Does the scriptures forbid reconciliation to an adulterer who had repented?

Posted on

“Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans” (Hosea 3:1).

The Prophet Hosea was lead by the Lord to marry a woman of ill-repute to symbolize God’s love for Israel. God’s people had been unfaithful to Him by following other gods and breaking His commandments but He was willing to take them back when they repented.

It is true that Christ made plain that, only in the case of adultery, divorce can be allowed “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32). But the Lord also said in Malachi 2:16, “‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.” Christ pointed out, divorce originally was not a part of God’s plan, but came under the provisional approval of the law of Moses because of the “hardness” of men’s hearts (Matthew 19:7, 8).

The scripture doesn’t forbid reconciliation when there is true repentance. If one partner fell and committed adultery but later sincerely repented of his sin and wanted to reunite with his first partner, the innocent spouse may accept the efforts to reconcile with his/her partner. But spiritual counseling should accompany the reconciliation to allow for understanding and forgiveness to take place. Bitterness, fear, and distrust is the natural consequences of unfaithfulness. So, much has to be done by the guilty one to help mend the wounds and restore the relationship. And the obvious fruits of a truly changed heart and mind will help the innocent one to see that a real transformation has taken place.

True “love is patient and kind,” it “does not insist on its own way,” it “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4–7, RSV). When Christians enter into the marriage relationship they should be willing to apply the principles of love and reconciliation. And the Lord will give them the ability to forgive and also forget “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20).

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


A closing message from BibleAsk:

Thank you for visiting BibleAsk – an online ministry dedicated to providing Bible based answers to your questions. If you enjoyed and agree with this answer, please like and share! If you don’t agree, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to respond! If you have another question you would like to ask, please click here and someone from our team will personally answer it (don’t worry, your email address will never be shared). Check out our Bible Answers page to see just Bible verses answering thousands of questions. If you feel impressed to support this ministry, kindly visit our donate page to send a tax-deductible love gift to BibleAsk. Any donation size helps 🙂