Is God always on the side of the marriage?

“If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death.”

-Leviticus 20:10, NLT

If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.

-Deuteronomy 22:22, NIV

Is God always on the side of the marriage?

I quote two important verses from the Old Testament Law to remind my readers the answer is an emphatic,


Just because God created and highly values marriage does not mean God treats the marriage covenant as trumping all other concerns.

Clearly, God considers righteousness as far as it pertains to sexual fidelity in marriage more important than ensuring the marriage continues.

I grow weary of the false teaching that advocating for the marriage in every situation is the “godly” stance. It is not!

God is clearly not always on the side of the marriage. Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22 make that plain.

Just as it is lazy and destructive pastoral care to offer divorce for every marriage trouble situation, it is lazy and destructive pastoral care to never offer divorce as an option even in the face of adultery.

Now, I might understand why a marriage counselor or marriage therapist takes this stance. They are a “marriage” counselor after all. That is kind of what you get by the title. They will advocate for the marriage most likely.*

I have higher expectations for my own profession and calling as a pastor.

To be honest, I probably would have landed in the “always for the marriage” camp prior to my experience. It seems to be the wise option. But appearances are deceiving.

Divorce following infidelity, in my opinion, while awful is better than remaining in a relationship where the abuses continue and ongoing sin is essentially tolerated. 

The highest good is NOT remaining married for life. A higher good is honoring God and walking in righteousness.

The marriage will  parish but the souls of the spouses will endure. It makes  more sense to consider this spiritual fact and prioritize those souls over a perishing earthly institution.

Is God always on the side of the marriage?

No. And neither should we be.

*Some marriage counselors are wise to the dynamics of infidelity and will treat faithful spouses fairly, wisely, and kindly accordingly.