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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






30 August 2005

Child of Adultery


Q: What’s the view of the Bible and God on a child resulting from an adulterous relationship? Is one supposed to forgive and accept the situation and continue on being married if you (the party that didn’t commit the sin) are a Christian?

A: Adultery is Biblical grounds for divorce, but it is not commanded, only allowed. We pray so easily, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” but when the time comes to do so, we find out what a tremendous thing it is that we are asking. God wants forgiveness and reconciliation. Yet if the adulterous spouse resists or persists in sin, God allows the marriage to end.

As for what happens with a child born under such circumstances, much depends upon how the husband and wife deal with all the sin (not just the adultery, but any other problems in the marriage that led to it and followed from it). There’s all the emotional baggage and whether or not they are able to forgive each other and themselves and truly be led by God.

If a child is born of adultery, both husband and wife must ask themselves, each other, and God what is best for the child and can they truly forgive, forget, and go forward trusting in God to guide and protect them.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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