Chapter 7 "Immoralities"
But because of immoralities,
let each man have his own wife,
and let each woman have her own husband.
—1 Corinthians 7:2
There are so many men who fall into the sin of immorality. Christian men are falling at an overwhelming rate. The Bible documents that this sin of immorality has been plaguing men all throughout history. Why? Let us look to Scripture for the answers. What can we learn from those who fell and those who remained steadfast?
The foundation, bought with a price. The foundation of our faith and following God’s Word always comes down to one key element—who we are in Christ Jesus. “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).
Not to touch a woman. “Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Cor. 7:1).
But because of immoralities. “But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2).
Authority over her own body. “Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (1 Cor. 7:3–4). We as men see these verses and think, “Great, now I’ve got the proof I need!” Yes, we have the written proof that our wives are to be submissive to our advances, but what else is this verse telling us? Are you fulfilling and meeting her needs? Do you speak with love toward her consistently during the day so that her heart will long to be with you? Or must intimacy be her “duty” to you and a burden she must bear? “. . . that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word . . .” (Eph. 5:26). Have you cleansed your wife with kind words lately?
Lack of self-control. “Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Cor. 7:3).
Loves himself. Would your wife say that you love her or yourself more? Is your purpose in life based upon giving to others or getting for yourself? “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself . . .” (Eph. 5:28). If you are dissatisfied with your intimacy with your wife, could it be because you have forgotten an important lesson Jesus taught us: “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38). This is a rewarding principle that should be applied to all areas of your life.
Cherishes. “. . . For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body” (Eph. 5:29–30). The definition of cherish is to hold dear, to nurture. Do you hold your wife dearly; do you nurture her with your loving and kind words?
Biblical Examples of Moral Purity
Daniel was innocent—free from guilt or sin. Daniel is an example of an innocent man. We are very much aware of his life of continual testing, but because of his innocenceGod delivered him. “My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him, and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime” (Dan. 6:22).
Job was blameless—free from fault. Job is an example of a blameless man who pleased God. “And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil’” (Job 1:8). What was the secret to Job’s blameless life?
He feared the Lord. “He will bless those who fear the Lord, the small together with the great” (Ps. 115:13).
He turned from evil. “And let him turn away from evil and do good” (1 Pet. 3:11). When you remove something sinful from your life, you must replace it with something good. (See also “Weapons of our Warfare” for more knowledge: “For my people perish for a lack of knowledge,” Hos. 4:6.)
Therefore, Job was blessed by God. “Blessed are those whose way is blameless” (Ps. 119:1).
We are also very much aware of Job and his difficult circumstances. “Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!’” (Job 2:9). A non-supporting spouse, such as Job had, should not deter us from these guidelines.
Job’s secret. How was Job able to stay morally pure even after he had lost everything and was bound to a contentious wife? “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? . . . If my step has turned from the way, or my heart followed my eyes . . .” (Job 31:1–7). Let us also look at: “To keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, nor let her catch you with her eyelids” (Prov. 6:24–25).
There is danger in making eye contact with those who we are trying to avoid. But, you say, I have never been unfaithful to my wife! “. . . But I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). How many women do you suppose you have looked at since you first became aware of the opposite sex? How much pornography have you consumed? If this is the cord of sin that is holding you, Satan knows he can keep you ineffective in your Christian walk, keep you and your wife in continuous struggles, and keep you in bondage as one of his slaves!
Job said, “Does He (God) not see my ways, and number all my steps? If I have walked with falsehood, and my foot has hastened after deceit, let Him weigh me with accurate scales, and let God know my integrity” (Job 31:4–6). Are you a man of integrity?
What does His Word say about adultery?
Adultery is one of the Ten Commandments. The seventh commandment of the Ten Commandments is “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exod. 20:14). In the seventh chapter of Proverbs, we learn in detail the ways of the adulteress. This chapter of A Wise Man is also number seven. When you are in need of renewing your mind you will now be able to quickly find the food for your soul, “to keep you from the strange woman.”
