First to Throw a Stone
He who is without sin among you,
let him be the first to
throw a stone.
Grounds for Divorce
Grounds for Forgiveness
Can adultery be forgiven?
Yes. Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery: “Did no one condemn you? . . . Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more” (John 8:10–11). Actually, not only is adultery not grounds for divorce, it is grounds for forgiveness, as Christ showed in John 8:10 above.
We also have an example of a spouse forgiving adultery in Hosea 3:1. “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress.’” Then in 1 Corinthians 6:9–11, when God refers to adulterers and fornicators, He says: “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.” We are washed in His blood of forgiveness.
Yet, too many pastors say that adultery is grounds for divorce. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:27–28). If it were true that adultery is grounds for divorce, most married women could divorce their husbands since most men have lusted over pictures of women on television or in magazines!
If you have committed adultery, you must confess your sin to your husband if he is unaware of your unfaithfulness. “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion” (Prov. 28:13).
Should my husband’s adultery be forgiven?
What did Jesus do? Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “Did no one condemn you? . . . Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on, sin no more” (John 8:10–11). Have you condemned your husband?
But he is a “repeat offender”!
What did Jesus say when Peter asked how many times he should forgive his brother who sinned against him. “Seven times?” he suggested. But Jesus replied, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” That’s 490 times! (See Matt. 18:22.) Too often when women have husbands who are repeat offenders (like mine was), a pastor or counselor convinces the woman that her husband will never change; however, that is simply not scriptural.
If this were true, more than 9 out of 10 of our restored marriages would simply not be restored today. Most of our restored marriages are marriages that had a spouse who was a “repeat offender”—in other words, a repetitive adulterer, not a “one night stand” situation. Most, if not all, were given ample time to repent, but refused—but God heard the cry of the wife who stood in the gap for her husband and God did a work in her husband’s life and broke the sin of adultery out of his life. (For more information, read chapter 17, which trains you to pray Scriptures or “stand in the gap” for your husband, and chapter 16, which teaches many principles regarding prayer, especially the power of “prayer and fasting.”)
Are you without sin, that you should cast the first stone at your husband? Jesus also said to the people who wanted this adulterous woman punished, “He who is without sin among you, cast the first stone” (John 8:7). Are you without sin, that you should cast the first stone at your husband? The truth is, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).
But I never did anything that sinful! Let me show you that God groups your sins along with your husband’s. This is how God sees sin: “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: (his?) immorality, impurity, sensuality . . . drunkenness, carousing, (now yours?) strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, envying” (Gal. 5:19–20).
And if I don’t forgive him? What are the grave consequences of not forgiving? “But if you do not forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will not forgive your transgression” (Matt. 6:15).
When God refers to adulterers and fornicators, He says, “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9–11). “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife” (1 Cor. 7:14). Since you and your husband are one flesh, we at Restore Ministries suggest that you draw closer to God, allowing Him to transform you more into His image. Something amazing will begin happening to your husband since you are one flesh—He will become sanctified! However, as long as you stay in sin, you will both remain unsanctified.
But adultery has happened before! Let us once more remember what Jesus said to us when asked how often we are to forgive someone. “If he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying ‘I repent,’ forgive him seven times seventy” (Luke 17:1–4). (See chapter 9, “A Gentle and Quiet Spirit,” on the subject of “Tough Love.”) Also, see below for why it continues.
But he hasn’t repented! As Jesus hung on the cross for your sins, He cried out, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). (Again, see chapter 9, “A Gentle and Quiet Spirit,” on “Forgiveness.”)
“Don’t be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” God specifically asked His prophet Hosea to remarry his wife, Gomer, even after she was blatantly unfaithful to him. Hosea 2:2 says, “For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband . . .” Then in verse 7, “Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.’” Later in verse 3:1 it says, “Then the Lord said to me (Hosea), ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress.’” God used the story of Hosea and Gomer to show His commitment to His own bride, the church (see the book of Hosea). In Luke 15, it says the older son said to his father “. . . this son of yours came, who devoured your wealth with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.” Then the father said to his older son, “But we had to be merry and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.” What will your husband find when he calls or comes by? The fatted calf, your robe, and a ring—or will he be met with judgment?
