“But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28 (NLT)
In ministering to teenagers for many years, I can tell you that adultery is a teenage epidemic, and not just an adult problem. I know that sounds a little crazy, but according to what Jesus is defining as adultery, I believe it is accurate. We need to see it the way He does if we are going to be free from it’s deadly effects. Jesus turns the tables on His hearers when He shows us adultery (sex outside of your own marriage; sex with someone else’s spouse) is more than just physical. He is showing us the root cause and the real offense. Jesus is showing us that you don’t have to be married nor do you have to engage in sex with someone else’s spouse in order to be guilty before God of adultery (sexual sin). Jesus tells us that if we lust (fantasize, imagine having sex - porn definitely counts and so does sexting) about any other person sexually, married or unmarried, we have committed adultery. By lusting, we have cheated on our current or future spouse (known or not known), and we have imagined having sex with someone’s current or future spouse as well. Either way, it’s not complicated, we have imagined sex in our hearts with someone who is not our spouse and Jesus says, that is a perversion. It is something not intended by God, and it always complicates, damages, and destroys all involved. Even as a young person, if you have already crossed this line, you know it has done one or all of the above things mentioned to your inner and outer life. I don’t know of anyone who has regrets about having sex with their spouse (because it is God’s perfect design for sex), but I can think of no one (and sadly I know more than I would like to) who has sinned sexually, in or outside of marriage, that has a wonderful story to go along with it. The best stories are those who have honored God and their future spouses by staying pure, inwardly (protecting their hearts and minds), so they could remain pure outwardly. Honor God, others, and yourself, by asking Jesus to help you overcome the sexual temptations of your heart and mind, so you will fulfill your responsibility to God, yourself, and your possible future spouse. Don’t be an adulterer! God has called you to purity, because love doesn’t see people as sex objects. If you have crossed this line, Jesus is gracious, and offers forgiveness and restoration. No one is defined or valued by what they have or haven’t done.