Can I divorce my husband for committing adultery in his mind?

The Bible gives two clear grounds for divorce: (1) sexual immorality / adultery (Matthew 5:32; 19:9) and (2) abandonment by an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:15).

The Greek word translated “marital unfaithfulness” is a word which can mean fornication, prostitution, adultery, etc. While sexual thoughts are the seeds of adultery, they are not the physical action of it and don’t give grounds for divorce.

Even in these two instances divorce is not required or even encouraged. Confession, forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration are always the best course to take. Divorce should only be viewed as a last resort. The Lord said, “I hate divorce, says the Lord God” (Malachi 2:16).

According to the Bible, marriage is a lifetime commitment. Jesus 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” (Matthew 19:5,6). Jesus pointed out that the divorce laws were given because of the hardness of people’s hearts, not because they were God’s desire (Matthew 19:8).

Even when actual physical adultery is committed, a couple can, through God’s grace, learn to forgive and begin rebuilding their marriage. God has forgiven humans so much and they should be willing to forgive one another  (Ephesians 4:32). Pray for your husband the he may submit his mind to the changing power of the Holy Spirit and the Lord promised to honor the prayer of faith.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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