Patricia Jones, M.A.

2 Peter 2:14, "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:"
                          Adultery comes from within our own heart. 

Adultery starts with our sinful heart. God considers adultery evil. The act of adultery defiles a person just like murder, theft, pride, and so on (Mark 7:21-23“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
It is a fact that one can "commit adultery" in his heart and never actually physically lay a hand upon the woman he has looked upon with earnest desire. Indeed, the woman in question may not even be aware she has generated adulterous feelings within this man.

The Contemporary English Version has done an excellent job of capturing the meaning of Jesus' words in the Matthew 5:27-28 passage --- "You know the commandment which says, 'Be faithful in marriage.' But I tell you that if you look at another woman and want her, you are already unfaithful in your thoughts." 

There are many ways to "want" a woman other than sexually, and there are many ways to be "unfaithful in marriage" besides committing some illicit sexual act with one other than one's spouse. The notion of SEX literally has to be read into Matthew 5:27-28. Those who "earnestly desire" (the actual meaning of the Greek word we often translate "lust") another woman (for whatever reason), who have "set their heart upon" one other than their covenantal spouse, are guilty of an inner breach of their covenantal vows. They have broken covenant in their hearts; they have committed moicheia ("adultery").

Thus, "adultery" may be committed alone in one's heart, and it may be entirely asexual. "Adultery" is the breaking of a covenant, and it may be brought about by any number of attitudes or actions, sexual and/or non-sexual.  This would include looking at pornagraphy on the internet or in magazines.

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Articles by Patricia Jones, M.A.
Can you commit adultery alone? The answer is "Yes"
Christian, biblical counseling IS pretty much black and white because God is black and white. There really are very few gray areas involved in the commandments that  HE has laid down as priciples for our lives.
All of your struggles and rationalizations for having an extra-marital affair really will not work other than to help you to feel less guilty. 
The concept of marriage between one man and one woman is based on the marriage symbols that God Himself uses between Himself and Israel. He calls Himself the "Groom" and Israel the "Bridesmaid."  God has a marital convenant with Israel. Just another example of how God views the marriage relationship.
Taking it deeper still, this is really all about your relationship with God first anforemost, and then it is about your relationship with your spouse, and last it is about your relationship with the other woman or man you have committed adultery with.
The primary purpose of the seventh commandment is to protect the sanctity of marriage, the marital partners, the family, and society from damage and
destruction. There are very real dangers and penalties that both a spouse and their family members may face because of adultery or sexual perversion by a mate, such as, psychological damage, unwanted pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. Plus the adverse impact that adultery and sexual perversion has on the extended family and society in general.
BUT it really IS black and white with God. Cheating on your spouse breaks the marital bond, destroys the family, and sends the adulterer to hell. There are no gray areas or loopholes to get around it.
In actuality your relationship with your spouse, is based on a "lie" a very weak foundation, and the marital spiritual bond between the two of you is now broken. IF your spouse knew there was another person "waiting in the wings" who you have already been intimate with, and are probably still being intimate with, I would assume they would divorce you immediately.

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Why Adultery is Wrong 
All sin begins within the human heart. It starts from within us, not outside of us. We have to think something before we act on it. We have to contemplate it, give it time and planning, give ourselves all kinds of excuses to justify our behavior, and once we have convinced ourselves that we are justified, then we act on our thoughts. Adultery is a conscious, deliberate decision.
Committing adultery with someone other than our spouse at the time seems right. Especially if we have felt wronged by our spouse and believe that getting back at them is the way to go. However, all sin always has consequences and they are never good. As they say, two wrongs do not make a right. Jesus said it is not what we put in our mouths that defiles us, but what comes out of our mouths that defile us, and what comes out of our mouths is what is already in our hearts. Matthew 15:11: But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 
There are no gray areas with God. He sees life in black and white.
If you are involved in an affair, I can imagine that your conscious IS bothering you. And your emotions are in conflict with your conscious. Emotions are feelings, but your conscious is your very "soul" and connection to God. 
Within each of us God has put a "conscious" and the ability to know right from wrong. There are always two choices we can make involving pretty much any decision we are called upon to make. We either go down the road to the left or we turn right. We choose to eat or not eat. We decide to work or not work. We like this person or we don't like that person. We wear this sweater or we choose another color sweater. We go to this movie or we go to that one. We cheat on our spouse or we don't cheat on our spouse. It is pretty clear cut really. We DO or we DON'T. Period. 
This is how God works. His commands are short and simple. Thou shalt not kill, Thou shall not lie, Thow shall not steal, Thou shall not commit adultery ...
The primary purpose of the 7th Commandment
Four immediate consequences of cheating on your spouse.
God is not going to change His commandments just for you. He is not going to contradict Himself in the Bible and say that adultery is a sin that will "send you to hell" and then say it is alright to just go out and "fornicate" with different people that you are not married to, so you can avoid the sin of adultery. Which is why HE also says that "fornication is a sin, that will also send you to Hell.

