How to Repent from Adultery Sins According to the Bible

Adultery is a serious sin that damages relationships and goes against God’s commands. As Christians, if we fall into adultery, God calls us to genuinely repent and turn away from this sin. Repenting from adultery is challenging but with God’s grace, forgiveness, and strength, it’s possible to get back on the right path.

Key Takeaways:

  • Adultery violates the seventh commandment and harms marriages and families. True repentance requires fully acknowledging the sin.
  • End all inappropriate emotional and physical relationships immediately and permanently. Avoid tempting situations.
  • Confess your sin honestly to God and ask for His forgiveness. Pray consistently for strength to resist temptation.
  • Confess to your spouse and ask for forgiveness. Be willing to patiently bear the consequences of your actions.
  • Examine what led to the adultery and how to guard against it in the future. Seek godly counsel if needed.
  • Focus on improving your relationship with God and your spouse. Be faithful in small things.
  • Accept God’s grace and forgiveness but remain vigilant. Use godly wisdom to protect your marriage.
How to Repent from Adultery Sins According to the Bible

What Does the Bible Say About Adultery?

The Bible consistently condemns adultery throughout the Old and New Testaments. Adultery violates the seventh commandment given to Moses: “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14 NKJV). Jesus also taught that adultery is a sin:

“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 NKJV)

James 4:4 describes those who are unfaithful to God as “adulterers and adulteresses”. Adultery is strongly condemned because it destroys trust between spouses and breaks the covenant of marriage. It harms entire families and is an offense against God who instituted marriage.

What Does Adultery Look Like?

Adultery includes any sexual intimacy or romantic entanglements outside of marriage, whether physical or emotional. It also includes lustful thoughts that indulge fantasy about someone who isn’t your spouse. Some examples of adultery are:

  • Having an affair
  • Flirting in a way that leads to emotional or physical intimacy
  • Viewing pornography or seeking fulfillment in fantasy
  • Separating from your spouse to pursue another relationship
  • Maintaining inappropriate emotional attachments like romantic friendships

While these situations differ in degree, they all violate the exclusivity and covenant of marriage. Adultery must be specifically repented of and forsaken.

Steps to Repent From Adultery

Repenting from adultery is difficult but vital work. It requires humbling yourself before God, making amends within your marriage, and making decisive changes to safeguard the future. Here are steps to take:

1. Acknowledge the Sin

The first step is to fully acknowledge the adultery as sin. Don’t minimize or rationalize it. Admit to God and yourself the specific thoughts and actions you need to repent from, without making excuses. Own the selfishness and faithlessness of adultery.

King David sincerely acknowledged his sin when the prophet Nathan confronted him about his adultery with Bathsheba:

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13 NKJV)

Naming your sin specifically before God is essential. This humility prepares your heart to seek forgiveness and make changes.

2. End All Adulterous Relationships Permanently

Completely cut off all emotional and physical intimacy with anyone besides your spouse. Don’t try to taper off a relationship slowly or keep ties. As Jesus taught:

“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” (Matthew 5:30 NKJV)

Be willing to lose whatever you need to – friendships, jobs, personal privacy through accountability – to remove adulterous relationships from your life. Avoid situations where you might be tempted like traveling alone, social media contacts, environments with alcohol, or spending time with those who enabled the affair.

For emotional affairs, this means blocking all contact and avoiding private conversations about personal issues with anyone except your spouse. Protecting your marriage requires drastic measures.

3. Confess Your Sin to God

The next step is to confess your adultery to God through prayer, asking Him for forgiveness. King David’s prayer of repentance in Psalm 51 should be your model:

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:1-2 NKJV)

Bare your heart to God in prayer regularly, holding nothing back. Accept His conviction about the ways you’ve grieved Him. God promises that if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us (1 John 1:9). Though consequences may follow, you can be cleansed and stand blameless before God as you turn from adultery.

4. Confess to Your Spouse and Seek Forgiveness

Honestly confess your sin to your spouse just as you did to God. This allows your marriage to begin healing. Your spouse may not be ready to extend forgiveness right away. Be willing to patiently bear the consequences of your choices.

Focus on understanding the depth of pain your adultery caused them. Make no demands but humbly request their forgiveness as God enables them. Assure your spouse of your desire to change through godly counsel and accountability.

