Continuing with the ten commandments, I want us to reflect on the most misunderstood commandment this week. The sixth commandment – You Shall Not Commit Adultery. Before we get into it, let us keep in mind that we live in one of the most interesting times where most of us are experts on almost everything at the same time. In other words, we seem to have absolute knowledge about everything. For this reason, every subject, issue, or topic, whether political, moral, economic, medical, religious, most of us have a boundless understanding of them all. As funny and impractical it may be, this is the reality in our times.
Because of this, too many Christians today believe that they have a endless understanding of the scriptures and theology. They understand the sixth commandment to exclusively prohibit a sexual relationship between men and women outside marriage. Unfortunately, these people fail to realize that the sixth commandment also forbids every sexual act involving any form of bodily, psychological, or emotional abuse of oneself or others. The attempt to manufacture a limited or truncated understanding of the sixth commandment seems to be one of those efforts we make in justifying our sexual sins.
The sixth commandment, You Shall Not Commit Adultery, obviously includes all sexual relationships between persons not bound by the sacrament of marriage. It also consists of any form of same-sex sexual relationship, masturbation, rape, pornography, sodomy, lust, bestiality, incest, and child sexual abuse of all kinds. There are many others, but these are among the more common sexual sins. The sixth commandment encompasses them and many more.
Teaching his disciples about the sixth commandment, Jesus Christ explained that every kind of lustful looks and thoughts constitute sexual sins (cf. Matthew 5:28). There can be no better explanation of this commandment than this given by Jesus Christ. This is because most of these sexual sins begin with lustful thoughts and looks.
More so, there is something about indecent dressing that we must be aware of while reflecting on the sixth commandment. Living in a very individualistic age, many of us have forgotten that it is a moral obligation to be one’s brothers’ keeper. And what does it mean to be one’s brother’s keeper? While trying to stay away from sin, we must do well to help others do the same. But how can an indecent dressing help one to be their brother’s keeper?
While we should train ourselves to keep custody of our eyes and minds, it is important to help others do the same. Sadly, it helps throw some of us, who are less disciplined, into sinful sexual thoughts and fantasies when we dress indecently. Because of this, when we dress decently, we glorify God by helping to reduce temptation in the world.