Will God bless a marriage started in adultery? Also, will God bless a second marriage?
For religious people, especially those who follow Christianity, marriage is a critical part of life.
Meeting someone and marrying them is, without a doubt, one of the best moments that an individual can have. However, as anyone who is spiritually minded will know, the rules around marriage can seem somewhat confusing at times.
For example, how your marriage starts can determine whether or not, in the eyes of God, your marriage will be blessed or not.
Naturally, anyone who loves God will want to be blessed in their marriage.
The blessing of God plays a huge role in how we feel about the marriage itself.
Without that blessing, can we ever feel truly comfortable?
These are questions that we often ask ourselves.
In the eyes of many religiously minded people, how your marriage came to be has a big impact on whether or not your marriage would receive a blessing.
What if you met the person that you wish to marry through circumstances that might go against the teachings of the Bible?
For example, will God bless a marriage started in adultery?
This is often a challenging topic, with many different interpretations out there.
To help you try and understand how your situation might be interpreted, we will try to break down the essential details around marriages started in adultery.
While there is often debate around whether or not this impacts the blessing you receive from God, there is a discussion to be had on the matter.
So, let us explore whether or not God will bless a marriage that was started in adultery.
What is Adultery?
So, before discussing whether God blesses a marriage started in adultery, it is important to define the topic first and foremost.
Adultery is the concept of having sexual intercourse with someone who is not your spouse. For example, if a husband were to sleep with another woman while being married, he is classed as an adulterer.
For people of a religious background, this is a serious accusation to be held against them.
It can ruin one’s reputation, not to mention the impact adultery has on the marriage itself.
Being seen as someone who has committed adultery will likely cause major damage to an individual’s relationships. It can cause them to lose friends, family, and, of course, their spouse.
Adultery, then, is any form of intercourse that is voluntary and takes place with someone who is not your spouse.
Extra-martial sex, in this manner, is seen as a contentious activity to get involved in.
Adultery has long been viewed as part of religious thinking, with the concept considered anathema in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam’s teachings.
However, the questions that matter regarding adultery come down to whether or not it is deemed illegal or immoral.
Is Adultery Illegal?
Historically, adultery has often been held up as a major crime.
Indeed, in times gone by, it was not uncommon for an adulterer to be punished via torture, mutilation/dismemberment, or even death itself.
While religion does not hold the same sway today in terms of lawmaking that it once did, many cultures still see adultery as a heinous act. It is, though, rarely seen as a genuinely illegal act.
Since the 19th Century, though, many parts of the world – especially Western nations – have committed to ending such legal punishment. However, there are still some countries today where adultery is considered a legal offense.
Most nations on the Western side of the world have rejected legal punishment for adultery.
In nations where adultery is still considered illegal, though, it is often punished through the act of fines.
For most, the reputational damage and the legal costs of likely divorce are seen as punishment enough for their behavior.
Illegality is often a complex term to discuss, but for most, the process of adultery often results in an easy legal loss in the courts.
Someone who has committed adultery is often likely to find themselves facing precious little grounds for contesting issues such as child custody and property settlement agreements.
However, in countries that use what is known as a no-fault divorce system, adultery is not seen as grounds for divorce on its own.
It can, though, still be held against an individual in discussions regarding custody.
Punishments for adultery can vary from nation to nation. However, even in parts of the United States of America, such as Rhode Island, individuals can be fined for committing adultery.
In more conservative parts of the world, acts such as caning and stoning are still used as a punishment for adultery.
At the time of writing, though, Somalia and Iran are the only countries still adopting stoning as a legal punishment for adultery.
Is Adultery Immoral?
While adultery is not often seen as illegal, as described above, it is often seen as immoral.
Most religions have imposed significant penalties on people who have committed the act.
Indeed, in Christianity, it stands as one of the Ten Commandments – You shall not commit adultery.
The Koran also is deeply against adultery; within the Koran, it is described as a “shameful deed.”
While in many modern cultures, adultery is unlikely to end with illegal proceedings, it is considered immoral. The reputational damage of adultery can be incredible, especially for an individual in a religious community.
It is important that people understand that while they may not face legal consequences (outside of a very likely divorce), they will face immense challenges in their personal lives.
Indeed, the immorality of adultery can even have professional consequences.
It is not unheard of for businesses and employers to look upon staff who commit adultery in less than favorable terms.
This may hurt their trust, standing, and reputation with the people they work with daily.
Therefore, adultery is an action that can definitely be seen as immoral in the eyes of many. Adultery is a feeling that can lead to immense sensations of guilt and pain.
The individual who has committed adultery often feels a sense of shame for the actions they have taken.
The injured party, in this case the spouse, will feel immense feelings of betrayal and jealousy. They will usually feel like the relationship cannot be repaired.
By the same token, adultery can often lead to immorality through the commitment to divorce.
For example, a husband who has committed adultery might find that their third party – the person they committed adultery with – demands a divorce for the affair to continue.
If that does not happen, the third party can feel as if they have been lied to and betrayed.
Adultery is often seen as an immoral act because of the consequences that it brings.
Not only is it likely to end a marriage, but it can also lead to dangerous aftermaths.
For example, the spouse who has been wronged might lash out or take damaging legal proceedings further.
