Let’s Cut Something Off If You Commit Adultery

by Toby Morrell
In most cases adultery is a sin, not a crime.  There are legal ramifications and penalties, but usually, no one serves jail time for cheating on their spouse and committing adultery.

You can lie to someone, spend their money behind their backs, and have emotional and sexual intimacy with other people outside of your marriage.  It isn’t illegal to emotionally damage your children and destroy your family.  Besides snoring and the first 50lb weight gain, adultery is one of the most destructive things we can do to a marriage.

I haven’t heard of any Christian fundamental groups fighting to impose fines or prison time for adultery.

Why do we fight so hard and make it such a key issue in our Christianity and our “morals” to keep marriage strictly between a man and a woman, but never propose legislation to enforce the marriages we have?  We suck at marriage.  If we focused on the marriages we deem acceptable and took a hardline on divorce, wouldn’t it immediately make us less hypocritical?  Wouldn’t it legitimize our definition of marriage?  Our definition of marriage can’t just be a man and a woman saying some words, can it?  There is a little more to in in the Bible.  Try reading Dueteronomy 22:21 and John 8:4.  Practice pitching and find a good rock quarry.

The problem is that everyone, gay or straight, is susceptible to cheating, lying, stealing, and ultimately hurting their spouse or partner.  So there is sin any of us may participate in and get caught doing.  The real question must then be, “Are we actually only against sins that others are committing?”  How big are the planks in our eyes?  

I would like to propose a couple of things to think about:

  • Christian divorce statistics have been cited as high as 50%, but more conservative analysis has shown that around 25% of all marriages in which both partners claim to be believers end up in divorce.  Regardless of the actual number, that means that at least one out of four Christian marriages end before “death do us part.”  That is a terrible record for people who seem to put such a big emphasis on the sanctity of marriage.  We need to study and look at Christians married couples and learn the pitfalls of why these marriages are ending.  We must start with ourselves. What leads us away from God?  Once we see that, we can come to others with grace and humility.
  • We need to figure out the actual definition of a “Christian Marriage.”  Obviously, we as humans all see the definition of marriage differently.  It would benefit Christians to come to one complete definition of marriage.  Right now, it seems that it is just a male and female union with some lofty ideals thrown in the mix and an expensive wedding.  As Christians, this takes away so much from the gift of marriage that Jesus has given us.  The definition of marriage in today’s culture might not even fit God’s standard of what Christians are required to fulfill between husband and wife.  What my wife and I have is a lot different, by the Grace of God, than many heterosexual marriages.  Are we holding on to a “vow” or to Jesus?

Homework Assignment:

When a non-Christian does something ‘un-Christian,’ like yell obnoxiously at their child in public, use drugs, marry someone you disagree with them marrying, etc., what is your first reaction?  Be honest.  For me, a lot of times I get angry, unjustly.  I might even think that those people are dumb.  Recently, I have been trying to extend grace to people and realize that without Jesus, I would be doing things that everyone else would hate.  
Jesus is awesome.


What do you think?

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