Forgiving Adultery

By on January 1, 2012

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


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.

About Amanda Beth

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.


  1. Deborah H. Bateman

    January 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Amanda, thanks for sharing your post. You are brave to write about a subject like this. But, you are right, God is able to heal hearts if we give it time. Most people want to give up too easy. Blessings, Deborah

  2. Amanda Beth

    January 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks, Deborah! There are so many who are hurting over adultery today. God can restore and repair hearts that were broken from adultery. There is always hope.
    Thanks for your comment. God bless you:)

  3. Peggy Lester

    January 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Both my husband and I have experienced the need for such forgiveness for infidelity. The Bible says “forgiveness” should trump any sin…that includes adultery. We have been married 45 years. God can heal whenever there is a willing heart and I believe as Christians we are called to have that willing heart. The key is in true Godly repentance. When you have true Godly repentance for unfaithfulness God can definitely heal your marriage. Speaking from experience……

  4. Janet Harllee

    January 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you, Amanda for your post. Not an easy subject to address. It’s well said. We don’t know how many people are hurting in this situation. I know that God does repair hearts and sustains.
    God’s blessings!

  5. Amanda Beth

    January 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Your story is a great example of how God can heal a marriage after adultery. Thanks for sharing that with us. I agree, we are called to have a willing heart. It’s amazing what God can do when we are willing to let Him work. My husband and I had many issues in this area as well as other areas, and we are amazed how those things don’t bother us anymore. We have truly forgiven each other and God has healed our hearts and our marriage.

    Thank you for your kind comment. God definitely does repairs our hearts and sustain us.

    God’s blessings to you both:)

    • Amanda Beth

      January 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Oops! I meant “repair” our hearts:)

  6. Jerry Sinclair, Faithful & True

    January 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Amanda Beth,

    We deal with men and their hurting wives in our ministry. Our goal is to help these marriages at risk reconcile and grow stronger through their journey of restoration, purity and forgiveness.

    Great article and solid Biblical counsel.

    • Amanda Beth

      January 18, 2012 at 5:41 am

      What a wonderful ministry you have, Jerry! Thank you for allowing God to use you to save and restore families. God bless you!:)

  7. Lyn Smith

    February 1, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Amen! Few people are willing to say what you did but it’s true. God hates divorce for any reason – not the people, the divorce. The greater act than walking away in the face of infidelity, or any problem, is staying and letting God do His thing in us and in our marriages. Love this post!

    • Amanda Beth

      February 1, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Hello Lyn! Thanks for reading. It’s a tough topic, but I really felt the Lord wanted me to share His heart on the matter. I’ve seen so many marriages fall apart over adultery. But I’ve also seen many restored after adultery. Nothing can compare to the benefits of waiting on God to do His will. It’s worth the wait. Thanks for your encouraging comment. Blessings to you:)

  8. mary

    March 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    No way would i forgive my husband if he ever commetted adultry. God says shall NOT commett adultry.
    and the women who slept with him I would sue . Everyone wants to jump on the band wagon Oh I am sorry Forgive me NOT they are only sorry that they got caught. And the women who slept with the husband (or man) People who cheat only think of themselfs.

    Good for those who can forgive their partner. But I could put up with alot but never cheating. God also said I help those who help themselves. You may forgive But I would be out the door with a lawyer to go after the lady who put my life in a up roar. Mentally income wise health ( maybe she gave him AIDS or something else. )
    So for those who forgive GOD BLESS but can you trust him again. Wounder if your just as good as she was because there had to be something . ( selfness on both parts)

    • Amanda Beth

      April 3, 2012 at 6:02 am

      Hi Mary!
      Forgiveness is not something we can do on our own, that’s for sure. But I am proof that with God’s help and grace, we can forgive and be healed. Of course, forgiveness does come with repentance. If my husband cheated on me and continued to do so, I could forgive him, but I would not continue to allow him to cheat on me. If he refused to repent and stop, he would have to leave. Forgiveness frees our hearts, not theirs. That is why God tells us to forgive those who have wronged us. It’s for our own good.

      I know a couple who suffered from adultery for many years of their marriage. The wife was very bitter but she still committed to staying with her husband. Her husband stopped committing adultery, but for 20 something years she was bitter toward him. I never saw them show any affection toward each other. Except for living together, you would never know they were married. I felt bad for the husband because he did repent and receive the Lord’s forgiveness, but his wife would not forgive him. Then one day, God got a hold of her heart and began to transform her and heal her and then heal their relationship. This couple is in their 70s now and they are like 2 newlyweds. It’s adorable! They love each other dearly. It’s such a wonderful picture of God’s grace and love. He can heal any wounded heart and relationship. With Him, nothing is impossible!

      Thanks for writing! God bless you:)

  9. Hurting heart

    October 21, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    It’s been over two yrs since my husband cheated on me, and this is the second time in our 21 yrs of marriage. It seems like every 10 yrs he end up being unfaithful. He’s apologized, done everything he can to show me he’s sincere but it’s hard for me when I think “yeah, he’s happy now but let’s give it another 8 yrs and we will see if this happens again for the THIRD (& this one will be the FINAL time). That’s why I have a hard time getting over this one. Plus I read email between them and he was so hateful towards me and said horrible things about me, and thought this woman (who was pretending to be my friend) was his soul mate after a month or two of sleeping with her? So again, I have a hard time trusting his feelings for me. How can he feel such disgust and hatred for me at one point and believed she was the love of his life, but I’m suppose to believe that he loves me and I’m his soul mate now? I’m just so confused, hurt and torn. It’s a physical reaction in my body that happens when I remember something that happened or realize something that now makes sense and then I am hurt all over again. I love my husband, I want to work things out with him but again, I just can’t seem to trust his feelings for me after all the things he said about me and AGAIN that it seems like every 10 years or so he ends up unhappy and cheating again. So what, I wait it out and see? Meantime I can’t trust him or give him all of me again until I know for sure?

    • Amanda

      April 12, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      I am sorry I just saw your comment. This was posted several years ago, and I’m no longer writing online, so I didn’t see this. I pray that God has given you wisdom and direction. His ways are higher than ours and only He knows our hearts. He can change your husband’s heart if your husband is willing to accept His help and seek Him. My advice is to pray for your husband to seek God for help in turning away from this sin. God has given us power through Christ to turn away from sin. He is true to His Word.
      I will be praying for healing for you and your husband. Thanks for sharing your heart. Sorry again for not replying sooner.
      Blessings to you,

  10. hurting

    April 5, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    I’ve cheated on my husband and I made a lot of mistakes for being selfish. He has been gone for three weeks. We have been married for almost two years. I love him. I don’t know why I did the things to hurt him. He wants me to sign the papers but I wouldn’t but I feel selfish because I feel like he deserves to leave after everything I have put him through. Any advice?

    • Amanda

      April 12, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      I am so sorry you and your husband are going through this. I will be praying for God to heal your marriage. From personal experience, he needs time to heal and forgive. And you need time to heal and forgive yourself. My advice is to give it to God and continue to seek Him for wisdom. He is faithful to help you both. He’s the only one who can restore us from brokenness to wholeness. I will be praying for you both. Thanks for sharing your story. Blessings and prayers to you:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Forgiving Adultery