Our culture tells us adultery is exciting, irresistible, and even acceptable. And yet, our experience tells us something very different. Adultery has left a long and painful scar across nearly every family. It has brought untold grief to many churches, and it stolen the hope of salvation from many souls. Adultery is a curse.
Yet, our culture arrays itself like an army against marital faithfulness and joy. Media portrays marriage as difficult and boring, while extramarital affairs are exhilarating. The popularity of pornography creates a sexual appetite for everything else, except marital satisfaction. We are surrounded by people who love joking and talking about the thrills of having an affair.
A recent poll from the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy reveals that nearly 75% of people would commit adultery if they thought they could get away with it. That means most people sit around and think about why they should cheat on their spouse. As a result, the research reveals that at least 1 in 3 marriages will face the reality and the agony of adultery.
Solomon described adultery as a luxurious path that has nothing but bitterness, sword and death at the end of it (Prov. 5, 7). Why then do people walk so willingly toward the curse of adultery? It is because we tell ourselves lies about adultery until the trap snaps and we are caught! Don’t believe these lies about adultery.
#2 “God wants me to be happy?” No. He wants you to be obedient. He is the king, not you, and He said, “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14; Gal. 5:19). Lasting joy is the fruit of faithfulness, not the forsaking of it.
#3 “I love her / him.” Love? It might be affection or lust, but not love! How is it “love” to do something that will cause a person to be eternally lost? How is it “love” to betray a spouse and hurt innocent children? How is it “love” to destroy families and wound churches? There is no love in adultery.
#4 “My spouse leaves me no choice.” People believe if their spouse is difficult or unappealing this gives them the right to commit adultery. Blaming others for our sin has never worked and is never right (Gen. 3:12). Even if your spouse is difficult you do not replay evil for evil, but you “overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). Otherwise, call adultery what it is, selfish, sinful behavior.
#5 “It won’t hurt me.” Sexual immorality in general, and adultery in particular, corrupts the very purpose of our minds and bodies. So Paul wrote, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). God made your mind and body for His purposes, and when you use them for sin they will break down. Be sure of that.
#6 “I can still be alright with God.” Shockingly, unrepentant adulterers go to worship every Sunday and proudly call themselves Christians, because they somehow believe God accepts their behavior. Yet, adultery shatters your relationship with God, as David recognized when he wrote, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done this evil in your sight—That You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge” (Psalm 51:4).
You’re Not Above It! Realize you’re not above being tempted by adultery, so don’t even start entertaining the thoughts (Matt. 5:27-28), and set yourself to enriching your own marriage (1 Cor. 7:2-4; Prov. 5:15-19).
You Can Get Past It! If the statistics are correct then someone reading this has committed the sin of adultery. You can repent. You can be forgiven. You can be useful to God and your family again. In the world 31% of marriages survive adultery, but among those who are trained by the grace of God that success can be even higher. Don’t let adultery be the reason you or the people you love lose their soul.
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)
Make your marriage a relationship of honor not the reason for judgment!
“Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:14)