By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved
This question was asked in the comments of one of the posts and I thought it merited its own page. So I am copying the question and answer here:
Q: From a Christian and Biblical standpoint, do you think a lap dance at a strip club is adultery? Grounds for divorce?
A: You have a bigger issue inherent in the question than “A” lap dance.
A lap dance given to a married man by someone other than his wife is adultery by Biblical definition. If a married man lusts in his heart after a woman who is not his wife he’s committed adultery – that’s what it says in the Bible.
But it doesn’t say that is grounds for divorce. If that were the case, no marriage would ever last because it’s also basic male biology.
Grounds for divorce has to be persistent, unrepentant (not with words, with action) violation of the marriage covenant – adultery/idolatry. For the Scriptural principles here you have to read the whole of the Word (see the other things I have written and read the articles at divorcehope.com for more thorough information).
Back to your lap dance. No, “A” lap dance is not grounds for a divorce. But I would have to wonder and want answers to what issues in his character landed him in a strip club in the first place. That is a serious issue. There’s no acceptable answer to that question.
Here’s why. I would say that in most situations, if a wife found out about “A” lap dance, and her husband says it was just “A” lap dance, it is almost certain her husband is lying and there’s more to the entire issue. A man does not just launch into sexual sin with “A” lap dance. Men work up to strip clubs from pornography. They don’t just walk into a strip club without ever having any background of illicit sexual desire.
A habitual and unrepentant lifestyle of seeking sexual gratification outside of his own marriage – even if it doesn’t include actual consummation of the sex act, be it through pornography, x-rated videos, strip clubs, etc., or if that consummation is with his wife but the arousal is with “someone else” – could indeed constitute grounds for divorce. But a single incident for which he repents, is not. There is also a stated process for addressing a grievance against a brother, which includes a wayward spouse, in Matthew 18. So this article is not a get-out-of-marriage-free pass. Follow the process and do things right.
And if a wife is participating in this behavior of her husband, she probably needs some help understanding she is a) participating in sin, and b) being taken advantage of in his sin. It’s not acceptable behavior just because it’s not actually bringing “real” third/fourth parties into your bedroom. It’s still adultery because it’s very real in his head. And if it is also real in her head (which it very likely is, since it is virtually impossible not to be affected), she is also committing adultery, whether willingly or by being defrauded.