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Adultery is a Big Deal!

October 31, 2017 — 3 Comments

marriage

This is a blog that I don’t know how to write. I don’t feel qualified to write about this topic, and I realize it’s a sensitive issue to many people. So I am going to do my best to just share my heart on a matter that I genuinely care about. I hope in my weak attempt to share my perspective; you read the grace between the lines and not the judgment.

For the last month or so, the title of this blog has been going through my head over and over again. It’s been screaming at me.

Adultery is a big deal!

Over the last couple of years I have watched adultery creep into people’s lives and make a mess of things. Children have been emotionally wounded, marriages have ended in divorce, and people have walked away from God.

Adultery is a big deal!

I have seen how one act of adultery can affect a group of people. What might have seemed like a private act of  attraction between two people then catapulted into a situation that affected many people’s lives.

Adultery is a big deal!

I’ve been told that I don’t understand the situation surrounding the events. I’ve gotten the response, “you can’t judge unless you have been in my situation.” Marriage is hard, and attraction happens.

Marriage is a big deal!

There is a reason why one of the Ten Commandments says, “Do not commit adultery.” God put in place the protection from this grievous sin so that lives would not be destroyed. Jesus went even further to teach about lust in one’s heart. We are all sinners, but we all are faced with the choice to act on sin. Sin destroys and grieves the heart of God.

Sin is a big deal!

But on the flip side of adultery is redemption. I have seen marriages that were wrecked by the sin of adultery completely transformed by the grace of God. I have witnessed families restored and watched a husband and wife devoted to each other in a loving marriage which was once destined for divorce. God is the healer and restorer of broken relationships. There is forgiveness for adultery. There is healing.

God is a big deal!

I hate adultery. I hate divorce. I hate how it destroys families. And I hate that so often people are not willing to fight for their marriages. Sure, maybe I don’t know “your situation.” But I know God. When we allow God to break down the walls of sin and let forgiveness in, He is more than able to do miraculous things. God thinks your marriage is a big deal. He will fight with you to restore it. But He has to be at the center of it. Don’t give in to the lie in our society that adultery or divorce is no big deal. Hold on to Scripture. Walk in the truth of God’s Word. His Commandments are to protect us from sin and the hurt that brings hopelessness. He is the hope for your marriage.

I have witnessed a casualness towards divorce and adultery in the Church. It grieves my heart. But how much more does it grieve the heart of God?

I know every marriage, every situation, every struggle is different. But I just wish we could start screaming out loud with a warning —Adultery is a big deal! And then wrap our loving arms around our friends in their hurting marriages and encourage them that their Marriage is a big deal. Maybe that’s too simplistic and idealistic. But I don’t care because I serve a God who is bigger than all it.

 

 

marraige

When I was dating my husband I wouldn’t let him hold the door open for me. I refused to let him do some of the nice things that a gentleman does for a lady. Why? Because I had this warped notion of what it means to be a female in today’s society. It was so important for me to be strong, independent, and not have any need for a man in my life. When in all actuality all I thought about was wanting to be loved and in a relationship with a man.

I recently read a little gem of a book that probably should be on a list of what NOT to read if you are a feminist. It is titled, The Privilege of Being a Woman and it is written by a catholic woman named Alice Von Hildebrand. I absolutely love the book but there was one sentence that I really could identify with in terms of my own feminist view. She writes. “Yet we live in a world so deeply steeped in secularism that many of us are not even aware that we are influenced by its disastrous ideology.” That was me in my college years asserting my womanhood by not letting a man open a door for me. How silly! I was being influenced by the society around me even though I didn’t identify myself as a feminist.

When I married that man, who I refused to let open the door for me, I joked that I was going to take out the words “honor and obey” out of our vows. I even choked up on those words a little during the ceremony. If you watch the video footage I put a bit of sarcastic tone into the word “obey”. Maybe funny at the time but looking back at it I am sorry that I trivialized a really important word in our marriage.

My husband and I just celebrated 18 years of marriage and as I look back at how much marriage has changed me, I feel blessed to be a woman who finally figured out that whole “honor and obey” thing.

I used to think that letting a man hold a door open for me was a sign of my own weakness as a woman. Joking about the word obey was my own ignorance of what exactly the word “obey” means in a marriage. I wasn’t even aware of how much the secular feminist ideology had really influenced me and it took a toll on my marriage in the early years.

