21 Steps To Adultery-Proof Your Marriage

By Dr. Dan Cheatham, Senior Pastor

You may also wish to view "The Marriage Beatitudes"

First let’s read a few sobering scriptures about adultery. In our present immorally saturated culture and society, the following scriptures are rarely read, even by Christians. But God doesn’t change, and the consequences of sin have never changed, irregardless of men’s opinions or the trends of societies. Whether one believes or acknowledges certain Bible truths is inconsequential… the principles that God has set forth in His Word are irreversible and ALWAYS produce the results that God has spoken of.

Deuteronomy 5:8 KJV - Neither shalt thou commit adultery. 19-21 Neither shalt thou steal. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour. Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Proverbs 6:32-35 NLT - But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. Wounds and constant disgrace are his lot. His shame will never be erased. For the woman’s husband will be furious in his jealousy, and he will have no mercy in his day of vengeance. There is no compensation or bribe that will satisfy him.

Hebrews 13:4 KJV - Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Hebrews 13:4 NIV - Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Hebrews 13:4 NLT - Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

1 Thessalonians 4:2-8 NLT - For you remember what we taught you in the name of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and his ways. Never cheat a Christian brother in this matter by taking his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives. Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Malachi 2:13-17 MSG - And here's a second offense: You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don't get what you want from God. Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you've broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that's what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don't cheat on your spouse. "I hate divorce," says the God of Israel. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, "I hate the violent dismembering of the 'one flesh' of marriage." So watch yourselves. Don't let your guard down. Don't cheat. You make God tired with all your talk. "How do we tire him out?" you ask. By saying, "God loves sinners and sin alike. God loves all." And also by saying, "Judgment? God's too nice to judge."

So here are the 21 Steps to Adultery-Proof Your Marriage:

1. Admit that you are a sexual being with sexual needs and that your sexuality is not intrinsically evil, but a GOOD thing that God created. Also admit that you are NOT BEYOND the temptation of sexual promiscuity, but that you must take internal and practical precautions IN ADVANCE to prevent this tragedy from ever happening to you or your family.

Genesis 1:27 NLT - So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.

Genesis 5:2 NLT - He created them male and female, and he blessed them and called them "human."

2. NEVER share your highest dreams and/or your deepest disappointments with a person of the opposite sex other than your spouse. This is how people slowly slide into the adultery trap. The dreams and disappointments I am speaking of here are not just disappointments with your present spouse, but any of your dreams and disappointments… spiritual, financial, social, professional, etc. NEVER let anyone of the opposite sex other than your spouse become your best friend. DECIDE and then continue to work on keeping your spouse as your best friend. This will require some EFFORT on your part and some FORBEARANCE of your spouse’s glaring faults and personality quirks… but you’ve got faults and quirks too! (Imagine that!) Forbearance is the ability to overlook another’s faults and to keep a relationship in tact because you give the other person plenty of space and room to grow. BUT NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER share your inmost dreams and disappointments with any other of the opposite sex besides your spouse. To do so would be to create a soul-bond with the other person that is inappropriate and unscriptural. To do so would be to naively or purposely allow yourself to bond with them and to break your marriage vows. Your marriage vows are not just vows of PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES, but also vows of EMOTIONAL boundaries, MENTAL boundaries, SOCIAL boundaries, and CONVERSATIONAL boundaries. An emotional tie can quickly become a physical tie. A warm conversation that discusses too much or goes too long can accidentally become an invitation for two people to share more in the future.

Song of Solomon 5:16 KJV - His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

3. Never share private time at meals, or in counseling, or in automobiles, or in apartments, or in a home ALONE with a person of the opposite sex. Don’t be so naïve as to think you can handle “aloneness” with another of the opposite sex. You, my friend, are not superman! You are going to make a huge mistake!

Genesis 39:12 NLT - And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

Proverbs 7:13 NLT - So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him…

4. Always be honest with yourself and God when you feel a twinge of attraction to another besides your spouse. Talk to the Lord about it and ask Him to help you stay away from that person and to never allow you to flirt with them. If the attraction becomes too exciting or entertaining to your mind, share this problem with your spouse (if your marriage is strong and transparent enough and you feel your spouse is mature enough) or a trusted spiritual friend or pastor of the same gender who can pray for you, break the soul tie you are experiencing by praying for you, and hold you accountable in the future. Usually exposing the attraction, getting it out of the realm of secrecy, will dispel its lure over you. Exposing something of this nature usually shows it for what it really is… a fleshly impulse… a compulsion… a stupid emotional temptation.

