A sultry laugh escapes the beautiful woman as she adjusts her legs to open for the young man’s eyes to see her desire for him. His uncomfortable stammer gives way to the youth’s clumsy stutter, “Mrs. Robinson you are trying to seduce me.” A soft teasing chuckle escapes the woman as she holds a cigarette between her fingers, “Aren’t you?” Benjamin asks naïvely.
The Graduate is a 1967 film about Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate who is talented, but not sure about life. He is seduced and begins an affair with Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father’s business partner. “Mrs. Robinson you are trying to seduce me,” is ranked #63 in the American Film Institutes’ list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.
The awkward and lumbering falter by Benjamin may rank in our culture’s top 100 quotations of all time, but God’s Ten Commandants addresses adultery as a sin we are to address for all time. It is in human nature to be attracted to beautiful and handsome things. We are drawn to beauty, but the devil has managed to open a door of distortion. A distorted view on sexual attraction while married or to a person whom is married, “Is it actually adultery if no ‘act’ is committed? Did God really say not to commit adultery in the mind?” Yes, we can take ourselves back in time to the Garden of Eden and become Eve. How far is too far you ask? If you ask the question, then your heart has already invited the destruction of adultery in your life.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, adultery is the voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man or woman and someone other than his or her spouse. We voluntarily submit our RSVP to the invite. Yes, we accept the summons to think on other men or women while we are married. In the seclusion of our enchanted grotto, the mind can conjure sexual images to satisfy some sort of want within our hearts. We may actually be in an intimate relation with our spouse, but our minds have invited another to join. We may experience the best intimacy with our spouse, but find our hearts wandering to another person. Why are we drawn to sexual enticements even though God has called us to be holy?
As mentioned in the Sexual Immoral Woman, our culture is obsessed with sexual gratification. Promiscuity seems to be everywhere and easily accessible at the touch of our fingertips. The lies we believe are, “No one will know. I’m not actually physically doing anything wrong, just thinking about it.” But these thoughts are what turn into actions. These actions are what destroy marriages. We need to be aware of the process.
A thought is planted. The thought begins to take shape and sprout within our minds. The thought turns to scenarios, blossoms and blooms of sexual fantasies with one or more people we work with, are acquainted with, watch on television, or actually flirt with. The blooms smell of sweet sexual gratification, enticements of fulfillment from an array of men or women we are drawn to. Our minds drift to the Garden of Indulge. In our ornamented and flourishing grotto, we are perfection. Hard bodies, not an ounce of fat, head full of hair blowing in rhythm with our breathing. We flirt, we dance, we entice, and we come together in perfect harmony. Our minds continue down this ridiculous display of self-engulfment for as long as needed. Yes, this sounds absolutely obscene, but it takes place in marriages all over the world. This, my friend, is called a planted seed of adultery.
Jesus of Nazareth brought Christians to a whole new level of holy when He boldly preached, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28). It is hard to believe God would hold us accountable for just “thoughts in our mind,” but He has called us to a higher standard. We have entrenched our hearts within the world’s ideals and culture; many are baffled by what Jesus said about adultery.
We are easily deceived. Believe me, Satan has had much practice lying and manipulating people to fall. You or I would not be the first to trip over sexual attraction, but as long as we are aware of his schemes, we are to master them. How do I know if I am “lusting” after another? Is looking at another person adultery? No, noticing attractive individuals is not adultery. People are everywhere, attractive or not. Each person’s idea of attraction is different. The problem arises when we stare longer than we should or we take a double look at the person for a moment more. Red flags should be flying when we look at a person in attempt to catch their eye with a smile. This is how the door is opened.
If adulterous thoughts are justified in your mind, then I am sure your spouse would not mind hearing them. Are you honest in your marriage, sharing your inner most thoughts? Would your spouse understand your thoughts toward another during sexual intimacy? Would you be willing to hear your spouse’s sexual thoughts toward another while having intimacy with you? These are questions we need to inquire of our self. If I truly believe something is appropriate, then I should be able to fully express it, knowing my spouse will completely understand. Or would they?
I heard the testimony of a woman whose husband had this spirit of adultery. He had never committed adultery physically, but his mind was ramped sleeping with women. During sexual relations with her husband, she lain still and her heart would scream to “hurry and get this over!” She could feel the darkness her husband attempted to hide with the pornographic images he watched and the fantasies of women he desired. If adulterous thoughts are justified, why are there so many unhappy couples that are addicted to pornography and their own sexual indulgences?
Why was Jesus encouraging His followers to master the adulterous thoughts in the mind? Our Lord knows the heart of man. He is not deceived; He will address the issues darkening your heart if you allow Him to. God already knew, if you think on something long enough, you will eventually act on it, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [in behavior – one who manipulates]” (Proverbs 23:7).
The Bible is full of women who committed adultery and were well known for their trysts. Potiphar’s wife desired Joseph, a righteous, handsome young man who loved God more than he desired to sin against Him. She was furious when the gentleman declined her advances, accusing Joseph of rape, and throwing him into prison. Gomer was the wife of Hosea, a prophet of God. She was advanced in the art of seduction. Adulterous and unlawful to her husband, the Lord used the woman as an example to His people. The Israelites loved idols more than they loved the Lord. Their continuous adulterous affairs with other nations were a correlation to Hosea’s marriage. A difficult life the prophet had; returning and loving the woman who continuously broke his heart as our Lord continuously loves and is patience with His people as we break His heart.
