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Adultery is en vogue

Have you read anything recently about a person in a leadership position at a church getting into a situation where they cheated on their wife or husband? Chances are you have read it somewhere, heard it in church, know a friend who went through it or possibly experienced it first hand. It seems everywhere I turn on the wonderful internet is another article about this subject. I have some close personal friends (and internet friends) who have gone through this tragic circumstance, walked through the fire and are continually being refined by the grace of God. They are now ministering to the church and marriages to help save others from going through the same thing.  We have to be careful with grace that it isn’t cheap and that our sins in any area of our life are not paraded in front of people higher than The God who took us out of our own pit.

I recently visited with some old friends and every time I do this we always get to talking about people we used to know. It has become way to often an occurrence these days that our stories are not filled with triumphs or the goodness of God. They are usually filled with failure, heartache, divorce, wifeswapping, and adultery.

Our culture is getting more and more perverse and more and more steering itself away from good marriages and good families.

Every time I hear of another family breaking up or another friend who cheated on their spouse I do 3 things.

  1. I freak out and nitpick everything in my relationship with my wife
  2. I realize that none us are safe from emotional or physical temptation and we are fooling ourselves if we think we are
  3. I try to be more intentional about loving my wife
Let me just say that I don’t recommend this order. It has not worked for me at all. As a matter of fact I have had to intentionally stay away from websites talking about this issues because it brings up insecurity inside of me and makes me question what God is doing in my marriage.
The other day I texted Kelly and said “I just wanted to tell you that you are a wonderful wife”
She replied “Ok, what friend of yours has had an affair now?”
Picking apart every detail in your relationship is not safeguarding. It is sabotage. The enemy wants you to tear it apart. He wants you to notice everything that is wrong with you. When you have gotten to the point that you realize you are a mess and your spouse does not fully accept you as you are you open the door for satan to bring in a new relationship to fulfill that need.
You are not perfect. Your spouse is not perfect. You will fight. You will not always get along, but there is good news. God is perfect. He can make things whole that were broken. He can mend the broken hearts. He can heal the wounds of a late night fight. He calls you beautiful if you are a size 6 or a size 12. He is Love.
We have all read the love chapter, but how often do we live it out? Like I said above, none of us are safe from being caught in a web of adultery, but we can set up safeguards. We can be intentional about loving our spouse. We need to say I love you even if it annoys the other person because they need to know you are the ONE and only one who is committed to them till death do you part.
Pray from my friends who have been through this. Pray that God brings healing to many more through their voice. Pray for those who have put their sins on a higher pedestal than God’s grace and flaunt them for status sake.
The more you think you have the control the more wrong you become. God is what binds your marriage, but it is your lack of attention to it that will let the enemy create another failed statistic out of it.
Finally, and I don’t think this happens enough, lets applaud those who have great marriages. Lets learn from them. Lets support them and let us as the Church contribute to their success by holding them up when they can no longer stand.

 

11 Comments

  1. Stacia Stacia

    Great topic and I commend you for having the courage to write about it. God is more powerful than any of the enemy’s temptations or attacks. The most important thing for any marriage or individual human being is to be fully devoted and rooted in Jesus Christ.

  2. Great post Joel. So true. I too have friends who have either been through this, or even thinking about leaving their spouse. It’s crazy.

  3. Thanks for these thoughts, Joel. The balance you talk about is important.

  4. Remember the old expression “The family that prays together, stays together”? Too often I forget about the importance of the husband and wife praying together in unity. I wonder in these situations where the couples grow apart and blow up if they let other “things” creep in and take the place of where God was supposed to be in it all.

    Not trying to heap condemnation, but rather marriages seem to do better when there is consistent “preventative maintenance” going on.

  5. Yeah bill I Totally agree… and with 4 kids I find keeping prayer consistent SO SO HARD. I used to beat myself up for it.
    I pray for my family and my wife and when I can get my head out of my butt pray with Kelly

  6. Thanks for sharing. I am so quick to “think” of my wife as awesome and how much I love her and don’t want to be with anyone else. Now I need to learn how to let her know that!

  7. nicole stringfellow nicole stringfellow

    Joel, I applaud your boldness and candor. Marriage has evolved into “committed.dating”. And I use the term committed.very lightly. As far as I’m in concerned, a successful marriage, is a successful life. If I get married, I will only do it once., They’ve done studies on the most successful people and found that 90% of those people had, among other similarities, been married and stayed married to ONE person.

  8. @dan – I have to say that it is the hardest thing to learn how to do. Learning how to let her know is easy… learning how to let her know in the way she wants to hear it is not.

    @nicole – thanks a ton for stopping by. I totally agree with you on that. Marriage takes work and people often forget that.
    I personally decided young that even dating was worthless if not doing so because you can see yourself married to a person. “committed dating” has become very much the norm. Lets change it to “committed dating with benefits” that is where the issue comes into play because God does have a plan for relationships and we have sadly perverted another thing of God.

  9. When you take divorce off the table (extreme situations. Aside ) I feel it opens up the opportunity to be vulnerable and to make mistakes. It makes it a safe place to speak honestly. I haven’t been married all that long but I know that when you push past the worse Sick and poor it makes you love each more and the bond becomes stronger. Just my two cents :)

  10. Darren Darren

    I loved your description of Kelly’s response to your text :)

    As a general rule, when I hear of another affair (which thankfully I haven’t had to deal with in my immediate circle), I have responses 2 and 3. Not 1, though. I just don’t tend to freak out about things in general. On the other hand, I go into a funk about every 6 months that I’m an absolute failure as a father, lawyer, husband, deacon, etc. So maybe that’s a freak out without fireworks :-)

  11. Heather Heather

    Love this post!! I love that you lay it all out there with nothing to hide.

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