Adultery of the Mind – Marriage Message #35

Photo by Thanunkorn, courtesy of
Photo by Thanunkorn, courtesy of

In the Marriage Message before this one (#34), Cindy and I shared some thoughts on the topic of Marital Intimate Issues. Afterward, some men wrote to say they really liked the “sex is a type of worship” part. But as we said, “there is a right kind of worship and a wrong kind of worship.” This time we’d like to talk to men a little more in depth on the two questions we posed and asked you to pray about:

1) Do I look pure on the outside to everyone else —but in reality have I merely settled on a middle ground somewhere between paganism and obedience to God’s standard?

2) Do I get any sexual gratification from anyone or anything other than my wife?

If you do, then you aren’t keeping yourself and your marriage bed “undefiled” as the Bible tells us to do. I don’t know one true Christ follower who doesn’t WANT to be a man of sexual integrity. Yet at the same time I believe most Christian men struggle greatly in this area of their lives, myself included.

My aim in this message is not to throw stones but to share a few pointers that have helped me and many men I know as well. 

First, I had to personally come to realize that I cannot mix God’s standard for sexual integrity with my own —because mine will always fall short of God’s. It isn’t a matter of “what I can and can’t get away with” in what I allow my eyes and mind to focus on, but rather staying away from everything that even hints at being wrong.

Why even go there? What’s the point of “playing so close to the edge?” Is that kind of behavior something that would please God? Is it a place where God would want to go with you? Where there is too much confidence in your own strength as well as reckless regard for the consequences, a fall is very likely.

Obtaining even a hint of sexual gratification from a woman by writing to her, talking to her, viewing her in real life or in pictures, on the computer or any other form where you would be embarrassed if Jesus were with you, is a form of adultery (see Ephesians 5:3-5) —and yes, if you are a child of God, He IS with you.

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute (or a woman that you are viewing as if she were one)? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh‘” (1 Corinthians 6:15-16).

The Bible tells us to flee from immorality (as the Bible says that Joseph did when tempted by Potifar’s wife). We’re told to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” And anything or anyone that we allow for even a brief time to sexually entertain us, apart from our wife, that we don’t flee from, entangles us into sinning. And make no mistake about it, this type of sin is addicting. Experts say that it is “the fastest growing addiction in the world, and is the addiction of choice among Christians.”

How tragic! It’s one of the reasons so many outside of the church point to us as a bunch of hypocrites. And it has to be angering and breaking the heart of God. As God’s children, we’re God’s Holy Temple, so whatever dirt we bring into our lives, we’re throwing at God as well.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).

So don’t try to normalize any sexual behavior that dishonors God and your wife —justifying it as “harmless” or “only natural” or saying that it “isn’t a big deal” —because it is a big deal. You give the enemy of our faith a foothold every time you entertain your sexual appetite apart from enjoying your wife alone in your sexuality.

I personally made the decision a number of years ago to flee from feeding this type of behavior. It’s a continual battle, but it’s worth it. For me, that means turning away from TV, media ads, and any images that are the least bit suggestive.

It means that I “starve” my eyes to such an extent that whenever a woman or an image of a woman begins to tempt me to think impure thoughts, I instantly remove my eyes and my mind away from it as many times as it takes until it is gone. It’s a matter of starving that which I don’t want to grow. I only want to feed that which is beneficial to the health of my marriage and my spiritual life.

If I look like a fool to others, I don’t care. I’m not viewed as a fool to those most important to me —my God and my wife. I came to realize that holiness and purity are achieved by a series of choices that I make every day.

For me, the choices that help me are (1) To set no vile thing before my eyes (Psalm 101:3) and (2) To put to death sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires (Colossians 3:5-6).

Men, I pray you will join me in making the choice to live according to God’s standards for purity.

  • Become accountable with another man whom you can trust to hold your feet to the fire over this serious matter.
  • Search for the help God can bring your way for a “way of escape” when you are faced with temptation.
  • Please take advantage of that which we offer on this web site. We have many web site links and recommended resources that could greatly help you win this battle.
  • And above all else, pray for purity as David did in Psalm 51:10, Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Women: I (Cindy) want to add something to help you as well. I urge you to follow the advice of Laura Hall, who wrote the book, An Affair of the Mind… One Woman’s Courageous Battle to Salvage Her Family from the Devastation of Pornography. In it she said,

“Don’t condemn yourself. A husband will work hard at convincing his wife and others that the addiction [to pornography] is her fault. He does this to lessen his own guilt, but don’t subscribe to such thinking. Beating yourself up is nonproductive and pointless. It also invites self-pity and therefore sin.”

