Bible Study Discussions with Gary Panell
Question: I just found out that my husband committed adultery. It has been going on for at least 6 months and we have only been married for 7 months. I have looked in the Bible, I am not very good with the Bible, and I have not found answers about what to do. I only see where if a woman commits adultery. Where can I find some information?
Answer: These verses, I believe, could apply to your situation:
There is only one reason for divorce and remarriage, and that is given by Jesus in Matthew 19: 3-9. "The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?' And He answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh."
"Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.' They said to Him, 'Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?' He said to them, 'Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."
Even though this passage is speaking of the husband divorcing the wife, the same principle applies to the wife if her husband is unfaithful to her. Scripture almost always speaks in the masculine gender. That is not to say the same principle does not apply to both male and female because it does unless it says otherwise. It is understood that it applies to both here. It would be kind of cumbersome to keep repeating everything for both the male and the female.
There were some things that you did not mention that may apply to your case. First, I would say this also; it is a real tragedy that your marriage has been marred with this infidelity, it seems from almost the beginning, if not from the very beginning. It is a sign of the time that we are living in, but it should not be thought of as a light thing, because God does not think of it lightly. You see from the above verses Jesus said, God the Father never intended for marriage to end in divorce. In another place He says He hates divorce.
Now something else that might apply here is if you have ever been unfaithful to him in the marriage. If you have been, then this law of divorce does not really apply. If you have been faithful to him in not committing the actual act of adultery, then you could divorce him and remarry with God's approval, only marry a Christian. That brings me to another question: Are you a Christian? I think you might be because you went to the Bible for answers, but we need to know for sure, because this can make a lot of difference in how you proceed from here.
If you are not saved, you need to pray right now to God, and ask Him to forgive you for your sins, and ask Him to come into your heart and life. We have tracts on this very subject if you need this information. If you are a Christian you need to go to a good Bible believing church and seek help from the pastor. (You will know if they are truly Bible believers because the will carry their Bibles to church and study them in church. They will be friendly people and concerned about your needs!)
You will need to make this a real matter of prayer. No doubt, your husband will tell you he is sorry and that he won't do it again. He may even pretend to get saved to keep you, don't be tricked. Even if he were to really get saved, and began to truly live for the Lord, it would be a hard call on your part because he has already violated your trust. There have been couples that have gotten back together after the person was saved, and showed it by living a godly life for sometime. God's grace is there for us, but then because there has been adultery you are not obligated to stay with this individual.
Probably your best course of action, after prayer, is to share with your husband that on the authority of God's word you are no longer obligated to him and to the marriage. That you need to separate yourself from him and that you will pray that he gets his life straightened out with the Lord. He has violated the marriage trust, and therefore he has forfeited your marriage vows.
Getting a divorce is never an easy thing, but then the alternatives can be worse sometimes. Taking vengeance is not ours either, but the Lord's. On our part we still need to show love, but be firm. Ask God to help you every step of the way, and He will give you wisdom. Remember God loves you more than you can imagine! Work with a Christian pastor, so he can pray with you, and give you good Christian advice.
The one consolation is that you found out before too far into the marriage while maybe children are not involved, etc. The thing is you do not want to rush into another marriage, but pray that God will send a Christian along that loves the Lord with all his heart, and one that loves you with "all" of his heart! Spend as long as it takes to get to know that person, because some men are very good at wooing women to marry them. They may say anything just to get in bed with that woman, but then once they have made the conquest they are off for another adventure. Many women have been deceived by this sort of thing.
When I say this I don't want you to get the impression that all men are like this, because they are not, even though you may think so, with the feelings you have now. Often women go to the wrong place to find a man; they go to the bar or the dance, when they should be going to the church. Never give yourself to a man before you are married. If this is the right one for you, they will be willing to wait!
God may not want you to marry again; maybe you are to serve the Lord single the rest of your life as Paul did. The only thing is, in most cases we are to be married, Paul says, "But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion." (1 Corinthians 7:8-9) Again, know that going into a second marriage is not always the right answer either; it gets even harder the second time around, as statistics point out. Know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the right one if you believe you are to remarry, and only God can give you that assurance.
We are praying for you,
Gary T. Panell
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Keywords: adultery, unfaithfulness, sex, divorce