“For the lips of an adulteress [adulterer] drip honey, and her [his] speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she [he] is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword . . . . For the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread and the adulteress [adulterer] preys on your very life.”
— Proverbs 5:3-4; 6:26
A story going around Hollywood is that when Moses came down from Mount Sinai he gathered the Jewish men and said, “Guys, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I negotiated God down from twenty commandments to ten; the bad news is that adultery is still on the list.” So goes the increasingly light view of sex outside of marriage, intimacy that violates a covenant with God and a spouse.
Research by Connecticut Mutual Life indicated that the “media elite” are about thirty percent more likely to see nothing wrong with adultery than the general populace and about four times (!) more likely than the public to see nothing wrong with living together before marriage.
While breaking any one of the Ten Commandments can be forgiven via repentance and confession, there is a good reason why adultery is on God’s Big Ten list . . . and the reason is NOT that God is out to spoil our fun. God happens to know how ultimately destructive illegitimate sex really is.
The writer of Proverbs observed that adultery turns the sweet experience of romance into a wretchedly bitter one. What starts out as “honey” ends up as “gall.” FYI, gall is the bile of an animal used for medicinal purposes with as bitter a taste as its source might indicate. Furthermore, this unlawful kind of love experience initially has all the properties of oil―a soothing balm―but will mortally wound like a dagger in the end.
Wisdom Principle 4: Sex outside of marriage is not what it appears on the surface: Its sweet, smooth beginnings inevitably end in bitterness and injury.
King Solomon―who had considerable experience with seduction as a man with seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines―also figured out what happens to “seducees,” male and female. He observed that allowing oneself to be seduced outside the bounds of God’s Law has a “reductionist effect” on a person. Pick your category of reduction―psychological or spiritual, physical or emotional, financial or reputational―the person who submits to sexual seduction outside of marriage steps into an experiential bottomless hole. Illicit sex takes the person from the high uniqueness of virginity and purity to the “loaf of bread level,” one of cheapness and commonness.
Wisdom Principle 5: Sex outside of marriage always takes the partners from seduction to reduction . . . by sucking life itself out of them.
Adultery is not, as someone has said, the same thing for adults that child’s play is for children. It is the enemy of successful living. God said so with such force that He made it one of the ten, major no-no’s of living.