Summary: Sermon on the Seventh Commandment
In the midst of marital disagreement it is not uncommon for a spouse to wonder if there isn’t somebody with whom they would be more compatible. Suleyman Guresci, of Izmir, Turkey, divorced his wife of twenty-one years after a bitter six-year court battle. In an effort to find the ideal woman, Guresci turned to a computer dating service. Ironically, from a list of two thousand prospective brides, the computer selected his former wife (his wife opted to use the same company in her search for a new husband). He responded to this information by deciding to remarry his wife just nine months after their divorce. He said, “I did not know that my ex-wife had been the ideal counterpart for a marriage. I decided to give it another try by being more tolerant toward her.” The ideal spouse might just be the one you’ve already married.
A forgetful husband thought he had conquered the problem of trying to remember his wife’s birthday and their anniversary. He opened an account with a florist, provided the florist with dates and instructions to send flowers along with an appropriate note signed, "Your loving husband." His wife was thrilled by this new display of attention. All went well until one day, many bouquets later, when he came home, kissed his wife, and said offhandedly, "Nice flowers, honey. Where’d you get them?"
Research demonstrates the futility of unfaithfulness in marriage. Of those who destroy their marriage because of someone else, 80 percent ultimately regret their decision. Of the 10 percent who actually do marry the person with whom they had an affair, 70 percent of them get another divorce. Simple math reveals the chances of staying married to the person for whom you left your spouse are three in one hundred. Nobody in their right mind would board a plane with just a 3 percent chance of arriving safely, yet many choose to gamble with those same odds in marriage. The Ten Commandments, Schlessinger and Vogel, 1998, p. 223
Obviously you would have to be completely ignorant to not know that we live in a society where marriage and respect for the vows of marriage have fallen on hard times.
The Seventh Commandment is not to be taken lightly. Until recently, adultery was universally considered an extremely serious crime. For centuries perpetrators were punished by fines, imprisonment, and, in the Bible times, death.
Why was it taken so seriously? Because adultery is an affront to God. The betrayal involved in this particular sin produces an extremely serious breach of trust that is devastating to its victims, particularly to women and children.
Adultery violates the fundamental elements of human relationship: trust. Adultery cannot be done without lying and deception. In fact, if you think about it when one commits adultery they break every other commandment, so it represents a total disregard for God’s word.
“Do not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
Humans are sexual beings! Scientists tell us that the human sex drive is virtually equal to our will to live. This is not a bad thing. We are this way because God has made us this way. He designed men and women with these desires. When God made humans, His first command to mankind was for them to multiply. God’s plan is for the sexual relationship to be between and husband and his wife only. Any other form of sexual expression, outside of that marital relationship, is sinful! This is the very area addressed by this 7th Commandment.
When we think of adultery, we automatically think of someone being unfaithful to their husband or wife. Yet, this Commandment is far broader than just this. Any sexual expression reserved for marriage done outside the confines of the marital relationship is a sin against God.
Adultery embraces sexual sin, married or not.
There are four outcomes that you need to be aware of and consider before you decide to go against this commandment.
1. Your Spouse: Adultery does incredible damage to one’s spouse!
When a man and woman marry, they become one flesh. (Gen. 2:24.) When one of the partners joins with a person outside that marriage contract, they have broken that bond and have joined with another. “the two become one flesh.” 1 Cor. 6:16
Adultery says to the innocent spouse, "You weren’t good enough for me." Adultery has the power to destroy the self-esteem of the innocent victim. Adultery destroys trust! Innocent spouse will have a hard time ever trusting the other spouse!
Perhaps this is why Jesus gave an escape clause in cases of sexual Immorality
“Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: "Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for any reason?" "Haven’t you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning `God made them male and female.’And he said, `This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together." "Then why did Moses say a man could merely write an official letter of divorce and send her away?" they asked. Jesus replied, "Moses permitted divorce as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery--unless his wife has been unfaithful." Matt. 19:3-9.