Infidelity will not only affect you but your friends, loved ones and children. The most dangerous result of your spouse cheating is you catching a sexually transmitted disease (Aids etc). It doesn't make a difference if you are married or committed. The fact remains that if your cheating spouse or lover has sex with someone (whether friend, prostitute, etc.) who is infected then he or she may become infected as well. 

If you then in turn have unprotected sex with your lover then you will be infected. Diseases have no preference for married people over other types of relationship. The truth is that over 60% of people in marriages have at some time engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage. In this statistic a small percentage (approx 4%) has caught a STD (sexual transmitted disease). It may be small but you do not want to be in one of the statistics especially with Aids or Gonorrhea.
Affairs can have lasting effects on the people involved and come with many consequences, especially if the affair comes to light. Chances are that you or someone you know may be dealing with infidelity in their relationship. The consequences of cheating can be everlasting and affect more than just the immediate parties.

You may die and go to hell before you can ask for God's forgiveness and your spouse's forgiveness.

There is a real danger of this. No one knows the day they are going to die. And so we need to live each day as if it might be our last and we are going to face God for how we acted down here on earth. We only get one chance at this life, and after we die there are no more chances to make things right. So you could commit adultery one day and be dead the next.

Death may come due to an auto accident, a natural disaster, a heart attack, or actually your being murdered by the spouse of your mistress or the wife of the man you are cheating with. It happens every day. Jealosy has been the cause of many murders when an affair it discovered.
                    The Possible Death of your spouse.

When spouses find out about your adultery they are usually devastated. Some of them never recover and get very depressed and physically ill. It is a known fact that extreme stress breaks down our immune system and once that happens we are suseptible to all kinds of diseases. 

Not only that but your spouse begins to question their own self-worth which leads to feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. She or he will inevitably have issues ever trusting you or anyone else again which will forever change their outlook on relationships and life and even God. Some commit suicide they are so devastated.

And you will have to deal with all of their reactions after the affair has been exposed.
                           Divorce or Breaking Up

The Bible teaches us that there are two grounds for divorce. The first is adultery and the second is if you are married to an "unbeliever." So right off the bat, you can pretty much assume that your marriage will end when the adultery is exposed. 

Many relationships end in divorce when one partner has cheated on the other, with only 35 percent of marriages surviving affairs, according to a 2006 survey by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Even if the other person tries to forgive you and move on, this can often be difficult, if not impossible. If you have children, you will not only miss out on much of their life, due to custody arrangements, but it will cause damage to them, possibly changing their outlook on relationships for the rest of their lives.
 How do you handle the guilt?
When it comes to adultery let's hope you DO FEEL GUILT, because if you don't then there is no forgiveness from God because you truely do not think you are doing anything wrong. So in this case, GUILT is a good thing. It should motivate you to break off with the person you are commiting adultry with, and it should also motivate you to seek God's forgiveness and should inspire you to tell your spouse. Without guilt there can be no repentance and without repentance there can be no forgiveness and then you are doomed.
What God's concept of marriage really is
So when you commit adultry you have broken the marital bond, the sacred covenant between you and your spouse in the same way that Israel broke the covenant between God and herself.
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