Adultery is a very serious sin. It causes deep wounds and pain, not only for those who commit the sin themselves, but also for their spouses and families. Our Lord Jesus emphasized the seriousness of this sin by making marital unfaithfulness the one condition allowed as grounds for divorce and remarriage. (Matt. 19:9) And, because marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:22-33), we want to keep this picture holy.
So will God forgive us if we commit this devastating sin? The first thing we need to do is look into our hearts. Do we feel shame and regret only because we were "found out"? Or do we truly realize the wrong we have done and the hurt we have caused? When we can admit the sin to ourselves, we need to turn whole-heartedly to our Heavenly Father. We need to beg Him for forgiveness through Jesus’ blood. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,…he (Jesus) is the atoning sacrifice for our sins…” (1 John 1:9, 2:2 NIV) We need to ask Him for guidance, strength, and perseverance to try, if possible, to make amends for the hurt we've caused.
King David was a man "after God's own heart." (I Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22) But he, too, succumbed to this sin. He needed a prophet from God to convince him of his guilt. But after David admitted his sin, he was deeply sorry and troubled. We can feel his agony in Psalm 32:3-5 and especially in Psalm 51:1-10, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love…. Wash away all my iniquity…. Against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean…. Create in me a pure heart, O God…."
David pleaded not only for forgiveness but for a "pure heart" so that he could go on from there and lead a life more pleasing to God. Verse 17 in Psalm 51 is key: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
David did have to suffer the consequences of his sin (2 Samuel 12:10-14), but his relationship with God was restored. If we come to our Heavenly Father in humility and repentance, trusting alone in Jesus' blood, shed for us, He will forgive us. Then, if we give everything into His hands, He will lead us through whatever experiences are yet to come.