<<infidelity, being unfaithful>>

Adultery is when a married person has a sexual relationship with someone not his or her marriage spouse. (Fornication is sex before marriage). God forbids all perversions and sexual relationships outside of marriage (Lev 18:6-24). Jesus also classed divorce and remarrying as adultery as it breaks the bond of exclusive unity between a man and woman (Mk 10:11,12).

Sex is a God given blessing for humanity to enhance a meaningful one-to-one relationship with their spouse, if handled according to His rules. However, if the needs are not being met by the marriage partner there is the temptation to seek this intimacy elsewhere by having ‘an affair’, causing much heartache to all those involved. The lack of commitment and self-control revealed if adultery takes place has devastating consequences. This includes the emotional cost (even if not found out) because of guilt, secrecy, being dishonest, breaking trust, commitment and lack of intimacy with the married spouse. Adultery destroys many marriages and often leads to divorce and untold emotional scarring for a wide circle of family and friends. Through repentance, forgiveness and accountability this sin can also be remedied and reconciliation gained. Paul cautions his readers to safeguard their marriages by not denying their partners, except by mutual agreement (1 Cor 7:5).

The commandment stating, “You shall not commit adultery”, dealt with the outward act (Ex 20:14). However, Jesus condemned as sin even the inner desire of any impure, lustful thought of a sexual relationship with anyone except your spouse with the Bible stating "God will judge the adulterer and

Control your thoughts

all the sexually immoral" (Mt 5:27,28; Heb 13:4). We are to keep our thoughts pure and our bodies reserved for our legally married partner of the opposite sex. Even when married our thoughts  and desires need continual monitoring, as mental adultery is addictive. Through pornography and impure thoughts, destructive soul ties are established. Just living in today’s morally lax society can fuel the temptation for our thoughts to roam freely. Natural sexual attraction is normal but when it involves the fantasy of being played out in the mind this is sin. Can I state, “I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” (Job 31:1).

Adulterous and all sexually immoral people, amongst others, will not inherit the Kingdom of God, unless these acts are repented of and there is a change in lifestyle (1 Cor 6:9; 1 Jn 1:9; Rev 21:8). Anybody who sins sexually, including with a prostitute, sins against their own body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:13-20).  Out of the heart of man, this evil sin of the flesh comes, being feed by what is put into the mind (Mk 7:21; Gal 5:19; Jud 1:7). The Bible instructs us to “Guard our heart more than any treasure for it is the well spring of life” – it governs the course of our life (Prov 4:23). Take to heart the warnings of scripture, “Can a person hold fire to his chest and not be burned?” (Prov 6:27,29,32).

In the account of a woman caught in adultery, her accusers were quick to pass judgment, but they too were sinners. Jesus didn’t condemn, excuse or ignore what she had done – He showed forgiveness and compassion with the instruction to “Go and sin no more” (Jn 8:3-11). When we are tempted to pass judgment on others, consider how Jesus would handle the situation. Sin must be confronted,

Do not dress in a seductive or suggestive manner

but in a gentle and humble way with the aim for restoration (Gal 6:1).

Infidelity creates a very difficult and painful situation, one that involves all the emotions. If you have been betrayed pray and seek the Lord for wisdom, healing, and for guidance. Give your emotions and needs over to God, allowing Him to minister to your heart so that we can begin to let go of the offence. Godly counsel from a Christian counsellor or pastor is helpful. As a believer you must forgive others as you have been forgiven (Mt 6:14,15, 18:23-35; Eph 4:31,32; Col 3:13). Although true forgiveness may take some time to be accomplished, the willingness to forgive should always be present. To embrace bitterness is sin and will negatively affect every aspect of life so deal with it and move forward (Heb 12:15). Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a commitment by the offended to pardon the offender when there is genuine confession and repentance. The process of rebuilding trust can only begin after confession and repentance. Although the guilty party may not repent you must maintain the attitude of forgiveness — being willing to forgive when they acknowledge their sin. Forgiveness is not the automatic restoration of trust.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9). In a multitude of situations throughout our lives we need the cleansing blood of Christ to restore us back into relationship with God and one another with repentance leading to forgiveness and reconciliation that brings healing and wholeness.

The Israelites committed spiritual adultery by turning from God to give their love to other things (1 Sam 8:8; Jdg 2:11-13; Jer 16:11; Ezek 23:37). Sometimes are we guilty of loving things more than God? (Mk 12:30; Jas 4:4). This is idolatry and needs to be repented of. Adultery whether spiritual or physical begins with disappointment, through not being satisfied in the present relationship, and leads to affection being turned elsewhere.  The command to not commit adultery means do not be unfaithful to your wife or your husband and do not be unfaithful to God. Besides turning from our "first love" to something other than the Lord spiritual adultery also includes embracing or endorsing other beliefs, doctrines, and religious practices that are contrary to biblical teachings.

See also: Church discipline, commitment, divorce, faithfulness, guilt, gods (idols), marriage, pornography, self-control, sexual sins, soul ties, temptation, thinking/thoughts.