(Mt. 1:20) Did God commit adultery with Mary? Did God break his own commandment?

CLAIM: Mary was betrothed to Joseph, and yet, God impregnated Mary. God tells us that we should not commit adultery (Ex. 20:14), but God also takes Joseph’s wife in order to impregnate her. Isn’t this a moral failing?

RESPONSE: While God did impregnate Mary, there are a number of problems with calling this adultery:

First, there wasn’t any sex. Matthew writes that Mary “was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 1:18). Even after she was found pregnant, we read, “[Joseph] kept her a virgin until she gave birth” (Mt. 1:25). That is, even after she was pregnant, Mary was still a virgin. No sexual intercourse occurred, because God is a spiritual being (Jn. 4:24), not a physical being. This was a miracle—not a rugged, physical act of sex.

Second, God wasn’t impregnating Mary to TAKE from her or Joseph, but to GIVE to them and humanity. Adultery is a selfish act. God wasn’t impregnating Mary to separate their family (Mary and Joseph stayed together) or to gain sexual pleasure (no sex or physical pleasure was involved). Instead, God was doing this to give a Savior to mankind, where he went through the greatest suffering imaginable.

Third, since Mary was quickly wed to Joseph, this didn’t affect her marriage. Therefore, by using Mary’s womb, this would be more like modern day surrogacy.