Can I ever trust him again? God said to trust Him; you will then be blessed with a faithful husband. “Cursed is the man who trusts mankind and makes flesh his strength . . . Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord” (Jer. 17:5–7). People always ask me how I can trust my husband. I answer by saying, “I don’t—I trust the Lord!” It is the Lord who made my husband faithful to me, and He will keep him faithful. Glory to God!
How can I help my husband? Help him by praying! “Keep watching and praying, that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). Every woman who allowed God to turn her husband’s heart testifies that God removed the wandering eyes and unfaithfulness. (These are women whose husbands have been home for years!)
God may bring other tests into our lives to be sure, but not adultery. When God heals and brings deliverance, He says, “It is finished.” It is a complete healing and deliverance from adultery. Remember, if you sow in the flesh, you will reap in the flesh. Ladies, if you coerce or entice your husband to return home, you will reap consequences. Learn to wait. When it is the blessing of the Lord, He will add no sorrow to it! (See Prov. 10:22.)
What does His Word say we are to do (or not do) if our husband is in adultery?
The adulteress flatters; we are instead to edify. Proverbs 29:5 says, “A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps.” “Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification” (Eph. 4:29). The difference between flattering and edifying is the heart. When someone flatters, the heart or motivation is to “get something.” The motivation of one who edifies or builds up is to give something—expecting nothing in return. Two women can be saying the same thing, yet the difference is in their hearts. What kind of heart do you have? Do you whine and complain to others about what your husband hasn’t done in return for your kindness and forgiveness? Whether he hears your whining is not important. God hears it and is looking at your heart.
God may bring on His wrath; don’t you do it! “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For on account of these things the wrath of God will come” (Col. 3:5–6). “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:30–31). If you haven’t forgiven your husband, you may be joyful when the “wrath from God” begins. However, God warns us: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; or the Lord will see it and be displeased, and turn His anger away from him” (Prov. 24:17–18).
Don’t be deceived—you don’t need to look into what your husband is doing. “For nothing is hidden that shall not become evident, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17). They have been hidden from you by God to protect you. Those who thwart God’s protection by spying or investigating are tragic; please don’t make the same mistake! “For it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret” (Eph. 5:12). Ladies, stop talking about your husband’s sinful life. It does not glorify God. Only the adversary is delighted that you are so willing to speak for him!
What Can We Learn from Scripture
About the Adulterer and the Adulteress?
It is flattery that pulls a man into adultery. “For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it” (Prov. 5:3–6). While you were busy tearing him down, the OW was building him up. While you were disagreeing, she was agreeing. Has it changed?
She uses her flattery to pull him into adultery and into spiritual death. “With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to slaughter. So he does not know it will cost him his life” (Prov. 7:21–23). Many times it is quite suddenly that he follows her. Many women whose husbands have fallen into the pit of adultery have reported that they warned their husbands, yet they never heeded their wives’ warnings. (See chapter 8, “Won Without a Word,” for why husbands ignore their wives’ warnings.)
Once again it is her flattery that pulls a man into adultery. “That they may keep you from an adulteress, from the foreigner who flatters with her words” (Prov. 7:5). When was the last time you praised your husband for anything? Encouraged him? Got excited about what he said? Is it any wonder he was starving for what the adulteress was serving—flattery?
Again, it is her flattery that eventually pulls him down to suffering financially. “To keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, do not let her catch you with her eyelids. For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, and an adulteress hunts for the precious life. Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out” (Prov. 6:24–33). So many women are surprised by their husbands’ actions or what they say while in adultery. The Bible is clear: at this point he is lacking sense and is destroying himself.
Again, God says that he will suffer financially. “He who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth” (Prov. 29:3). There have been women who have come to me to tell me that, because her husband is so successful corporately, this will never happen to him. God’s Word applies to all. Every woman who came to debate this principle later told me of her husband’s financial collapse, and how the adulteress wasted his wealth!
The adulteress is basically out to get the man. She is out (of the home) to do it! “A woman comes to meet him, dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart, she is boisterous and rebellious; her feet do not remain at home” (Prov. 7:5). Is this a description of you too? Are you boisterous? Are you rebellious? Do you spend more time away from home than in it? “For the harlot is a deep pit, and an adulterous woman is a narrow well. She lurks as a robber, and increases the faithless among man” (Prov. 23:28). (Please read “The Ways of Her Household” in A Wise Woman for more knowledge.)