I bought into the 50/50 premise and if my husband didn’t do his part or what I felt was his part, I held it against him. I started tallying all the ways I was doing my part and for some reason I was always doing more, being more, and marriage was just an unfair equation.

God slowly changed my heart and I began to discover something that doesn’t come naturally to me— humility. I laid down all my desires, all my tallies, and scores in the marriage and I just began to serve my husband out of love. All those hard walls of independence and “I can open my own door” philosophies were wiped away and I discovered something in my marriage— love.

Now love was always there to begin with but something changed in me. I began to realize my weakness as a woman complimented the strength of my husband. I began to see the lie that our society tells us as young girls. “We are women, hear us roar” – overshadows the grace and love women can find out of a grateful heart to serve. Yes, that includes serving our husbands.

Hildebrand writes, “Humility is a virtue that finds little favor in the secularist world.” I might add, it’s not even in the feminist language.

I struggled for many years with finding my own happiness in my marriage, that it wasn’t till I relented and began to submit and concentrated on my husband’s happiness that I truly found contentment. Suddenly “honor and obey” made perfect sense.  I found joy in serving others and there was no more exhausting tallying or equations.

Matthew 20:28 says, “The son of man did not come to be served, but to serve…” Christ came to teach us that serving equals love. Can serving be abused in a marriage? Absolutely!  But the secular ideology that humbly submitting is somehow degrading is such a lie that we as women have bought into and it has created some unhealthy marriages and some very unhappy women.

Hildebrand writes, “Power, riches, fame, success, and dominance are idolized; humility, chastity, modesty, self-sacrifice, and service are looked down upon as signs of weakness.” As a Christian, I knew the importance of self-sacrifice but I didn’t know how to live it in my day-to-day life. Marriage taught me the beauty and strength in weakness. We have taken the word weak in society and have branded it as negative but in reality weakness, in the act of humility and service, produces love and in turn strength.

My marriage is not perfect but it is happy because serving dominates my thinking instead of doing it my way. My husband doesn’t always open the door for me and I don’t expect him to but when he does I thank him because that’s what marriage is– humbly considering one above the other– just as Christ did for all of us.

 

thCAIQN4ON

The gay marriage debate is front and center right now and if you are like me you are probably tired of all the equal signs and posts from either side of the argument. I have my own religiously held views about gay marriage but that’s not what I want to write about here. If you step back a little about the bigger picture of this issue than it’s important to look at exactly what is being discussed – Marriage!

What is marriage is the question being posed before the Supreme Court. What is marriage is the question we all need to ask ourselves. Quite frankly it is a bit hypocritical for the Christian believers to uphold the sanctity of marriage when the divorce rate among Christians is almost as high as with in the secular community.

I don’t have some great theological definition of what marriage is or should be. I only have my life experience of being married for almost 17 years. What I do know is that the equal sign has nothing to do with marriage. Early on in my marriage I bought in to society’s lie of equal partnership and that 50/50 equation of love and respect. The more I tallied up my results in my marriage the more I came up with an uneven score. I realized that keeping score is exhausting in a relationship and the more I did the more unhappy I was in my marriage. When I decided to let go of the equality equation, I began to feel what the sanctity of marriage was all about.

It is basically all about faith. It is the belief that even in the most difficult times my marriage will stand and live up to the vows we both made to each other. What a reflection of my faith in God. Like my marriage, I too have made a commitment to Christ. I have not always been the most faithful contributing partner in my union with Christ. However, God is always there to forgive and love me when I have broken that love and respect. I don’t hold score in my faith with God and I shouldn’t in my relationship with my husband. Marriage is a mirror of God’s love in an earthly form. It’s a daily reminder that among the ups and downs of life God is there loving me and devoted to me even through my marriage.

I don’t think the reflection of Christ in marriage is spoken enough with in the Christian community. Perhaps it is lost in psychological methods and reasoning. In the marriage debate in society it is all about equal love and respect. However, it is easy to love and respect someone just as easy as it is to break it. If our expectations of marriage are so equally calculated than it is understandable why so many people don’t live up to them. For me, understanding God’s depth of love for me has helped me to realize what exactly the sanctity of marriage is. It is a holy vow that cannot be put into any mathematical equation because faith cannot be calculated.