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Should You Cheat On Your Spouse?
By Brian Price 1/15/2015 :: valueoftruth.org



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"The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face." - Job 24:15
Adultery is one of the most overlooked sins by almost every human being. Yet, the subject of adultery should not be something that is taken so lightly. We see that the word adultery appears in the King James Version of the Bible 33 times.

Adultery can be quite complex since there are so many conditions that would classify the sexual misconduct as adultery. Below is a list of adulterous acts that the Bible qualifies as adultery from least severe to worst severe.

It is important to note that the Bible makes distinct differences between a married man who sleeps with a single woman, as opposed to a married woman who sleeps with a single man (making the assumption that the marriage is intact without separation or divorce). Because the Bible teaches that polygamy (no more than 4 wives as in the case of Jacob) is to some degree permissable, the idea of a woman having several husbands is considered more promiscuous (and far less common) and thus forbidden.

† Sleeping with someone while one of the parties is married, but is seperated or divorced. The scriptures make no differentiation between the two. Divorce and remarriage is considered adultery as much as adultery in the case of marital separation. (Mark 10:11-12)

† A man who sleeps with a woman while he is married, but the woman is neither betrothed nor married. If the man marries his lover while making his first wife fully aware of the second wife, this relationship now becomes polygamous. (Exodus 21:10)

† Though not physically engaging in adultery, but adultery that is engaged within one's imagination. This adultery is rooted within one's own desire. (Matthew 5:28)

† Sleeping with a married woman while the married woman and her husband are in a committed marriage relationship (no separation or divorce). (Leviticus 18:20)

† Sleeping with someone while both guilty parties are married to other people (no separation or divorce). Whereas if just one member was married, only that person's affected spouse would be hurt, but if both guilty parties are married, then two of the affected spouses are now hurt. (Leviticus 20:10)

Of course, this is a very basic list with varying degrees of adultery. But as with any sin, you could factor in almost any sort of additional circumstances to make the sin more severe. For instance, if a married woman sleeps with another man, this is bad. But suppose that the other man is the brother of her husband. Now we see that the sin is really bad.

Some would argue that because the doctrine of remarriage being adultery is a fairly difficult one to understand (in fact most people don't fully understand it), that this is perhaps why the degree of the sin is less than sleeping with another man's wife.

When questioned on the issue of marriage, Jesus responded, "All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their motherís womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heavenís sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." - Matthew 19:11-12

Jesus explained that not everybody is capable of understanding this saying, referring to the saying that if a person remarries, he is committing adultery. He then goes onto explain that there are some people who cannot get married for varying reasons, one being that some abstain from marriage for the sake of the gospel. Paul advocated celibacy for the simple reason that if a man is married, he is distracted because he must attend to the needs and wants of his wife.

Is It Worth It?
Understanding the consequences of sin can be a very important determent to committing it. It can also help us to weigh out the risks involved when we decide to sin. Adultery can be a very touchy subject, especially since everyone has a why they did it.

For instance, I knew someone years ago whose wife divorced him when he was only 21 years old. They were married for only a year at best. They had no children, and the wife felt justified in divorcing him because other women around her were divorcing their husbands. The wife almost immediately got remarried after a few months of being divorced.

Now the question becomes, should he stay single for the rest of his life and remain celibate? Or should he be permitted to remarry? If we are to follow the example that Jesus left us which is perfection, we could say yes, he should remain celibate. After all, death is the punishment for sin, is it not?

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Although death is indeed the risk one takes when he commits sin, whether it be remarriage or slipping up that one time with your co-worker, the flip side to the argument is that the sin is forgiveable.

Jesus said, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." - Matthew 6:14-15

The only condition that Jesus gave for not receiving forgiveness is if you do not forgive someone else. God's standard is that if he shows you mercy, you ought to show the same compassion for your fellow man. Love is the fulfilling of the law. To love another person as much as yourself is keeping the law.

Am I advocating for someone to partake in sinful activities? Not at all. But I am advocating that a person take full advantage of the mercy that God offers to us all. To reject God's forgiving mercy is to take matters into your own hands, and to permit any consequence to come into your life.

Is adultery sin? Absolutely. Should you abstain from it? Absolutely. But realize that forgiveness is available to you if you have messed up.

Is Your Case Unique?
When deciding whether or not to cheat on your spouse, it's important to weigh out WHY you want to do it. Why do you want to cheat? Is it to get your jollies off for a few pleasureable seconds only to feel regret for the rest of your life?

"For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell." - Proverbs 5:3-5
Although the other woman's lips are smoother than oil, and I'm sure the other parts of her body are even smoother, the Bible says that her end is bitter as wormwood, and that her steps take hold on hell. If there is hell to pay, then perhaps you might want to rethink your position.

Is it revenge? Are you trying to get back at your spouse because they did you dirty? Again, you may feel better for a few moments, but honestly, do you want the title of "revenge cheater" hanging over your head when you try to move on?

Or are you seriously in a situation where you are doomed to a loveless, sexless marriage that we only have nightmares about?

Now, the Bible does forbid divorce, so do not take what I say as if I speak for God. But as a man, I would say that if you truly believe a divorce would permit you to move on, then by all means do it before you decide to just blatantly cheat.

If we understand that a divorced marriage is still a marriage in the eyes of God, do you honestly want to live the rest of your life in your house as though you were some obese nun in a convent?

It would be easy for me to sit here and be judgmental towards you and say, yes that's exactly what you should do. But if my understanding of the Bible is correct, I do believe that such a sin to remarry is forgiveable.

After all, if David could be forgiven for sinning with Bathsheba after having all of those other wives, then I am sure that God is willing to forgive you for getting remarried.

The only time I would advocate NOT moving on with your life is if (1) your spouse is willing to change and work things out even if you are already divorced, (2) you are both living under the same roof, or (3) your spouse can greatly ruin your life if you move on too soon.

If your spouse is willing to work things out with you, and is willing to change, why would you not give them another chance? You made a vow before God and the state after all, did you not?

Also, understand if your spouse and you live under the same roof, it's probably a terrible idea to sneak out in the middle of the night to get your groove on. Or worse, you bring your partner in crime there to your place. Wait until you or your spouse moves out, at least. Better yet, wait until they move on with their life completely. You'll have a cleaner conscience.

Suppose that your situation requires you to be "faithful" at all times, no matter the cost. Don't do it. It's not worth it, and your spouse will make your life a living hell.

This goes especially true for people living in countries where the penalty for adultery is being buried up to the chest, and then being stoned to death.

Contact Brian

brian@valueoftruth.org



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