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus(Romans 8:1).

As authors Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus says in their book, “Intimate Issues”:

“God doesn’t want us to condemn ourselves. Neither does He want us to deceive ourselves into thinking we’re perfect. We should always be open to correction and change, but God’s way of achieving transformation is through LOVING instruction, not brutal condemnation.

“How are you doing with the battle in your mind? Are you refusing to ‘compare’ and ‘condemn?’ Are you thinking right? If so, you’re free to begin ‘doing.’ The first item on the ‘to do list’ is to increase your understanding and its dangers.”

Husbands and wives: We pray you will flee from sexual temptation and sin, do what you can to sexually enjoy each other only, refrain from even the “appearance of evil” and educate yourselves on these matters. Do it for your sake and also to someday help to educate your children before their minds become exposed to things that can draw them into such addictions that can ruin their lives and marriages.

Steve and Cindy Wright


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26 responses to “Adultery of the Mind – Marriage Message #35

  1. (USA)  I have committed adultery against my wife several times. I have slept with prostitutes as well as male prostitutes dressed as females. I have been saved for 8 years. But this has always been my battle. I told my wife once about my adultery but not the other times. I struggle with thoughts, lust and when I get mad at my wife I get get tempted even more. I don’t know what to do. Can someone reach out to me please??

    1. (UNITED STATES)  To KT. You need to confess first to God and then to your wife for everything that you have done. She needs to know. It is her right to know. You are subjecting her to diseases. You are putting her life and yours in danger. You need to seek counseling -you have sexual issues that need to be addressed. God is a wonderful God and he will never desert you. God Bless.

  2. (NIGERIA)  Please, is it a sin when one woke up and found out he has wet his bed and what is the best solution to such issues to forestall future occurrence?

  3. (UNTIED STATES)  I have been searching for guidance and some form of answers. My husband had went to a bachelor party a few days ago and allowed a stripper to give him a lap dance completely naked after he had promised me he would leave if there were any strippers. He lied to me about it and now that I’ve lost trust in him. I’ve started checking his email and facebook account. I found emails to girls he went to high school and middle school with that he hasn’t seen in over 10 years and girls that are over seas because as he says he found it interesting they have the the same last name as him and maybe they are related. I found it made me very uncomfortable.

    We said our vows 1 year ago and he promised me that at this party if their were strippers he would call me to come get him when all along he knew there would be and he planned to lie to me. I feel extremely violated and as if he’s “dirty” now, but some of my friends who are non-practicing Christians say I’m overly upset and it’s not that big of a deal. I know how I feel but am I justified? Is this truly a form of adultery? I feel it’s a good reason to see our priest and get counseling through the church. But, I don’t want to be blowing this out of proportion or being overly emotional if I should not be. I’m being accused of being controlling. Am I wrong for feeling so betrayed?

  4. (UNITED STATES)  Oh Angel, you are not married, you need to leave the man alone. Each and every time you sleep with him and or take his wife’s place, you are sinning against the wife, and yourself. This man needs to become accountable for what he is doing and what he has done. The marriage vows do not say you can get out just because you are unhappy. It say until death do us part.

    Sweet heart, you have been had. Now, it is up to you to protect you and your baby. I say run, run, and run again. Make him pay child support and take care of the baby and move on. He does and never did belong to you. I am sooo sorry if I sound cruel. I am just saying it like it is. When you take money from someone else’s purse, you have to pay the penalty. But, I do know this -God is a wonderful God -and you can grow from your mistake.

  5. (UNITED STATES)  Eleshia, You stump that in the bud. If he is acting like this, you make him make a choice. You can do this real sweet like. Just say, baby, since you went to your friends party I guess it is ok for me to do the same. Never ever nag him. Ask if you can have some cash to put in the male stripper’s strap. Leave for a few hours, then come home.

    If you have a problem saying what you want the money for instead of saying the male stripper’s strap. Just asked for money and leave for a few hours not allowing him to know where you have been. I don’t think you will ever have to worry about him doing this ever again. Only you and God need to know any different. Come home crawl in bed and never say a word about where you were – never. He needs to examine himself and see how you must feel.

    I do have a suggestion, why don’t you go to see a good movie? This may not seem Christian like, but sometimes you have to fight the devil with his own tools. As long as God wins -you have won the war. God Bless.