If you are a man and sometimes tempted to gaze too long at a beautiful woman, or to think too long about her, consider developing the following habit. When this begins to happen, briefly pray for that atttractive woman, her relationship with the Lord, her present or future marriage, her parents, and her children. This will quickly get your focus off her beauty or anatomy, and deny your flesh. In so doing, you turn the potential for lust into an opportunity to briefly pray for someone.

Understand that feelings of temptation themselves ARE NOT sin (although they make you feel sinful). Following through and/or embellishing the thing in your mind is what would make it sin.

5. Make sexual love often to your spouse. Read Christian books that can enrich this important part of your marriage. There are multitudes of great books on the subject to be found in Christian bookstores that are written by noteworthy and responsible Christian authors and professionals.

1Co 7:5 NLT - So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterward they should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control.

The Song of Solomon, by the way, is God’s Sexual Lovemaking Manual For Mates. If husbands and wives will read this manual and only take the time to “DE-CODE” its figurative speech, many techniques and skills will be revealed on how to pleasure one another.

Proverbs 5:15-23 NLT - Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in public, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Don’t share it with strangers. Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving doe, a graceful deer. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, with an immoral woman, or embrace the breasts of an adulterous woman? For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his incredible folly.

6. Occasionally get away from your children and give exclusive attention to your spouse on a dinner date, a romantic weekend, or a trip to somewhere out of the ordinary.

Mark 6:31 KJV - And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

7. Never view pornography or anything that borders on pornography. Make sure your home and your work computers have filtered internet access… at any cost or effort by you. YOU MUST DECIDE AHEAD OF TIME TO HAVE INTERNET ACCOUNTABILITY! YOU CANNOT WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE TEMPTED. Pornographic material is too readily available to delay your advance action. IntegrityOnline.Com and BSafeHome.Com provide safe filtered internet access either through their own dial up ISP service or by their filtering proxy service with your own ISP or Broadband Cable or DSL provider. This will protect both you and your spouse and your children from times when you might feel lonely and thus be tempted to view inappropriate material. Also there is free internet accountability software available called X3Watch, which sends reports of your internet activity to an accountability partner should questionable pages be viewed on your computer. If pornography has ever been a temptation to you in the past, don’t even allow yourself to go to a convenience store, video store, or a place of business that sells pornography, once you discover so. Make that place off-limits for fuel, or food, or anything else.

Pornography is NOT reality! Porn photos and videos are retouched by artists. Porn is fantasy out of control. A WHORE CARES NOTHING FOR YOU! SHE IS A WITCH, USING HER BODY FOR FINANCIAL GAIN! As the old saying goes, "Women: A little powder and a little paint, so much that now they ain't!" No real wife can compete with the retouched photography and unrealistic fantasy that the false oasis of pornography offers the human mind.

Many studies have PROVEN beyond a shadow of doubt that pornography is more addictive than many drugs and that the chemicals released in the brain can literally derange a person's entire mind and personality. And this is not to mention the damage to good marriages porn causes. In short, pornography is DANGEROUS and must be avoided like the plague.

Psalm 101:2-4 NLT - I will be careful to live a blameless life—when will you come to my aid? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all crooked dealings; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.

If you have Satellite TV or Cable TV service, block all inappropriate channels and ask your wife to be the one to choose the passcode and keep it secret from you and your children. Some cable TV providers only SCRAMBLE porn channels, and distorted images can still be viewed to some extent, not to mention the filthy conversation that often still comes through. This is why you must make sure that inappropriate channels are ENTIRELY BLOCKED or REMOVED from your TV service altogehter.

“ A little bit of looking can end in a whole lot of lusting!”

Lust always torments, never satisfies. You do not want to view inappropriate material or read steamy novels because they will leave you feeling raw, dirty, dissatisfied, and guilty. SIN PROMISES A CHEAP THRILL BUT AIMS FOR THE KILL! SIN OFFERS YOU A HIGH BUT THEN DROPS YOU LOW! SIN PROMISES TO FULFILL BUT LEAVES A CHILL!

See my book, Pornography Counseling Guidlines, and read this article, Pornography Effects By Clinical Psychologist, and go to this website, OneWayOut.Org, if you need more help along these lines.

8. Have a spiritual mentor in your life that you know has a strong marriage, who can inspire and motivate your own marital excellence and improvement. We learn by modeling others. Skills in communication, affection, listening, and leadership have to be LEARNED; they do not come naturally.

