And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. – Leviticus 20:10, KJV
And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. – Deuteronomy 24:16, KJV
Do we see anything in these texts that talks about punishing the faithful partners for being cheated on?
What about “their part” in the adultery?
Surely, the faithful spouse must be required to loose an arm or a finger, at least, over their part in being victimized. The Bible must teach that the faithful spouse had a role–even the smallest of percentage–in causing the infidelity, and thereby, God must require their punishment as well.
No, you say? It is not there.
God does not punish or blame the faithful spouse at all for the adultery or end of the marriage (via death penalty in Old Testament times) that follows.
Even “Christian” resources and leaders will teach and talk about a percentage–however small–a faithful spouse must have contributed to the demise of their marriage following the adulterous betrayal(s). This is the all too common “Shared Responsibility Lie.“
And it is frustrating as a pastor to see how prevalent this false teaching is!
I suspect the little truth that we all sin–including in marriage–is used and mishandled by Christian leaders to mean that we all engage in Biblically-warranted, marriage-ending sin (e.g. adultery, abandonment, etc). This is simply false.
For example, there is a big difference in impact between being a poor housekeeper and willfully lying for months (or years) while sexually engaging with a coworker or two.
Poor housekeeping did not make Jesus’ list for marriage ending sin (e.g. Mt 19:9).
Where is it written in the Bible that God blames the faithful spouse for the marriage ending following adultery? I would like to know that.
Where is it written in the Bible that God assigns a percentage of blame to the victim of adultery? I would like to know that.
Where is it written in the Bible that poor spousal skills warrant God-sanctioned divorce as Jesus taught? I would like to know that.
You won’t find such passages because they do not exist. So, I suggest we shift our conversation on such matters in true Christian community beyond blaming the faithful spouses or discovering “their part” to supporting them as victims of evil as that is how God sees them (e.g. Deut. 22:22).