I was having an affair of the heart with a married woman. I broke it off, but later heard she committed adultery with another man. Am I guilty for causing her to sin?
I had an affair with a married woman. Our affair went on for about a year. I liked her a lot. I kissed her but never had sex with her. Later I understood that I was wrong and must not do this as I knew her husband very well. So, I left the place and went on to a different city for further education. I thought that if I leave her and go far from her, her family will be normal once again. So, I never saw or met her again. But after several months I learned from my friends that she is having a sexual relationship with some guy near her house.
My question: I am feeling guilty that because of me she spoiled her character and her married life. I didn't have sex with her, so she went on for sex with another guy. This guiltiness is haunting me for the past year. I have sinned by spoiling her family and her married life. Am I really guilty? Presently I don't know anything about her family situation.
Please guide me. I beg you, please.
First, let's make it clear. What you did was wrong. It had nothing to do with how well you knew her husband. The fact is that she is a married woman. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). Even though you didn't commit the actual act of sex, the lust in your heart left you just as guilty. "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). Your behavior was wrong. "Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, And his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; Whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:27-29).
Like many men, you assumed that because you desired the relationship that you were the aggressor or cause of the events. You forget that the woman involved has free will, just as you do. Proverbs is filled with warnings to young men about adulterous women for the very fact that many young men never think about women manipulating them.
- "To deliver you from the immoral woman, From the seductress who flatters with her words, Who forsakes the companion of her youth, And forgets the covenant of her God. For her house leads down to death, And her paths to the dead; None who go to her return, Nor do they regain the paths of life" (Proverbs 2:16-19).
- "For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?" (Proverbs 5:20).
- "That they may keep you from the immoral woman, From the seductress who flatters with her words" (Proverbs 7:5).
- "For a harlot is a deep pit, And a seductress is a narrow well. She also lies in wait as for a victim, And increases the unfaithful among men" (Proverbs 23:27-28).
- "This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, And says, "I have done no wickedness" " (Proverbs 30:20).
All the while you were wooing her, she was making use of you. When you were no longer available she sought out another man. You participated, but she was not the victim here. You did not cause her to have sex with another man. She chose that of her own free will, just as she chose to fool around with you.
Should you feel guilty for committing adultery in your heart? Yes. You are guilty of that sin. Are you responsible for what happened afterward? No. Each person is responsible for the sins he commits. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20).