Dave Boehi on 40 Consequences of Adultery

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The counterfeit pleasure of an affair can never overcome the ways infidelity can destroy a life and marriage.

We were praying for someone who was cheating on his wife. And I was struck by what one person said in his prayer: “Lord, work in his heart so that he will think less about the pleasure he is experiencing and more about the pain he is causing.”

That seemed quite appropriate to me. A spouse who is caught up in adultery is living only for the moment, caught up in a fantasy of excitement and desire, and ignoring the very real consequences.

Recently a seminary paper came across my desk titled “100 Consequences of Adultery,” written by Philip Jay, a student at Phoenix Seminary. The list provides a stark wake-up call about the ways infidelity can destroy a life and marriage. Here’s a selection from Jay’s list, presented with his permission:

If I committed adultery…

  1. My relationship with God would suffer from a break in fellowship.
  2. I would need to seek forgiveness from my Lord.
  3. I would suffer from the emotional consequences of guilt.
  4. I would spend countless hours replaying the failure.
  5. My wife would suffer the scars of this abuse more deeply than I could begin to describe.
  6. My wife would spend countless hours in counseling.
  7. My wife’s recovery would be long and painful.
  8. Her pain would grieve me deeply and compound my own suffering and shame.
  9. Our relationship would suffer a break in trust, fellowship, and intimacy.
  10. We would be together, yet feel great loneliness.
  11. The reputation of my family would suffer loss.
  12. My sons would be deeply disappointed and bewildered.
  13. My grandchildren would not understand.
  14. My friends would be disappointed and would question my integrity.
  15. I would lose my job at church.
  16. My witness among neighbors would become worthless.
  17. My witness to my brother would be worthless.
  18. My testimony among my wife’s family would be damaged.
  19. I might never be employed by a church again.
  20. I might never be in men’s ministry leadership.

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Source: FamilyLife.com