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Temptations and adultery boundaries

If Jesus Christ’s statement was to be used as the basis for the measurement of the boundary for adultery, then almost the entirety of men would be found guilty of the sin.

Jesus Christ taught us on the subject of adultery and the constitution that goes with it.

In Mathew 5:27-30, he spoke, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one of your members than your whole body be thrown into hell.”

If Jesus Christ’s statement was to be used as the basis for the measurement of the boundary for adultery, then almost the entirety of men would be found guilty of the sin.

I can say with certainty that the majority of men have at one time or other looked admirably, to a point of lust, at a known married woman. The situation also applies vice-versa where also a majority of women have admired another woman’s husband, to the point of wishing he was theirs.

Generally, men’s preference for a woman may differ, but her physique may instantly attract a man in accordance with the ‘preferred look’.

They will always see attractive women around them, whether they be married or single, and may have lustful feelings towards them.

A sin will arise when such a lust is directed towards a married woman and if the man himself is married. On the other hand, a woman is most likely attracted to a man with wealth and power, married or single, apart from his physical looks. If such a man comes into close proximity with the woman, even for a married woman, she may have feelings arising out of any contact with him. According to Jesus Christ’s definition for adultery, any feelings of lust wards a member of the opposite sex becomes adultery if one or both are married.

Our societies, which are mostly dominated by men, have put this stigma among humanity that the guilt of adultery is more prominently placed upon a married woman over that of a married man. Society fully expects a married woman to strictly remain faithful to her husband.

However, there is a general tolerance should a man step outside of his marriage in pursuit of other women. Some religions and cultures allow men to have multiple wives if they so wish, while women are banned from any such a practice. There is no equality on the issue of faithfulness.

In Deuteronomy 22:22, the Lord our God spoke, “If a man is found lying with the wife of another, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman, so you shall purge evil from among the people.” Accordingly, the blameworthiness of adultery is equal between the two participants. God places an equal punishment on both the man and the woman to reflect on the equality of the sin.

Jesus Christ knew the true measure and application of the law on adultery and was at one time confronted with the issue.

 In the book of John 8:3-11 it reads: The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law, it commands us to stone such. What do you say about her?”, they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw the stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest. Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up to the woman and said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and do not sin again.”

If I were Jesus Christ, the first question I would have asked the people who brought the woman to him would have been, “Where is the man who likewise committed adultery with this woman?” I would have proceeded to say to them, “If the man who committed the adultery with this woman is not also brought forward, to answer to the same charge and confirm his guilt, I will in the meantime not find this woman guilty”. Jesus Christ did not overlook the act of adultery, but rather he took it upon himself to forgive her. He even went further to reprimand the woman for her act, by warning her, “Do not sin again”. Interestingly, the people who brought the woman to Jesus Christ had already judged that the man who equally committed this sin with the woman was not guilty, contrary to God’s commandment.

On the periphery of the commandment pertaining to adultery, Jesus Christ also spoke. In Mathew 5:31-32, He taught; “It was also said, ‘whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the grounds of unchastity (adultery), makes her an adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

The above statement by Jesus Christ makes this subject somewhat controversial. However, the first positive thing is the ruling that there is only one condition allowed for a man to divorce his wife, i.e. adultery. Any other reasons apart from that should be considered as trivial. Nobody is perfect. You cannot find a perfect wife or a perfect husband. Everyone has strength and weaknesses. Everyone is also different from the other. You cannot therefore divorce your wife because of any of her weaknesses, except for adultery. Personal shortcomings or errors of judgements are not a sin. These are some of things that define us as humans.

What then raises eyebrows is the assumption by Christ that if you marry a divorced woman you will be committing adultery. If not put in its proper context, it would generally affect a lot of people. What he meant is that if a woman is divorced for any other thing outside of adultery, in the eyes of God, that woman is in a sense still married to her husband. Any reason for divorce other than adultery is invalid. In Jesus Christ’s reasoning, that woman is still technically married. Lack of love and affection is now most often quoted as a valid reason for a dissolution of a marriage contract. This and other reasons are things that could be worked on, in one way or the other to keep couples together. In Christian circles, any other reasons, except for adultery are not valid causes for divorce. They are null and void reasons for the dissolution of a marriage. Amen.

Prosper Tingini is the scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly — God’s Messengers. Contact details: Mobile/whatsApp 0771 260 195. Email address: ptingini@gmail.com   

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