The command is short, but the consequences for disobedience to it are devastating to relationships, to marriages, and to the human heart. “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)
Jesus has unpacked this verse for us, so there is no doubt what all it includes. The extent of this command goes far beyond married men and women sleeping around.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. (Matthew 5:27-30)
I know. This condemns every man – and most, if not all, women, over the age of 12. The Scriptures and Christ consistently go after our heart – not simply our outward behavior. It is interesting to me that two of the struggles most common to all men, anger and lust, are covered in the 6th and 7th commandments.
Men, everywhere you look, the culture SCREAMS that this is no big deal, despite the signs (that I think are pretty obvious) that our lusts are simply out of control. Consider this example: High-Tech Flirting Turns Explicit. Please remain committed to sexual purity in your relationships. Married men, God gave you a wife to love. Have eyes only for her. Single men treat your girlfriend more like a sister or a best friend than a lover. Sex-play, fantasy, masturbation, fondling, heavy-duty kissing and “making out” are all designed to lead to one place. Arousal reaches a point where there is only one next step – and it is almost impossible to avoid taking that next step. And, I don’t care who the girlfriend is, if she can’t wait until she is married to have sex (including oral sex, fondling, etc), she is the wrong girl for you. It doesn’t matter how hot she is. It doesn’t matter how sweet she is. It doesn’t matter how nice she is. I predict that a relationship that goes there before marriage will most likely end in divorce, shame, and tons of guilt for you and her. Focus on spiritual, conversational and emotional intimacy and let the Lord take provide you sexual intimacy when you are ready for it. If He has commanded you to abstain from sex before marriage (which He has), then don’t you think He will take care of that? “Making love” simply does not happen legitimately outside of the covenant commitment of marriage. It is a lie – and a destructive lie. Outside of marriage, sex or sex play is nothing more than two consenting adults behaving like animals and giving into their lusts.
In Deuteronomy 5, God restated the 10 commandments. And then in Deuteronomy 6:1-5, the Lord told us how to fight to keep them, not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but out of love for Him:
“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “
Every man alive battles lust. “Real men” battle it well, stay in the war, and don’t surrender.