God will eventually bring on His wrath. “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For on account of these things the wrath of Godwill come” (Col. 3:5–6). It doesn’t say “may come”—it says “will come”! “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, and again, the Lord will judge His people. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God’” (Heb. 10:30–31). If you have gotten away with hidden sins so far, it is only because we serve a merciful God who has given you time to repent. If this is convicting you, repent now—don’t wait another day! “For nothing is hidden that shall not become evident, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17).
The adulteress flatters. Hopefully, you haven’t fallen into the sin of adultery. However, the Bible warns us that the adulteress is out there in the streets flattering us and appealing to our egos. “To deliver you from the strange woman, from the adulteress who flatters with her words . . .” (Prov. 2:16). “That they may keep you from an adulteress, from the foreigner who flatters with her words” (Prov. 7:5). What we as men need from our wives is edification. What’s the difference between flattering and edifying? When someone flatters, their motivation is to get something from that person. One who edifies, or builds up, is motivated by giving—expecting nothing in return. Two women can be saying basically the same thing, yet their hearts are different.
When your secretary or co-worker flatters you, watch out! “With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life” (Prov. 7:21–23). But, you may say, “Those words make me feel so good, and I haven’t heard them for so long from my wife!”
Then you need to ask your wife out on a date. As long as you are alive, you should be dating your wife at least once a week. Ask her out; don’t just assume you are going out. Court her throughout the week with your kind and loving words as you both anticipate “date night.”
Be sure you have a plan; don’t make her have to figure out what the two of you are going to do. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter where you go or how much money you spend; it’s being together. If your wife has been deprived of going out somewhere nice or she hasn’t bought a new dress in ages, anticipate this need and offer it to her before she has to ask (or even hint). Just remember what you did years ago to get her; this will guide you in how to keep her. Once you give out of the fullness of your heart, unselfishly, it will return to you. Your motivation cannot be to give only to get, but rather, to give expecting nothing in return.
What can we learn from Scripture to keep us from the adulteress?
Her speech entices men. “For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it” (Prov. 5:3–6).
She uses her speech to pull men into certain spiritual death. “With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to slaughter. So he does not know it will cost him his life” (Prov. 7:21–23). Many wives whose husbands have fallen into the pit of adultery have reported that they warned their husbands of the enticing adulteress, yet they did not listen!
Once again, it is her speech that pulls a man into adultery. “That they may keep you from an adulteress, from the foreigner who flatters with her words” (Prov. 7:5).
The adulteress will cause a man to suffer financially. “To keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, do not let her catch you with her eyelids. For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, and an adulteress hunts for the precious life. Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out” (Prov. 6:24–33). How many seemingly intelligent men have found wounds and disgrace from this temporary pleasure?
And again God says that the adulterer will suffer financially. “He who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth” (Prov. 29:3). Many men think they are too successful for this to ever happen to them. God’s Word applies to all. Every man will finally end up in a financial collapse. And men, your wife and children will also suffer financial collapse. Many middle and upper-middle class women who are married to adulterers have found themselves in line collecting food stamps!
Where do most men meet these adulteresses? She is usually found at or connected with his place of work. “A woman comes to meet him, dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart, she is boisterous and rebellious; her feet do not remain at home” (Prov. 7:5). “For the harlot is a deep pit, and an adulterous woman is a narrow well. She lurks as a robber, and increases the faithless among man” (Prov. 23:28). The adulteress is almost always the working woman, whether she is married or not. Most men have left their wives for women who are not as attractive as their wives and aren’t even their “type.” It is their job that keeps them in close contact.
Many persuasions. Men, when you share your problems with another woman, she’ll just “reel you in.” Sometimes it’s her sad situation that is shared and you feel sorry for her, and again, she “reels you in.” “With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool . . .” (Prov. 7:21). Men, you need no female friend, period. It doesn’t matter if you never felt attracted to her; it doesn’t matter if she is fat or much too old or even a complete slob!
