Guard Yourself Against Adultery

Guard Yourself Against Adultery

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.
—Proverbs 4:23

As we finish our review of the Seventh Commandment, I want to give you some practical ways to guard against an adulterous relationship in your life.

First, only marry a committed, growing Christian. Second Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” If you as a Christian bind yourself together with an unbeliever, there will be vacuum in your relationship. There will be a whole area of your life you are not free to share with your mate, and you will have a desire to share it with someone else. Make sure you only marry someone who has a vibrant, loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Second, commit to improving your marriage. Every one of our marriages could stand some improvement. Participate in marriage classes at your church. Take advantage of Christian books and sermons about marriage and the family. Seek out ways to strengthen life’s most important relationship, your relationship with your spouse.

Third, strengthen your mind with the Word of God. The battleground for sexual temptation is the mind, so one way to prevent adultery is to strengthen your mind with the Word of God. You cannot control every thought that comes into your mind. But we are responsible for what we do with those thoughts. Paul said, we need to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). We need to confront every thought with the truth of God’s Word. When you’re in the heat of temptation, it’s too late to start memorizing Scripture. You better know what the Word of God says.

Fourth, make your mate a priority. You see, you’re not the only one who’s being tempted by adultery; your mate is as well. And it’s very important that your spouse knows you are the most important relationship he or she has. It’s essential that we make our mate a priority—that our spouse knows he or she is more important to us than the kids, than our work, than any other part of our life—because our spouse is being tempted as well.

Finally, guard against tempting situations with members of the opposite sex. Avoid intimate settings with somebody else’s mate: eating together, traveling together, after-hour meetings. Avoid intimate conversations with somebody other than your spouse. Even casual conversation with a sexual edge can suddenly explode into something very serious. Be careful about sharing your innermost feelings to somebody of the opposite sex. Proverbs 4:23 is a good word for all of us: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Be very, very careful about your relationships with members of the opposite sex.

I realize that some of you have already suffered the devastating effects of adultery in your marriage. To those who are involved in adultery right now, you may think nobody knows about it, but God knows about it. And make no mistake: God will not allow the sin to go unpunished. God deals severely with adultery. What can you do if you’re involved in adultery? In a word: repent. To repent not only means to say to God I’m sorry for my sin, but it also means to turn away from that sin, to break off that relationship immediately.

Some of you have a mate who has committed adultery. What are you to do? If your mate is guilty of hard-hearted adultery and is unwilling to repent, then you have every right to divorce. But just because you have the right doesn’t necessarily mean you should divorce, especially if your mate is repentant and has turned away from that relationship. But whether or not you reconcile with your adulterating mate, you do have a responsibility to forgive him or her. Forgiveness is letting go of your right to hurt somebody else for hurting you. Reconciliation may not be possible, but forgiveness is essential. Paul said it this way in Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”


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.