Every person should be aware that adultery is a sin against God and His commandments, for it is written: Thou shalt not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). However, nowadays adultery rather seems to be the norm than the exception. This circumstance is caused by the deceitful understanding of marriage that is taught to most of us from the very beginning. It starts already with the fact that the Bible doesn’t know the expressions “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”. This is because the people in the Bible usually didn’t get into relationships between man and woman without getting married. However, it is quite normal today that you already get into such “relationships” in your childhood. This practice has serious consequences for the ability to be faithful at all.
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)
How do you get married according to the Bible?
First of all, before we want to talk about adultery, we have to clarify how a marriage is concluded in the eyes of God. Marriage means for most people to have a wedding, where you promise your spouse to spend the rest of your life with him/ her. But the truth is that marriage is a promise to God made through the act of sexual intercourse:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. (Exodus 22:16)
If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
As we can see, there is already a big misunderstanding about where marriage begins. Most people today commit adultery before they even know that they have made a covenant with God.
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. (Malachi 2:14-16)
Where does adultery begin?
Fidelity has many definitions. I have heard many people saying that they are faithful while they were doing things that God doesn’t like to see at all. But how does God define fidelity and what does the Bible say where adultery begins?
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Exodus 20:17)
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)
So, according to Jesus, adultery already starts by looking at a woman in a wrong way. That means that looking at a woman with lust is a sin against God and one of the 10 commandments of the Bible.
Fornication also exists outside of marriage
But also unmarried people shouldn’t lust after somebody. Perversity is a sin of the flesh and against God. Everyone who is walking with God no longer lives in sin and is no longer subject to his flesh.
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1 Peter 4:1-6)
But also flirting, single dating agencies and complimenting each other are considered worldly and thus sinful before God. Only the person chosen by God as a spouse may be wooed in this way:
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:16)
Whoever marries a second time, commits adultery
Divorces are considered to be completely normal nowadays. However, God doesn’t want us to get married and to divorce again. This is what the Bible tells us several times.
And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:2-6)
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32)
Jesus doesn’t only say that you shouldn’t get divorced, but also that someone who marries a divorced woman or man commits adultery and causes his new spouse to commit adultery, too.