Words from the Heart for Friday April 16th, 2021
You shall not commit adultery.
Exodus 20:14 (NIV)
Do Not Commit Adultery
Unlike the complex discussion of how adultery affects couples psychologically and emotionally, the legal effect of adultery is quite clear. In Canada, the laws relating to divorce based on adultery are governed by the federal Divorce Act, which explains that a “breakdown of a marriage is established only if the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year or the spouse against whom the divorce proceeding is brought has committed adultery or treated the other spouse with physical or mental cruelty.”
When we hear the word adultery, we think of the act of infidelity in marriage. That is how the word is understood in our day. But archaically it had a broader meaning – the impurity that comes by adding something illicit to something pure. I remember as a child seeing milk bottles marked as “unadulterated.” It meant that it had not been watered down. So, in a greater sense, adultery is anything that makes something impure. This is why the Bible takes such a strong stand against adultery and why God includes it in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:14 is clear – do not commit adultery. The book of Hebrews in the New Testament is just as clear. Hebrews 13:4 says “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” The Greek word that is translated here as “undefiled” is used only four times in the New Testament. It means uncontaminated and set apart. Just like when we enter into a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ through faith, and are set apart for Him alone, when we enter into a marriage relationship, we are set apart for our spouse alone.
These have been words from the heart.