I'd Leave My Wife for Her
The other day I stumbled into a conversation two married men were having. At first, it seemed like they were talking about something work related, but then I realized they were describing a “hot” female. Lust was in the air. After a few moments of discussing her figure, one of the guys closed their chat by saying, “man, I’d leave my wife for her.” They chuckled and moved on with their day. My heart broke for them and their wives as I trailed behind.
Now, let me first say that I’m guilty of thinking the same thing in the past. I’m not sure if I’ve ever said the words out loud, but I’ve certainly thought about them in my heart. In fact, this was a huge area of sin in my life for years. Why? Because my eyes were saturated with lust from sexual sin and it overflowed into my heart. In other words, my heart was full of adultery.
Second, sin is a merciless slave master. Its sole purpose is to completely ruin our lives and ultimately destroy our souls. And one of its core components is subtlety. Meaning, Satan doesn’t use a switch to turn off the lights in our lives, he uses a dimmer. One small compromise turns into a pattern and then before we know it we’re completely in the dark.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
In Matthew 5: 27-28, Jesus says something powerful. Talking about lust to a large group of people, he shares that if a man looks at a woman with lustful intent, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Why does Jesus say this? Well, in Moses’ law, adultery was defined as a married man or woman having sex with someone they weren’t married to. Therefore, before Jesus said these words, religious people would have only associated adultery with the physical act of sexual intercourse.
However, Jesus takes things to a new level by saying that even a lustful thought in one’s heart is adultery. So, what does this mean? Well, I’m no biblical scholar, but I think it means exactly what Jesus said: lust in the heart is adultery. But I also think there’s something deeper Jesus wants me to get here. Which is: adultery in my heart is me saying, “I’d leave Jesus for her.”
That sounds ridiculous, but in my case, it was true. Every time I lusted over another woman, I was essentially saying in my heart, “I’d leave my wife for her.” And this wasn’t only when I was looking at porn or sitting in a strip club, I also said it at the gym, the pool, or anywhere else my eyes were captivated by another woman. Although I was married, I made the conscious choice to satisfy the lust in my heart by wanting someone else. Oh, how sinful, hurtful and wicked that was!
But I’m also in a relationship with Jesus. Therefore, at the core of my lustful sin with other women I was also saying to Jesus, “I’d leave you for her.” And that’s one of the points I believe Jesus is making in Matthew 5. He wants us to see adultery for what it is. It’s not only physical sexual intercourse outside of our marriages, it’s a heart condition that points to where our affections really lie. It’s looking at someone lustfully and saying to ourselves, “I know what I have, but I’m going to make the decision to satisfy my flesh and lust over a particular thought, image or idea, because it’s only a thought, it won’t bind me.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. For years I justified the lustful thoughts in my heart as harmless, but they weren’t. With every secret lustful look and thought, I was turning the dimmer switch in my heart towards darkness, all the while becoming more comfortable with the lie that Maty and Jesus could not satisfy me like lust could.