In Restore Ministries, we have seen every one of these types lead a seemingly sane and intelligent man to slaughter! I will say it again: you have no business carrying on personal conversations with any woman other than your wife, whether it be in person, by phone, or over the internet! It is a trap of the devil to be avoided at all costs, even if it means finding a new job! “And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matt. 5:29–30).
The adulteress is deceived into thinking that she has done nothing wrong. “This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong’” (Prov. 30:20). The excuse of the adulteress is that she is innocent because the husband was so miserable or he had nothing in common with his wife, even though they may have spent twenty-five years together or raised a houseful of children! But God said, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Prov. 31:30). If your wife is not interested in a sinful type of fun, thank the Lord for your wife; “she (should) be praised” (Prov. 31:28).
The adulteress is an enemy of God! “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Men, as Christians we should not associate with anyone who God says is an enemy of His.
God will give time to repent and then cause great tribulation! “And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will cast her upon a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds” (Rev. 2:22). We have seen this testimony often in our ministry. The adulterous men are in “great tribulation.” We have also seen at least four cases in which the adulterous woman, who would not repent, after a time was stricken with a significant illness (i.e., lupus, cancer). In addition we know of two cases where a child of the adulterous woman died. “And I will kill her children with pestilence; and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds” (Rev. 2:23). One woman lost a child to what the doctors said was a “parasite.” We also know of another case where the adulterous woman (a professing Christian) continued to pursue in boldness another woman’s husband after many warnings. Her oldest son died of a brain tumor.
Adultery is a spiritual battle raged against the flesh. This battle must be fought and won in the Spirit. Please read Chapter 5, “Weapons of our Warfare.” to understand more about spiritual warfare. Please ignore and resist the temptation to fight this in the flesh. It is a spiritual battle. It must be fought and won in the Spirit.
How can I guard myself against falling into adultery?
What can I do to guard myself against the pit of adultery? First acknowledge that you are not above this sin just because you haven’t fallen. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). It is God’s hand and His mercy that have saved you thus far! “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9).
A man of excellence, Paul. “And this I [Paul] pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and in all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:9–10). What did Paul attribute to an excellent, sincere, and blameless life? It was real knowledge and discernment.
Real knowledge. Paul tells us to get real knowledge—knowledge of what is good, not the trivia that today’s world is so preoccupied with, and not the knowledge of evil that the newspaper so vividly teaches us. Pore over the Scriptures, reread this chapter many times, mark your Bible, and hide God’s Word in your heart. “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Ps. 119:11, KJV). It must be the hidden treasure of your heart. “Thy Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee” (Ps. 119:11).
All discernment. We learned from 1 Peter to “turn from evil.” (This action takes all discernment, which we will also study later in this chapter.)
Undefiled: without spot. Men, most of us are also fathers, and as fathers it is our responsibility to help our daughters to remain morally pure. The woman in Song of Solomon was committed to purity. You want that for your daughters, but isn’t your wife someone’s daughter, sister, granddaughter, or niece? Song of Solomon 6:9: “My dove, my undefiled is but one . . .” Our example as Christians, “followers of Christ,” is Jesus Himself who was described as “innocent and undefiled.” “For it is fitting that we should have such a high priest [Jesus], holy, innocent, undefiled . . .” (Heb. 7:26).
