“Protecting Your Marriage”
By Pastor Donald Parker
Most people say they try to obey the Ten Commandments, yet few can name them all. In Exodus 20:14 we find Commandment number seven; “You shall not commit adultery.”
Sexual gratification with whoever one chooses has become all too common in our society. Studies show that nearly 50% of married women and nearly 60% of married men have cheated on their spouse. Yet God clearly says, “You shall not commit adultery.”
God intended copulation as a wonderful blessing to be shared by a husband and wife within the boundaries of a marriage covenant. Those who choose to have intimate relations outside of marriage to satisfy their own desires will experience God’s judgment. Hebrews 13:4 “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.”
In the Old Testament, adultery according to the Law was such a serious sin that it carried the death penalty. Leviticus 20:10 “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife – both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.” The marriage covenant is serious business to God.
Prayerfully you’ve never been involved in a sexual extramarital affair; that’s really good news keep it that way! But Jesus says that even lustful looks constitute betrayal. Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ (28) But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
I believe most would agree, adultery is wrong; that it’s a sin. But the question one might ask is, “How can I protect my marriage from adultery?”
Before I answer that, I want you to consider someone driving down the highway or street in the wrong direction. If a person ignores the warning signs and enters a highway or city street headed in the wrong direction; going the wrong way, it’s going to end badly. Somebody is going to get hurt and people’s lives will be changed forever. So, whenever God says, don’t do something – don’t go that way – turn around – get out of there – it’s for your protection and for your benefit. It’s to keep you from running your life off in a ditch.
God gives us many ways to protect our marriage from adultery. First, to protect your marriage, you must commit to God’s standards; meaning agree with God about what He says about sex.
The Bible is clear; sex is for marriage only, not before marriage and not outside of marriage. That’s tough in today’s world so you’ve got to have a plan. In Psalm 119:9 we see the plan; “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.”
God’s standard is very clear in His word, “You shall not commit adultery.” It’s like going down a street in the wrong direction; it’s going to end badly. You don’t want to take the road to adultery. God says adultery is wrong; its sin and He’s never going to change His mind about that.
Something else you need to do is avoid ever going down the road of placing yourself in situations where you know you’re going to be tempted. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:12 “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.” Nobody is exempt from falling into temptation given the right situation. You have to set standards in order to keep you doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
One such standard is choosing your friends carefully; 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.” Most affairs occur between people who already know each other; they’re already friends. Therefore, your friends need to be people who are as strongly committed to their marriage, as you are to yours.
The good news is, for anyone who has committed adultery, Jesus offers forgiveness. Just as He did for the women caught in the very act of adultery in John 8:11, “Neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
The best way to get your life back on track is give your life to Jesus Christ. Jesus can and will forgive you of the sin of adultery and any other sin if you will give your life to Him. Maybe your heart has been broken because of an affair in your marriage; listen, there is hope in Jesus.
To hear more about how much God loves you and cares about every detail of your life, come join us Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m. First Baptist Church; A Place to Belong.