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Adultery and fornication
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Adultery and Fornication


DEF: Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife, or between a married woman and someone other than her husband.


DEF: Consensual sexual intercourse between two persons not married to each other.

For any of us who have been involved in adultery or fornication, we already know the definitions all too well. We have had to live with the guilt and shame that we have felt because of the sins we have committed against our spouse, our lover, God, and especially against ourselves and our own bodies. We were all created with emotional and sexual needs as humans and we can either meet these needs the right way (God’s way), or the wrong way. When we choose to gratify these needs the wrong way, then we oftentimes suffer terrible consequences like divorce, unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, loss of employment, jail time, and/or a ruined reputation. I will deal with adultery and divorce separately since they are a little bit different.


When we get married we never usually expect or intend to cheat on our spouse, but if we have unmet sexual or emotional needs, then we will often go looking for sexual gratification elsewhere, or become easy prey to someone else that comes along looking for it through us. There are different reasons why people commit adultery, which I will list below, you could probably add to this list as well.

1. The person is not having their emotional or sexual needs met through their spouse. This may not be the spouse’s fault at all since many people are emotionally needy because of past unhealed emotional hurts and they are looking for healing and life fulfillment through romantic intimacy and sexual pleasure. Sometimes, there is no sex in the marriage because of past sexual abuse, marital strife, physical dysfunction, pornography use, sexually perverse desires (i.e. homosexuality, sexual violence, fetishism), bitterness, or just plain sexual selfishness.

2. The person has made an idol out of sex and has an active addiction to sex

You can use sex like a drug to ease old unhealed emotional pain and many people seek out the pleasure and excitement they feel they can get through having sex as much as possible. They surf for pornography, sex chat, or seek out real life sexual partners. But lust is an animal that grows quickly and needs to be fed often, and although you may feel that you have control at first, in time that sexual addiction will have control over you, and will destroy all that you love and value.

3. The person is looking for a new spouse

Because every marriage has its difficulties and challenges, it can be easy to think that you have made a terrible mistake in marrying the person that you did because maybe you seem incompatible, there has been abuse or infidelity on the other side, or you just fight a lot. The grass starts looking greener everywhere but where you are, so you start looking for someone new. Many people fall into this trap.

No matter what your reasons may be for committing adultery with someone, it will in time force you to choose between your spouse and your lover because lust demands its due. Spouses can even pick up on a change in our spirit and they can detect that you are mixing your spirit with someone else's through sexual intercourse. There is also the threat of passing on a sexually transmitted disease to your spouse and being discovered, or worse, killing both them and yourself with an incurable disease. Plus, when you try to break off the affair, your lover may not just go away quietly and they may hound you, blackmail you, or just go tell your spouse on you. Many ulcers have been born out of adultery. Most children of divorce greatly blame and resent any parent that caused the breakup of the marriage due to adultery. Even if you do get divorced and marry your lover, your relationship is cursed from the start because it was born out of sin and you will have to try to raise someone else's kids and deal with their angry ex-spouse as well. There are just too many cons and very few pros in committing adultery. The worst con is that adultery can send you to hell in the end if you do not repent before you die, it is just not worth the risk.

1CO 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral (This includes all adultery and fornication) nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (That means you go to hell). 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (You will notice that God helped them to change, so there is hope for us all to change with God's help).


The problem with fornication is that even if you do marry the person you are having sex with, you are building a bad foundation for your relationship. Because your future spouse already knows that you were willing to break God's marital rules with them, so maybe you might do it with someone else later. Plus it shows a real disrespect for your partner to selfishly use them sexually instead of waiting to get married. If you have a sexual perversion problem and your spouse cannot or will not gratify your perverse desires, then just understand that the problem is on your end and that God can help you to change if you give your abnormal desires to Him. We must let God heal us emotionally to heal our abnormal desires. If you are having sex with prostitutes then you can easily get a sexually transmitted disease and be ruined for life sexually, or you can even die from it, or kill someone else. There is also the issue of unplanned pregnancy and having to live with the aftermath of an abortion, or paying child support for many years. Once again, there are far too many negative consequences to fornication, and few positive benefits in it. Like adultery, you can also go to hell for practicing fornication. By the way, pornography and masturbation are also a form of sexual immorality since you are lusting after someone to do it.

MT 5:27 "You have heard that it was said, `Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So what is the answer, how do we meet our emotional and sexual needs, and obey God's laws at the same time? You must allow the Lord to help you to find the proper mate and to give you the help that you need in your marriage to make it work. If a relationship is just based on sex then it will likely create a poor marriage. If you take away the sex from a relationship and it all falls apart, then that is not someone you want to marry anyway because after the sexual thrill wanes, you will have to face the poor relationship and incompatibility. We must stop making such an idol out of sex and stop using it as a drug to ease our pain. We must fill ourselves with God every day by reading His word and spending time with Him in prayer so that we will not be spiritually starving to death all the time and looking for sexual idols to meet our needs. The grass is never greener on the other side of sexual immorality; it is brown, dirty, and full of dog poop. 2nd and 3rd marriages are so much harder to make work than the original one, so it is always better to submit your original marriage to God and to let Him help you to build a good marriage together. It takes time and work to build a good marriage and you will never find a completely compatible spouse since all people are different and have their own unique problems, preferences, and unhealed emotional pain to deal with.

If you are trapped in a relationship based on adultery or fornication, then allow God to help you to work it all out. You will have to go to Him and ask Him specifically what you need to do to rectify your particular situation. If it is adultery, you may have to break the relationship off, get accountability from a trusted friend, and/or confess it to your spouse and let the chips fall where they may. God will show you what you need to do. If it is fornication, then you may need to stop having sex with your partner and just work on building a relationship with them. It is hard to pray with someone and have sex with him or her at the same time. So by reading the bible, worshiping, and praying together, you can help yourselves to avoid sexual temptation better. Remember that God's sexual rules are for your benefit, you are not doing Him a big favor by keeping them. He set those rules up in order that you would get the most out of your sexual relationship in your marriage as husband and wife (male and female). Sex was created in order to create marital intimacy, enjoy physical pleasure (in a mutually enjoyable fashion, not perversely), and to create children within a marriage. Anything outside of this definition is sexual immorality and should be avoided. You don't go to a restaurant to find out how your car works properly and God is the designer and manufacturer of our bodies and He alone has the right and wisdom to define how our bodies should be used properly sexually.

Here is a prayer to pray if you need it.

"Dear God, I just repent from all forms of sexual sin, and I ask your forgiveness for all the sexual immorality that I have ever committed. I ask that you would cleanse me fully from all the times that I have broken your sexual laws. I ask God that you would help me to change and that you would show me exactly what you want me to do to repair the damage that I have done from all my sexual sin. I commit myself this day to obeying your sexual laws and to just allowing sex to be what you created it to be, and not to make an idol out of it anymore. I thank you God for forgiving me this day and for helping me to walk forward in obedience and rightness sexually. In Jesus name I pray, amen".

1JN 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness ("All means all" no matter how terrible your sin was, so forgive yourself as well). 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

Some scriptures to help you.

REV 22:14 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

JAS 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

RO 13:11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

1CO 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

GAL 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

JN 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

JN 8:9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

JN 8:11 "No one, sir," she said.

"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."