“Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14, KJV).
“Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32, NKJV).
What is adultery? Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines adultery as, “voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than that person’s current spouse or partner” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adultery). In Luke 16:18 (NKJV) we are told, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.” Jesus builds on this in Matthew 5:27-28 (NKJV) where he tells us, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Scripture shows us that adultery is not limited to sexual intercourse between a married individual and someone other than the spouse, but rather that simply entertaining the idea of sexual activity with anyone outside of marriage constitutes adultery.
Why is this important? Because sexual activity should be limited to marriage in order to further strengthen the bonds between a man and his wife, and to protect the family unit. Hebrews 13:4 (NIV) tells us, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Adultery is not a victimless crime and has extremely negative impacts on the entire family, to include the spouse, children, extended family members, friends, and even future spouses. Sexual immorality of any kind is extremely dangerous. It destroys family life. It erodes a person’s ability to love. It degrades human beings and turns them into objects. It can lead to disease. It can result in unwanted children. Even tolerating the adultery of others can send the wrong message to children, resulting in their not growing up with the proper respect for marriage or the marriage bed. There are few things that can undermine the family unit as effectively and horribly as adultery.
Knowing the damage caused by adultery, why are so many of today’s organizations, including government schools, promoting sexual relations and sexually deviant behavior outside of marriage? The answer is, of course, because we are living in an era where a war is being waged upon the family unit. Bureaucrats and politicians believe that they can increase their own control and power by increasing government dependency through the destruction of the family unit. Others see the traditional family unit as an obstacle to promoting social agendas which are condemned by Christianity. Ultimately, Satan is the driving force behind these individuals and groups. Sadly, the result has been a world with weaker family units, glorified deviant behavior, and people of all ages embracing harmful and sinful behavior.
So, what can we do to discourage adultery and protect the family unit? Like most important lessons, it is important to start at home. Teach your children the importance of abstinence before marriage. “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 Corinthians 6:18, NKJV). Explain to them that sexual activity is a gift from God meant to be shared between a man and a woman in marriage. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22, NKJV). And most importantly of all, set a good example for your children to follow.