Billy Graham: Why Victims of Adultery Need Your Prayers

Evangelist Billy Graham speaks at the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 31, 2007.
Evangelist Billy Graham speaks at the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 31, 2007. | (Photo: Reuters/Robert Padgett)

Christians need to lend their prayers and ears to friends who have been victims of unfaithfulness, the Rev. Billy Graham says.

The world-renowned 97-year-old Baptist minister advised in a Q&A published in the Kansas City Star on Wednesday that if a Christian has a friend whose spouse has been unfaithful, the best thing to do for them is listen to their troubles and offer prayers for them.

The evangelical leader explains that prayers are important because this friend is going through a very painful time in their life, and might even be contemplating divorce.

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"Almost nothing is more devastating than the betrayal of unfaithfulness — especially when the one who has been unfaithful shows no remorse but insists on divorce," Graham writes.

To counter this devastation, the best thing that can be done is to pray, the evangelical leader explains.

"First, pray for her, consistently and faithfully. Pray her marriage will be restored, but pray also that even if it isn't, God will encourage her and keep her from despair or bitterness. Even when hard times come and the future is uncertain, God still loves us and has not abandoned us," Graham says.

The Baptist minister adds that the second most important thing Christians can do is listen to their friend as they go through this tough time in their life.

"Sometimes people don't need our advice as much as they need our love and sympathy and concern," the evangelical leader says, referencing Job 2:13, in which Job's friends showed him a great amount of compassion during his suffering.

"Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was," the verse reads.

Lastly, Christians should encourage friends undergoing such pain to offer their worries and struggles to God.

"Others may betray us or abandon us, but Christ never will. Even in the midst of life's most confusing situations, we can have peace as we turn in faith and trust to Jesus," Graham says.

Mark Driscoll, the former embattled pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, spoke on the topic of adultery in a previous series on the Ten Commandments, comparing marriage to a vine as outlined in Psalm 128:3.

"You've got to invest a lot and you've got to wait a long time, and you're going to need to be patient and tending to it if you want it to grow and be fruitful. And adultery is literally just severing near the base, the vine," Driscoll said of marriage and adultery, as reported by The Christian Post.

The pastor added in his sermon that although Christians have the biblical option to divorce if they are a victim of adultery, such an option should not be approached lightly.

"[…] adultery does not mean you should get a divorce. Adultery means you have that as a possibility — it's not a requirement. You don't have to get divorced, but according to Jesus, you have a right to be divorced," Driscoll explained, encouraging Christians faced with adultery "to go back to that vine and to nurture it and to feed it and to water it and to tend to it to see if you can't get it to grow again. If you're going to go do that with someone else, put all that time, energy, effort, and investment in, oftentimes it is good to make that same investment in the relationship you already have."

Driscoll, who stepped down from his post at Mars Hill in 2014, has been embattled in recent years for accusations of plagiarism, bullying and racketeering.

The megachurch pastor recently announced that he will be planting a new church, The Trinity Church, in Phoenix, Arizona.

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