Adultery is devastating, and the offending spouse must first turn away from sin through repentance before God but should the adultery also be confessed to your spouse? Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, gives five reasons to do so.
Confessing adultery to your spouse is “absolutely necessary,” Moore says in a blog post, offering five reasons.
According to the Bible, each spouse has an exclusive right to the others’ sexuality, Moore writes, referring to 1 Corinthians 7:4.
“The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife,” reads the verse.
But “this isn’t a license for abuse,” Moore cautions.
“So, because your body belongs to your spouse, your sin affects them, even if they don’t know about it,” he explains.
You also have to remove the lie in your marriage, Moore says, sharing the second reason. “Concealing the adultery, even if its been repented of, is deceiving your spouse about something that lies at the very core of your marriage.”
Repentance is not complete until it is confessed to the spouse, he adds.
The third reason is, Moore continues, that we need to take ownership of our sin.
“You have to decide that your husband or wife is more important to you than the risks you’re taking by confessing. You need to own your sin. You need to communicate this to them as a sin,” he writes.
The fourth reason is, you have to accept the consequences of your sin, he says.
“You have broken the covenant. You have sinned against your spouse, and you have broken a trust. Don’t defend yourself. Don’t give excuses or reasons. Let your spouse express the grief and the anger that comes out of this.”
Fifth, the offending spouse needs to take the first step in reconciliation.
“There has to be a grieving and an expressing of the righteous anger that your spouse has. Let them do that, and then wait patiently for them to forgive you. Don’t think that you’re owed some sort of immediate reconciliation. You are going to have to spend in many ways the rest of your life in your marriage rebuilding the trust that is there, even when your spouse does forgive you.”