I don’t even know if there are words enough to describe the feeling or hurt of someone who discovers their spouse has committed adultery. The intimate act between a husband and wife is considered to be the most sacred within the bonds of a marriage covenant. The Bible tells us when we have intercourse with another, we spiritually are joined as much as we are physically. God uses a man’s act with prostitutes in order to make his point.
“For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.” (This goes the other way around in sleeping with another man’s husband as well).
1 Corinthians 6:16
“Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” (This is an example of creation of a spiritual soul tie)
God designed the marriage covenant to be one of the most precious examples of His covenant with His people and the church. His love for her is beyond measure and when she commits adultery His heart breaks beyond belief. He gives us this example in the book of Hosea where the prophet is lead to marry a prostitute. Their relationship becomes a metaphor and example of the adultery committed by the Northern Kingdom of Israel as they worshiped other gods. They took their eyes off of the God of their marriage covenant and began to look with lust at the shiny gods of this world. As a result, their immoral and sexual sin was rampant and it totally broke the heart of God.
As a result, God divorced “her”. Yes, God divorced some of His own people for their infidelity, and promised to “expose her” in her nakedness (speaking of Northern Israel). Yet, he also would redeem her should she repent and be sorry for her sins. In the mean time, His heart was expressly broken. His relationship with His people is the most intimate one possible. God knows every part of His creation because He designed us to be His own. When we fall from Him, His heart aches and He feels rejected and undervalued as our creator.
Since marriage is created in the image of the covenant between God and His people and the church, adultery in marriage is the most heartbreaking thing a person would endure. We know our spouse in the most intimate way possible and that intimacy is a gift from God. Our marriage covenant tells us that we have the legal, spiritual, physical, and emotional rights to the other person alone. When this is broken it strips the moral foundation of the marriage in ways that usually are not repairable. There are marriages that survive adultery but it is more rare than accepted. It’s one of the greatest grounds for divorce in our country and one that God brokenly approves of in respect for the spouse who has been dishonored. His promise to Israel was to expose “her” in her dirty deeds with other gods and her immorality. In the same respect God will expose and strip naked the adultery as an expression of His hurt and brokenness over that marriage. When adultery happens in marriage, God weeps and can not bless that couple because of the sin.
Jesus said when a man even looks at another woman with lust in his heart he has committed adultery already. He looks at the heart before the actions.
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Jesus loves the hearts of His children, that they not be broken by lust or adultery of another).
For one, this dishonors the other spouse and the other reason is He might be able to intervene before the hearts desire becomes a physical one. He is picky about His people and protective of their marriages because they reflect how God feels about His people and the love relationship we have with our God. God commands the marriage bed be kept holy. This means to keep out any other distraction from the intimacy between a married couple. No other relationship can ever interfere with God’s married children. Its a protection of the sanctity of marriage and the intimate relationship.
Our God of passion loves us enough to teach us what a devoted covenant is. Adultery hurts deeply because it effects the inner parts of us where God feels the pain as much as we do because He lives in us. Like with God’s divorce of Northern Israel, He will expose adultery. I always think of where the scriptures state that He will strip “her” (Israel) naked and expose her. It’s pretty hurtful to have the blessing of God taken away from a marriage or in any way.
We can not serve two gods and have it go unexposed, and we can not commit adultery in marriage without exposure either. Redemption can only happen after confession, exposure, and repentance. A man who looks at another woman with lust will be exposed and he will lose his wife and the other way around. I’m being bold and open about this because I had been married in the past to someone who “just looked” at other women thinking that was alright. Over the course of years that looking and lusting turned to physical adultery. It was adultery at the looking stage. God knows the hearts intent of every man and woman and He hurts when they violate His covenant.
I know God’s pain from a woman’s perspective who has been cheated on. Let me express to you how this feels. It strips the fiber of everything that is sacred from a person from the inside out. It causes a person to wonder why they deserved to be treated in that manor and to question their worth. It makes a statement to us that our value is not even enough to hold an intimate relationship and the pain lasts a very very long time. The deception is something we deal with for a long period of life. Everyone after that becomes suspect because we never want to feel that pain ever again. It makes us feel flawed, and takes away from our self esteem and confidence. It hurts all the way to the bone marrow and the actions will effect every aspect of our lives. After my ex husband committed adultery I went through 10 long years of losing everything I worked hard for. It broke every part of me from the inside out. Deception of adultery caused me to not trust a single soul and it has taken a long time for me to even want to rebuild my life and try to trust again. Walking around feeling flawed, dishonored, and devalued is not living. It is more like dying from the inside out.
The good news is that Jesus heals and He will make sure that this will not break me again. The Bible tells us that every sin will be exposed. Don’t ever think even lust in your heart goes unnoticed by God. Believe me, He knows. He guards and watches over His people, He knows our hearts, and His greatest desire is that we succeed. That is why He warns us. That is why I am writing this blog post; as a warning. God tells us to guard our hearts with all diligence, and also to bring our bodies under subjection of the Holy Spirit. That means there is no excuse for hurting our spouse by devaluing her or him. Don’t excuse your wanton glances as stating :
- I am just a man or a woman and that is how I am
- I am not hurting anyone by looking and keeping it to myself
- What my spouse does not know won’t hurt her/him
- As long as I don’t have sex with someone it is not adultery (such a lie)
- It’s my wife/husband’s fault because of something they do or don’t do
I can create more, but I think you get the drift. Do NOT devalue your spouse by committing adultery of the heart, allowing others of the opposite sex to enter into your marriage covenant even as innocent as it might seem. Work through your issues with your spouse instead of cheating and having sex outside the marriage. If your marriage is strained then get professional help from a counselor or as a last resort divorce before you break someone. (Divorce itself will break them enough as well, so no excuse)
Think of it this way. Whenever you have thoughts of lust for someone else, God knows. Whenever you have sex outside of marriage, God is there. Be deeply sorrowful and repent for His forgiveness because this breaks His heart more than you could ever know and it breaks another person whom He dearly loves.
This is a tender subject and hard for many. I hope it has not brought pain but the beginning of understanding and healing instead. On the other side of the scope, don’t allow anyone to devalue you! You are worth more than that. Go to God and express your pain. If you feel no pain when your spouse lusts after someone else or commits adultery, then question why that is so. A person who allows this has no love in their heart for the other. In the same respect, a person who allows this has no love or respect for themselves. This is a sign for the need of healing.
I hope you heal. That is why I am writing this. I hope you do not harm your spouse. I am writing it for this reason as well. I also hope and pray you don’t break the heart of God. This is the bigger reason I am writing this!
If you do, and you have, then I pray you ask forgiveness and repent. Nothing is worth losing our eternity in God’s Kingdom and nothing is worth breaking the heart of our creator. After all, He is the one who says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” and truly means it. This might mean He will love you enough to expose you or to convict you to bring you back to Him. No one wants to feel like God Himself has taken His blessing away. It hurts to a soul level. I have witnessed this in others who have cheated their spouses. It is an act that can never be undone once it is done. PLEASE DO NOT!
With God’s Love,
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry
800-421-1765 (If you have been effected by adultery or have done so yourself. Please call for prayer. It is confidential) Blessings