I want to talk openly about something that is such a difficult subject for couples, and that is adultery. Many look at it as the unpardonable sin and don’t hesitate to walk away if their spouse has strayed. Yes, Moses gave acceptance to divorce when adultery was involved but only because the hearts of many of the Israelites had hardened. But Jesus calls it how it is in Mark 10:4-12. “What God has joined together, let man not separate.” He includes no exceptions here.
In my eyes, there are two kinds of adulterers – 1. the kind that have no moral values, think nothing of it, and will repeat this crime over and over (they often come from a family of adulterers such as, the Kennedys), and 2. the kind that fall into it unintentionally because of a lack of intimacy in their marriage.
I hate to ruffle some feathers, but it is not completely the fault of the adulterer for having an affair (unless they are the #1 adulterer.) Adultery is simply a symptom of serious problems in a marriage. Yes, infidelity cuts through the core of trust and intimacy and is the vilest betrayal to a spouse, but it can be overcome.
When a couple first marries, cheating is the farthest thought from their minds. The idea is incomprehensible. Years of degrading words, loveless days, and lack of contact physically and emotionally, though, can send a person reaching out to another for intimacy fulfillment. The desire for intimacy is so strong that we may subconsciously seek it, not always aware of our actions or intent.
In most marriages, there will come a time when one or the other is tempted to find intimacy elsewhere.
Proverbs 5:1-2 says, “My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.”
Military people are well prepared for the missions they face. Medical people know what to do at the scene of an accident. They have the knowledge to do so. Those of us who aren’t prepared (knowledgable) usually freeze and do nothing when faced with an unfamiliar situation and, in our illogical state, make wrong decisions.
We have to be prepared for our reactions and actions when we find ourselves in a vulnerable situation with someone of the opposite sex, especially if we are dealing with struggles in our marriage. We have to be wise about the possibilities and maintain our discretion.
When we are angry with our spouses, we usually can’t see past our anger, and so the kind words of another will look very appealing to us. (The old devil is so sly.) Add a little alcohol on top of that and many will succumb to the temptation to take it to the physical level of intimacy. (Note: don’t go out drinking with your friends if you are furious with your spouse. Prepare yourself to not even talk to someone of the opposite sex when fighting with your spouse.)
Now I know I’ve stepped on some toes here. Never say never. I too went into my marriage thinking I could never do anything so hideous to my husband. How awful and disgusting! But guess what, I did. I’m not proud of it; I’m actually still appalled by it even after 25 years. But it happened. There has been amazing good that has come out of that despicable time in my life, though, because Rick and I chose to work on our marriage.
Verse 3 tells us, “For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil”.
Proverbs 5 speaks clearly about the adulteress. Have you noticed that, in the Bible, the women get the harsher rap for cheating? That double standard still holds true in these days. Maybe it’s because it has been more “acceptable” for men in history to have mistresses.
Yes, men need to be on the alert for the adulteress, but I believe this verse also speaks about the woman who is in a troubled marriage and feels no intimacy from her husband.
Emotional intimacy is the #1 need for most women as physical intimacy is for men. The thing is, many women are not even aware how strong that need is, and they may unknowingly seek it, in their naiveté, when they don’t get it from home. They can become the adulteress with the honey dripping lips without even realizing it. Affairs start as attention from another person. It may be as simple as a second glance or a harmless conversation.
Verse 6 tells us, “She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.”
That is why we need to grasp the first two verses of Proverbs 5. We have to maintain discretion and keep the knowledge preserved on our lips, regardless of what chaos may be happening in our marriage. We have to vow, to ourselves, to never allow the attractiveness of someone else penetrate the portals of our mind. We have to stay vigilant and wise, even when we can’t stand the sight of our spouse.
More to come on adultery!