  6. (CAMEROON) I am grateful for this site where God is working in marriages. To God be the glory. I just got something inside, which the Holy Spirit has given me to share. Please, let’s look at it and see the good that God will bring to our homes. Some little tips the Holy Spirit laid in me for marriages:

    Women, always look good and everyday try to look different from your yesterday’s appearance to your husbands. Always be prayerful to God, for Him to show you the new thing you should do each day in your marital life, which will keep you happy up to date, because the only thing in life that remains is “CHANGE”. Change your dressing style; this is for your husband (because most husbands get tired of their marriages at some point). What men love is beauty, a good look for their wives. A delicious meal their wives prepared for them, is what will make them happy, etc. Always do something significant that when your husband leaves the house every morning to work, he (at his work place) will keep thinking of a beautiful wife he married who has made His day. Always pray for Him, while he’s away for God to protect him, keep him away from other women, (and don’t forget that there are other women outside who can show your husband love and more care than you can do). But I want you to know that with God all things are possible. Therefore, Pray that God will lead you to do that which is important for each moment. Don’t forget to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in you, the great teacher and counselor to marriage lives.

    There should be an extraordinary love for your husband, 1 Corinthians 13, practice the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23, but start from vs. 16). In every marriage, communication is the key to a happy home.

    It also applies to husbands. And to add, spend time with your wives. Or else you will come home one day and she’s not there, because another man is satisfying her needs, which you wouldn’t satisfy at home. Living a Christian life all starts in the home then to the outside world. If your home is not perfect, what on the outside you are imparting to others? Again, to husbands, spend time with your kids. Much time is needed that you give to them. They deserve it. Don’t wait until a child is lost (not my intention, but for safety) that you care so much. And then in the end you say “I should have spent time, danced, played, etc. with my child.”

    Marriage is an issue of obtaining certificates, as in book work. In Cameroon, we have in the following order, Common Entrance and FSLC, GCE O-level, GCE A-Level, HND, Degree, Masters and PHD. This is how marriage is also. Each day, we need to evaluate how much we have done to reach a level. If not, we need to work. It’s also a sacrifice. But 1 Corinthians 10:13 gives us the grace and strength to carry on, also Ecclesiastes 1:9. There in the Bible, the unstoppable word of God, there is every reason we have to make our marriage work. There is life in the Bible as well as death. But God says, “choose ye this day life.”

    Let’s also talk about their love language. Marriage partners need to know the love language of their partners, to live a better life, and have a happy home. Jesus’ life is an example.
    1) He cared for people
    2) He showed compassion (Case of Lazarus, John 11:1-45)
    3) He was attentive to listen to people (case of the demon possessed child in Luke)
    4) He welcomed people around Him (don’t prevent little children (Matthew 19:14))
    5) He humbled Himself to the cross (Phil 2:5-12)
    6) Narrated stories to His disciples with teachings (stories how God takes care of the flowers and the birds (Matthew 6:26)
    7) He taught many times in the temple, teaching people like you and me
    8) And above all, HE LOVED (little children, His disciples, Men and Women, people with disabilities, etc.)

    That is what a home should be like. It should be both parties involved and not a one man standing issue. For men, the Bible says “FLEE”, (1 Corinthians 6:18). Therefore, don’t look back or think twice, but do the commandment given, for a better marriage you desire. To add, James 4:7, should be the base of every home, and every husband to His wife and wife to Her husband. “RESIST, v.t. rezist’. [L. resisto; re and sisto, to stand.]

    1. Literally, to stand against; to withstand; hence, to act in opposition, or to oppose. A dam or mound resists a current of water passively, by standing unmoved and interrupting its progress. An army resists the progress of an enemy actively, by encountering and defeating it. We resist measures by argument or remonstrance. Why doth he yet find fault? for who hath resisted his will? Rom 9.

    2. To strive against; to endeavor to counteract, defeat or frustrate. Ye do always resist the Holy Spirit. Acts 7.

    3. To baffle; to disappoint. God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.

    James 4. RESIST’, v.i. to make opposition.” FLEE, v.i.

    1. To run with rapidity, as from danger; to attempt to escape; to hasten from danger or expected evil. The enemy fled at the first fire. Arise, take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt. Mat 2.

    2. To depart; to leave; to hasten away. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4.

    3. To avoid; to keep at a distance from. Flee fornication; flee from idolatry. 1 Cor 6:10. To flee the question or from the question, in legislation, is said of a legislator who, when a question is to be put to the house, leaves his seat to avoid the dilemma of voting against his conscience, or giving an unpopular vote. In the phrases in which this verb appears to be transitive, there is really an ellipsis.