How does adultery happen? It begins in a variety of places—at church or at work, with a neighbor or with a friend— but it always starts with walls and windows.
This is what I mean: Anytime you are talking with a person of the opposite sex, and you start to veer into inappropriate conversational territory, what happens is that you open up a window with them. And every time you open up a window with someone of the opposite sex, you build a wall between you and your spouse.
So how do I define “inappropriate conversational territory”? It’s a husband talking with another woman about conflicts he is having with his wife. It’s a wife talking to another man about negative feelings she might be having about her husband. It’s telling someone other than your spouse that you are attracted to them.
Let me be very clear in saying those conversations are no one’s business but yours and your spouse’s. That is a line you do not cross. That’s a window you do not open.
If you do open that window, what usually happens is you end up going home and lying to your spouse about this relationship that is developing outside your marriage. Long before the physical adultery happens, a form of emotional adultery has already taken place. There might not be anything happening on the outside, but adultery has begun on the inside.
Proverbs 6:32 says “A man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.”
Not only are you destroying yourself, but you are destroying another person—your spouse—and you are destroying your marriage. If you have kids, you’re destroying your family.
Having good judgment means closing the door on adultery before it ever begins. It means, before a single brick has been laid, that you will not even start building a wall between you and your spouse.
How can you do this? First, decide to protect the priority of your marriage. Other than your relationship with God, it comes above everything else.
Second, save intimacy for your spouse and no one else. This means keeping your marriage confidential. Do not take the private things reserved for your spouse—feelings of attraction, complaints or conflicts, any intimate marital details—and share them with someone else.
Those things belong to you and your spouse only.