For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread.
What is the cost of adultery? As we continue to look at the Seventh Commandment, let me mention three ways that adultery destroys a person.
First, there is a physical cost to adultery. Today we know that millions of people suffer from sexually transmitted diseases that have spread primarily, overwhelmingly, by sex outside the marriage relationship. You may find it interesting that women are ten times more likely to contract HIV during sexual intercourse than men are. There’s been a 25 percent increase in AIDS. There is a physical cost for having sex outside of marriage.
Second, there is also a financial cost to adultery. Proverbs 6:26 says, “On an account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread.” This verse is talking about the financial cost of adultery. Did you know ten years after a divorce 73 percent of men and 80 percent of women experience a lower standard of living than they did before the divorce? There is a financial cost. It’s easy to see why. When you divorce you have attorney’s fees, the division of assets, the expense of keeping two households. He who would commit adultery is one who would be reduced to a loaf of bread.
Third, there is an emotional cost to adultery. For a period of time, adultery can be exhilarating. Sneaking around, having a private relationship you think nobody knows about, can feel exciting. Solomon was right when he said in Proverbs 9:17, “Stolen water is sweet.” I think sometimes we preachers make a mistake when we tell people that sin is not pleasurable, that sin is awful and terrible, and there’s no pleasure in it. Well, of course there’s pleasure in sin. Stolen water is sweet for a while. But in Proverbs 5:3–4, Solomon says, “The lips of an adulterous drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.” That exhilaration, the excitement that comes from adultery, is soon replaced with bitterness.
Not long ago, I came across an interesting survey of men who had divorced their wives and married someone else. Eighty percent of those men said given the chance we would go back and remarry their first spouse. It is deceitful thinking that there is something better on the other side of the fence. The truth is, the one who commits adultery is lacking in sense.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Safe Sex,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.