Q. Could you help me in explaining the difference in adultery (married person having sex with another person) and adultery committed by the heart?? If someone continues to commit adultery in their heart is that a grounds for divorce? As the same with adultery?
27* “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’;
28* but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Adultery is a violation of a covenant relationship, whether between spouses or between a person and God.
Unfortunately, people seem to look for some excuse to obtain a divorce.
No, adultery in the heart is not a basis for divorce. Neither is sexual adultery a requirement for divorce.
The teaching of Jesus in Matthew 19: has provided a lot of controversy over the years. If you will read carefully that passage, Jesus is answering a question the Pharisees had asked him. Their question: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce (put away) his wife for every cause?” There were two schools of thought at this time. One school held that divorce could only be for the cause of sexual unfaithfulness and the other school taught that one could divorce for almost any excuse. Apparently, the Pharisees being aware of these two schools of thought wanted to “test” Jesus on his application of the Law of Moses, which was recorded in Deuteronomy 24:1. Jesus answered their question, but he gave his own law on the subject-“from the beginning it was not so.” In other words, Jesus did not give any excuse or reason for divorce.
So what happens when a person breaks his covenant relationship with his spouse. He asks for forgiveness, the same as if he had broken some other law of God.