Virtually everyone agrees that adultery is wrong. According to one survey, more than 75% worldwide agree that it is wrong.[i] The vast majority of us agree: adultery hurts marriages, it hurts children.
And yet, simultaneously, our culture encourages us to pursue our desires and fulfill our passions. But there are cracks in that approach. The #metoo movement has begun to uncover the devastating impact of some men living out this sexual philosophy.
Two thousand years ago Jesus pointed to the crack in this moral pavement. He says that our sexual offense, our sexual sin, doesn’t begin with the action, but with the heart:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
Sexual sin begins with our heart and moves to our imagination and only then to our actions. There was never a person in the history of the world who committed sexual sin who didn’t initiate that sin in his heart and then his imagination.
Only 14% of women and 22% of men admit to having had an affair.[ii] And yet, If you ask Americans if they would commit an affair if they wouldn’t get caught, then 74% of men and 68% of women say they would have an affair.[iii]
And every person has at one time or another turned over in our hearts the desire to experience someone other than our spouse sexually and/or emotionally. That desire then gets turned over and played with in our minds. This is lust.