Virtuous woman. “Who can find a virtuous woman?” (Prov. 31:10, KJV). Today, virginity has almost become extinct. Since a woman is to be untouched, dating must be out of the question. If you do the research, you will find that when dating became the norm, morality in our country plummeted. Dating is a 20th-century invention. As a father, rethink this idea of dating in light of the rotten fruit that has resulted from this dangerous practice. Encourage courting and save the dating until after the marriage. Also, be very careful of church youth groups and youth camps. The most important way to renew your mind is to eliminate the label “teen” or “teenager.” Instead, refer to your daughter as a young woman or a young lady. If you want her to grow up properly, her time should be spent with her mother, and her friends should be her mother’s friends and other godly women. Undoubtedly one of the most important relationships is your relationship with your daughter. Would you say you have a relationship? How good is it? Do you two have a deep love for one another? Do you have her heart now? If so, keep it and protect it until you give her hand in marriage. If you don’t have a close relationship with your daughter(s), begin now to win her heart by spending time with her, listening to her, and showing her understanding.
Virgin: a woman untouched. The priests in the Bible were to take a virgin because of what impurity would do to their children. “And he [the priest] shall take a wife in her virginity—that he may not profane his offspring . . .” (Lev. 21:13). Men, if you intend to have a godly heritage, you must keep your daughters protected from those who would steal their virginity and therefore steal your godly heritage. How can you possibly accomplish this enormous task in this day and age?
There are many books on the subject of courtship versus dating. Another way of gaining the knowledge you’ll need to guide your family is by talking to men whose daughters have remained morally pure. Now, we all know that some “appear” pure; some may even boast of their pureness because they have not yet “gone all the way.” God tells us that a true virgin is untouched. Your wife is probably a good judge; we men are usually “snowed.” Are you taking on your responsibility to protect your daughter properly? You are ultimately responsible! If your wife and/or your daughter are fighting you concerning your protection of them, stand firm, now! You can’t get back your daughter’s virginity once it is gone.
Why would any young man want a virtuous woman? Because “a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband . . .” (Prov. 12:4 KJV). The NASB states it as: “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband . . .” (Prov. 12:4). Do you want the Truth about the virtuous woman?
Virtue: excellence. An example of an excellent and virtuous woman in the Bible is Ruth: “And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence” (Ruth 3:11). Can your sons ever hope to find this type of wife? “An excellent wife, who can find?” (Prov. 31:10). Are you training your sons to stay away from the adulterous woman and the harlot? Or has your lack of training or example left them wide open to the seductions of a “Delilah”? What are your hopes for your sons? Do you care? Or are you too involved in your work or sports?
Difficult times will come. “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth” (2 Tim. 3:1–7).
Is this a description of you? Have you put pressure on your wife to live the sinful ways of the world to satisfy your lusts? Have you told her that this will keep you from adultery? The world tells us that a wife should act as a harlot—before and after the marriage. Even Christian books on marriage encourage a woman to act as a harlot or a “mistress.” This will not keep us from adultery. The opposite is true. How do we know?
Because of the fruits! “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16). What are the fruits of our wives imitating harlots and their ways? Aren’t there more men in adultery than ever before? Doesn’t adultery run rampant even in the church? If our wives participate in lingerie parties, shop at stores like Victoria’s Secret, or have their picture taken at Glamour Shots (so they can look like they posed for Playboy) to try to keep and please us, then they are imitating harlots and their ways. Even Wal-Mart, the all-American store, displays and sells articles that could only have been purchased in Frederick’s of Hollywood just a few years ago! Let us remember: “You adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
The marriage bed. Next time you are tempted to buy, or encourage your wife to buy, an article of clothing that a harlot would wear, ask yourself if you are not setting her up as an adulteress and you for certain unfaithfulness. Let us rather rise above those in the world as well as those who are being deceived in the church. When you commit yourself to keeping your bed undefiled, God will reward you and your wife with more pleasurable intimacy than you can ever imagine. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled . . .” (Heb. 13:4). Of course trials and temptations will come your way; but, if you are steadfast, the reward will be close at hand.
Warning: Never tell your son to look at a woman who is indecently dressed or attractive; you are encouraging him to lust. Even if you don’t tell him to look, he will follow your example; do you look? Some men unconsciously look without even thinking. Men, start thinking about it and consciously look away! It shames your wife if you look at another woman whether she is with you or not.
