Crabtree Acres


YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY. Exodus 20:14, Deut. 5:18

This is a very “short and sweet” commandment, with no additional explanations or frills. We all know what this commandment means; therefore, it needs no frills. We are not to break our vows to God and to our husbands by committing adultery against them. I say “them” deliberately. When we have gone so far in our relationship with our husbands that we would commit adultery against them, then we are so far in our relationship with God that we commit spiritual adultery against Him as well.

Two of the fruit of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 are love and faithfulness. Another that may apply here is self-control. The world has no clue what true Godly love is, but we has Christians know what it is. Self-lessening love means we are living like Christ and want to give our way over to God’s way and live clean in our relationships with others. We want to serve those we love and not hurt them. We should be the same way in our relationship with God Himself. We want to serve Him and not bring hurt to His name. Therefore, we keep our vows we have made to another before Him. We also do not want to hurt our neighbor by committing adultery with her husband and bringing ruin to her home.

I’m sure that most of us here have not violated our marital vows in this way, so some of you think we can skip this commandment for these lessons. But Christ has shown us a different way to think of adultery that we may relate to in our lives. In Matthew 5:27-32 he says “You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman (I will insert “man” here) with lust for her/him has already committed adultery with her/him in his/her heart.” He goes on to say that this is so serious a sin that we should have our eyes torn out if they are causing us to stumble, because it is better to lose one part of our body now than to lose the entire body in hell later.

Years ago, when I was home and not working, I got hooked on soap operas. Even before that as a teenager I had read the romance novels. Thank goodness they were not as graphic as the ones available today, but they still did their part on me. These things – soap operas, romance novels and other worldly views of romance and marriage – gave me a distorted view of what marriage is supposed to be. I thought Greg should be the husband who met every need of my life and always be catering to my every wish. He was always supposed to be the lover who swept me off my feet and in addition be the most handsome man alive. You and I both know that this is an impossible image for any man to live up to, even the movie stars. We would be shocked to see some of our romance heroes without their makeup to take away the wrinkles and without the wigs to cover their balding spots. I’m sure our husbands look at us in later years and wonder what happened to the young bride they married that never gets really tired, has rough hands from gardening and has added pounds. These views we have cause us to become dissatisfied with our marriage and lead us to look on others as being someone who may meet those needs for us. We may never commit adultery, but we are lusting in our hearts for something that God did not allow us to have and Jesus said that this is adultery in our hearts. In the eyes of Christ we are guilty. We may not have someone specific in mind, but that does not matter. We do not love our own husbands the way God means for us to love them and we are breaking our vows to them and to God. I discovered in my own life that what really caused me to become dissatisfied at home was because I did not trust anyone in my life, my husband included. It was not because of anything he had done, but because of what others in my life had done. I saw unfaithfulness in someone else that I had trusted in my life and I came to think that if this person could be unfaithful to his family, any one could do that. When Greg and I married we knew we would never be able to have children. I came to think that he would soon be sorry about that, and eventually leave me for someone who could give him children. This distrust caused me to become fearful of being alone in my life and I fought back by trying to drive him away. Thank God, He stopped this pattern before it was too late and came into both of our hearts. I can honestly say that without Christ in our lives that Greg and I would have been divorced many years ago. Our marriage has been held together by Christ for 45 years so far. We have been through many things that would have destroyed many marriages, but God has been at the center of our home and I never want that to be different. Greg is a trustworthy husband, but I have found that even if we were not, God is a trustworthy God who can keep the two of us stable in Him. I have told you before that we are two very different people, but God has shown us how to appreciate the differences in us and how He can use us together to serve Him.

