“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
God is the source of many wonderful blessings, not the least of which is the blessing of marriage. In marriage, a husband and wife express their love and desire for one another and share the intimate relationship of sexuality. Physical desire shared in marriage is meant to enhance, build and support those living within the framework established by God. This expression of love is a wonderful gift, therefore, we should strive to follow the commandment concerning marriage and sexual relationships; “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
With the sixth commandment, God provides the means for building loving relationships and the parameters by which spouses may enjoy the beauty of intimacy and love. As a man and woman stand before the Christian community and exchange marriage vows, they promise one another a lifetime of love and desire. In celebration of the couple’s love, the community promises to love, honor and support the newly wed couple as they begin a new life as one flesh. Still, there is great temptation to satisfy urges brought on by sin and brokenness. The world seems bent on reordering human sexuality to suit its own purpose.
Sadly, people are often wounded because of misplaced sexual desire. Infidelity frequently leads to divorce. Still, God comes to repentant sinners and through Christ, the woundedness of adultery is forgiven. Even in the brokenness of divorce, there is mercy and grace. As we contemplate the commandment concerning adultery, we would do well to recall a statement from theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “Marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher dignity and power, for it is God’s holy ordinance, through which He wills to perpetuate the human race till the end of time.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for the blessing of marriage, for loving relationships, and for the lives we share together. Amen.