“Let the marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be un-defiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” —Hebrews 13:4
Adultery is one of the most frequently and severely condemned sins in the Bible. Adultery is mentioned 52 times, including in the Ten Commandments, all four Gospels, and ten other books of the Bible. Only the sins of idolatry, self-righteousness and murder are mentioned more often.
The Bible mentions adultery as grounds for divorce (Matthew 5:27-32, 19:9) but does not require it. In many cases the husband and wife can be reconciled and the marriage saved even after adultery. It is not a sin to continue to live with and have sex with a spouse who has committed adultery. (As a practical matter, the risks of sexually transmitted diseases should be considered.)
As with other sins, God will forgive the sin of adultery if a person sincerely repents and also forgives other people.
Even though God will forgive adultery, the damage it causes often cannot be undone. It is extremely hurtful to the spouse. It often leads to divorce and leaves the marriage partners embittered, disillusioned and financially poorer. It robs the children of the love and security of a healthy family and denies them a good role model for their own future marriages. Children from families where there is conflict and/or divorce are more prone to anxiety, poor school performance, drug abuse and delinquent behavior. These problems can persist into adulthood. Adult children of divorced parents tend to have lower educational attainment, lower income, more children out of wedlock, higher rates of divorce themselves, and a lower sense of well-being.
If you have committed adultery or your spouse has committed adultery, one of our trained counselors would love to talk and offer help.