….but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.”

-Mark 16:6, NLT

It is not how things normally go.

This is in part why Jesus coming back from the dead was so spectacular. When people die, they usually stay dead.

I think the same thing goes for marriages ravaged by adultery. They normally die.

Are there some marriages that survive and are resurrected? Sure. But those are the exceptions, not the rule.

I believe this is why–among other reasons–Jesus allows a way out of a marriage that has been violated by sexual infidelity (Matthew 19:9). Jesus recognized such unions as normally dead–i.e. killed by the sin of the unfaithful spouse.

The temptation in Christian circles is to insist resurrection of an adultery-ravaged marriage is normative.

This is a setup for shame and abuse, in my opinion.

-Shame comes when we fail to keep the marriage together, and the Cheater abandons us, for example.

-Abuse happens when we stay, and the Cheater continues to rape our souls and otherwise mess with our heads through never-ending lies.

I am thankful for Easter Sunday. And I am grateful for the hope I have in Jesus for eternal life after I die on earth.

That said, I am not going to go the next funeral of a Christian expecting this person to come back to life. That’s the wrong application of my hope. It is unhelpful for my grieving process.

Similarly, maybe we ought to accept that marriages end when marriages are dealt morally deadly wounds by cheaters? I think that would save our community–including adultery victims–much grief.

*A version of this post ran previously.