single day, Satan brings marital relationships to a painful end, by using a
weapon that has been most effective since the beginning of time: adultery.
The consequences of adultery are great anguish for the
betrayed, shame for the betrayer and turmoil and confusion for countless
innocent children. Satan watches the suffering he causes humanity and
rejoices—every single day.
From the beginning, God knew, all too well, the horrific
consequences that adultery would have had on humanity and, thus, He forbad
it in the Ten Commandments.
“Thou Shalt not Commit adultery”
(Ex. 20:14 KJV).
To God marriage is holy and the union between man and women
is sacred. Adultery turns that which is holy into something unholy; that
which is sacred into something profane.
God made another stern pronouncement about adultery, in the
book of Leviticus.
the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that
committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the
shall surely be put to
(Leviticus 20:10 KJV).
In the New Testament, the message is exactly the same.
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but
fornicators and adulterers God will judge”(Hebrews
Thus, Paul totally supports the Old Testament teaching
that marriage is holy and that polluting it invites God’s wrath.
According to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy,
the percent of marriages where one or both spouses admit to either physical
or emotional infidelity is 41%. The number of men who have strayed at least
once in their married life is 22%. The number of women who strayed, at least
once, is 14%.[i]
The most worrisome revelation, according to the above journal
is that 74 % of men and 68% of women said they would have an affair,
if they knew they would never get caught.
This is clearly an indication that American men and women are
quite open about mental adultery and that lusting after other men or women
has become quite common.
If this is common, in time so will the probability of actually becoming
involved in an adulterous relationship, which will in many case lead to
WHERE DO WE FIT?
How are we doing in this regard? Are we clean? What
about mental adultery? Could it be that our mind is filled with mental
adultery, like most American men and women seem to be? If so, Christ made it
clear that even mental adultery was unacceptable.
You have heard that it was said to those of old,
“You shall not commit adultery.”
But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has
adultery with her in his heart(Matthew
Do we have lustful eyes? Do we lust after women or men on
TV? On the Internet?
Men are visually driven. That is one of the well established
differences between men and women. Men are attracted by skin. The more skin
is exhibited the more the male mind wants to look and lust. Some women are
attracted visually as well, but, overall, women tend not to be attracted by
skin as much as men.
Christian women need to be aware of this reality. Christian
women should dress modestly and not contribute to this problem. That is why
skirts should be as close to the knee as possible. Skirts that pull up when
sitting will attract men’s eyes and it can lead to lust in men.
Low-cut dresses are a problem. Very low-back dresses are a
problem as well, though not as much. Very tight skirts can be a problem, as
they tend to attract male attention. Very tight pants are a problem as well.
The male mind tends to go beyond the pants and immediately visualizes what’s
under the cloth, thus leading to lust.
In Summer, shorts should not be very short. Very short shorts
become exceptionally short when one bends down. And they should not
be very tight either.
Christian women should strive to be conservative with their
bathing suits, as should be men, of course.
Shaunti Feldhahn, in her book, What I Didn't Know About
Men, informs us that “Men are visual.” She then adds, “What that
means in practice: Even happily married men struggle with being pulled
toward live and recollected images of other women.”
Yes, men are visual. Christian men have to struggle with this
tendency as well—and struggle they must! God expects us to keep our
eyes under control and to turn away, as soon as we feel lustful feelings.
Christian men cannot blame women, if they lust. They cannot
say, “It’s their fault, because they dress seductively.” We men must look
away, when that is necessary; we must switch channel, when that is required;
we must leave the room, if something could lead us to lust.
Christian women are expected to help Christian men in this
regard, by making this problem next to nonexistent in the church. Christian
women should never be the subject of unwanted attention, because of
revealing too much of their bodies.
When it comes to fighting adultery, the best approach is to
nip it in the bud. We must be well aware of traps brought to us by Satan.
Adultery doesn’t just happen; there are stages that precede
it. Before Adultery there is the meeting of someone. This leads to
liking the someone, which leads to wanting to be around the someone, which
leads to infatuation and obsessive thinking about the person, which leads to
secret meetings and, finally, the consummation — and then guilt, and then
possible addiction to the adultery, and then more guilt, and then moving
away from God and His people, and then serious problems within the family,
and then fracturing of marriages, and then deep depression and finally
spiritual death, unless repented of.
