This study touches on subjects that have been gone over in detail in previous studies. Before going over this study, please make sure you have a complete understanding of the the study on The Third Commandment – Bearing God’s Name.
The first four commandments are evidence that the type of covenant we enter into with YHVH is a marriage covenant. In the seventh commandment we see this same idea of faithfulness that YHVH requires from our relationship with Him.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I YHVH your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.“ Exodus 20:4-6
As with all things spiritual, YHVH teaches us about our covenant with Him through the physical. In this case, he uses the family to teach us about our relationship to Him.
“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
YHVH is often referred to as our Father, but He also calls us His bride. It is through the relationship between a husband and wife practiced correctly that we learn about our relationship with YHVH. The seventh commandment requiring faithfulness to our spouses is how we learn faithfulness to Him. It is likely that Paul understood this when he said:
“Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” 1 Corinthians 6:16-17
As with every commandment YHVH has ever given, adultery begins with the heart. Jesus had perfect understanding of the law, it’s purpose, and all meaning behind it when he said:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.“ Matthew 5:27-28
“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft (8th commandment), murder (6th commandment), adultery (7th commandment), coveting (10th commandment), wickedness, deceit (9th commandment), sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.“ Mark 7:21-22
Knowing that adultery begins in the heart, would it be true to say that adultery is only the act of having intercourse with another person? Genesis 2:24 shows us that in a marriage a husband and wife are to rely on each other in every way, becoming one flesh.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
Anything that would separate the one flesh causing unfaithfulness in any way could be considered adulterous. Remember, this goes all the way to the heart. Consider these questions in regards to becoming one flesh.
- Are you looking for somebody to flirt with?
- Are you looking for somebody to sleep with?
- Are you looking for a “best friend” or to form a friendship with somebody that is stronger than the one you have with your spouse?
- Are you looking for somebody that you can talk to about your spouse or marriage issues?
- Are you looking for somebody that you can share things with that you can’t tell your spouse?
If there is anything at all that you are hoping to supplement your spouse with somebody else, then it is time to evaluate where your heart is.
Up to this point, we have looked at adultery and faithfulness in terms of a person’s reaction to their spouse, but marriage is about more than being reactive. Being faithful to your spouse includes being proactive. Each person in a marriage has responsibilities. Are you being faithful to your spouse by fulfilling your role?
- Men, are you loving your wives as Christ loves the church? (Ephesians 5:25-31)
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25
Look at all that Jesus did for the church. He taught the truth. He knew the Word inside and out (in fact, he knew the Word so much, he is called the Word). Because of this, he was able to expose the false teachings of wolves to protect his sheep. Can you provide this for your wife? What do you need to do to be able to provide this for her? Jesus stood on the truth even resulting in his death, knowing that if he didn’t, he would lose the church. Are you more concerned about the truth for your family’s sake, or are you more concerned about agreeing with others?
- Men, are you providing a covering for your wives? (1 Corinthians 11:3-16)
“…the head of a wife is her husband…” 1 Corinthians 11:3
In traditional Jewish weddings, we are given a beautiful picture of the covering a husband is to provide for his wife. During the wedding ceremony, the bridegroom will wear his prayer shawl and invites the bride to join him under the cover of that shawl. In this picture, we see a promise of protection, guidance, providence, and much more. Are you covering your wife? Does she feel safe with you? Do you provide all she needs? Do you guide her to making decisions?
Women, are you being a helper fit to your husband? (Genesis 2:18-24)
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18
The word ‘helper’ in Genesis 2:18 is the Hebrew word ‘ezer and means an aid. The word ‘fit’ in Hebrew is neged and means counterpart. Are you helping your husband to fulfill his role in your marriage as husband, father, protector, provider, etc? Are you helping him to achieve his God-given roles? Do you do anything that makes it more difficult for him to fulfill his role? Are you the support or counterpart that he needs?
Marriage is a holy union that YHVH put together. Remember, this is one of the ways that He relates with us making understanding our relationship with him easier. The way we treat our marriage and our actions toward our spouse is another way of representing YHVH. In the third commandment, we are told to be carriers/bearers of His name. As we become one flesh with our spouse, our union should be the very image of the union between YHVH and His bride.
Take time to really focus on this commandment. Look into your marriage relationship and see if you might be failing in any area. Take time to look at your marriage and see if it reflects YHVH. As you make corrections, take time to look at the picture that YHVH provides of Himself as our husband. You won’t regret it!