Summary: What to do to prevent adultery and how to recover from an adulterous relationship.
Whenever God gives us a negative He always has a positive purpose behind it. He always has a reason. His purpose is usually not to cause pain but for your protection. When you play by God’s rules you win.
Our series of messages for the last 6 weeks have been on the Ten Commandments. I have been trying to apply the Commandments to family living. We have now come to the 7th Commandment. In simple language and in 5 words the Commandment says: “You Shall Not Commit Adultery.”
Nothing destroys a family faster than adultery. Even the mention of this word causes some of you pain and memories of shame. The purpose of this message is not to resurrect your past. If you have confessed a sin to God you’ve been forgiven.
I want to focus on the future. God is no kill-joy. God invented sex. Like anything it must be controlled. All God’s gifts have limitations on them. Like Water – You can’t live without it. But, too much of it and you can drown. Fire – it can either warm you or burn you. It’s how you handle it.
God has given you a drive called SEX. Properly controlled and expressed within marriage it’s beautiful and fantastic. But outside of marriage it is destructive and detrimental to your health – emotionally, physically and spiritually.
God wants us to use sex as a tool for building a marriage - not to destroy it.
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. NKJV
It is easier to get married than to stay married. Today’s world has become very permissive. Sex is everywhere (TV, newspapers, billboards, etc.). Readers Digest did a study and said 50% of all husbands and 35% of all wives have committed adultery. This happens among Christians too.
I want to give you two broad categories today: (1) The prevention to adultery, (2) The pathway back from adultery.
I. THE PREVENTION TO ADULTERY
There are 6 steps I want to give you this morning on how to prevent adultery:
1. Make a commitment to God’s standards.
Regardless of past or present failures, make a commitment today to maintain God’s standards. The Bible says that sex is for marriage only – not before marriage, not outside of marriage.
9 How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
Adultery should never be an option. There is no justification for it.
Illus.- Joseph could have given in. He could have reasoned: “I’m young, attractive, single, I’m in a foreign country, it’s acceptable in this society, she wants it, I desire it, it might help me in my career, I am emotionally scarred, my brothers hate me, sold me into slavery, my mother died when I was young, I’ve had a terrible life, deprived of love – I DESERVE IT!
Instead Joseph turned and ran. He said, “I will not sin against my God.”
Proverbs says, “Be faithful to your own wife. Give your love to her alone” (5:15). Literally it says, “Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well.” This is an exciting passage (verses 15-20) on sex in marriage, mark it down and read it.
I’m grateful to pastor Rick Warren from where I get much of my material for this series. He said, “I got a card one time from a lady in the church that was suggestive. She is no longer here. When I get that kind of stuff I just hand it over to Kay (his wife) and ask her to answer it. She never wrote again.”
#1, Make a commitment to God’s standards.
2. Magnify the Consequences
Remind yourself of the devastation that is caused by sexual sin. The shame never goes away. The sense of loss to everyone is enormous.
Proverbs 6:26 says, “An adulterer will prey upon a man’s precious life, he will be reduced to a crust of bread.”
Here are three reasons to be faithful to your husband or wife: (1) I love Jesus Christ. He said if you love me keep my commandments, (2) I love my wife (or husband) and kids. The thought of hurting them is unbearable to even think of. (3) I fear the judgment of God. The Bible says, “Adulterers and fornicators God will judge” (Heb.13:4).
Adultery is basically selfishness. The adulterer says, “Forget how it hurts others, I want sexual gratification.” Instead of working to improve your sexual relationship with your wife you seek after the image of sex given by Hollywood or the Internet. One counselor told me that pornography has become so prevalent in the lives of men that it is tearing marriages apart. It creates a sexual addiction.