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What God Wrote in Stone 9: Do Not Commit Adultery

What God Wrote in Stone Day 9 – Do Not Commit Adultery

You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14, ESV)

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4, ESV)

You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28, ESV)

This commandment is personal to me. It’s the one that most deeply wounded me in 2017. To see it included in God’s list of commandments for His people helps us better understand that God cares deeply about marriage. He not only cares for it, but wants us to passionately guard its purity. Polygamy was never His plan. Sex outside of a marriage between a man and his wife was never His plan. His plan was for this gift of sexual union to be enjoyed and shared by one man and his wife until one of them took their last breath. 

In our world, we can see how much pain results from failure to uphold this command from God, even among those who know what Scripture says regarding faithfulness within marriage. From disobedience to this command emerge many emotions—fear, distrust, intense sorrow, loss of connection, jealousy, insecurity, hatred, bitterness, an unwillingness to forgive—to name just a few. Failure to uphold marital vows of faithfulness results in many broken hearts. It literally breaks the bond between a married couple and seriously injures their children and family members. 

While it’s clear that adultery is wrong, we can’t just stop at the surface level. In the New Testament, we see this same command to keep a marriage sexually pure, but in addition Jesus challenges our minds to follow suit. In other words, while we may not physically act on our impure sexual thoughts regarding someone we aren’t married to, we are still held accountable and found guilty of adultery for those impure thoughts. So while many of us feel pretty good about our outward faithfulness to our spouse, on closer inspection we may find we are nothing less than adulterers ourselves if our minds are sexually impure. 

So what are we to do with this sin we’ve allowed in? The first step is repentance and confession, not only to our spouse but to God. It will be uncomfortable and it will expose us and make us vulnerable—that’s true. But we know God’s character is one of forgiveness, and when our hearts are remorseful and desire change, He always responds with love and compassion. But while we know God’s character, we may question sharing this same vulnerability with our spouse. However, true intimacy cannot be achieved without honesty; we must share these things with our spouse if we are to have the openness we desire.

Guarding our hearts is the next step in handling our minds. Our words and actions flow from what’s in our hearts, so by reading and spending time with God, we can grow spiritually and protect our hearts and minds. When we fail to invest in our relationship with God, our marriage becomes at risk and an easy target for Satan’s attacks. If we want to protect our marriage covenant, we need to prioritize our relationship with Christ. 

Just because we fall sexually, though, doesn’t mean it’s over for us, or even for our marriage, family or our usefulness for God. I can say this with confidence because I’ve been blessed to have experienced the wonderful truth of restoration. God’s “no” is for our protection, but even when we step outside of His plan for us, He pursues us with the desire to see us spiritually restored. If you’re walking this road in your marriage and experiencing difficulties from sexual sin, there is still hope. And if you’re on the brink, toying with the idea of adultery and buying into the lies Satan is feeding you to make it seem permissible, may this commandment sink deep into your heart and mind and may you turn back to truth. God has a better way—trust Him!

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