9. Talk to your spouse immediately if someone makes you uncomfortable around your spouse. Explain to them that you are not being jealous or suspicious, that you absolutely trust your spouse, but that you just have a twinge of caution and protection for your spouse when it comes to this other person. Talk it out and take whatever appropriate action the two of you decide.

10. Laugh, play, talk, and touch your spouse all the time, any time. Good manners like “Please, Thank you, You’re welcome, Excuse me, My pleasure, Forgive me, I’m sorry, My Bad,” will really strengthen your marriage. Lavish PRAISE on your spouse. Tell them what you adore about them often. Thank them often and name the things you are grateful that they do. List the things you like about your spouse aloud to them. PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE! ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE! Be proud of your spouse! Never talk them down to their face or to another. Honor them. Admire them. Compliment them. Celebrate your special one often… in their presence!

11. Endeavor to be sensitive to the silent cries and subtle signals of your spouse that they are needing your extra attention at this time. Learn to read between the lines of what they say to you, and absorb what they are REALLY trying to express to you. Learn to INTERPRET your spouse’s mannerisms, emotions, and things they do, for what they TRULY mean. LISTEN to them. Let them talk to you. LISTENING IS LOVING!

12. Have your own prayer time and Bible reading time daily. Do not expect your spouse to meet your inmost needs for intimacy and fellowship that only the Lord can meet. If you look too much to your spouse to meet all your needs, you are setting yourself up for a fall by your unrealistic expectations. No man or woman will ever be able to fill the vacuum in your heart that only Jesus can fill.

13. Don’t allow yourself to view television soap operas, talk shows, movies and videos, radio programming, newspapers, or any other forms of media that legitimize and embellish adultery and fornication as an "OK thing" that "just happens." Adultery is NOT OK! Adultery is WICKED and EVIL! Adultery is a SERIOUS DISRUPTION OF GOD'S ORDER of things.

14. Protect your EYES. Your eyes are the door into your heart, the window into your soul. Ladies, NEVER allow a man to look deep into your eyes. And never allow him to look into your eyes for an extended period of time. Your eyes belong to Jesus and your husband. Men, never stare or gaze deeply into the eyes of another woman. Demons can actually traffic back and forth in this fashion. If a person is allowed to enter another’s eyes, then they will be emboldened and feel invited to enter other spaces, trespassing holy boundaries. Your eyes are an outer boundary of your marriage. Your eyes are a realm of personal privacy that you must guard others from intruding. Your touching another or another touching you is also an outer boundary that must not be infringed inappropriately. Yes, we may touch others besides our spouse, but this must be done cautiously and tastefully when it is with the opposite sex, and always with our spouse present. A man should NOT hold hands with another woman even when praying together, without his own wife present and participating as well. I have seen many adulterous affairs which began with unguarded and indiscrete SPIRITUAL activities between people.

Matthew 6:22 KJV - The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

15. Understand that the way you dress sends signals to the opposite sex. Use modesty at all times. If in doubt, COVER that portion of your body. If you dress in such a way as to draw the attention of the opposite sex, you are operating in a form of the spirit of witchcraft, endeavoring to manipulate another's feelings towards you. Don't be so insecure about yourself that you have to be stared at to feel good about yourself. Ladies, cover your cleavage. Girls, do NOT wear the fashionable tight and short blouses that expose your stomach and back. Women, wear padded bras that do not expose your nipples through them. Men, don't wear your shirts open with gold chains hanging over your chest hair. Yes, dress to look pleasant and dress to accent your God-created femininity or masculinity. But use moderation and discretion. Be truthful with yourself as to WHY you wear certain clothes and WHAT RESPONSE you are trying to invoke from the opposite sex.

16. Like Job of old, make a covenant with your eyes never to allow yourself to lust after another. When you foresee an opportunity to lust and gaze upon someone that doesn't belong to you, choose in advance to turn your head the other way. Also if you catch yourself lustfully gazing on another’s beauty, capture your imagination and pray the image away in Jesus' name.

Job 31:1 NLT - I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman.

