Adultery and Divorce

Question

Is it a sin to stay with someone who is an adulter and a heathen or a non-believer?

Answer

No, it is not a sin to stay with a husband or wife who is an adulterer, and/or a heathen/non-believer. In fact, the Bible actually encourages people to stay with their unbelieving spouses.

If a Christian's husband or wife commits adultery, the Christian has the right to get a divorce from the adulterer (Matt. 19:9). However, the Christian also has the freedom not to get a divorce but to forgive the adulterer and to remain married. The Christian does not have an obligation to divorce.

As a general rule, Christians who are married to unbelievers ought to remain married to those unbelievers, and not to seek a divorce (1 Cor. 7:12-14; 1 Pet. 3:1). An exception to this is that if the unbelieving spouse commits adultery, the believer is free to seek a divorce (Matt. 19:9). Also, if the unbeliever wishes to divorce the believer, with or without having committed adultery, the believer may permit the divorce and is free to remarry (1 Cor. 7:15).

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.