Marriage Under Attack: Adultery, Divorce and Homosexuality

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In my last post I looked at the sins of pornography, premarital sex and cohabitation. In this post I will now consider three more sins that are an attack on marriage.

 

ADULTERY 

Number seven of the Ten Commandments is “You shall not commit adultery” (). Without question, the Word of God is very clear concerning the sin of adultery. Adultery is an attack on marriage because it violates the precious and exclusive union between the married by sharing it with another person. It is terrible that adultery can be a means of entertainment in a movie or novel. There are even services designed to provide married people with a discreet affair. Such practices not only undermine the beauty of marriage, they are blatant attacks on marriage. It is also important to understand the danger of committing adultery in one’s heart. The Lord Jesus Christ stated with great clarity,

 

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you thateveryone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” ().

 

By quoting the 7th commandment (; Duet. 5:18), Jesus reveals that the prohibition is not limited to the external act. Jesus goes right to the heart of the problem when it comes to adultery. This wicked act is sourced in lustful intent that takes place in the heart (). Jesus goes on to provide the remedy of radical spiritual surgery (). If this is an area that has attacked your marriage, God provides a way of hope through His grace and His Word.

 

DIVORCE 

When marriage isn’t understood and affirmed in the light of God’s blueprint, there are sad and devastating outcomes. One horrid outcome (and an attack on marriage) is divorce. Let us be clear that “God hates divorce” (), yet due to man’s rebellion God provided a process in which divorce could be regulated, thus providing protection of the woman being divorced. Sadly, people were getting divorced for trivial and unscriptural reasons. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reveals the devastation of getting divorced on unbiblical grounds (). Later on in this gospel (), Jesus offers further teaching on this topic. Our Lord Jesus Christ taught, “what therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6). Divorce not only causes problems within the relationship of the couple, but also extends to children, friends and it gets more complicated when the husband or wife remarries and there are even more children involved. This is certainly not a topic that a husband and wife should ever joke about. If a marriage has suffered due to divorce, like it was said before, hope can only be found in the provisions of the Lord’s grace and His Word.

 

HOMOSEXUALITY

Homosexuality is another attack on marriage. It is an attack because it strips from marriage the Divine design of a man and a woman joining together as one flesh (). What do the Scriptures say on the matter of homosexuality? There are a number of key passages in the Scriptures that directly address this. These passages span over many years and at varying stages of God’s progressive revelation indicating a continuity of thought on this issue. Here I will just look at a few. The first passage of consideration is that of . This chapter recounts the wickedness of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Their wicked sin of homosexual lust () manifested itself in desperate and depraved actions (). Due to the sin of homosexuality () the Lord judged these cities. In a series of moral law codes against sexual sin, the Lord commanded, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (). A third passage is . Here the sin of homosexuality is described as “dishonourable passions” in which “natural relations” are exchanged for those “contrary to nature” (). This reveals that the homosexual desire (not just the act) is  sinful and is “contrary to nature” because it goes against the natural order of creation. In addition to the passions being dishonourable, the act of homosexuality is called “shameless” (). The consequence of such activity is that they who practice this receive “in themselves the due penalty for their error” (b). This penalty can be manifested spiritually, emotionally and physically. A final example is . Here Paul makes the clear statement that “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.” He goes on to give specific examples of unrighteousness. He says, neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality” will inherit the kingdom of God.

 

This is what Scripture teaches concerning homosexuality. But there is hope for the homosexual, as there is for all those struggling with any sexual sin. Regardless of your sinful condition, you can benefit from the saving power of the gospel. You can be forgiven and be transformed!

 

To think that we are at the point where attacks on marriage and family are flaunted and defended shows how far we have departed from the mandate that God has set in His Word at creation. We have gone so far from the Divine declaration of a man leaving his father and mother, and joining with his wife and becoming one flesh. The biblical blueprint for marriage and family is being cast aside quickly. How should we respond as the people of God? We must be concerned with what God has said – even if it means that we are going to be mocked by the world and be considered a minority. It is not uncommon for people to make comment and note that it is unusual to see a husband and wife fulfilling their God given roles (Eph. 5:22-33Col. 3:18-19) and to see children respecting and honouring their parents (Eph. 6:1-4). We are to do all we can to give God the glory in our marriages and contribute to an influence that will fight against the evil trend of society. But we are also to be compassionate toward those struggling as we point them to powerful hope found exclusively in the gospel of Jesus Christ ().

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.

29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”

11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;

27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Published by

Andrew Courtis

Andrew Courtis

ANDREW - Serves as Pastor of Hills Bible Church. I am married to Dianne and we have three children (Kate, Emma and Jack). I was born and raised in Melbourne, moved to Adelaide to undertake theological studies (BMin.), and have completed additional studies with the Australian College of Theology (MATh.). I have served in pastoral ministry in both Melbourne and Sydney and am a qualified school teacher. I am committed to expository preaching and making the word of God known and understood.