Bible Question:

I wonder if a husband has committed adultery and it occurred in the past, does this count? I have not left him over the matter; but if I were to leave him now, would that leave my children unclean? Would it just be reasonable to assume that he would have to leave me?

Bible Answer:

Before you decide to leave your husband, I would like to encourage you to read some of the responses to past Questions and Answers about divorce and remarriage. Lord willing, they should help.


Jesus gave us the freedom to divorce our spouses when they commit adultery. But Jesus hates divorce (Mal. 2:16). He allowed it “Because of your hardness of heart . . . ” (Matt. 19:8). What Jesus means is that when we are offended in this way, it is often difficult to forgive. Therefore, He allows divorce. it is also important to note that adultery includes more than sexual sin with a woman, since the Greek word that Jesus used for adultery also includes homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and others.

Some Thoughts

But it is important to remember that if you divorce him, you are leaving your husband. He is not leaving you. You did not explain why you are thinking about leaving him. So it is difficult to provide you some advice. But ultimately, the impact of a divorce is “damaging” to your children as well as yourself. If he is abusive, then the comment is less true.

Most divorces are related to money, adultery/sex, and selfishness. Recent research has shown that men and women live happier lives when they are married and the children have fewer emotional problems in their adult life. It is also important to note that remarriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages, and cohabiting couples have the highest divorce rate.This is contrary to the Hollywood picture of life. The hard facts are that divorce brings more heartache. The illusion of peace and love on the other side is not real.

My Children

No, your children will not be unclean. They are not responsible for his adultery or for the divorce. They will not be punished by God. The adultery was your husband’s affair. But I would encourage you to ask yourself, “Why do I want to divorce him now? What has changed in my heart and why?”


May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus be with you and His Holy Spirit guide you in your decision.