What Does the Bible Say About Cheating? Exploring Biblical Views on Trust and Faithfulness

The Bible has a lot to say about cheating and being unfaithful. Cheating is problematic from a biblical perspective for several reasons:

  • It violates the commandment not to commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). Adultery is having sexual relations outside of marriage, and it is considered a grievous sin.

  • Cheating involves covetousness, lust, and idolatry. Wanting someone who belongs to another person shows a lack of contentment. Lusting after others is sinful (Matthew 5:28). Putting your desires above God is idolatry.

  • Cheating breaks the marriage covenant. Marriage is meant to be an exclusive lifelong union between a man and woman (Matthew 19:5-6). Infidelity violates those sacred vows.

  • It destroys trust and hurts others deeply. Cheating causes immense emotional pain for the betrayed partner. It damages families and relationships.

The Bible makes clear God’s displeasure with infidelity and unfaithfulness. This article will examine Bible verses about cheating and their implications. The good news is that there is always forgiveness available to those who repent.


Bible About Cheating

Adultery is defined in the Bible as sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their spouse. It is condemned throughout Scripture as a serious sin.

The Seventh Commandment states, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Adultery breaks the marriage covenant and was punishable by death under Old Testament law (Leviticus 20:10). In the New Testament, Jesus affirmed the sacredness of marriage and expanded adultery to include lustful thoughts (Matthew 5:27-28).

Adultery causes incredible pain and damage. The prophets frequently used it as a metaphor for Israel’s unfaithfulness towards God (Jeremiah 3:6-10Ezekiel 16:32). Despite the seriousness of adultery, there is always forgiveness available to the repentant sinner (John 8:1-11).


Lust is defined in the Bible as having an intense desire or longing, especially of a sexual nature. It is viewed as sinful when those desires are directed towards someone or something that is not your spouse. Lusting after another person can absolutely lead to cheating, as it plants the seeds of infidelity in your heart.

Jesus said “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Even just entertaining lustful thoughts about someone who is not your spouse is equated to actually committing adultery. Lust doesn’t have to lead to physical cheating, it is cheating in God’s eyes.

The book of Job states “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman” (Job 31:1). Making a conscious effort to avoid lustful thoughts and not intentionally expose yourself to temptation is key. But when lustful thoughts come, you must capture them and not let them take root (2 Corinthians 10:5).


Covetousness, or envy, is the strong desire for something that someone else has. This intense longing can lead to cheating in order to obtain the coveted object or relationship.

The Bible has much to say about covetousness and its dangers:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)

Coveting what belongs to others is prohibited in the Ten Commandments. It can lead to violating other commandments, like adultery or stealing.

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

The Bible warns that covetousness is idolatry – loving something or someone more than God. This disordered desire is dangerous.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)

Rather than coveting, we should be content with what God has given us and thankful for His provision. Cheating to fulfill covetous desires only leads to more sin and heartache.


Cheating in Bible

Fornication is defined as any sexual intercourse between two people who are not married to each other (1 Corinthians 7:2). It is considered a grievous sin in the Bible. Scripture makes clear that engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage is against God’s design for intimacy and leads to negative spiritual and practical consequences.

The Bible warns that fornication is a sin against one’s own body (1 Corinthians 6:18) and that God will judge those who commit it (Hebrews 13:4). Practically speaking, it can damage relationships and future marriage prospects, result in unplanned pregnancies and disease, and leave one open to feelings of guilt, shame and regret. However, God offers forgiveness to those who repent and turn away from this behavior (1 John 1:9). His mercies are new every morning for those who put their faith in Christ (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Marriage Vows

Marriage vows are solemn promises made by a couple on their wedding day. The Bible emphasizes the importance of honoring these vows once they are made.

According to Ecclesiastes 5:4-5, “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” Breaking vows made before God is considered foolishness and offensive to Him.

Jesus reiterated the sacredness of marriage in Matthew 19:6, stating “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”  God takes the covenant of marriage seriously, and so should spouses.

The apostle Paul instructed married couples not to deprive each other in 1 Corinthians 7:5, reminding them that their bodies belong to each other. Honoring each other sexually is part of upholding marriage vows.

Overall, the Bible consistently upholds the importance of faithfulness, commitment, and sacrificial love within marriage. Couples should enter into marriage carefully, with the intent of fully keeping their vows. Breaking vows leads to pain, distrust, and damaged relationships. But honoring them pleases God and leads to marital fulfillment.


Forgiveness is a central theme in the Bible, as God calls us to forgive others just as He has forgiven us through Christ (Ephesians 4:32). Adultery is a grievous sin, but God’s grace and forgiveness extend even to this.

The Bible makes it clear that forgiveness is possible and important if a spouse commits adultery. Jesus teaches us to forgive “seventy times seven” when a brother sins and repents (Matthew 18:22). Paul exhorts husbands and wives not to deprive each other except for a time of prayer and fasting, and to come together again so Satan will not tempt you (1 Corinthians 7:5).

Though deeply hurt by a spouse’s adultery, Christians are called to reflect God’s forgiveness. With repentance and God’s help, restoration of the marriage may be possible. Forgiveness opens the door for healing and reconciliation.


Bible Say About Cheating

Being accountable to God and others is an important theme in the Bible. Romans 14:12 says “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God”. This verse reminds us that ultimately we are accountable to God for the lives we live and the choices we make. Hebrews 13:17 also discusses being accountable to church leaders: “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account”. This shows that we should also be accountable to spiritual authorities like pastors and elders. They have a responsibility to watch out for our spiritual well-being, and we should submit to their guidance and oversight.

Overall, the Bible promotes accountability on multiple levels – to God, to church leaders, and even to other believers. We are all members of one body (Romans 12:5) and should lovingly keep each other accountable in the faith. As Galatians 6:2 says, we should “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Being accountable brings blessings, while avoiding accountability leads to spiritual ruin.


God’s word provides guidance and encouragement when facing temptation, including the temptation to be unfaithful in a relationship. James 1:13-14 reminds us, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” We are tempted because of our own sinful desires, not because God tempts us.

1 Corinthians 10:13 also offers hope: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” God promises to limit our temptations and provide a way to resist if we lean on Him.

When facing the temptation to cheat, we can turn to God in prayer, read His Word, and seek accountability from other believers. We all face temptations, but we have the power through Christ to stand firm. As 1 Peter 5:8-9 instructs, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” Faithfulness is a choice, and God gives us the strength to choose rightly.


The Bible has a lot to say about cheating in relationships. Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God makes it clear that He designed marriage to be an exclusive, lifelong covenant between one man and one woman. Any sexual activity or lustful thoughts outside of this covenant are considered adultery and sinful in God’s eyes.

God cares deeply about faithfulness and loyalty in marriage. He holds people accountable for keeping their vows before Him. At the same time, God readily offers forgiveness and restoration to those who have strayed and repent. His grace is bigger than any sin.

For those struggling with temptation to cheat, God promises to provide a way out. Relying on Him for strength and wisdom is key, as well as being honest in accountability relationships with other believers. Staying connected to a local church for discipleship and community provides essential support.

In summary, the Bible consistently upholds faithfulness as the standard for marriage and condemns all forms of cheating. God’s design for intimacy is exclusive to one lifelong covenant partner. But even when His people fall short, God remains loving and merciful to those who humbly seek Him.

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Daniel Powell

In my twenties, I began to approach the Bible with fresh eyes. I was no longer content to simply accept what I was told. I wanted to dive deeper, to question, and to understand. My faith demanded it.

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