The adulterous woman in John 8 is “caught” in the middle of a sexual rendezvous with her lover, as she is thrown toward Jesus’ feet for judgment. Our precious Lord does not condemn her, knowing she was used as a pawn for the Pharisee’s entrapment. Although Christ did not condemn her, but He did look her in the eye and said, “Go. From now on, sin no more” (John 8:11).
The Apostle Paul addresses the sexual relations between a son and his father’s wife in 1 Corinthians 5. He demands an answer from the church as to why they sanctioned this outrage. As Jesus, Paul stresses, “Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast – as you really are. For Christ, our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).
Pilate asked an important question to our Lord, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Our society does not want to hear God’s Truth. His Truth encourages us to be holy because He is holy; we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a special people for God’s own possession, so that we may proclaim the excellences [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. For once we were not His people, but now we are God’s people; once we had not received mercy, but now we have received mercy. We are called to live as strangers in the world, abstaining from sensual urges that wage war against the soul. We are to keep our behavior excellent among the unsaved, conducting ourselves with honor, grace, and integrity (1 Peter 2:9-12). Truth. The world does not want to hear God’s Truth.
As Christians, we need to begin a constant vigil of our mind. What are thinking, what are we watching, what are we stimulating our thoughts and memories with? Jesus preached, “The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the very light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23).
The process of healing from adultery or training your mind and heart to rebuke sexual addictions is difficult, but you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. This healing will be a daily battle within your spirit, until you are able to walk habitually in the Spirit while not gratify the sinful nature of the flesh, which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts (Galatians 5:16). This is a learned habit, just as you’ve taught and trained your heart to lust, you will train and teach your heart to desire the precepts of God. The choice is completely up to you.
The healing process begins with God’s Word, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil. It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles – all your inner parts] and refreshment [physical well-being] to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7-8). God’s Word is powerful, bringing healing to your body and drawing out the darkness. Think of the detoxification for addicts. It is a painful, inner, bodily experience to rid oneself of addictive substances; you may experience the same withdrawal symptoms from adulterous thoughts and actions.
Our flesh is weak; it is frail and vulnerable. We desire instant gratification and if our body does not receive the anticipated sexual images, adulterous thoughts or actions, our flesh will respond with anger, emotional outbursts, frustration, tremors, or nervous habits such as biting our nails. In these moments of decision, it is crucial you rebuke the thought, walk away from the person or computer with sexual images, and delete all pornographic material you possess; turn the television to a different channel, and replace the sexual thought or action with godly habits.
We know ourselves well. If you are drawn to sexual movies and these cause adulterous thoughts, then monitor your intake of technology. You are quite capable of using your time wisely, just as parents teach children and train them to make sensible decisions. If you are in an illicit affair, I would encourage you to break off the entrapment and seek professional counsel for your marriage. There are numerous reasons individual’s seek intimacy outside of marriage: a loveless union, lack of sexual desire, lack of sexual intimacy, lack of attraction, lack of friendship and trust, and addictions to sexual desires. I understand the process and revealing Truth to your spouse is beyond difficult, but if you want to be this “new creation in Christ, the old has passed,” then you need to begin a regeneration, a restoration of forgiveness and receive God’s mercy for your past sins (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am not on unfamiliar ground or unknown territory when I encourage women to fight adulterous thoughts. In my own marriage, Tommy and I have fought to control and think on godly percepts. The process has been strenuous on our flesh, for in our youth, we opened the door for sexual gratification into our spirits. We believed as our culture, if it makes you feel good, then it must be good. The Lord has opened our eyes to see His ways are higher than our own; His thoughts are superior to ours. I believe this is why, as 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 expresses, I can comfort your heart as Tommy and I know how you feel. “Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they over flow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragements, our consolidation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works in your when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we experience. And our hope for you is firmly grounded, since we know that just as you share as partners in our sufferings, so also you share as partners in our comfort.”
As a couple, the Lord has shown us intimacy in a different way. An intimacy that is constant through texts, touches, eye contact, face-timing, and encouraging notes throughout the day. We specifically make time for one another such as a date night or dinner out. Knowing each other’s likes and dislikes, Tommy wears a beard because I love facial hair. I color and texture my hair darker with highlights, because that’s what he likes to see. I love cowboy boots and jeans and my husband accommodates his wife’s heart. Tommy enjoys watching me dress in the morning after I shower. I leave the bathroom door open, as Eve unashamed before her husband.
Marriage is a special covenant between a husband and a wife. Sexual intimacy is not just the act of intercourse a few times a week, but the interaction with your spouse through the day. Tommy and I had to pray and reclaim our devotion and intimacy with one another. A book our church recommended is Sheet Music; Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Dr. Kevin Leman. A Christian perspective for a healthy sex life in your marriage, this book explained the hearts of men and women with intimacy challenges such as we faced. It has opened our hearts to seek one another and God’s design for marriage, not the world’s definition of sexual gratification.
I pray this has planted a seed of Truth in your spirit. If you or your spouse has committed adultery, there is redemption in the Christian faith. God’s precious hand can heal all things, but we have to take the first step and give Him our hearts. I pray you diligent seek and search the Scriptures on your own for verses to confess over your thoughts and actions. Seek the Lord’s Truth as to why you seek the attention from other men or women, and begin to pray over those areas of your life.
You are not alone. Many Christians live secret lives behind closed doors in an imaginary world. A dark creation the enemy deceitfully opened and refuses to allow a follower of Christ to leave. Chained and bound, the Christian wallows and indulges in the Garden of Gratification. I pray you wake up, and if need be, claw your way out of this manipulative pretext. May God protect you, guide you, and lead you into righteousness.