17. Never deny your sexuality and never ignore your vulnerability. To do either, is to automatically set yourself up for a fall. Denial is the first step towards this most painful event of your life. Failure to acknowledge your natural vulnerability to sexual attraction is naïve. Sexuality is a beautiful thing to be celebrated with one’s lifelong partner, but the devil wants to spoil this unique and powerful aspect of our existence so as to destroy the fabric of society and our own individual self-worth and dignity, not to mention the devastation a single divorce inflicts on the children, spouses and multiple family units. The Book of Proverbs has 31 chapters. Two of those chapters are devoted entirely to the discussion of our sexuality, containing many warnings. And there are a host of other verses in Proverbs that all together would add up to another whole chapter. So three out of thirty-one chapters give us wisdom on our sexuality. This tells me that at around ONE TENTH of our life involves our sexuality. Our sexuality is at least one tenth of who we are, and thus deserves one tenth of our attention.

18. Understand this about yourself and every human being, that “the eye is NEVER SATISFIED.” Understand that the NEWNESS of every relationship wanes. Remind yourself that lust is never satisfied. Lust always wants something new, something more thrilling, something better, something more beautiful… but it can NEVER BE REALIZED. Remind yourself that should someone else ever appear attractive to you, that they too would lose their sparkle and newness to you in time, only for you to repeat your wanting a new relationship, a new thrill, or a new body to gratify you. Understand that EVERY MARRIAGE experiences ups and downs from time to time… this is just the way it is on this side of Heaven. Understand that the very BEST of marriages experience seasons of difficulty, stress, misunderstanding, areas of failure, and stress. The grass is NOT greener on the other side… until we get to Heaven! Whatever gripes you about your mate now, would also gripe you about a new mate. If it isn’t one thing with your spouse, it would be another with a new relationship. Sorry, this is just human nature. So it doesn’t get any better than this as long as you are on the planet.

Proverbs 27:20 KJV - Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

2 Samuel 13: 1-2 and 11-15 KJV - And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her…. 11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister. And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee. Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her. Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.

19. Decide ahead of time (right now would be good), that if you were ever to meet that other person out there that could mesmerize you beyond your ability to resist, that you will RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

Genesis 39:7-12 KJV - And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

I am convinced, along with many other Christian authors, that MALE SEXUALITY IS EVERY MAN'S BATTLE. And I agree with these authors that there are certain women out there that nearly every man would sell his soul for, if given the opportunity and under the right conditions. Sexual temptation is such a POWER that, given certain conditions, it can cause the best of men to temporarily lose their minds and throw away everything decent and significant in their lives. Cases in point: King David and Solomon! Therefore, a decision needs to made ahead of time to RUN FOR YOUR LIFE if you ever get in this predicament. RUN, MAN, RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

20. Understand that if you were to ever choose adultery, that you will most certainly pay a heavy price for the rest of your life. You may be tempted to indulge now and get forgiveness later. But adultery is never that simple. You will PAY and PAY DEARLY! Even though God forgave him, God told King David through the prophet that he would have to pay dearly for his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and for murdering her husband. And PAY he did, four-fold. First the death of his and Bathsheba’s first son in birth. Then the rape of his daughter by Amnon. Next his son Absalom’s murder of his son Amnon. And finally the mutiny and execution of his son Absalom. Some things can be forgiven, but there may be irreversible long range consequences! Read these scriptures:

Proverbs 5:3-5 KJV - For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

Proverbs 5:8-13 KJV - Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

“If you think you can get away with an immoral FLING, then think again, for you are in for an unrelenting STING!

Proverbs 6:23-35 KJV - For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

21. Never allow yourself the lying luxury and illicit pleasure of FLIRTING.

“A little bit of flirting can end in a world of hurting!”

Stay in touch with your own self, and be honest with your own self as to WHY you are talking with a person. WHY do you stand there? WHY are you enjoying this particular conversation with this person? WHY do you want to talk to this person? WHY are you hanging around this person? WHAT is really happening on the inside of you? WHAT is your true motivation for this conversation?

Proverbs 6:25 KJV - Don’t lust for her beauty. Don’t let her coyness seduce you.

Proverbs 14:12 KJV - There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Proverbs 16:25 KJV - There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Hebrews 13:4 NIV - Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Malachi 2:13-17 MSG - And here's a second offense: You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don't get what you want from God. Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you've broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that's what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don't cheat on your spouse. "I hate divorce," says the God of Israel. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, "I hate the violent dismembering of the 'one flesh' of marriage." So watch yourselves. Don't let your guard down. Don't cheat. You make God tired with all your talk. "How do we tire him out?" you ask. By saying, "God loves sinners and sin alike. God loves all." And also by saying, "Judgment? God's too nice to judge."