“I charge you,” he said, “to guard your chastity, and let no thought enter your heart of another man’s wife, or of fornication, or of similar iniquities; for by doing this you commit a great sin. But if you always remember your own wife, you will never sin. For if this thought enters your heart, then you will sin; and if, in like manner, you think other wicked thoughts, you commit sin. For this thought is a great sin in a servant of God. But if any one commits this wicked deed, he works death for himself. Attend, therefore, and refrain from this thought; for where purity dwells, there iniquity ought not to enter the heart of a righteous man.”
I said to him, “Sir, permit me to ask you a few questions.” “Go on,” he said. And I said to him, “Sir, if any one has a wife who trusts in the Lord, and if he detects adultery in her, does the man sin if he continues to live with her?” And he said to me, “As long as he remains ignorant of her sin, the husband commits no transgression in living with her. But if the husband knows that his wife has gone astray, and if the woman does not repent, but persists in her fornication, and yet the husband continues to live with her, he also is guilty of her crime, and a sharer in her adultery.”
And I said to him, “What then, sir, is the husband to do, if his wife continues in her vicious practices?” And he said, “The husband should put her away, and remain by himself. But if he puts his wife away and marries another, he also commits adultery.” And I said to him, “What if the woman put away should repent, and wish to return to her husband: shall she not be taken back by her husband?” And he said to me, “Assuredly. If the husband does not take her back, he sins, and brings a great sin upon himself; for he ought to take back the sinner who has repented. But not frequently. For there is but one repentance to the servants of God.
In case, therefore, that the divorced wife may repent, the husband ought not to marry another, when his wife has been put away. In this matter man and woman are to be treated exactly in the same way. Moreover, adultery is committed not only by those who pollute their flesh, but by those who imitate the heathen in their actions. Therefore if any one persists in such deeds, and does not repent, withdraw from him, and cease to live with him, otherwise you are a sharer in his sin.
Therefore the injunction has been laid on you, that you should remain by yourselves, both man and woman, for in such persons repentance can take place. But I do not,” said he, “give opportunity for the doing of these deeds, but that he who has sinned may sin no more. But with regard to his previous transgressions, there is One who is able to provide a cure; for it is He, indeed, who has power over all.”