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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 87

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From the Word: 1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. 4b …and his banner of me was love. (Song of Solomon 2:1, 4b)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together: The force of the Sixth Commandment may be understood in one version of the ring vows: “with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.” When one truly fears and loves God, the neighbor is also honored. The closest neighbor, one’s wife or husband, is honored to the degree of being cherished. This is why we address them in metaphors such as “honey,” “dear,” sweetheart,” and so forth. These words convey the value we place in that nearest neighbor. That relationship therefore, must be treasured to the point that nothing is allowed to bring it harm—especially the other spouse. Love, the flag or banner flown over that relationship, must prevail at all costs. Both words and actions are disciplined to the degree that they express the great worth of this dearest neighbor. That discipline includes asking their forgiveness when we do not carefully speak and act. This honors both the relationship with spouse and with God.  

Prayer: Help me fear and love you, Lord, in a way causes me to love my neighbor. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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