Years ago my wife and I were getting ready for work one morning when someone came knocking on our door. It was a good friend of ours. She and her husband were very close to us. I had baptized them both and they were fast becoming dedicated church members and even leaders. This particular day, though. She was crying pitifully. We asked her to come in and she said, “He’s leaving me.”
Her husband had left her that morning. We were shocked. We all went to movies together, ate out together, played co-ed softball together…we never suspected anything; neither did she. He met another woman on the Internet, had developed a relationship with her and decided to leave his wife and their 1-year-old daughter. It was devastating to her. I’ll never forget the sadness in her eyes as she told us.
She tried to reconcile with him. We worked with them both trying to get them back together but he was adamant that he was done. They divorced.
A couple months after the divorce he came in to talk and said he’d made a mistake. He wanted to get back together with his wife. His wife was the best thing that had ever happened to him; he didn’t realize what he’d had; all he wanted was his family back. It didn’t happen. She refused. He threw his whole life away for a stranger he met on Facebook.
He was the one who was devastated now. In fact, she’s moved on but he’s never remarried. What a waste. What a tragic, stupid mistake.
The seventh of the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20:14, tells us not to commit adultery. It hurts. Adultery seems exciting and wonderful and thrilling but it’s painful, ugly, and it destroys the lives of those who engage in it.
Adultery includes any kind of sexual contact with someone other than one’s spouse. This can be either physical or emotional.
It also includes, according to Jesus, lust. Looking at another man or woman, other than your spouse, in a sexual manner robs your wife or husband of attention only he or she deserves. Our physical relationship with our spouse is more than just a physical act. It is an expression of the emotional and spiritual bond between a couple who has made a life-long commitment. Giving our attention to anyone other than our mate, even just ogling or fantasizing about someone else, is considered by Jesus to be a break of that commitment.
Our spouses deserve our undivided attention. Uniting with them in all ways means controlling the thoughts and emotions we have toward others so that we can fulfill their needs and develop the kind of oneness that God desires for us.
Rob Morton is minister of First Christian Church Middlesboro. Contact him at [email protected]