The seventh commandment given by God to Moses the prophet is “You shall not commit adultery.” It is very straightforward and precise. It is not an invitation or an opinion, it is a direct order from the Lord above. Those who ignore these commandments quickly find themselves living outside of the grace and blessings of God.
The good news about this commandment is that God loves us and He is constantly striving to bless our lives and especially our families. The good news is that God is on our side and wants our marriage to succeed. The bad news is that we live in an adulterous nation. Just this past week we read the news headlines about one of the most decorated men in the military and his various affairs. It is a temptation that is available to almost everyone at some point in time. There is the thrill of sin, the feeling of being a rebel and doing wrong. This is even evident in the latest trend towards books that get into disgusting levels of sexual detail in a casual manual. Sin is everywhere and the hope of the demons is that we will become accustomed to sin. We will be so used to seeing it all around our daily lives, even in the lives of our families and friends, that we will completely forget the difference between sin and righteousness. We as a society are forgetting the difference between fantasy and reality. We are choosing lives of fantasy but forgetting the consequences are anything but fairy tale-like. Sin destroys lives, families, communities.
Marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman according to the Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus Christ. When you are married you are committing yourself and your body to your spouse, under the blessing of God. Let’s remember that these ten commandments are not meant to be shackles that bind us and burden us. They aren’t meant for us to feel like slaves and prisoners. They are actually meant to free us to do and to be exactly what God intends for us. That is why it comes as no surprise that the largest study ever done on the issue of sexual fulfillment found that the most fulfilled demographic wasn’t divorced women or men going through mid-life crises. The most fulfilled group sexually speaking were women who had a husband who regularly attended church. Even the researchers did not expect that result, but that was the undeniable finding of their research.
God blessed marriage and God doesn’t want to imprison us, He wants to free us from the prison that will be inflicted by bad decisions. If we decide to break His commandments and live apart from His laws for our life we become exactly what we were hoping to avoid, we become prisoners. God does not want us to be imprisoned by our sins. He doesn’t want us to live in the dark dungeons of the heart. He wants to bring His light into those places and completely eliminate the darkness just as it is written “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light” (Matthew 4:16).
Today divorce is on the rise and we have to keep in mind that temptations are everywhere. Our duty as Christians is to guard our hearts and strengthen ourselves in preparation for whatever may come our way. A soldier can’t be ready to fight if they haven’t gone through basic training. You don’t just give a new soldier a loaded weapon and tell them to go on the battlefield. They must first be taught the ways to fight and defend.
We also need to help our children guard their hearts. As I’ve said before, if you want to prepare your children for a healthy marriage you should start today. Remember that dating as it is practiced today is not in any way a Christian or Biblical activity. It prepares children to have many sexual partners, while also increasing the chances of depression, lower academic performance and failed marriages. A more scriptural approach would be the courtship model. The idea here is that children only begin to date when they are near marrying age and only with the goal of marriage in mind. Otherwise they can go out in large groups of friends and never simply one on one. Will this be viewed as weird by some people? Sure it will….just like remaining married is now seen as weird or abnormal.
Now even those who are already married have to guard their hearts. Woman are easily entangled in emotional affairs that lead to more especially when their husbands are absent or inattentive. Women, be wise and strong emotionally. This happens by cultivating a life of prayer not only a life of cooking and shopping and dropping kids off at little league games. If you don’t know how to cultivate a life of prayer, ask.
We men need to begin the process of guarding our hearts by being mindful of what kind of entertainment and influences we take in through our senses. We also need to be really grounded in prayer and the reading of Scriptures. We need to practice self-discipline in the form of fasting and struggling. There are simply no shortcuts to the spiritual life. Every subject we tackle each week, has a cumulative lesson that can be applied to our lives. We fight against demonic influences daily, not simply on special occasions.
Don’t be fooled into the ways of the world and find that your guard is down and that you are unable to handle the fights that come your way. Prepare for them now while you still have the strength to fight. Trying to fight when you are unprepared for battle is noble but it will usually fail.
Marriage is near and dear to God’s heart. He wants your marriage to succeed and to blossom. He wants your love and trust for one another to weave you both into one strong unit. If we give just a bit of effort to honor God and our spouse, He will bless us beyond our wildest expectations.
Be faithful to your spouse because that is a truly unique and daring choice in an age of compromise. Be faithful because it is a sign of love and we learn this love from a God who never betrays us, but is always faithful to us beyond all doubt. Be faithful as the Lord is faithful. Glory be to God forever AMEN.
WHAT STEPS HAVE YOU TAKEN, OR WHAT STEPS CAN YOU TAKE TODAY TO GUARD YOUR HEART AND STRENGTHEN YOUR MARRIAGE? Please leave your comments below.