Therefore, let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin] – 1Corinthians 10:12 AMP
Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife – Proverbs 5:15NLT
An extramarital affair is the transfer or sharing of the affection, attention and care meant for one’s spouse with another, most often of the opposite sex. It can also be defined as an immoral relationship kept by a married person with someone apart from his or her spouse. This is also called adultery. A 2005 global survey estimated that 22 percent of married people worldwide admitted to have committed adultery. A 2016 survey suggested that in more than one-third of marriages, one or both spouses commit adultery. The study also noted that adultery increases a couple’s odds of separation and divorce and is often cited as a major reason for divorce and an underlying factor for rising divorce rates. In the United States, estimates suggest that one-third of marriages survive extramarital affairs. Extramarital dating and adultery websites have proliferated worldwide. One website reports more than 30 million users in more than 15 countries.
From the Scripture above (Proverbs 5:15), and so many others, God’s verdict is very clear on adultery. A clear example is in the book of Hebrews – “Give honour to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery” – Hebrews 13:4, NLT. The world may call it all sorts of names in a bid to ‘undo’ the consequences that follow adultery, but that does not change God’s position about it.
The following are important precautions to take in order to avoid extramarital sex:
- Be contented with your spouse. You must understand that your spouse is God’s gift to you; therefore, you need to be contented with him or her (1Timothy 6:6).
- Keep off and break every tie with all former sin (immoral) partners. In order to fully cleave to your spouse, and focus on building your home together, there is need to leave all former sin partners (2Corinthians 5:17).
- Stay away from persons or places which constitute sexual or immoral temptation to you, avoid them at all cost (1Corinthians 15:33).
- Carry your spouse along when attending certain important functions. Cultivating the habit of always being together while going for certain functions will go a long way to save you some unnecessary temptations from immoral detractors.
- Discuss every premarital affair with your spouse as much as possible. Sharing your premarital affairs with your spouse will strengthen trust and provide security against further immoral temptations (James 5:16).
- Discuss every negative feelings, secret admirers, and ungodly tendencies with your spouse. This is an indication of accountability to your spouse as he or she provides the needed support, encouragement, counsel and prayer for you.
- Always declare your marital status and be proud of your spouse wherever you go. Making your marital status known and speaking well about your spouse in their absence can help you escape the trap of some unsolicited attention-seekers.
- Love your spouse as Christ loves the Church. The more you love your spouse, the easier it is to escape immoral temptations. If you truly love your spouse, you wouldn’t want to do anything that will hurt him or her. And the love must be genuinely expressed in words and deeds (Ephesians 5:25-28).
- Be watchful and prayerful. In order to escape every temptation targeted at our homes, there is the need to always watch and pray. We must pray as individuals and pray as a couple and family. When our personal and family altar is ablaze, the enemy would rarely find a loophole through which he can get us (Matthew 26:41).
Having considered important precautions against extramarital affairs, note that there are also grave consequences that accompany such an immoral act. Such consequences include the following:
- It attracts God’s wrath
- It opens door to demonic operations in one’s life and family
- It could lead to persistent marital conflicts
- It could cause distrust between the couple
- It can cause divorce or separation which is against the will and Word of God
- There is the danger of being infected with Sexually Transmitted Diseases and passing it on to one’s spouse
- Such a lifestyle can be passed down to one’s children
- It could damage relationships both within and outside the home
- It causes hindrance to prayers
- This can lead to eternal death if repentance is not sought
In conclusion, it is important to always trust the Lord and stay watchful against all antics of the enemy concerning our marital relationships. Reevaluate your relationship with the opposite sex in Church, office, marketplace, neighbourhood, etc. Be determined to make your marriage work by applying the aforementioned precautions. Never take any red signal for granted; share with your spouse every tendency to stray; pray together and live lovingly with each other. God bless your home.