What does the Bible say about adultery in marriage? The Bible expresses strong views regarding adultery, cautioning against it.
What does the Bible say about Adultery in Marriage?
In the book of Exodus, the seventh commandment states, “You shall not commit adultery.” Jesus later affirms this commandment, saying “that whoever looks at a woman to desire her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Illustrated in the vivid story of the adulteress brought before Jesus, He calls for mercy and justice, both on the part of the accused and the accuser. He demonstrates that although the laws against adultery are intended to protect a marriage from being broken,they do not remove the need for compassion, understanding, and forgiveness when it is violated.
Sin is an inescapable part of life, and Scripture teaches us that sin has a spiritual consequence to it. If someone in a marriage has broken their vow of faithfulness and committed adultery, it has implications both for the marriage and for those involved. In the Proverbs, it says “Whoever commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.”— Proverbs 6:32. Adultery breaks the heart and the trust in a marriage, and in a sense, pushes the couple apart. It can also have long-term emotional, spiritual, and relational consequences for anyone involved.
The Bible does not cast aside people who have committed adultery. On the contrary, it acknowledges that all of us can stumble in our trustworthiness in marriage. We can appeal to God to help us when we stumble so that we can experience His mercy and guidance. God is a God of grace and forgiveness, and we can trust Him with our marriages and our marriages’ hurts.
God also calls us to use our natural abilities to govern choices and encourage one another to a higher moral caliber. The Bible shows us that commitment and faithful love are worth protecting and cultivating—and certainly worth fighting for. In Proverbs 10:12, it says that “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” As believers, sometimes the best way to fight in a marriage is through love and understanding.
God wants us to honor Him by protecting the institution of marriage. He desires for husbands and wives to cultivate the promises they made concerning their relationship when they pledged to stand by one another’s side. He encourages us to guard our hearts and be watchful over the thoughts and desires that threaten to steal away our commitment.
Adultery in marriage is a very serious matter, and one that brings a heavy spiritual burden. When a married couple have crossed this line, an honest, humble approach between them is needed. They should seek and apply God’s Word in order to repair their relationship and to seek His guidance in leading them back to a happier place. Most importantly, repentance and forgiveness should be sought in order to unblock broken ties between them.
Healing and Restoring
The Bible clearly teaches us that adultery shouldn’t be taken likely or minimized. God’s grace is sufficient to provide a path of reconciliation and restoration, but healing after adultery can be tough and may take time. In situations of adultery, couples need to confront the sorrow and wrong-doing while re-establishing broken trust. As a result, honest communication, understanding, and repentance are essential in order to seek healing and restoration.
God desires us as believers to focus on getting our relationships back on track and to find a path toward healing. He says in Hosea 2:14, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” God speaks in such an intimate, endearing way, and He wants us to communicate in the same manner with those that have hurt us.
God also provides wisdom through His Words to help us know the right steps to take. Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 speaks of two people working together to restore each other’s trust: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow..” This scripture reinforces how when two people come together in a marriage, they strengthen each other and rely on one another in times of need.
God can, and does, bring healing to broken relationships, even those that have been shattered by adultery. But it requires a conscious effort and dedication from both parties. God encourages us to draw close to Him and seek His forgiveness and guidance. To fully heal, couples must be willing to commune in prayer and rely upon God’s goodness which surpasses our own understanding.
Building a Stronger Relationship
Forgiveness is an essential element in restoring a marriage beset by adultery. Once trust has been regained, couples need to take further steps to make sure the relationship grows stronger than it ever was before. It’s important to be aware of any patterns of behavior in either spouse that broke down the marriage’s trust.
Proverbs 22:3 encourages us: “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” This indicates how we can choose to be deliberate in stopping unhelpful behavior before it robs us of an intimate marriage relationship.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Paul speaks about love being the foundation of a strong marriage relationship. He encourages couples to be patient with each other and to always be kind and courteous. He instructs that couples should, “not insist on your own way” and “not be irritable or resentful” but always ready to forgive one another. In this way, couples can grow in a relationship of understanding and trust.
God created us in His image, and He has called us to love faithfully and sacrificially like He loves His people. True love affects other people, and it is taking responsibility for our actions and commitments. The Bible gives us many examples of how to establish and maintain a strong relationship, and that adultery with all its sorrow has its warning, consequences, and can lead to sin’s destruction of relationship.
Trusting in God’s Providence
When a marriage is threatened by broken trust brought on by adultery, it can feel like an insurmountable task to reconcile. But God calls us to trust Him and turn to Him for the guidance and strength to overcome. In Isaiah 41:10, God promises us, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” God is a generous provider, and His word is full of His promises to us as His children.
Trusting in God’s providence is one of the most powerful ways couples can reconcile when adultery has threatened their relationship. As we become more open to His teachings, He will fill us with the strength and determination that we need to work through struggles in our marriages. God will bring balance to any marriage that asks Him for help.
Another popular and well-known scripture Romans 8:28, reminds us that God can bring beauty from ashes: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” No matter how grave the sin is or how deep the hurt goes, God is willing to restore when He has been sought for help.
Ultimately, when couples choose to be open to God’s grace and mercy, they can grow in their marriage and can help restore broken trust caused by adultery. The wisdom of Scripture can prove to be a helpful reminder that God is here to help. We can still go to Him with our broken, empty hearts, and He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Gaining an Understanding Heart
In Jeremiah 29:11, God promises to give us an understanding heart to know Him and His ways. He tells us that if we seek Him, we can gain an understanding of His will and how to live within His purpose. This is of great benefit in marriage too.
It is vital to remember that adultery is a sin that can cause deep wounds and places demands on the couple. However, God can heal and restore hearts that have been hurt, as well as bring renewed understanding that can lead to reconciliation.
Romans 12:2 reminds us that God will transform our hearts by renewing our minds: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” As believers, we need to constantly seek His leading in how to fix broken marriages. We need to seek out God’s sense of discernment and gain understanding of our roles as husband and wife.
The Bible is clear in that adultery in marriage is a serious matter. It tells us how we should not minimize its consequences, and how our marriages should always bring us closer to God. This understanding is necessary in order to preserve our marriages and protect them from harm.
It is heart-breaking when adultery threatens the institution of a good and strong marriage. But instead of dwelling on the sorrow, couples should have faith that God has plans to save, heal, and restore our relationships. We should trust that God will bring healing, hope, and joy back into our marriages when we allow Him the grace to do so.
A husband of one wife, father of two beautiful girls, laborer of Lord, Jesus Christ, and a servant to God’s His saints. I hope to encourage you by God’s grace. Thank you for stopping by.