Many wonder if an emotional affair is actually adultery. I believe so for the following reasons:
Jesus Words in Matthew 5:27-28
I do not believe it would be a stretch to apply the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:27-28 to this issue. In other words, Jesus said:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.“
Jesus is emphasizing that what we allow to fester in our hearts is a reality in God’s sight. Therefore, if we are emotionally attaching to someone else other than our spouse, we are just as guilty as someone that has an actual physical affair.
Proverbs 23:7 teaches that as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” That being the case, I believe it is just another scriptural reason as to why an emotional affair is actually adultery in God’s sight.
Playing with Fire
Proverbs 6:27 says, “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?“
Even if an emotional affair is technically not adultery, it should be noted that when you play with fire, it is difficult to not get burned. And, the tragedy of an affair, whether in the heart or the flesh, is that it does not produce a win-win situation. Someone, if not all involved, will eventually feel the heat of its ravaging effects.
What I love about serving the Lord is that His ways produce a win-win situation for God and all of His followers. However, pleasure obtained through sinful means always leaves someone in a broken and discouraged state. That is, though someone may win in getting what they want, it is always at the expense of either God’s glory or the emotional state of others.
Mark it down. God’s ways do not promote jealousy, rage, anguish, and despair. It is only the vile and wicked ways of the world and our sinful tendencies that produce such feelings.
The problem with either an emotional affair or one that is physical is that it burns feelings of anguish, guilt, and inadequacy into the hearts of the other spouse. In fact, if many of you could sit on the other side of the marriage counseling table and listen to the heartache that it causes, there would probably be very little need to even write this article.
The Judgment of God
Whether you believe what I am about to write or not, the judgement of God is something that we will all have to face. An ant standing on a train track can shake his fist all he wants, but this will never stop the train.
Likewise, though we may not believe in the judgment of God, it is coming. And, the scriptures say to be sure for “your sin will find you out“. (Numbers 32:23)
Here are a few scriptures that show us that adultery is a vile sin that will be judged by God:
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19-21
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4