Summary: Adultery is a perversion of the faithfulness God intended to illustrate through marriage.
Title: Faithfully Yours
Text: Exodus 20:14; Hosea
FCF: Adultery is a perversion of the faithfulness God intended to illustrate through marriage.
You don’t need to know this man’s identity, but you need to understand the impact his choices made on his family. The man had been married for more than thirty years when his job started taking him to Thailand. Like many of his buddies, he’d spend some time at the bar, and there he got to know one of the girls. Prostitution is fairly commonplace there, and so he was somewhat on his guard, but he didn’t run away either.
Over successive trips, his guard began to wane. Over the course of several months, he finally made the choice to break his vows. He secretly planned his own trip back to Thailand, but told his wife he was heading for California. When the travel agent called the house to confirm the details, the wife was the one who picked up. She didn’t scream, she didn’t yell, she simply slipped a little note into her husband’s suitcase.
“I know what you’re up to it. We need to talk.”
The man discovered the note on the way. He called the moment he discovered it, and needless to say, didn’t go through with his plan. Amazingly, they’re still married – and from my observations, their marriage has improved significantly since them. But I’m still in touch with his son, and I can tell you this: He may love his father, but his respect, his trust – it’s gone.
Adultery may seem like a sexual act – a few moments of forbidden passion – but it’s really not. It’s a trust thing. It’s not the physical union – in this man’s case, the act may not have even been consummated – but you and I both know it was adultery. The real crime is actually very simple. You make a promise, and then you break it. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be, and we all know it.
This morning, I want to get back into a series I began shortly after Easter. We were going through the 10 commandments, until frankly I had to stop here. The prohibition on adultery was not something that I knew how to preach.
For one thing, I can honestly say that I have never really been tempted to cheat on Susan. You guys know I love her, and frankly I can’t think of anything that could somehow be better than her. And, frankly, I know that my marriage wouldn’t survive any stupidity like that. Adultery would be a bad choice.
That said, I am also scared stiff that one day I could just be downright stupid. The guy I told you about – he wasn’t all that different from me. And that scares me. Take heed lest you fall.
Statistics tell me that one in three men will have an extramarital affair at some point in their life; one in four women will do the same. Even in a church this small, the odds are that there is someone in this room who is a lot more knowledgeable on this subject than me. I don’t know any particular details, and I want to assure you that in no way am I thinking of any particular person here. Simply speaking statistically, we must address this issue. There is a reason why God included the commandment.
In my mind, it is enough to realize simply that God is faithful. A marriage is supposed to model that faithfulness to our children and our neighbors. Adultery is the classic perversion of that. “Perversion” simply means taking something good and twisting it into something bad. Adultery is more perverted than porn.
Bad marriages are a dime a dozen these days. That’s why adultery is so prevalent. Outside of Hollywood, I don’t think anyone actually believes adultery is a good thing – they just don’t realize that adultery happens in the mind long before it happens in the bed. Because of that prevalence, I want to suggest a few things that will keep your marriage healthy.
Over the years, I have listened to good men give me some good advice, and I’d like to pass some of that along.
For me, the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard is simply this: Don’t let your marriage get to the point where this becomes an issue. Don’t take your wife for granted. Proverbs tells us, ‘Cherish the wife of your youth.’ Love her! Show her you love her; and the wife of your youth will remain in your old age.
You hear me talk about Susan a lot, but I don’t think you’ve ever heard me talk negatively about her. That is intentional. At work, I have friends who like to make fun of their wives, call her the old “ball and chain,” and things like that. I think that is just stupid. There’s no better word for it.