To Handle Adultery, You Need To Forgive, Not Divorce

To handle adultery, and I pray that you never have to, you need to forgive. Do not divorce because the Lord hates it. If you have 6 minutes, I will tell you more.

Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Lord, the God of Israel, says, “I hate divorce, and I hate the cruel things that men do. So protect your spiritual unity. Don’t cheat on your wife.” Malachi 2:16 (ETR)

STM Bible Lesson

Lesson focus: Matthew 6:14-15. Bible lesson background: This is a short lesson on dealing with adultery. In other words, willful sexual abuse of the marriage contract. Try to forgive first, to please God, before you think of other actions.

graphic for handle adultery

Handle adultery

If you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 (CEV)

To forgive, one must not be bitter or want revenge. In fact, you show love and mercy to the other person(s). Plus, you no longer blame them for what they did.

Do not be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, then forgive him. Forgive each other because the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 (ICB)

I know this may not be easy or what you want to do. But it is the advice I was inspired to give. After all, we are, as the Scripture says in 1 Peter 2:9, You are:

  1. a royal priesthood – His, the King’s, priests, called to sacrifice to God. We are to be a living sacrifice, dead to our old selves and desires.
  2. chosen people – God chose you and that makes you special. Different from those who do not follow Christ.
  3. a holy nation – set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his. People who belong to God.

Yes, we do things in special ways. In other words, ways that are not usual. So, when others want to divorce, we let go, forget about it (forgive), and continue to love.

Let our Father handle it

Marriage is honorable in every way, so husbands and wives should be faithful to each other. God will judge those who commit sexual sins, especially those who commit adultery. Hebrews 13:4 (GW)

Some may find comfort in knowing that your Father will take care of this. You do not have to get revenge or pay back. Your job is to love, show respect, and be faithful.

“…each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” [from Ephesians 5:33 (NLT)]

Agapē forgives

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers* a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. 1 Peter 4:8 (AMPC)

cover (G2572 καλύπτω Transliteration: kalýptō Part(s) of speech: Verb Definition: to hide, veil (to conceal, cover, or hide), i. e. to hinder the knowledge of a thing. Not to regard or impute (to blame someone for doing something bad, give credit for good work) them, i. e. to pardon them.
*Benson commentary:
It will cause us to excuse them in others, and will entitle us, through divine mercy to the expectation of forgiveness for our own numberless failings.

To close, the old you may have decided to get rid of the cheater. But you are a loving new person. And because of agape, you can forgive many wrongs. Including the unfaithful actions of your spouse.

The gift of love, given to you via the Holy Spirit, has amazing qualities. It aids to keep pain and hate from leading you down the wrong path. In this case towards divorce. Which is not what the Lord wants.

“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord [Malachi 2:16 (AMP)]

I am so very proud of you and the way you handle adultery. Your decision to forgive and not divorce is the right one. God is pleased with you. Blessings to you and your loved ones— Tim. ☺

Related studies/lessons/snacks for further spiritual growth:

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

Reference Scriptures

Note: parenthesis (#) encloses the key verse(s).

Matthew 6:14-15 (14). Colossians 3:12-17 (13 and 14). Titus 2:11-15 (14) and 1 Peter 2:4-10 (9). Hebrews 13:1-6 (4). Ephesians 5:22-33 (33). 1 Peter 4:7-11 (8). Malachi 2:16.


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