The Seventh Commandment – Q&A #1

The Seventh Commandment
“Thou shalt not commit adultery”

Question: What does “adultery” mean?

Answer: Adultery is making something impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior
substance. For instance, if someone poured mud into a glass of milk, the milk would be “adulterated.” It would be impure and not fit to drink. The word commit means to perform,
or do something, on purpose.

Most people believe that the Seventh Commandment is aimed specifically at married people. It urges them to keep their marriages pure from outside interference. Only two people should be part of a marriage, this commandment would tell us. There is a special kind of love and affection that is meant for married people. When one of them turns to others
outside of marriage for this kind of love, the trust between the marriage partners can be spoiled. We must be loyal to our families first, if we want our families and our marriage to survive.

When we look at the Seventh Commandment from a higher, more spiritual, point-of-view, we can see that it is meant to be practiced by everyone. Mary Baker Eddy writes:

“‘Thou shalt not commit adultery;’ in other words, thou shalt not adulterate Life, Truth, or Love, — mentally, morally, or physically.” (Mis. 67)

To show how important this commandment is, she also writes:

“The commandment, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery,’ is no less imperative than the one, ‘Thou
shalt not kill.’” (S&H 56)

Practice: Think of more examples, like the mud in the milk, of how something can be ruined by impurities. How could you make it pure again?

* * *

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments”
Copyright 2001)

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7th - #1

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