Even if your spouse responded imperfectly in the marriage, admit fully your own adultery’s sinfulness. Though reconciliation may not be possible, you can walk in humility, truth, and repentance.

5. Examine What Led to the Adultery

Take time for serious reflection about what vulnerabilities and mindsets led you into adultery. Were you believing lies that God’s design for marriage is too restrictive? Were you seeking affirmation due to childhood wounds or marital disappointments? What was the initial compromise that led eventually to adultery?

Ask God to reveal the roots of brokenness that grew into adulterous fruit. Then seek counseling and accountability from godly mentors. Share honestly about any addictive behaviors. Be willing to wait patiently on God to bring emotional and spiritual healing.

6. Guard Against Future Temptation

Once you identify weaknesses that led to adultery, set up strong boundaries and Accountability to prevent stumbling in those areas. For example:

  • If overwork and neglect of your marriage left you vulnerable, implement changes to invest time in your relationship.
  • If issues from your family background distort your perspectives on commitment, seek counseling.
  • If you struggle with fantasy and pornography, install Internet protections and ask your spouse or friend to check on you.
  • If certain friendships or environments open the door to compromise, eliminate them.

Bring your struggles into the light. James 5:16 says:

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. (James 5:16 NKJV)

God can use faithful friends to encourage you to walk in holiness and wisdom.

7. Work to Restore Your Marriage

Pour your energy into improving your relationship with your spouse. Set aside regular time to communicate without distractions. Follow through on any commitments you make. Listen carefully when they need to talk about the past betrayal. Be willing to sacrifice personal desires out of love for them. Show by your day-to-day faithfulness in small things that your commitment is real.

God can bring beauty from ashes as you walk in repentance:

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3 NKJV)

With God’s help, your marriage can be stronger than ever through a process of sincere confession, forgiveness, and restored trust.

8. Remember God’s Grace and Forgiveness

Once you have repented thoroughly and put safeguards in place, remember God’s promise in 1 John 1:9:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NKJV)

Trust that the cleansing and forgiveness God provides is full and complete. You can move forward in freedom. God is ready and able to redeem what the enemy meant for evil in your life and marriage.

However, that does not mean relaxing your vigilance. You must maintain the safeguards, accountability, humility, and renewed commitment that guard against falling back into adultery. Stay alert to the enemy’s schemes and flee from temptation. But as you walk faithfully with God each day, keep your eyes on His grace, not your past failures.

Walking in Sexual Purity After Adultery

Overcoming adultery requires establishing new patterns of sexual purity in your life and marriage. Here are some practical suggestions:

  • Ask God each day to renew your mind and purify your desires. Commit to pleasing God, not yourself.
  • Strive to meet your spouse’s intimacy needs unselfishly. Listen and learn what helps them feel loved.
  • If needed, seek counseling about childhood experiences, addictions, or trauma affecting intimacy.
  • Discuss what fidelity means to your spouse. How can you reassure them of your commitment?
  • Hold each other accountable for dwelling on what is honorable and pure (Philippians 4:8).
  • Limit media that awakens lust. Bounce eyes and thoughts away from temptation.
  • Meet emotional intimacy needs in godly friendship, not cross-gender relationships.
  • Bathe your marriage in prayer, asking God to unify and protect you.

As you rely on the Holy Spirit day by day, He will produce His fruit of faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in you (Galatians 5:22-23). Your marriage can reflect the holy union between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32).

Conclusion: God Brings Beauty from Ashes

Repenting from adultery is hard work requiring courage, humility, and perseverance. But take heart – God is able to restore what was broken and lost. He cherishes your marriage and wants your relationship to reflect His faithfulness.

If you have fallen into adultery, Jesus stands ready to forgive as you repent fully and run back to Him. Take the needed steps to make your marriage strong, pure, and lifelong. But know that along the way, you can continually receive God’s mercy and grace.

Though discipline is painful for a time, God promises it will bear peaceable fruit in the end (Hebrews 12:11). By walking in repentance and relying on the Holy Spirit’s power, your marriage can emerge stronger than ever. God wants to bring redemption and wholeness from the ashes. Will you say yes to His work in you?

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