Summary: 4th in a 5 part series of applying Biblical answers to family issues. (Using the 10 commandments as the Biblical basis.)
"AFFAIR-PROOFING YOUR MARRIAGE"
As you drive and see signs (common road signs)like these do you resent it or appreciate it? If you understand that D.O.T. puts those signs there for your protection due to certain road conditions you appreciate it. When you see a command like this one: “You must not commit adultery,” do you resent it or appreciate it? When you realize that God gave us that command to protect us from harm you appreciate it. You see, God’s negatives have positive purposes. And nothing tears up a family like adultery.
For some of you, the mere mention of the word "adultery" brings painful memories. I want to say as we start this discussion, that the purpose of this message is not to resurrect your past. If you have been sinned against in this manner I hope you have learned the freedom that comes from allowing Jesus Christ to help you forgive. If you have committed this sin & repented before God of it, I hope you’ve come to learn the freedom that there is in releasing your sin and guilt to the Lord. Psa.32 says, "I confessed all my sins to you.. And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone."(NLT) So today I don’t want us to focus on the past, but on the future.
If you’re married I hope you’ll receive some practical helps to not break faith with your mate.. if you’re single would you listen carefully? Because you may either be married in the future or God may give you the opportunity to help someone who is about to destroy their marriage, children and self with this incredibly devastating sin.
I. PRESCRIPTION FOR THE PROBLEM: God’s Prohibition
Let’s begin by admitting we have a problem. Today it is much easier to get married than to stay married. Our society has taken the view that there are no absolutes, that no one has the right to impose upon you any values. That is certainly true in the case of faithfulness in marriage. Statistics in our society show just how acceptable adultery has become. The Readers’ Digest reported some time ago that 50% of all husbands and 30% of all wives had participated in an extra-marital affair. In the book Secret Lovers, the findings were even higher:70% of all husbands and 50% of all wives. The results of those surveys are staggering & demonstrate how tolerable it’s become.
But God understands how painful adultery is. He knows what is best for us and wants to keep us from harm. So He says in one of our printed passages in Heb.13:4- Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery." (NLT)
So, God’s prescription for the pain that comes from unfaithfulness is to keep sex in and for marriage only. Adultery was certainly never part of God’s plan. God said in Gen. 2:24 at creation, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh." Notice the becoming one flesh is after the uniting, which is marriage. That principle is so important to God that it is stated 4x in the Bible. Jesus added a phrase to that principle in Mt. 19:6: "“..don’t let anyone separate what God has joined together." (GW) All through the Bible it is made clear that physical intimacy with someone other than your mate is abhorrent to God. Why is this restriction so important to God? (1) God gave this prohibition to protect the sanctity of marriage. Marriage was meant to be such a special relationship that it required a life long commitment of exclusiveness and loyalty. Sex was to be expressed in a secure environment where fear and inhibitions would fade, and trust, vulnerability and communication would increase.
A man wrote: "Dear Abby, I am in love and I am having an affair with two different women other than my wife. I love my wife but I love these other women too. Please tell me what to do, but don’t give me any that morality stuff." Signed: Too much love for only one.” In this case Abby’s answer was classic. She wrote: “Dear Too much love for only one. The only difference between humans and animals is morality. Please write to a veterinarian." When God’s sexual restrictions are violated man is reduced to a mere mating animal and the marriage relationship becomes void of any profound meaning. When there is no commitment, there’s no security, no understanding of genuine love. (2) God wants to protect us and our families. Hollywood may depict adultery as exciting and glamorous. But it is a blatant lie! Those of you who have experienced it, know adultery causes great pain. Everybody loses, everybody is scarred, everybody is hurt.