Talking about…Adultery!

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Video Intros Subblog: Talking about…Adultery!

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A few weeks ago I came across the following article, about a famous author who left his wife for another woman.
Daily Mail Ernest Hemingway article

Reading it, I have to admit that I was extremely unimpressed with the actions of the said author, Ernest Hemingway.  Even though he was supposedly “madly in love with his wife”, this other woman threw herself at him for a sustained period of time, and he just let it happen! In fact, he even went along with some of this other woman’s most blatant schemes, like going off to dinner with her alone and other very unwise ideas, until they did eventually start an affair, and he did eventually leave his wife, who was supposedly “the love of his life.”

I am not being mean or vindictive here, but the woman on whom he (literally, eventually) threw away his life was not even deeply attractive (at least not in the pictures in the article). Surprise surprise his relationship with “the seductress” did not last either. And the thing left him in deep regret. He later tried to win his wife back, but by that time she too had moved on and married someone else.

In all, what an absolute waste of all that his marriage could have been, and the joy that he and his first wife could have shared over their lifetime. In this he was indisputably the one who invited that heartbreak into his own life, with his own hands.

A few key lessons from this:
Firstly: being desperately in love with your spouse is not necessarily going to stop you from committing adultery!

Secondly: if you are married and someone other than your spouse is blatantly throwing him or herself at you romantically, then you need to aggressively cut them out of your life. Please do not tolerate this evil in the name of being “nice”.  You can be kind about cutting them out of your life, but you do need to cut them out of your life, if you do not want to end up committing adultery.

And obviously, don’t put yourself in a position where you are going to be alone with this person!  Even if nothing whatsoever happens between the two of you, someone who is unscrupulous enough to pursue a married person might also well be unscrupulous enough to fabricate completely false stories about whatever you might or might not have done, possibly even a la Potiphar’s wife.

And then just today I read this post, also on the subject of infidelity:
What lures Christians to cheat:

I did share it on Facebook because I believe that on the whole it has useful knowledge to impart.  However, there were a few things that left me feeling a little unimpressed:
Firstly, this phrase, right at the beginning:  “At least 60 percent of married couples will experience infidelity at some point in their marriage…”

Thinking on it, it was probably expressed in this way for the sake of being gracious to people who might fall within that 60 percent of married couples. However, the thought that occurred to me on reading it was this:  it is phrased as if infidelity is something that just happens to marriages, that falls mysteriously from the sky or elsewhere, like a random illness.  Obviously this is not true.  Infidelity is not something that falls randomly on a marriage.  Rather it comes about through conscious deliberate action of at least one of the people in that marriage.

Secondly: [As the wake from the Ashley Madison scandal has shown us,] “the culture at large is confused when it comes to how we approach infidelity.”
This statement in and of itself is true.  But why should we be looking to “the culture at large” to understand what is happening in Christian marriages?!  We’re Christians!  We are not supposed to be directed by “the culture at large”; whatever might be happening “out there” should have no bearing whatsoever on how we live our lives; it is utterly irrelevant. Am I being naive?

However, those are two minor quibbles.  I believe that the article on the whole has great advice for us.

Here’s what I believe about adultery.
Adultery is one of the most dreadful things that can happen in life.  As quoted within the article linked above:

“If you were to have an affair, it would be the most devastating experience in your spouse’s life,” he says. “It rises to the level of losing a child, of having your house burn down, or of losing a limb. It’s that bad. So for something that devastating, extraordinary precautions are reasonable.”

Well that is the thing!  On one hand adultery is absolutely that dreadful to the extent of being comparable to any of the awful things listed above; so we as Christians have to be absolutely determined to not let it happen so that we do not cause that level of pain to our spouses or even to ourselves to our families to our church communities.

On the other hand, it is so easy to be attracted to someone whether or not that attraction can lead to a legitimate relationship!  If 60 percent of marriages “experience infidelity” then it seems to me that it is also very very easy to be unfaithful or to commit adultery.

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