#Motivation For Men #20: A Different Kind of Thief
Stealing and adultery are both violations of the Ten Commandments, and have long been understood to be sinful. In a very real sense, adultery can be viewed as a form of stealing, since the adulterer is taking something precious that is not theirs to have, or giving something precious to someone other than the one to whom it belongs.
This makes the adulterer a different kind of thief. The thief who steals a basic necessity such as food out of need, though they are in the wrong and must pay for their crimes, may at least be viewed with a certain level of compassion. The adulterous man, however, will find little sympathy, especially among other men, and none at all from the husband whose wife was unfaithful. This is because sexual union is neither a basic need required for survival nor a commodity easily replaced, but rather the exclusive property of the couple united.
It is interesting that Proverbs elaborates so much on the sin of adultery when the Ten Commandments have already condemned it. Why repeat what has already been decreed by God’s law? One possible reason is our human nature. We are not simply robots who obey commands and observe restrictions. We are human beings who must decide between the sometimes conflicting influences of spirit, conscience, intellect, emotion and desire. God’s word can help us by speaking to us at the different levels of our being. For example.
Law. You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20)
Principle. Adultery is wrong because it violates the wedding vows of mutual faithfulness and steals that which rightfully belongs to another. (Genesis 39.8-9)
Consequence. No matter how attractive she is, even if she is flirting with you, the wife of another man is off limits. If you have an affair with her, you invite not only perpetual shame and disgrace, but also the vengeance of her jealous husband. (Proverbs 6.30-35)
Let us learn the Biblical lessons of consequence, principle and law so we are able to resist temptation on multiple levels.