There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. – Proverbs 6:16-19, NIV
To have heart of God is to love what God loves and hate what He hates. This list from Proverbs instructs us in what God hates or finds detestable. While it does not list adultery–per se–as detestable, I do think it instructs us on how God views matters seemingly inseparable from adultery.
Three of the six on the list look especially applicable to the way of one engaging in adultery.
1. “haughty eyes”
Elsewhere in Proverbs (7:13), Scripture depicts an adulteress as having a brazen look upon her face as she entices a foolish young man into committing adultery with her. I suggest that the brazen look–i.e. a look from a person who is embolden to do whatever she wants irregardless of morality or cost to the faithful spouse–is the same thing. For those of us who have discovered adultery in our spouses (or former spouses), I suspect this look is not unfamiliar. It is the sort of the look that says he or she will not submit to repairing what he or she destroyed through their adulterous sin.
Perhaps, he or she scoffed at you when you made a reasonable demand necessary to rebuild trust and the relationship?
Find a qualified counselor who will hold you accountable in dealing with your issues? Scoff.
Get tested for STDs? Scoff.
Give me the passwords to your Facebook and email accounts? Scoff.
You get the picture.
Such haughty eyes God hates and detests. We would do well to expose this attitude and encourage repentance when encountered. Backing off of the demands the faithful spouse makes to feel safe and start rebuilding trust is just another way to encourage contempt and pride. It does no one any good. And it certainly does not rectify an already perilous position occupied by the one who has the haughty eyes.
2. “a lying tongue”
This one is a given with adultery. You cannot commit adultery without lying. Partial truths are lies. Omissions are lies. And full out fabrications are lies. Just as with haughty eyes, God both hates and detests such a tongue. So, it ought to be a serious problem for any leader who claims to serve as a priest of the Most High.
3. “a heart that devises wicked schemes”
This is another given with adultery. Adultery flourishes (however long or short) through scheming. It is hidden. Then comes the discovery, and the “A” bomb blows the heart of the faithful spouse to little pieces. It is the scheming to keep the adultery hidden. And the scheming to protect the adulterous relationship afterwards either directly or by triangulating counselors in order to avoid repentance certainly qualifies as wicked schemes. They are schemes designed to further sin. Sin is wicked. And God hates plus detests such a heart.
(4) A “bonus” in this list is “a false witness who pours out lies.” I see this as in operation with an adulterous spouse who slanders the faithful spouse to friends and family in an attempt to justify herself or himself. This is truly wicked and worthy of God’s hate for it. Such lies add to the already devastating experience of having one’s soul raped through adultery.
All of this is to point out the depth of the spiritual problem surrounding adultery as well as how God feels about such issues. Adultery comes with much deeper problems than “simply” the sexual transgression. The heart issues are far more problematic and difficult to resolve.
And that is why, I believe, the Old Testament took such a dim view concerning marital reconciliation following adultery (i.e. that the death penalty was proscribed to deal with the adulterous evil–see Deut 22:22). The prognosis is not good for a marriage ravaged by adultery for such reasons. A miracle is needed transforming the adulterous spouse’s heart from one of rebellious pride to one of humble submission to God’s ways, which include repentance. Sadly, I know of few instances where this has taken place.