Summary: Why did God say no to adultery?
Why did God say no to adultery? Is it just another example of God being a narrow minded spoil sport? Isn’t he human? Can’t he feel that you may no longer love your marriage partner and that you profoundly love someone else? And doesn’t God understand, since he made us, what human love leads us to do? What is wrong with adultery?
I) BECAUSE SEX MATTERS
What is sex? The humanist says it is an appetite that must be fulfilled like eating and drinking and that sex is a hangover from our animal evolutionary history. Sex is simply a physical desire that must be satisfied at all costs and in any way.
But the bible indicates that sex is NOT only a physical thing it is a psychic thing. I mean by that, that a physical act of sex cannot be treated as the same thing as eating a delicious apple pie. For the simple reason that eating apple pie does not involve your whole personality. Sex does. By giving ourselves physically we give ourselves psychically, and we can never be the same again. The act of sex is irreversible both physically and emotionally.
In addition to this the bible points out that sex is not only a physical and psychological thing, but also a spiritual part of us. In Genesis 1 we see that man and woman were both made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore our sexuality somehow reflects the spiritual nature of God. In the N/T Paul goes as far as to say that marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church.
So God said NO to adultery because sex is not a casual affair, sex matters.
II) BECAUSE MARRIAGE MATTERS
He also said NO to adultery because marriage matters.
What exactly happens when two people marry? Is it merely a convenient contract? The bible says no. Something absolutely radical changes when two people marry, and it’s this: the two become one. Not just one flesh, though their bodies might be united, they become one person. Therefore if two have become one, then each person has become half (Which is the better half?)
Marriage reduces a person from one whole to a half of one whole. So as long as their marriage partner is alive, a spouse remains a half a married person. This is what the bible teaches us about marriage. It is not just a convenient contract, two have become one and each one have therefore become half, and is incomplete without the other. This is the meaning of marriage.
For this to take place there must be two circumstances which accompany it. Firstly there must be a cleaving between husband and wife and secondly a leaving between parent and child. There must be the breaking of a relationship and the making of a new unity. It’s because of this that marriage is never a private matter. It is not a thing that you can have with two people just deciding to live together.
Marriage effects other people, it effects society. This is why marriage is legally a public matter - you cannot get married without witnesses. You are breaking other relationships to make this one. A marriage effects others very, very deeply - when two become one. For one thing people are now related “in law” who were not related before. This is the meaning of marriage
III) BECAUSE LOVE MATTERS
The third reason God says NO to adultery is because love matters. And here I must say a little bit more about marriage.
What really is love? Or is it spelled L.U.R.V. lurv these days? Everybody’s singing about it; everybody’s talking about it, but what is it? How would you define love?
One of the problems we have in the English speaking world is that our language is so limited that we only use one word for everything to do with love. But there is more than one kind of love. And there are at least three kinds of love which are most common in a marriage. But only one of these has the ability to hold a marriage together.
a.The Rational view
……says that love is primarily a matter of the mind and of deciding who fits who. “Can you provide?” “Are you well matched?” “Does he have a good sense of humor?” “Can she cook like my mother?” “Is he athletic enough for you?” “Is she too pushy?” The rational approach is a remnant of a time when marriages were arranged by the parents.
There was once a couple and the man said, “I am making a list of your good points and when I get to twenty I will ask you to marry me - I am up to number 12 so you’d better hurry up.” And the woman replied, “Well I’m making a list of your bad points and when I get to twenty I’m out of here - I’m up to 19!”