Sorry, folks, there isn’t anything funny in today’s post. I tried to come up with a way to couch the message in some kind of allegory or illustration. I tried to think of a humorous anecdote to introduce this subject. The problem is that we dance around this issue too much, we try too hard to talk carefully about it. We find ways to excuse it, to justify it, to somehow lessen its impact. The problem is, we can’t.
The dictionary defines adultery as, “voluntary sexual activity between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband.” The problem with that definition is that it is incomplete.
Here is how I define adultery, “A voluntary physical or mental act by a man or woman who is willing to break a sacred vow to their spouse, their children and their family in exchange for stolen moments of physical gratification.” Or how about this one, “An act of pure selfishness by someone who decides that whatever physical or mental desires they have is more important than the pain and hurt their actions may cause.” Notice I threw in mental. You cheat with your heart long before you cheat with your body.
Chances are good that your marriage vows said, “ to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse… to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” There’s really not a lot of wiggle room there. It doesn’t say, “until something better comes along.” Or, “until a really hot chick catches my eye; then all bets are off.”
Our eyes or hearts begin to look around because we are either bored or dissatisfied at home. Instead of remembering our vows and working on our relationship, we look to someone else. We begin to justify our thoughts long before they lead to actions. We blame it on our spouse, or stress, or even the other person. If they didn’t flirt with us, or if they dressed differently, then we wouldn’t be so tempted. Or we lie to ourselves and say that we would never cheat, we’re just having harmless fun.
James 1:14, 15 says, “each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” In short, we have no one to blame for our sin but us.
The problem is that we don’t begin with the end in mind. Next time you are tempted to stray, as your mind begins to fantasize about that other person, I want you to try something.
Go into your bathroom and look into the mirror and see the face of your spouse, your children, your parents, or someone who really trusts you. Now imagine telling them what you are doing. Imagine looking into your son or daughter’s face and saying, “Daddy has to move away and your life is going to be cheated because I couldn’t control my lust. I hope that the person you someday marry will never do to you what your dad did to your mom.”
Or try this, drive past your house and park down the street. Now imagine your kids playing inside it without you. Or imagine them sitting down to dinner with their mom and her new husband. Imagine some other man raising your kids while you get to see them on the weekends.
Now tell me that a physical or mental relationship with someone else is worth it. Tell me the pain your sin will cause is worth it all. I doubt very seriously you can do it.
Begging you to count the cost before you act… Jerry
Image courtesy of the NAKED PASTOR