I have been married for fourteen years. A few months ago, I discovered some messages between my wife and her ex-boyfriend. He asked her if she remembered when they were dating, and she responded that she remembered it as good times.

According to the Bible, that was adultery. When I confronted her, she tried to deny it, but later she admitted it. I managed to convince her to block her ex-boyfriend on social media, but I think they may communicate by some other means.

I feel bad, since I believe they mocked me and hurt my feelings…. My wife apologized, but I find it difficult to trust her anymore. The ex-boyfriend lives in another country and might have secret plans with my wife.

Dear Friend,

We are sorry for the distress that you are suffering. You feel insecure in your wife’s love, and it sounds like you might feel insecure in other areas of your life. Your words make it seem like you feel that you are being attacked and you must figure out how to protect yourself.

When dealing with this kind of issue, in many cases we have advised that husbands and wives have complete access to the social media accounts of their spouse. Going forward, we recommend that both you and your wife share all your passwords and that you agree that you each have access to the other’s accounts anytime you wish.

You guess that there might be more communication with the ex-boyfriend than what you tell us about, but you don’t have any evidence. We, on the other hand, must advise you based on the evidence that you give us and not merely on possibilities.

You say that, according to the Bible, your wife committed adultery. We assume that you are thinking of Jesus Christ’s teaching when He said that we commit adultery in our hearts if we lust after someone to whom we are not married. (1) But you give us absolutely no evidence to show that your wife has lust in her heart for the man. Therefore, we cannot agree that she committed adultery.

In fact, in Jesus’ same teaching, which is called the Sermon on the Mount, He said that being angry with someone deserves the same punishment as murder. And He said that if you do something wrong with your hand, you should cut it off so that you’ll never do it again.

When you take all these statements in context, it becomes clear that Jesus was using a type of persuasive speech called hyperbole. He exaggerated on purpose in order to cause people to think. The people of his time were accustomed to this type of argument, and therefore none of them went home and cut off their hands.

Jesus Christ used metaphors, similes, hyperboles, and other types of persuasive speech. All through the Bible we find these kinds of speech, as well as poetry, idioms, and even songs. If we try to take one verse out of the Bible and remove its context, it very often can be misunderstood.

We wish you well,

1 Mt 5:28