"My Husband is Alcoholic and Adulterous..."

By David J. Stewart

I recently received the following letter from a Christian lady:

My husband has committed adultery 4 times in the 4 yrs we've been married. He's asked for my forgiveness and Iíve forgiven him, but he refuses to give up his drinking. Each time he cheated on me, he was drunk. He allows me to walk my Christian walk, and he believes in God but doesnít want me forcing him to come to church. I'm thinking of separating from him because I want him to stop his drinking. It's a major problem in our marriage considering what it's lead him to do. Do I have valid enough reason to separate from him although Iíve forgiven him for the adultery?

 Here is my response:

Hello ________,

    Thank you for your e-mail.  I believe that you should remain with your husband no matter what.  My opinions on marriage are not popular in today's selfish, apostate, and self-righteous society; but I am confident that they are Biblical. 

Thankfully, God never gives up on His children that go into sin, such as King David who committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then murdered her husband because David didn't want Uriah to know his wife was pregnant by a different man.  Oh how sin destroys and brings misery!  Yet, we read in Psalm 51 where David is repenting and asking the Lord to return the "joy" of salvation he once had.  Sin takes away the believer's joy.

I sympathize with your situation; but divorce is quitting, which is never the best answer.  Remember that God created you to be a "help meet" to your husband (Genesis 2:18).  He needs your help now more than ever, because Satan has control of his life.  Certainly, you shouldn't subject yourself to wife beatings; but I am confident that with the Lord's help and some wisdom on your part that there are many better alternatives to legal separation or divorce.

I heard a preacher on the radio say something this week that bugged me, because he's right, and he stepped on my toes a bit.  He quoted 1st Peter 3:8,9...

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing."

The preacher focused on the phrase... "knowing that ye are thereunto called," i.e., that part of our calling as Christians is to endure the evil and criticisms of other people without retaliating or getting even.  Ouch!  I've been hurt by numerous people in my life, including a pastor whom I treated like a blood brother.  He knifed me in the back and cost me $10,000.  This happened 4 years go.  He just went his way and has yet to make things right with me.  For quite some time, I needed to ask the Lord to help me not to be bitter.  I chose to put it into God's hands.  I am sharing this with you, because the same principle applies to your husband.  He has done you evil, and he must give account to God (Romans 12:19; 1st Thessalonians 4:6; 2nd Corinthians 5:10).  So I say to you, part of our calling as believers is to return good for evil, blessing for cursing, and love for hate.  If there's anyone in this world to whom we ought to do this, it is towards our own spouse and loved ones.  I hope I'm explaining this well enough.

I look at it this way... If the Lord can put up with my sins and faults every day, then I ought to follow in the Lord's example and be considerate, patient, kind, understanding, tolerant, and forgiving of others.  As you've stated, you've been doing this, and my hat's off to you for being a good and loyal wife.  Many women would have already thrown in the towel after the first incident of adultery.  You are a Godly wife to stay by your husband's side while he does you wrong.  Anyone can quit and move on; but it takes a special woman who loves God to hang in there and keep going. 

Here's an article I recently wrote that I think is critically important for all of us to think about...


Kindest regards,

David J. Stewart

You Need HIS Righteousness!