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By Amanda Beth –
I believe one lie Satan tells couples is that God says to divorce over adultery. Jesus said in Matthew 19:9, “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” I was like many who misinterpreted this verse. I thought Jesus was telling us it was okay to divorce over adultery.
However, in 1 Corinthians 7:10-12, Paul teaches, “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.”
He doesn’t say ‘except for adultery.’ God showed me Jesus wasn’t encouraging divorce over adultery. He was telling us that the spouse who was cheated on wouldn’t be guilty of adultery if they got a divorce. He says this because the other spouse has already committed adultery. So adultery has already taken place between the couple.
Adultery is not just the act of an extramarital affair. Adultery is breaking a covenant vow, breaking union (oneness) with our spouses. First Corinthians 6:16 explains, “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’”
We break our union with our spouses when we unite our hearts with someone else’s. This is why lust is considered adultery, because it comes from the heart as Matthew 15:19 explains, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
This is also why God calls those who turn away from Him adulterers, because they turn their hearts away from Him. James 4:4 says, “You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]” (AMP)!
God grieves for us when we commit adultery because we break our union with Him. In Ezekiel 6:9, God said, “…how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols….” Yet God doesn’t give up on us. He calls us back into union with Him as Jeremiah 3:14 explains, “Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband….”
God can do the same for any couples who have turned their hearts away from each other. He calls their hearts back to Him, and then brings their hearts back to each other.
One man wrote why he decided to stay with his wife after she committed adultery, “I had every right to walk away, but it wasn’t worth what could be for our family. I couldn’t let the enemy take my family from me based on the indiscretion of my wife. I knew I needed to forgive her.” This man thought the same as many of us, that it’s our right to divorce if adultery is involved. However, he knew the enemy would gain so much more had he given up and walked away.
God didn’t tell us to get a divorce over adultery. He can repair our hearts back to oneness and Satan knows that. Satan tries to deceive us by telling us to walk away because he knows whatever God tells us is for our benefit. We need to stand against Satan by listening to God.
You Can Have a Happy Family is available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CreateSpace, and amandabeth.net
Amanda Beth is a wife of fifteen years and mother of four children, ages two to ten. She has experienced a transformation in her life and marriage since she surrendered her heart to Christ ten years ago. She now passionately desires to help other individuals and families find healing in Christ. Her teachings on marriage and spiritual growth can be found on her website and her blog.