Do not commit adultery. What can any human being say about this that will not anger virtually everyone? Nothing. But as far as it goes, the same was true back in Jesus’ day. Jesus decided not to pull any punches, and why should he if everyone was going to be unhappy no matter what he said? So he said if we so much as look at a woman (the opposite sex) with lust in the eye (even if we just think he or she is cute) we have committed adultery already.
Remember: God’s intention is to change us into his likeness working from the inside-out, so the inside is what matters most first… and why? I feel a big part of it is because only when we are free from sin, renewed in our thinking, etc., can we be in a real solid relationship with him, and by extension, with each other. Did it ever occur to you that all ten of these commandments are relationship oriented?
So anyway, now I might as well point out a few things myself, only don’t send me nasty e-mails. I assume whatever I say is going to make some people unhappy and really tick off the rest.
“God hates divorce.” That’s what his word says, and certainly divorce is a relationship breaker if there ever was one. “But for the hardness of (our) hearts, God allowed divorce for the sake of adultery.” (More like the thickness of our heads). But sure, that makes sense. If one of the couple abandons the other, the innocent one should not have to be punished.
At the same time, though, Jesus also said this: “At the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let (no one) separate.” (NIV).
Clearly, this is God’s intention or his perfect will, if you want to use that term. Man and man or woman and woman? No. However right that may be, it is not God’s intention. An affair? Maybe just a little fling? No. Not even close. Whoring around? Maybe just testing the waters in youth? No. Living together? No, no, no! We can rationalize and justify anything, and we all have reasons for wanting to do so. But the answer God gives is still no. His will is clear to anyone who is not intentionally stupid.
So what is adultery, just a physical act? No, that is not right either. Jesus described it as being “unfaithful.” And how many men and women have broken the oneness (relationship) and are even now living unfaithfully to the relationship of oneness?
Physical abuse? That is obviously unfaithful to the oneness. Should a man beat himself?
Verbal abuse? Less obvious, but an equal and perhaps even worse breaker of oneness as far as I am concerned. Knowing I will make every woman in America mad, let me just say this: Wives, it is not your job to berate, disrespect, talk down to or manipulate your husbands. That is abusive.
But really, which is worse? To spank your child for wrongdoing or to lash them with your tongue? “You’re a no good, lousy (son/daughter). I am so disappointed in you. I don’t know why we ever had you…” The spanking will pass. The tongue lashing may require therapy twenty years down the road.
Mostly men, but to be sure, sometimes women should not have to put up with the abuse of words!
And then there is pornography (remember the lust of the eye part?). At least Playboy and Penthouse have been removed from magazine racks. What I want to know is why haven’t Cosmo and Glamour been removed? I read bold faced headlines on the cover of those and similar “women’s” magazines: How to have the ultimate orgasm. What men really want in bed. Your favorite sex fantasies. I mean, really! That kind of stuff is easily as pornographic as any photographs in Playboy. Why should visual be so horrible but verbal be Okay?
Someone once asked C. S. Lewis why lust is so out of line in our culture. I mean what about gluttony. Isn’t that one of the “deadly sins?” (To paraphrase) Lewis said yes, but people won’t pay to see a chicken take it’s feathers off.
We are out of control in our culture, but God’s commandment is clear, whether we like it or not. Do not commit adultery covers a lot of ground.
Okay, so I’m a racist, sexist, homophobic bigot and etc.—oh, and inflammatory (that’s the new thing. I always wanted to be inflammatory). Still, no need to send the hate mail, at least not until the next post…