Women tend to be particularly susceptible to emotional
attachments. In fact, some carry on with emotional adultery and never go
into the actual adultery. Even so, their heart is alienated from their
husbands and, thus, they are mentally in a state of adultery.
It is important to be aware of the steps listed above and to
put an end to them, once recognized.
The major key is to ask God immediately for help to
resist and be delivered from the temptation, or Satan will pull us in, until
resisting will be next to impossible.
Proverbs chapter 5 dedicates several verses to warning us
about the evils of adultery.
pay attention to my wisdom;
Lend your ear to my understanding,
2 That you may preserve discretion,
And your lips may keep knowledge.
3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey,
And her mouth is smoother than oil;
4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of hell.
6 Lest you ponder her path of life—
Her ways are unstable;
You do not know them.
Therefore hear me now, my children,
And do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Remove your way far from her,
And do not go near the door of her house,
9 Lest you give your honor to others,
And your years to the cruel one;
10 Lest aliens be filled with your wealth,
And your labors go to the house of a foreigner;
11 And you mourn at last,
When your flesh and your body are consumed,
12 And say:
“How I have hated instruction,
And my heart despised correction!
13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!
14 I was on the verge of total ruin,
In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
Drink water from your
And running water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be only your own,
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman,
And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?
ways of man are before the eyes of the
And He ponders all his paths.
22 His own iniquities entrap the wicked man,
And he is caught in the cords of his sin.
23 He shall die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
inspired Solomon to give such a long warning because He is well aware of the
power of sexual temptations on the part of immoral women and wants all men
to be proactive and to stay away from such temptresses, when they come
principle, of course, applies to women as well. There are lots of very
seductive handsome men around who will say and do all it takes to manipulate
and seduce naive women, so as to use them sexually and then abandon them to
guilt, shame and ruin.
Adultery is, therefore, to be evaded. The pulls toward
adultery must be fought. The best way to fight adultery is to be proactive.
Here are some principles that may help:
must accept the fact that adultery can happen to each and every one of us.
We must never think we’re immune. Thinking that we are
undefeatable would be begging for trouble.
The Apostle Paul gives a very
sober warning to such people:
let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12).
that Satan loves this device—because
he knows it works.
Sexual temptations worked with mighty David, and they can
work with us as well—and it can happen when we least expect it.
Thus, we can safely expect that Satan will most probably try it on us
mentally, or in real life. Christians must always be on guard and expect the
possibility that Satan may attack at any time.
not forget that a person who commits adultery doesn’t just betray a mate—he/she
betrays God as well.
If a Christian falls to Satan’s temptation, he or she will
not just abandon his relationship with his or her mate, he/she abandons his
or her relationship with God.
The greatest betrayal is of the Father who loves us and the
Son who died for our sins.
4. Know for certain that adultery
may be hidden from man, but not from God, and that God, in time, will make
it come out in the open.
There are many examples where God made sure that the affair
was found out in the most amazing of ways—even though it may have been
hidden with great care.
that punishment will for certain follow—and
sometimes it is quite drastic.
There will be mental agony at first in the form of guilt and
then depression and anger and then whatever consequence God has in store for
the adulterer, which could be quite painful.
is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and
adulterers God will judge“(Hebrews
This implies a firm consequence on God’s part, so as to get
the adulterer to repent.
that adultery, even if it is just mental and emotional, separates from God
and, thus, it takes away God’s protection, and opens the doors to curses—and
to attacks from Satan.
Sin separates from God—and it links us to Satan. When we
commit adultery, we move into the Devil’s camp and we become his servants.
The great enemy will finally reward us with pain, anguish and even
that if we are tolerant of the stages that precede consummation, the rest
will be hard to resist.
Adultery starts in the mind. It starts with thoughts and
emotions. Unless it is caught at the early stages, it will turn into an
obsession which will potentially translate into action.
out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications,
thefts, false witness, blasphemies”(Matthew
We, therefore, must fight evil thoughts as they arise, and
must do our utmost to prevent them from finding residence in our minds.
