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Within Marriage, There is No Place for Adultery

Marriage and the Sixth Commandment Adultery has no place in God’s plan for how He defines marriage. That is why it is clearly spelled out in the Sixth Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex 20:14). We can go all the way back to Genesis, and read about the creation of man and woman. It is here that we learn of God’s plan for marriage. We see that Adam and Eve were created in a state of union and love with God.

God blessed them, saying to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ (Genesis 1:28)

By God’s design, through the complementarity of male and female, along with the gift of sexuality, humans may procreate. This design is further clarified later in Genesis, where it states:

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two become one body (Genesis 2:24).

Not only do the couple become one body through the conjugal act, but they unite their love for each other, as Adam and Eve’s love was united with God, before the fall. Also, take note of the usage of the word “wife” in Genesis, one of the oldest books of the Bible. Proof, that marriage by God’s design, has been in existence since literally the ‘dawn of man.’

But, why did God create marriage? What is its purpose?

Since we are all created in the image and likeness of God, He created marriage with two purposes: 1) Unitive – to mirror the Trinitarian love expressed between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and 2) Procreative – to bring forth new life.

When two spouses fully give of themselves to each other, they mirror the love of the Blessed Trinity. When they are open to new life, they may be blessed with children. Thus, the family, (father, mother and child), truly witness, in likeness, to the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

When two spouses allow the sin of adultery to enter the picture, they break the bond of love and trust with each other, as well as with God. They psychologically and spiritually injure their marriage and potentially their children. Therefore, adultery has no place in marriage.

Why should marriage be life-long?

By God’s design, marriage has two properties: 1) Monogamous, and 2) Indissoluble. Love is not a switch that we turn on, and then turn off. Instead, love is something that grows deeper over time. With that said, it is meant to be a life-long commitment. Monogamy means that:

…a person cannot give himself or herself totally to more than one person in the same way. Consequentially, adultery…and polygamy…are both grave violations of the nature of marriage and the exclusivity derived from the unity inherent in the matrimonial bond. 1

Whereas monogamy requires a life-long commitment, the matrimonial bond requires indissolubility. Jesus confirmed this fact for us:

So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate (Matt 19:6).

This means that when two people freely enter the covenant of marriage, and consummate their love with the conjugal act, God seals that love with a marriage bond. Per God, Himself, no human must separate that marriage bond. Therefore, indissolubility reigns and adultery has no place in God’s design for marriage.

How We Can Better View Marriage

So, where does this leave us, in a society so wrought with the sin of adultery, for which so many marriages have been broken apart? Here’s a few ways we can begin to look at marriage differently, and properly:

  • Refrain from objectifying others for one’s own self pleasure. Instead love your spouse for their own sake.
  • Try to see the gift of marriage through God’s eyes. See it as something to treasure.
  • Be fully self-giving to your spouse. This means loving fully and trusting in God with the creation of new life.
  • Respect the marriage bond that you have created with your spouse and with God. Live up to your commitment by showing kindness and affection, intimacy and love to your spouse.

Adultery has no place in a good marriage. And, don’t we all want good marriages? Yes! Therefore, “you shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14).


1 Armenio, Peter V. Our Moral Life in Christ: College Ed. Woodridge: Midwest Theological Forum. Print. 2009 p. 453

This post also appears on Association of Catholic Women Bloggers, and Top Catholic Blogs

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2 Responses to Within Marriage, There is No Place for Adultery

  • I like this a lot I’m not catholic but it does go very well with what I believe to be true and I’m going through a hard time right now with my husband so reading this gives me some more insight; so thank you very much.

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