“You shall not commit adultery.”
— Exodus 20:14
As you well know, we live in a society that laughs at “outdated” ideas about sexual purity and marital faithfulness. Those who live by God’s standards are anomalies, called “oldfashioned” and “narrow-minded.”
Pardon me for getting a little personal, but how have our society’s attitudes affected your attitudes?
Let’s quickly refresh ourselves on God’s commands regarding marital fidelity. God created marriage vows and the marriage union in which a woman and a man become one flesh. A person commits adultery when he or she engages in a sexual union with a person other than his or her spouse. Such unfaithfulness often breaks up marriages, and it’s one of the two Biblical grounds for divorce. (The other is desertion by an unbelieving spouse.)
What many people don’t understand is that splitting up a marriage for any reason other than Biblical ones puts both spouses in positions to commit adultery (Matthew 5:32). By marrying, divorcing, remarrying, divorcing, and so on, many people today practice “serial polygamy”: having adulterous relations with one person after another, all supposedly blessed by marriage.
Jesus also taught that we could commit adultery in our minds. He said that “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Considering how pervasive pornography is today, many people violate this command.
God has warned us that no adulterer, no fornicator, no homosexual will go to Heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). No matter what we call it, God calls adultery sin. God created the Seventh Commandment because He wants the best for us. Sexual immorality destroys the mind, the body, happiness and satisfaction in marriage, and ultimately, the soul. Our heavenly Father doesn’t want us to experience any of those consequences.
If you’re married, do whatever it takes to guard your precious sexual union. When we follow God’s ways, we find what’s best for us. But if you’ve already gone astray in this area, remember that in Christ you can find forgiveness for and freedom from all these things. Confess, repent, and resolve through the Holy Spirit to remain obedient to God’s command.