The adulteress is deceived into thinking that she has done nothing wrong. “This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong’” (Prov. 30:20). Many women who come seeking help for their marriages respond in the same way by stating “I have done nothing wrong.” Have you taken the full responsibility for your marriage collapsing? Until you look directly at what you have done long and hard enough that you can no longer see your husband’s sin, your marriage will not be restored.
The adulteress is an enemy of God! “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
God will give her time to repent and then cause great tribulation! “And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will cast her upon a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds” (Rev. 2:22). We see this so often in our ministry. All the men who stayed in adultery eventually fell into “great tribulation.” This is why it is vital that when your husband is seeking relief he “knows” that there is peace in his own home. He must know that the contentious woman is gone! If God hasn’t brought him around, then you are not ready. God is more than able to create a situation in your husband’s life to cause him to contact you. It’s not God’s problem or your husband’s problem; it’s your problem. Once there is a significant change, God will be faithful to bring him around. Until that time, He is hiding you with the desire to change and mold you from the inside out.
We have also seen at least four cases when the other woman, who would not repent after a time, was stricken with a significant illness (i.e., lupus, cancer).
“And I will kill her children with pestilence; and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds” (Rev. 2:23). In addition, we know of two cases when a child died. One woman lost a child in a miscarriage to what the doctors said was a “parasite.” We in Restore Ministries just heard of another case when the other woman (a professed Christian), in her boldness, continued to pursue another woman’s husband after many warnings. Her oldest son died of a brain tumor!
This is a spiritual battle. It must be fought and won in the Spirit. Please reread chapter 8, “Won Without a Word,” to understand more about spiritual warfare. We also have examples of prayers in chapter 17 that work mightily against adultery. Always ignore and resist the temptation to fight in the flesh, either viciously or enticingly. Books, talk shows, and well-meaning friends may try to sway you to either administer the “tough love” approach, which, we experienced first hand, leads to even more hurt and a complete disaster in your restoration, or to be more romantic or seductive to win him back. Neither of these is the cause nor the solution to this sin. It is a spiritual battle. It must be fought and won in the Spirit. Love, as described in 1 Corinthians 13 is always the right response!
Once your husband shows you that he feels he is able to trust you (because he knows that you are not going to try to make him come back to you, but that you have let him go) then it is time to allure him as it describes in the book of Hosea. If you want a good teaching on this topic, the Q&A video “Alluring and Unconditional Love” has helped many who are now restored.
Seducing is very different from alluring. Kind and loving words are alluring. Forgiveness is alluring. Someone who is at peace is alluring. Don’t fail to allure your husband through kindness, with loving words, which speak loud and clear that you truly have forgiven him. “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness, and speak kindly to her” (Hos. 2:14). Again, for a deeper understanding of the principle of alluring, you would do well to view the video “Alluring and Unconditional Love.”
Be excited when your husband calls or comes by. It’s not pursuing to be excited. Let him know by excitement, enthusiasm, and the tone of your voice that he is special and very loved by you. However, if you have never let him go, it will drive him away. You must first be sure he knows that you have truly let him go, then begin to allure him with your kind words.
By agreement. Many ask what they should do if their unfaithful husbands approach them for physical intimacy. “But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Cor. 7:2–5).
If you are still legally married, yet you refuse to be intimate, resist his advances, order him out of your bed, or initiate sleeping apart (for whatever reason), you are working and playing into the hands of the devil. A woman who is an unbeliever would certainly order her husband out of her bed or out of her house. “And if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them” (Luke 6:32).
When a sinner or anyone who was “unclean” came to Jesus, He always responded kindly and even touched them. He says that anyone who comes to Him, He will in no way cast out! (See John 6:37.) No matter how often a sinner comes to the Lord, He always accepts him back even though He knows that he will soon reject Him again. Are you an imitator of Christ?
However, the above verse clearly covers those who are still legally married. If a divorce has taken place, give no appearance of evil. This is the time that you must abstain from intimacy when your former husband requests it.
Personal commitment: to forgive. “Based on what I have learned in Scripture, I commit to trusting the Lord and refusing to fight in the flesh. I will continue daily to forgive my husband and all who have been involved. I will stay gentle and quiet as I walk in a spirit of forgiveness.”
Date: __________ Signed:__________________________