I always wondered about the backstory of the woman who was caught in adultery as told in John Chapter 8.  I wondered what led to the situation: Did her husband mistreat her? Was she going through depression? Was she pressured to marry someone she didn’t love and got caught with the man she really did […]

Infidelity in Your Relationship With Christ?

I always wondered about the backstory of the woman who was caught in adultery as told in John Chapter 8. 

I wondered what led to the situation: Did her husband mistreat her? Was she going through depression? Was she pressured to marry someone she didn’t love and got caught with the man she really did love? Where was the man she was with when the Pharisees caught her? What were the circumstances?

The Pharisees were prepared to stone the woman to death and, by the grace of God, her life was spared. They brought her to Jesus, who wisely insisted that anyone who is without sin should cast the first stone at her.  

But that’s not what stood out to me at that moment. Instead, it was what He said to her after everyone left: 

“Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more.” [John 8:11]

Jesus made it known that He didn’t condemn the woman because His presence alone already convicts. And, while knowing her actions, His only instruction was to not repeat the mistake. 

Here’s my take on it: the woman caught in adultery is a representation of us. 

(Wait, sis, I know what you’re probably thinking, so hear me out first!)

By “us,” I mean believers–the body of Christ. The truth is, we’ve all been unfaithful in our relationship with God at some point in time. Have you ever noticed that adultery is used as a common theme and analogy throughout the Bible? 

Jeremiah 3:20

Ezekiel 16:32

Hosea 3:3

Matthew 4:28   

It’s easy to set ourselves apart from the “adulterous” Israelites back in Biblical times who worshipped idols and carved images, but that’s what was considered spiritual adultery back then. In modern days, we’re still committing the same act–putting our worship, faith, and time in something or someone else other than God–just with “new” idols: 

Social Media (spending hours upon hours on it daily, and no time with God)

Relationships (impressing friends or boyfriends, putting what they say before what God says) 

Music (listening to and memorizing lyrics, chanting them over our lives and situations more or in place of biblical scripture)

Celebrities (worshipping everything they do, investing in their brands, and imitating their appearance, personality, and views instead of Christ’s views) 

We know it’s wrong, and yet, we do it without even realizing it. Thinking back to the Garden of Eden, Eve knew eating from that particular tree was forbidden, but her mind was convinced otherwise, after a seemingly harmless conversation with a little garden snake (beware the counsel you keep), that the mistake didn’t hit her until she, too, was caught in the act. 

Infidelity simply means unfaithfulness. Unfaithfulness is equivalent to dishonesty, betrayal, failure to keep a promise, being untrustworthy, lacking belief, and being disloyal. 

We see intolerance of disloyalty even in the corporate world, where many companies forbid their employees from simultaneously working for a competing business and, if caught in the act, can be grounds for termination and possible suing in court.   

How would you feel if someone betrayed your trust? If the person you loved and sacrificed for suddenly left you for someone else or denied you?

Jesus warned Peter that he’d in fact deny Him, three times:

“Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 

[Matthew 26:34] 

Now remember, Peter was one of the first disciples, the first to recognize Jesus as Christ our Lord, literally Jesus’ right-hand man. He was so sure that he’d never deny, defy, or disown Jesus. . .until he did [Matthew 26:70-75]. 

Fortunately, just as for the woman caught in adultery and as for Peter, the Lord gives us a chance to redeem ourselves. Repentance is not only the gift of God’s forgiveness, but also forgiveness of ourselves. Sometimes life happens, and we find ourselves in unspeakable situations, positions, and places in which we feel ashamed, disgusted, and unworthy. 

God knows His children. He knows their thoughts, their reasons, and their hearts. And while infidelity isn’t condoned, it is forgiven. Through Christ, we have the ability to renew our vows with God, reconnect, and rebuild our relationship with Him. He’s always there, waiting for us to come back to Him and work it out.  

Ashley Cottrell

Interested in reading more of her work? Check out her blog: www.ashleyamor.com

With a B.A in English, Ashley Cottrell has written blogs for Virginia Bride Magazine, Bronze Mag, and has been a contributing writer for numerous other digital entities. Although a Virginia-native, Ashley resides in Puerto Rico fulfilling her passion as a freelance writer. She aims to use her gift of writing to inspire others and share the gospel of Christ. When she's not writing, you can find her nose-deep in a game of chess, Salsa dancing, or making homemade skin care products.
Ashley Cottrell

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