We live in a world filled with temptations of all types, but probably the worse temptation we have is in this area of sexual immorality. Women working around men all the time, seeing each other at their best dressed and smartest, come to appreciate each other in ways that their spouses take for granted. They can easily become attracted to each other and this eventually leads to adultery, especially in a world that says there is no other way to be happy. Being happy in this world is not God’s goal; it is Satan’s goal. Look at the temptation of Eve. Satan talked her into eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil by appealing to her desire to be happy and fulfilled as a person. A person who gives in to this temptation soon finds that being happy and fulfilled does not go along with adultery. In addition to finding out the new mate is human just like the old one was, they add guilt to the mix. I would image that also added to the mix is fear of disloyalty on the part of the new mate. There is also a certain amount of insecurity in the fact that if they were unfaithful to the first mates, they will probably be unfaithful with the second ones, etc.

True happiness and fulfillment in life is not found in a person, not even our husbands or wives. True happiness and fulfillment are found only in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the person who is to meet our needs and bring us joy through His Holy Spirit. This kind of joy is not what the world can give, but it is there for us even in the bad times and in the times when others desert us. We can depend upon Him regardless of how unfaithful others may be. We can trust that His love is unconditional and everlasting.

Another aspect of this commandment that has to be addressed is the spiritual adultery that God speaks about concerning His own bride, the church. In Ephesians 5:22-33 Paul gives a teaching concerning the relationship a husband and wife should have with each other, but he also compares this relationship to the relationship that Christ has with His church. In the same way that the church should be subject to Christ, “wives should be subject to their own husbands in everything.” God is using the marriage relationship of husbands and wives to show how the church should be in its relationship to Christ. When we break down the relationship of marriage, we also break down what Christ wants the church to see about Him. He tells husbands to love their wives in the same way that Christ loves his church and gave himself for her (his bride the church), so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word. This beautiful picture of the relationship of Christ and his church is broken down when the husband dishonors his wife by committing adultery against her. The entire book of Hosea shows how God wants to use marriage to show His relationship to his chosen people. He accuses them of being harlots when they go after false gods. God used drastic measures that we cannot understand to show this in Hosea’s life, but it must be extremely important to God if He used His prophet’s marriage to show this to His people. Today’s society has broken down the marriage relationship until we hardly recognize it anymore. Our young people have no idea what God had in mind when He designed marriage in the book of Genesis. The entire family structure has broken down into almost irreparable conditions and no one can understand what God wants to show us about Himself and how He loves His church anymore. In the same way that man was to leave his family and be joined to his wife, the church is to leave the world and be joined to Christ. He is to protect His church as the husband vows to do for his wife; we are to respect Christ as the wife is to respect her husband. Even in Ephesians 6 God carries this to the obedience of the children to the parents as we are to obey God as His children and slaves were to be obedient to their masters as we are to be servants of our Lord Jesus.

There are many reasons why we should not get caught up in the sin of adultery, and this picture is just one of them. Another is mentioned in I Corinthians 6:15-20. Our bodies as Christians do not belong to us anymore to do whatever we please. They are now members of Christ’s body. When we join ourselves to prostitutes or give ourselves as prostitutes to someone who is not our husband we are taking the body of Christ and joining it to sin. We tend to think of prostitutes as women who sell themselves for money. The Bible seems to have a different definition of that word. Anyone who gives themselves to another outside of marriage for any reason may be defined as a prostitute. In Corinthians Paul actually says that he who joins himself with a prostitute becomes one with her. There is something here that is hard to understand, but when we join ourselves to another in the sin of adultery, in God’s eyes we become one with that other person. It is not just a casual relationship that will never affect us physically or spiritually again. God is saying in I Cor. 6:17 that when we become one with Christ our spirit becomes one spirit with His. He may be saying the same thing happens when we have a sexual relationship with someone else, whether that person is our husband or not. He clearly says for us to flee from this sin, because every other sin a man commits is outside the body, but this sin is against His own body. If our body is the temple of the Lord, as He tells us it is, then this is a sin against the body of our Lord and His spirit as well. We are not our own anymore because we have been bought with a price –the blood of Christ. He tells us that our responsibility as temples of the Holy Spirit is to glorify God with our bodies.