As Jesus revealed that murder begins with anger, and that murder is expressed in anger, labeling, and damning, so Jesus contends in his summons for others to follow him that adultery, too, is a matter of the heart. The physical desire of another by a married person is adultery. There is no reason to play around here with niceties, Jesus is saying, commitment to one’s spouse is a heart issue. Matt 5:27-30
Jesus also summons those who would follow him to discipline away anything that distorts or challenges fidelity. Anything, everything, anyone, everyone. Whatever it takes, Jesus is saying.
Recently, a person approached me and asked if she could ask me a question. It was this direct and this simple: “My boyfriend recently told me he was a married man. I love him and he says he loves me. We have been dating for one year, and he just told me this. What do you think I should do?” My response, apart from the awkwardness of “Here’s my question, what’s your answer” without having heard a lengthy story first, which is the norm, was simple: “What he is doing, and what you are doing, is wrong according to Jesus.” And I pushed a little farther, “Why would you trust a man with your heart who has lied to you and lived before you with a false world for one year?” Pray for her; it won’t be easy for her but I’m confident she’ll make the right decision.
A follower of Jesus is summoned, if she or he is serious, to fidelity — from the heart out.