Cheating in marriage. We all know what that is right? It means having sex with someone other than your spouse. As Christians, we have been told that it even means thinking about having sex with someone other than your spouse. But let’s take a closer look.
The Bible says having sex with someone else is Adultery, but the Bible never mentions cheating in this context. That is a word that our society has come up with to describe adultery.
However, the Bible does say something very interesting in the context of marriage…
1 Corinthians 7:5
“Do not refuse one another” RSV
“Do not deprive each other…” NIV
“Defraud ye not one the other…” KJV
After taking a close look at the actual Greek terms used, and talking to a minister who reads Greek, the King James Version is the most accurate. The Greek term is the same as someone who is selling something and says that the item or land has attributes that it does not have, and then enters into a covenant based on those false descriptions. You don’t have to sell your property to someone else, but if you go back on your word, you have defrauded the other person. When you enter into a contract, you have accepted certain responsibilities. If you fail to live up to your responsibilities, you have defrauded the other party.
We call this the same thing in our society. It is called fraud. Fraud is cheating. So in the context of marriage, “cheating” on your spouse is refusing sex.
So what it seems that Christians have done is adopted the term “cheating” as a description of adultery, and completely thrown away the sin of cheating as it is described in the Bible.
I would love to hear a preacher someday say from the pulpit that any one who is refusing his/her spouse is cheating in marriage.
Nope, it will never happen.