“But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroy himself. He will be wounded and disgraced. His shame will never be erased.” – Proverbs 6:32-33 NLT
We live in a society that is constantly trying to buck the system. And by system, I mean the one that God has put in place. God has standards. He has rules for living that apply to all men, not just those who consider themselves God-followers. But ever since the fall, man has been trying to get around God’s standards and establish his own set of guidelines for living. If God says something is wrong or sinful, we go out of our way to justify it and convince ourselves that it is actually perfectly acceptable. To get there we either have to reject what God has said altogether or twist it in such a way that it no longer carries the meaning it once did. That is exactly what we have done with the subject of adultery. Once taboo, even among non-believers, it is not only acceptable, but a regular part of daily life in America. In an effort to satisfy our own selfish desires and justify our sinful actions, we have played fast and loose with God’s laws and created an environment where we get to decide what is sin and what is not. It has all become highly subjective. The mantra, “If it feels good, do it” reigns supreme.
Yet Solomon reminds and warns us, “but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life” (Proverbs 6:26b NLT). Far too many in our society, including Christian men and women, don’t believe that statement. They have convinced themselves that God wants them happy and therefore, if they find another person who fulfills them better than their current mate, then there is nothing wrong with “falling in love” with another person. They justify their actions by claiming that they were never really in love to begin with. They made a mistake. Surely, God would not want them to spend the rest of their lives miserable and unhappy just because they married the wrong person. Yet Solomon clearly states, “So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife. He who embraces her will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 6:29 NLT).
One of the things that has happened is that, as a society, we have removed the disgrace and shame that used to accompany adultery. It has become so common place and acceptable that there is no longer any stigma associated with it. Oh, we may be shocked for a time, but we have learned to go with the flow and accept adultery as the inevitable outcome of living in a fallen world. And while it is true that adultery, like all sins, is inevitable because of the fall, it is never to be acceptable. It should still shock and concern us. We should still view it as a sin against a holy God and a horrible sin against our fellow man. We are taking something that does not belong to us. We are destroying another marriage, which is sacred and holy before God. We are destroying our own marriage and breaking a covenant made before God – even if we made that covenant when we were not following Christ. God views ALL marriages as sacred and holy. He does not apply His rules to only the marriages of believers. God’s standards apply to all men and women. None are excluded or exempt. Yet, it is within the body of Christ that willful obedience to His commands should be displayed most clearly. It is within our marriages that faithfulness and fidelity should be most readily visible. He has given us the power to live lives in keeping with His standards. He has placed His Spirit within us and equipped us with the capacity to live godly lives in the midst of an ungodly culture. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT). Because we share in the divine nature, we can escape the influence of this world and its constant encouragement to live according to our own standards, without shame and unrepentant.
Father, don’t let us live like this world. Don’t allow us to remove the shame and disgrace that comes from a life lived in open rebellion and disobedience to You. May we be appalled at the sin in our own midst. May we never turn a blind eye and justify our sins in an effort to keep peace with men. Keep our standards high and our commitment to keep Your commands above all other desires. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men