Is Adultery Mandatory Grounds For Divorce? No!
The belief and teaching that adultery is always grounds for divorce, is not true! It CAN be grounds for divorce. However, adultery is not a MANDATORY reason for getting a divorce as we shall see.
Adultery, Grounds for Divorce?
Again, the Son of God confronted the hardness of heart of the religious leaders. This time, they dragged into the temple (the church building) someones wife who was caught in the very act of adultery. (I wonder why the man wasnt brought in, too?) This incident took place in John 8:1-11.
After the accusations and indictments have been hurled out, Jesus said, He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first (John 8:7). Jesus then stooped down again and wrote in the dirt. When He stood up, every one of her accusers were gone, and not a stone was thrown. He said to her, Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? She said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you; GO and sin no more (John 8:10-11).
Go where? Go back to her husband and be the kind of wife that God wants her to be. Jesus did not say that adultery was grounds for divorce. He did not even tell her to make it right with her husband, even though she may have been convicted to do just that. But Jesus did say, Neither do I condemn you; GO AND SIN NO MORE (John 8:11).
The religious leaders said that she should be stoned to death for adultery, NOT DIVORCED! There were different adultric situations in applying the law to have her stoned. The stoning punishment that they applied was for a man and woman caught in the act, and a betrothed damsel an engaged young lady. This was spelled out in Deuteronomy 22:24 and Leviticus 20:10. It appeared that Jesus applied the law of Numbers 5:11-31 because this woman was another mans wife. In this case the wife was to be taken to the Priest. The curses were pronounced and written down regarding her supposed sinfulness. She was then to drink a certain mixture prepared by the Priest and then to say, Amen, so be it. She was then able to leave and the punishment was left up to God according to what was written. This is probably why Jesus was writing in the dirt the curses of the sin. But Jesus showed mercy. Even though there are consequences, He wanted to forgive and to cleanse.
ADULTERY IS NOT A MANDATORY REASON FOR A DIVORCE. If it were, that would mean that we could, according to Jesus, divorce our spouse if they only committed the act of adultery in their heart. Jesus said, You have heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that WHOEVER LOOKS AT A WOMAN TO LUST for her HAS ALREADY COMMITTED ADULTERY WITH HER IN HIS HEART (Matthew 5:27, 28). If this were the case, every man would probably have been stoned to death.
There are many critical keys in this book regarding divorce, remarriage, submission, interracial marriage and relationships. Click on Divorce: God's Will? to order.