My son, keep your father’s command
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Bind them always on your heart;
fasten them around your neck.
When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
For this command is a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
are the way to life,
keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,
from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes.
For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
Can a man scoop fire into his lap
without his clothes being burned?
Can a man walk on hot coals
without his feet being scorched?
So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
Blows and disgrace are his lot,
and his shame will never be wiped away.
For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
He will not accept any compensation;
he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.
The Holy Bible : Today’s New International Version. 2005 (Pr 6:20–35). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Both the Bible and rational common sense should be enough for people to avoid adultery, or so one would think. But rationality has nothing to do with the problem. There are many politicians, preachers, actors, athletes, and ordinary folk who would really like to undo what they did. The landscape is littered with regret. But human beings will never learn, never listen, no matter how often we are warned. In the moment, people believe it will work out good for them, just this once.