“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). On the positive side, God requires sexual relations within marriage. This is a Christian duty. “The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5). God charges husbands and wives to find fulfillment and satisfaction in each other. This means that, in sexual relations, as in other areas of life, every husband and wife should seek fulfillment for their spouse.
On the negative side, God condemns adultery, sexual relations between a married person and someone not his or her spouse. Under the heading of the Seventh Commandment God also forbids, fornication, sexual relations between two unmarried persons, and homosexuality, sexual relations with someone of the same sex (Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9, Hebrews 13:4). In addition, God condemns bestiality, sexual relations with an animal (Leviticus 18:15-16). And He condemns incest, sexual relations with a parent, child, sibling, or grandchild (Leviticus 18:17, 1 Corinthians 5:1). The condemnation extends to rape, prostitution, and child molestation. In each case, men and women seek self-pleasure and self-satisfaction. They do not give proper consideration to their duty toward their spouse or future spouse.
Christ also connects the above outward acts with sinful passions. “I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). These words apply to women as well as men. A woman who looks at a man with a lust for him has already committed adultery in her heart. Lust betrays a lack of contentment with one’s current status or situation. We will look at this more fully under the heading of the Tenth Commandment. For now, realize that to lustfully gaze upon another violates God’s command.
Some say, “You may look but not touch.” However, Christ’s words extend to all types of looking such as viewing nudity and pornography. Plying the pages of popular magazines, surfing the internet, or visiting ‘adult’ clubs to gratify personal lust violates the Seventh Commandment. Pornography is more explicitly sexual. Viewing pornographic material, visiting pornographic internet sites, or so-called ‘adult’ stores to gratify personal lust, again violates the Seventh Commandment. God condemns such activity. It betrays discontent with and besmirches the marriage relationship.
Why this hedge around marriage? God designed marriage to picture the exclusive relationship Christ has with His church. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27). Marriage is a high calling. Marriage is a holy calling.
Miss or Master Christian, to fulfill this calling, you must honor the sanctity of marriage. If you fail, you must seek Christ’s forgiveness and recommit yourself to Him. And Mr. and Mrs. Christian, you must devote yourselves exclusively to each other. “You shall not commit adultery”