divorce  (Matthew 19:9), but you are not required to divorce an unfaithful mate.  The alternative is to seek to restore the relationship if both parties are willing.  The erring party must be forgiven, both by God and their spouse.  The unfaithful person must be absolutely discreet and honest about any dealings with the opposite sex in the future in order to rebuild trust. (See also the topics of “Divorce”  and “Adultery” in this database.)

    An unfaithful friend.    An unfaithful friend can be a source of great disappointment.  Perhaps they reject you or expose your confidences.   The Bible says “Like a bad tooth or a lame foot  is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble” (Proverbs 25:29).


    Acknowledge unfaithfulness as sin.  Whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).  Acts of unfaithfulness, unbelief, iniquity, etc.–anything that is not of faith is sin and must be acknowledged as such.

    Confess your unfaithfulness to God.  Confess and ask forgiveness:  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives” (1 John 1:9-10).

    Confess unfaithfulness to your spouse and seek forgiveness. Ask forgiveness from your mate, seek reconciliation, and break the adulterous relationship.   If reconciliation with your spouse is the goal, then the incident must be forgiven and never again brought up. When Satan tries to bring up the past, these thoughts must be rejected.

    Confess unfaithfulness to friends and family.  Ask those affected by your unfaithfulness to forgive you.

    Forgive an unfaithful friend.  Forgive your friend, then go to them according to the pattern described in Matthew 18:15-17.  If he rejects you, then let him remain an acquaintance instead of a close friend.  If he accepts you, pray together for restoration of the friendship.  If a friend is abusive or leads you into sin, addictions, or violence,  do not attempt to reconcile. (See also the topic of “Friends” in this database.)



    A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. (Proverbs 11:13)

    Like a bad tooth or a lame foot  is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble. (Proverbs 25:29)

    Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:6)

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

    If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.    If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.  (Matthew 18:15-17)

    He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. (Luke 16:10, KJV)

    …everything that does not come from faith is sin.  (Romans 14:23)

    Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)

    Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

    And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2, KJV)

    Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

    (Hebrews 10:23, KJV)

    And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  (Hebrews 11:6)

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:9-10)

    Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)

    Read the parable of the faithful servant in Matthew chapter 25.

    (See also the topic of “Adultery” in this database.)


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