Joseph’s discretion. The definition of discretion is action based upon caution. Discretion in the thesaurus is: attentive, careful, cautious, considerate, discerning, prudent. Many godly men have fallen into the pit of adultery, both today and in Biblical times. One of the men in Scripture who did not fall was Joseph. Let’s look at this situation with the boss’s wife to learn “action based upon caution.”
Discerning and wise. Because of Joseph’s life of trials and tribulations, he acquired discernment as well as wisdom. “So Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are’” (Gen. 41:39).
“And it came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, ‘Lie with me.’ But he refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘. . . How then could I do this great evil, and sin against God?’” (Gen. 39:7). Joseph could discern that sin is always against God. David remembered this after his sin of adultery. “Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight, so that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, and blameless when Thou dost judge” (Ps. 51:4). If you think that your wife deserves your unfaithfulness because of her coldness or because you never can get along, think again—“Against God,God only” have you sinned!
“Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside” (Gen. 39:11). Billy Graham has stated that he is never with another woman alone, period! He says that sometimes it is quite difficult, but it is well worth the trouble or inconvenience it causes. He never is alone in a car, alone in his office, or alone in a restaurant with a woman. One time he said that a woman was assigned to pick him up from the airport for one of his speaking engagements. He called the church to see if other arrangements could be made. When they couldn’t, he took a cab. Maybe you feel that this is going to extremes, but the proof is in the fruits. Wouldn’t Satan just love to destroy this man’s ministry the way he has destroyed so many others! How many pastors have run off with one of their flock? How many men have left with their secretaries? Come on, men—this is war! Cover yourself; don’t leave your guard down and yourself wide open for an attack!
“And she caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me!’ And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside” (Gen. 39:12). “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). Men, don’t wait until you must run out naked, literally or figuratively! When you come across a situation that could possibly become a problem, flee!!! This is no time to stand firm. Move, get another job, ask for a transfer, or fire her. If you don’t, you are making a terrible mistake.
“When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had fled outside, she called to the men of her household, and said to them, ‘See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed.’ And it came about when he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, that he left his garment beside me and fled, and went outside. So she left his garment beside her until his master came home” (Gen. 39:13). If you lie with another woman, or even get close to lying with another woman, she will someday, somehow, tell others everything.
In Restore Ministries, we have heard numerous accounts of the adulteress calling the wife to tell her every little perverted detail. This usually happens when the husband is trying to break away from his sin of adultery; the adulteress feels rejected and responds in this manner. (Have you noticed that this manual has never called adultery an “affair”? Adultery is not an affair; the word “affair” connotes a party. This is no party, not for anyone involved. Adultery is a sin that brings great pain and destruction to the lives of everyone concerned. It also destroys the Christian testimony by making a mockery of God and His Word if the adulterer has proclaimed himself to be a Christian.)
“So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her will not go unpunished . . .” (Prov. 6:29). “The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out. For jealousy enrages a man, and he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not accept any ransom, nor will he be content though you give many gifts” (Prov. 6:32–35).
Discretion (defined as prudence, discerning caution) is certainly what is needed. God tells us that if we lack discretion, we can acquire it by reading the book of Proverbs. “[The Proverbs] . . . give prudence to the naive, to the youth knowledge and discretion” (Prov. 1:4). Read the Proverbs daily, one chapter for each day of the month (e.g., on the twelfth day of the month, read the twelfth chapter of Proverbs.)
And by having discretion, you are protected. “Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you, to deliver you from the way of evil . . .” (Prov. 2:11–12).
Discretion is also the lifeline to your soul. “My son, do not let them depart from your sight; keep sound wisdom and discretion, so they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck. Then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down you will not be afraid and your sleep will be sweet” (Prov. 3:21–22).
