The parson in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” argues that the commandment about adultery comes between those on murder and theft because adultery is both the greatest theft and the greatest murder. It is a theft of body from the spouse, and a murder of the one-flesh union of the spouses. The community God was and is forming has a stake in better marriages, loving couples, stable families. Adultery damages all those good things.
Whenever a group is no longer different from the surrounding culture, it’s lost its reason for being. God cares because it matters. God cares because choosing adultery doesn’t work for anyone. We can break this command only to find life doesn’t work that way. Jesus said, “I’ve come that you might have life and life abundant.” God is not a spoil-sport, but as the author of life, he knows how it works.
Adultery is a God issue. Scripture sees our relationship with God as a marriage. It sees sin as an infidelity. It’s probably fitting that “infidel” means unbeliever. Infidelity is a matter of not staying true to our heavenly spouse. We steal ourselves from the one we belong to, on earth and in heaven. It’s THAT big a deal.
PRAYER: Father God, you’ve made a wonderful world and you know how it works at every level. Bring my daily life into alignment with your generous and good intention toward abundant life. Amen.