Avoiding Extra-Marital Affairs
Nobody gets married planning to have an affair. I’ve never done a wedding where the bride or groom is checking out other guys or girls at the wedding, trying to hook up with someone new. I’m sure that happens, but 99.99% of people getting married never intend to have an affair. Their eyes start out on their spouse. Yet, over half those people will end up having an affair, doing something they never thought they would do.
Solomon’s story is of a young guy who falls into the seduction of the adulterer, who rationalizes something he thought he’d never do, to his own peril, and that happens all the time. Over the years, I’ve talked to so many people who living in the shadow of a former affair, or who are in one as I meet with them, who have fallen for one rationalization or another. They’ve fallen for the lies of the seductress of adultery.
I don’t know if I’ve heard them all, but I’ve heard a lot. To expose the lies beforehand might keep us from falling into the trap. One such lie is, “I know it is wrong, but I deserve this. I work so hard, and this is like a reward.” I hear that to justify pornography a lot, and affairs too.
Another one is old but still very much in play, you complete it for me, “I’ve found my ____ ______.” See, you’ve heard it. Christians have told me, “This new person is the one God had in mind for me all along. I made a mistake when I married x.” I’ve looked at them and said, “Are you kidding me? Are you saying God wants you to have an affair?” And, by the way, guess how many relationships that start as affairs actually do turn into a new marriage…even when the other person promises that they will leave their spouse for you? Guess the percentage? 3%. You’ve got a 3% chance of that relationship actually working out. Now, I know there is someone out there thinking, “Ooh, that means I’ve got a chance!” No! 3% odds are not good. You’ve got a 97% chance that the relationship will not progress. Don’t be stupid.
Maybe my favorite, that I’ve heard a good bit, is, “I know God wants me to be happy, and this person makes me happy.” I love that one. Whenever I hear that one, I’ll pass them a Bible and open and say, “Show me in the Bible where God says he wants you to be happy.” I’ve read it more than a few times, but I’ve never found that. I’d love to see it.” And it’s not there. God doesn’t want us to be happy. He wants us to be obedient, and of obedience flows real joy, often accompanied by suffering. God is never going to want you to do something sinful.
Still another is, “My husband or wife is just not meeting my needs. They never listen, don’t appreciate me, always criticize me.” And that is sad, but an affair is not the answer for that problem. Our job in marriage is to focus on meeting the needs of our spouse, and looking to God to meet our needs if our spouse is a little slow on the uptake. Our job is to communicate that, try to work through that, but getting my own needs met is never to be my preoccupation. Love focuses on the needs of the other person, not on my own.
I’ve already told you another one, the “Hey, I’m a guy! Come one, man!” line. Let me give you a hint on this one. This line doesn’t work on pastors. If you are in my office, make something else up, but not this one. You just look like a moron saying that in a pastor’s office. You might sound like a genius at the bar after a few too many, but not with a pastor.
Lots of people fall into the trap of adultery, and every one of them justifies it in some way. But what Solomon is saying we better hear: Be careful! God will give you the discernment and grace to stay pure and live a life that honors Him and loves others with Divine love.