“…and take every thought captive to obey Christ,"
(2 Corinthians 10:5).
By doing so we don't have to fight a more powerful battle
later on, when the temptation may be a lot harder to resist.
of things that contribute to lustful thoughts and to adultery.
Sexually explicit shows and movies, soap operas. They intentionally use very
attractive, and seductive men and women to get watchers to become addicted.
A great blessing and a great curse. Way too many Christians have become
slaves to pornographic web sites. The Internet has become one of Satan's
greatest tools. If Christians become addicted, and they don’t stop—the
end result can be disastrous.
Watching pornographic movies means inviting disaster, even if watched with
one's mate. It will invariably lead to lusting and fantasizing about the
seductive actor or actress. It is poison!
of work. Many affairs take place with people at work.
Meeting new people makes the possibility for adultery
greater. As the number of women who enters the work force increases so does
the level of adultery.
We Christian men and women must be fully aware of this and
must always be on guard. If someone is getting too close, keep your
distance. Make your values evident. Make your commitment evident.
Keep your language clean, and wear conservative. By so doing, you will
project a clean image.
If you have problems with your mate, know that Satan will
provide kind, understanding, loving men or women to entrap you.
Many affairs have started with supportive friends of the
opposite sex, during difficult times. Such friendships can easily
deteriorate into strong emotional and, finally, sexual relationships.
Spending much non-work-related time alone with fellow workers
of the opposite sex is very risky. It can, in time, lead to adultery—and
Pray every morning Christ’s prayer: “Deliver us from evil or the Evil One.”
Why? Because Jesus knew that every day Satan would try to
trap us. God’s help is critical to protect us from falling into Satan’s
The greater the closeness to God the greater the ability to see danger
approaching, and the greater will be the strength to say “No!” when the
temptation comes our way.
Christ’s words, “The flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41) is
absolutely true and in Satan’s hands it becomes very weak.
Satan uses temptation to get us to commit adultery, quite
successfully, and we must resist and fight and persist in the fight day in
and day out.
Jesus Christ also gave us the secret to success and it is
found in the Gospel of Matthew.
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit
indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26: 41).
Though the flesh is weak, God’s spirit is willing,
that is, it is willing and able to do move us to do what is right. It
is willing to help us say no, when a man or woman comes our way as Satan’s
instrument to get us to sin.
If you have committed adultery, and you are a Christian or a
person of faith, you have tasted the bitter consequences of this destructive
sin. You have tasted the guilt and the shame; you have experienced the
negative impact it can have on one's self esteem.
You may have also seen the consequences on your marital
relationship and on others around you.
To you God says very simply, "Repent and start anew." If you
repent and ask for forgiveness, you will be a new person. If your repentance
is sincere, to God you will be totally clean.
Just remember Jesus Christ's words to the woman caught in
adultery: "Go and sin no more" (John 8:11 KJV).
If you are now committing adultery, and you are convinced
that your sinful behavior is wrong and that it must end, wait no longer. It
is never too late. God longs to see you stop hurting yourself and others.
His words to you are the following:
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they
be red like crimson, they shall be as wool"
Please listen to His invitation and spare yourself all the
mounting anguish that awaits you, if you won't stop.
The problem of adultery, therefore, abounds. It is a serious
problem with serious consequences. But the solutions abound as well and they
are very simple: Prayer, Bible study and fasting.
By having an intimate relationship with God, we are daily
energized to fight temptations—and to win. God will provide us with
unlimited energy to resist, and finally Satan will flee from us, as the
They are three barriers that Satan cannot penetrate. They are
weapons that the flesh cannot win against.
As we have seen, adultery has become a real scourge on
society. The consequences are disastrous for the sinner as well as the
To fight adultery it is best to be proactive. We must keep in
mind that Satan will attack whenever he can and that he will use very
seductive men and women to get us to sin.
The tools at our disposal are very powerful, but they must be
God is on our side, and He will empower those who want to
live a holy life. He is also longing to see those who have been trapped by
this sin, stop, repent and strive to live a spiritually clean lives once
THE NEXT WORK OF THE FLESH:
The Works of the Flesh:
The Fruits of the
Copyright, Michael Caputo, 2009.