Question:

Who will be held accountable for committing adultery? A single woman or a married man?

Answer:

Adultery is when a married person has sex with someone to whom he or she is not married. The act is called adultery, whether the married person is having sex with another married person or with a single person.

Fornication is a broader term that simply means having sex with someone to whom you are not married. When used alone, it can include the act of adultery. When used in a list where adultery is also mentioned, then fornication is seen as sex between two unmarried people.

When both parties consent to sex with someone to whom they are not married, then both parties are guilty of the sin. For example, in the Old Law, "The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death" (Leviticus 20:10), it did not matter whether the man was married or single. The fact that he was having sex with a married woman who was not his wife made both him an adulterer and her an adulteress.

Interestingly, the Scriptures teach that consensual sexual sins are not sins against another person, but a sin against himself. "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:18).

If you've been involved in adultery, don't look for ways to excuse what you have done. "This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, "I have done no wickedness"" (Proverbs 30:20). Such callousness doesn't lead a person to heaven.