Most people today think of cheating in the context of marriage as a man having sex with another woman when he is married or a woman having sex with another man when she is married. The Biblical term most people would apply is Adultery.
However the Biblical definition of adultery is different than our modern definition:
Adultery in the Bible occurs when a single or married man has sex with a woman who is married. Even if the man is married, the sin is NOT adultery against his wife, but adultery against the women’s husband whom he took. Examine the Old Testament and New Testament for yourself, Adultery was a property crime as a wife was the property of her husband.
If a single or married man had sex with an unmarried woman or prostitute that would be called fornication or whoredom.
So it was technically impossible for a man to “cheat on his wife”, if he slept with another woman it was a property crime against another man, not against a sin against his wife. If he slept with an unmarried woman it was a sin against her father. If she slept with a married woman it was a sin against her husband.
Obviously all sin, whether adultery or fornication(whoredom) is also a sin against God.
So technically only a wife can cheat on her husband. But both the husband and wife can cheat each other of themselves.
“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”
I Corinthians 7:3-5(KJV)
When you consent to marry someone – Biblically you give up the “power” or authority over your own body – it now belongs to your spouse. This applies equally to the husband and to the wife. This flies in the face of modern feminism that teaches women they have control over their own bodies – they have a right to deny their husband and tell him no. Am I condoning rape here? No and I don’t think any husband acting in love would do that. But Biblically – unless it is by mutual consent – you do not have a right do deny sex to your spouse.
I use many translations – but in this particular verse I think the old King James version nails it better than any other version. In the context of marriage – it is fraudulent – to deny your partner your body(and by extension your mind – as sex is both a mental and physical activity).
Webster’s online dictionary says to “defraud” is “to deprive of something by deception or fraud”. Other synonyms for defraud are “to cheat,to hustle, to swindle”.
Basically the Bible is saying that a man has legitimate right to expect sex with his wife – and not just sex – but access to her body. The same goes for the wife – she has a right to sex with her husband and access to his body. So when you flirt with your husband before marriage and act like your going to rock his world when you are married – and then pull the veil back after a few months of marriage and stop having sex as much or being as loving toward him – you are acting in a fraudulent manner! You are a cheat! You are a swindler!
I realize that people can come back and say – what if he stops being romantic, what if he is working a lot or not paying as much attention to her – doesn’t she have a right to pull back – NO!
The Bible does not say – “Wives your husband has power over your body – except if he is not being romantic enough, or shaking it up enough, or spending enough time with you”. It also does not say for men “Your wife has power over your body – except if she is not being respectful toward you”.
Often times the act of coming together in the form of sex can bring healing to a marriage. Most couples think they have to talk everything out and make everything good before they can have sex – that is the world’s philosophy – not God’s. You can come together no matter what in good times and in bad times. Ladies – this is not just a command from God, it also is a good practice. Trust me for 95% of husbands out there – if they are cranky, had a bad day at work, or you two are just fighting, you can completely turn the situation around by just making love to him – try it!