Question:

I recently found your site and was very confused about the topic of adultery when it applied to my current situation.

I hadn't thought that adultery would apply to me as I have never had an affair within my marriage or even had relations with anyone else besides my husband. However, an article on your site got me thinking, am I an adulteress by relation?

When my husband and I were dating, he confessed to me that he had slept with a married woman about three years prior to meeting me (he was never married before me). He didn't go into much detail other than he knew it was wrong and that he stopped seeing this woman.

So now we are married and the question just arose in my mind, is my husband then an adulterer? Does that make me one also by being married to him? I don't know if he confessed to God and repented before we got married, but when I asked him about it recently he told me that he has asked for forgiveness and admits that it was wrong, but now where does that leave us?

Does that stop making him an adulterer because he claims he repented? Was he an adulterer to begin with? And if so does him ever being an adulterer go away because he repented? I'm confused and worried now to be doing something wrong.


Answer:

Your husband was a former adulterer and that makes a huge difference. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 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 and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11). No sin is permanent. All sins can be forgiven.

In the answers on divorce, the point being made is that some people remain tied to their marriage covenant because of their sins. A person who committed sexual sins and was divorce by his spouse for those sins cannot marry someone else (Matthew 19:9). If he does, then he is committing adultery in that second marriage because he is still bound by his original marriage covenant. Anyone married to him is also guilty of adultery. That is because the adultery is occurring in the present because of the improper marriage. But if that second marriage ends, then the adultery ends. Whether the adultery is forgiven by God depends on whether the person obeys God's commands to either become a Christian, as mentioned in I Corinthians 6:11, or as a Christian repents and confesses his sin (I John 1:9).

Even if your husband did not repent of his former sin, which is not the case here, his past sins would not make you an adulteress. Your relationship to him is proper and in accordance with God's laws.

Thank you for your explanation and reply. I feel very clear on this issue now.