Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
-Hebrews 13:4, NIV (emphasis mine)
A vigorous discussion has started over my exposure of the lie that “bad marriages cause infidelity.”
I want to be clear on my position on these matters: It is not that I think faithful spouses are perfect and without sin in their marriages. I know I contributed sin to my first marriage and was not the easiest man to whom to be married.
However, I am not even in the slightest bit responsible for my former wife’s choice to lie, cheat, and sinfully abandon our marriage via an unbiblical divorce.
I am responsible for the sin I contributed to the marriage relationship. But I am not responsible for those sins my (now) ex-wife contributed.
Does insisting my ex-wife is fully responsible for her sins make me overly focused on assigning blame?
No. I don’t think so.
It is the Biblical truth.
We each will have to give an account for our actions to God (2 Corinthians 5:10). When God talks about adulterers in Hebrews 13:4, God is clear that the one engaging in extramarital sex is the one He will judge.
I do not see a long treatise about the climate or history of the marriage written there in Hebrews 13. The author of Hebrews did not seem to think the origins of adultery is all that complicated. It’s a poor choice made by the adulterous partner. So, the author of Hebrews addresses whoever might consider taking such a sinful action by warning them that they will be judged by God if they choose adultery.
Where people get into the weeds on infidelity is over the question of “Why did he/she choose to cheat?”
Was his wife withholding sex? Did he constantly belittle her? What was the underlying marital sins that led the husband or wife to choose to commit adultery? Welcome to the weeds.
My point from Scripture is that these questions are irrelevant. Even if you could identify a “why” connected with the faithful spouse, that why still does not excuse the adultery. There is no reason given in the entire Bible that allows a person to cheat on his or her spouse. Not one.
Further, that “why” did not force the adulterous spouse to commit adultery. He or she still had to make the choice against the full and consistent witness of the Bible that choosing adultery is sinful. And yes, that includes even if your spouse sinfully sucks at being a husband or wife. Choosing adultery is still wrong and fully a choice you will own before God.
A Christian marriage counselor or even a pastor might not hold an adulterer or adulteress fully responsible for choosing to defile the marriage bed. They might get lost in the weeds of the “why?” But I assure you God will not.
God will judge the adulterous spouse. That is what the Bible says.
As an evangelical minister, it would be irresponsible of me to teach otherwise. That is the spiritual truth whether one likes it or not.