The foundation for discretion is wisdom and understanding. When you have obtained them, you will be able to use discretion. “My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; then you may observe discretion, and your lips may reserve knowledge” (Prov. 5:1–2).
If I have fallen into adultery, can I ever be truly forgiven?
What did Jesus say? Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “Did no one condemn you? . . . Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on, sin no more” (John 8:10–11). Sin, any sin that is confessed and truly repented for, will be forgiven by God. Jesus paid the price for all our sins by going to the cross. But remember, Jesus not only forgave, He also said, “From now on, sin no more.”
Don’t be quick to judge other men who are struggling or have fallen. Jesus also said to the people who wanted this woman in adultery punished, “He who is without sin among you, cast the first stone” (John 8:7). Are you without sin; are you ready to cast the first stone at others because you haven’t physically committed adultery? “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). As we have seen, truthfully most of us have committed adultery in the light of the Scripture “Everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery.”
When God refers to adulterers and fornicators, He says, “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).
Most important is repentance. Repentance means turning away from the evil and doing good. Most men remain in the sin of adultery because they are in too deep. They somehow feel responsible for the adulterous woman. Many times they are more loyal to her than to their own wives and families! Here is a biblical explanation for this behavior: “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin” (Prov. 5:22). Many men try to get away from their immoral situation, but the sinful cords of lust and selfishness hold them. “And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them . . . But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light . . .” (Eph. 5:11–13).
To rid yourself of sin, you must expose it to the light—the light of Scripture and the light of Truth. Your loyalty must be to the Lord and to the wife of your youth. But what about the other woman whom you have basically used? What do you suppose your wife would say to do with your adulteress? You must break all contact with her—forever! You were probably very rude and unkind to your wife back when you were deceived into thinking you didn’t want her anymore. You’ve got to be just as firm with the adulteress and cut the situation off immediately! Don’t ever meet or talk again; walk away from any conversations and hang up when you hear her voice. If you don’t repent and handle it in this way, you will fall again, and again, and again. Stand up and be a man of God now, or you will probably pay the price for your sin and lack of guts in hell!
“Don’t be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). God specifically asked His prophet Hosea to remarry his wife Gomer, even after she was blatantly unfaithful to him. “For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband . . . Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.’ Then the Lord said to me [Hosea], ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress’” (Hos. 2:2–3:1). God used the story of Hosea and Gomer to show His commitment to His own. This love story of Hosea and Gomer is written in story form in How to Save Your Marriage Alone. (See the recommended reading.)
Another example is found in Luke 15:30. The older son said to his father, “. . . But when this son of yours came, who devoured your wealth with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him” (Luke 15:30). The father said to his older son, “But we had to be merry and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found” (Luke 15:32). There is true forgiveness for you if you have been unfaithful, certainly from God and eventually from your wife. If you are not experiencing forgiveness, you must make sure you have been humble in your repentance and have placed your ability to overcome this sin in His strength. Your part is to be obedient by breaking the relationship and keeping away from any contact with the adulteress. If this means moving, changing jobs, or whatever, do it!
Can I ever trust myself again? No. God said to trust Him and Him alone. “Cursed is the man who trusts mankind and makes flesh his strength . . . Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord” (Jer.17:5–7).
What can I do to work with God? “And looking upon them Jesus said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matt. 19:26). Here is a Scriptural formula that can help you battle temptation. “Keep watching and praying, that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). God may allow many tests to come into our lives, to be sure, but when God heals, it is finished. Keep in mind though, if you sow in the flesh, you will reap in the flesh! “For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:8). Spiritual blessings have no sorrow added to them: “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it” (Prov. 10:22).
Personal Commitment: To consistently be aware of the possible traps of immorality in my life. “Based on what I have just learned from God’s Word, I strive to be morally pure. I will remove items that would cause me to stumble. And more importantly I will remove myself from situations that I should flee from regardless of the trouble or inconvenience it may cause and regardless of what others may think.”
“Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on, in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12).