The individual who was party to the affair might feel jilted if they do not end up in a relationship with the person they committed adultery with. This can lead to negative situations, including the risk of violence.
So, will God bless a marriage started in adultery?
Now, let us take a closer look at the topic: would a religious person still receive a blessing from God if they were to commit adultery?
It is not uncommon for two people who have committed adultery to remain together.
This can lead to both individuals deciding to marry one another.
In that situation, though, there is the fear that, given how the relationship started, God might not provide His blessing for the marriage to come. Is that true?
The problem is that many of the scriptures that exist around adultery can be taken in different ways. In many cases, it comes down to one’s interpretation of what has been written in scripture.
If someone really wishes to interpret the words of the Bible, for example, to permit blessings for adulterous marriages, they could.
The main discussion on this matter would likely be about the individual who will marry you.
Speaking to the minister who presides over your desired marriage might help clarify whether God would bless an adulterous marriage.
The Changing Views Of Adultery In The Bible
If you go back to the Old Testament, in sections such as Leviticus 20:10, it is clear that someone committing adultery should be put to death.
Naturally, as the world and culture have changed, such serious punishments are no longer adopted.
However, in the eyes of many Christians, this is an example of how seriously God takes the concept of adultery.
However, when reading the Bible, we can come across a passage in Romans 5:20.
In this passage, it is made clear that “where Sin increases, grace abounds.” – what does this mean in reference to whether or not God will bless a marriage started in adultery?
For many, this means that while the marriage might not receive an initial blessing, it could receive that gift in time.
Through forgiveness and individuals willing to repent for their sins, such blessings could be received in time.
For many who marry through adultery, this is the goal: to live a better life from that day forward and to atone for past sins, including adultery.
Turning away from our sins and heading back in the direction of God is seen as the first step towards repenting from a sin like adultery. However, for many to feel like they can truly receive this blessing, they would need to receive forgiveness from the wronged party: their likely ex-spouse.
Given the emotional turmoil that adultery can cause, though, receiving that forgiveness is very unlikely.
As such, despite adultery changing from being a punishment paid for with death, a second marriage – especially one started during adultery – is unlikely to receive the blessing that one would seek so fervently.
What About A First Marriage?
An interesting point comes up during this discussion, though. What about the party who was not in a marriage?
It is common for one individual to commit adultery with another who is not married.
As such, what about them?
Do they receive the blessing of God on the basis that they have not been unfaithful to their partner?
This is an arguable stance, but it is often dismissed.
The way that many see this process is simple: adultery has still taken place.
By being party to adultery with another married person, you have still created a scenario where unfaithfulness could not occur. It would not have taken place without both parties committing adultery.
So, in the eyes of many religious people, both parties are as sinful as one another. Therefore, the idea of receiving a blessing for only one side of the marriage is, at best, wishful thinking.
What Does The Bible Say?
The challenge is that many people will stick to what is written in the Bible regarding such abstract situations. However, the Bible does not provide God’s explicit response on whether or not marriage should be permitted.
Someone marrying an individual they got together with via adultery is not necessarily given a straight answer as to whether or not they could get married this way.
However, most will point to the fact that all scripture, especially the Bible, is unequivocal on the importance of faithfulness and commitment to the people we marry. As such, it is unlikely that a marriage started in adultery would be blessed in the eyes of more stringent Christians and people from other religions.
Again, it comes down to how each person wishes to interpret what has been written in the Bible. Most, though, will point to the Ten Commandments.
These ten commandments make it clear that adultery is not to be committed.
Breaking the Ten Commandments is considered a damaging incident for anyone of major religious thinking.
Those who believe strongly that breaking these commandments would make it hard to receive a blessing from God can draw their conclusions.
Blessing A Second Marriage
Lastly, we need to even look at whether or not God would give a blessing to a second marriage.
This is frequently something that is more down to interpretation. After all, the Bible does make concessions for two people divorcing.
A lack of sexual engagement between the couple, for example, can be seen as reasonable grounds for divorce, according to some parts of the Bible.
Should you get divorced, though, does this mean you can never marry again – at least if you want the blessing of God?
In the eyes of many biblical scholars, a second marriage could be blessed by God in certain situations.
For example, in Matthew 19:9, Jesus clarifies that divorce is only an option in the event of unfaithfulness.
It is also implied that anyone who would marry again afterwards is committing adultery in one form or another.
While it might be seen differently in some cases, should a spouse have passed on, or desertion has taken place, a second marriage would not often be given a divine blessing.
So, will God bless a marriage started in adultery? It is an awkward question to ask and find a direct answer. For most, it comes down to religious interpretation. Depending on how religiously devout someone is, they might view the act of adultery as a lasting sin from which one can never truly recover. Others might see it as a sin that can be forgiven, but a second marriage is unlikely to be blessed.
In various parts of the Bible, including Matthew 19:3-9, it is clear that marriage is meant to last forever.
If that marriage fails, remarriage is often seen as a ‘continuous’ sin.
Even if a marriage ends without adultery, according to some, those who re-marry are committing an adulterous act.
So, it comes down to personal beliefs and interpretations.
Do not expect every religious-minded person to agree if you commit adultery and then choose to re-marry.
It is not often an act that will be universally blessed and accepted by other religious community members.
As such, your choice has to come down to whether or not you believe you can truly repent and whether or not you can find comfort in your decision.