Marriage Revealed Ministries walks alongside many who are enduring the painful trauma of a spouse ensnared in the trap of adultery. We understand the deeper underlying reasons through the evidence presented by the many thousands that come through our ministry; husbands, wives, pastors, worship, or youth leaders, all showing signs of spiritual adultery and walking away from God before or around the same time the physical infidelity happens.

The old testament word for adultery is, nā’ap, and this ONE word is used to describe both the physical act of sexual unfaithfulness in a marriage, as well as spiritual unfaithfulness to God when one departs to seek out selfish ambition and idolatry, because of a “stubborn and evil heart.”

 ‘It is because your fathers have forsaken Me, declares the LORD, and followed other gods, and served and worshiped them. They abandoned Me and did not keep My instruction. And you have done more evil than your fathers. See how each of you was following the stubbornness of his evil heart, instead of obeying Me. Jeremiah 16:11-12 BSB

The literal usages of nā’ap enhance the figurative-spiritual uses as they share a deep connection and feed off each other. Each works together in unison to pollute, destroy, and bring death to both the physical one-flesh union of a husband and wife, which represents the spiritual union and oneness with God.

God’s commandment -do not commit adultery-encompasses both the physical and the spiritual, because, to do the one, you have to do the other.

“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” Malachi 2:16 ESV


If you look at the deeper meaning, the primitive root of “to commit adultery” it figuratively means, to apostatize –and Wikipedia says: Apostasy in Christianity is the rejection of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian. The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία”) meaning defection, departure, revolt, or rebellion. It has been described as “a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, Christianity. 


Why do so many commit adultery?

James addresses a group of adulterers in this passage and explains their motives.

1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. 4You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. James 4:1-4 NLT

James is addressing immature, self-seeking, adults, with stubborn hearts. We all understand that children are selfish, led by feelings and desires, fearing pain, and hating to be told “no.” The immature hate not getting what they want and seek to appease the flesh above all else. The root reasons behind adultery are discontentment, dissatisfaction, boredom with life, regret, and immaturity.

Many come to a place in life where they must grow up, their spirits have not been walking in kingdom purpose, the soul has not discovered its adoption and identity, and life has become very confusing as the soul starts to rebel against the life it’s been living apart from God.

When the spirit starts to groan and rebel against being apart from God, the soul will begin to feel very out of sorts with life. Not realizing it’s trying to connect to God and discover real intimacy, it will turn to the solutions it knows. People and sinful pleasures. We see many who do a complete 180 and abandon themselves over to a sinful life, turning to drugs, alcohol, partying wasteful spending and reckless escapades.

The lost spouse who feels disconnected from their spouse, life, family, and even ministry share, “I am not happy and haven’t been for a while.” They don’t realize the disconnect is because they are not walking in true sonship with God. They may still be orphaned and searching for their identity through adoption. We often hear this called a spiritual or “mid-life” crisis, which results in a hard heart.

Unfortunately, this normal mid-life awakening has now become an acceptable reason to pursue “happiness” by leaving their life behind; creating a new life, new relationship, new circle of friends and family, even a new church in an attempt to discover who they truly are. As they take this journey, it’s filled with a process as they grow, mature, discover, and connect or reconnect with God. How long this takes depends on the person’s level of pride and resentment. Many must journey through much healing from a broken childhood before they can even start the maturing process.

Whatever the journey, many spouses find what they were looking for and come to a place of awareness and regret. Many wake up and come to their senses. They then must try to reconcile who they were, with whom they have now become. The Stander has also gone through a spiritually maturing process. The two may then be drawn to reconciliation and falling back in love, with both learning how to reconnect on a deeper, more mature level.

Adultery, both the physical and spiritual, is not a permanent death sentence. While it’s NOT the preferred way for God’s children to learn to come to maturity, it seems to be a popular way with man to follow after the enemy and run away from responsibility as they turn themselves wholly over to the enemy.

We can testify joyfully, that many come to godly sorrow and repentance, fully becoming restored to God, marriage, and family.

Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger