- I am about to tell you something that you’re not going to like very much. You probably either don’t believe it, or you don’t want to hear it, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
I believe you are capable of cheating on your spouse. I think you have the ability within you to commit adultery. I think we all do. Now before you get angry, shake your head, and stop reading, give me a chance to explain.
- I remember an incident in my previous marriage. My husband, at the time, was away on business. His government job often took him to California for a week or so at a time. I recall one such trip he was going to be away during a big football game for his favorite NFL team. He planned to catch the game in his hotel room. As we spoke on the phone about it he told me his plan to get a case of beer and invite a female co-worker (who also loved the Bears) to watch the game with him in his room. As you can imagine, 1000 miles away, over a phone connection, my heart leaped into my throat. I suggested to him that scenario might not be appropriate. He immediately agreed and said, “You’re right. That might not look good to our other co-workers.” He just didn’t get it. I wasn’t worried about how it looked to them. I was worried about how it looked to me. I was unaware at this time of his unhappiness in our relationship so I had no reason to suspect infidelity, whether he committed it or not. All I knew was that it might not be a stellar idea to place himself in that situation.
- I remember a lesson I was taught when I was in a Discipleship Training School. The much respected leader of our school spoke to us that day. I don’t recall the specific subject matter being taught, but I do remember what he said. He was married with two children. He stated it was a happy marriage of eleven years and I had every reason to believe him. Some couples you can see the way their eyes twinkle when they look at each other, or the way their fingertips linger on each other when they end an embrace, and you just know that they’re madly in love. This was how I saw that dynamic leadership couple. As he stood before our class that day he revealed,
“I’ve never cheated on my wife. I’ve never thought about it, nor have I ever wanted to, but I think I could. If given the right circumstances, I think I probably would. I love her more than anything, so I’m going to make sure those circumstances never exist.”
At the time I remember being shocked and a little disgusted. I couldn’t imagine him admitting such a thing or even thinking it. I wasn’t married then. Now I am. For the record, I love my husband more than anything. I cannot imagine being unfaithful to him, but I also know I’m human. I know temptation is all around us, and it’s waiting to attack Godly marriages, or any marriage for that matter. Even Jesus was tempted. He won against temptation, but He’s the Son of God without sin. I, on the other hand, am definitely not. I don’t choose to go out drinking beer with my buddies anymore. I’m not knocking or judging anyone who does. It’s just not something that is good for my family or me. I can look back and see why I enjoyed it so much though. While out in a crowd, under the influence, I felt like a sexy beast. I was confident, outgoing, and an incredible comedian in my altered opinion. I was flirtatious and perhaps a bit promiscuous. Just being honest. And I’m being so transparent to make it clear that some situations usher in temptation. Some situations give it a welcome mat right at your front door. Other times, it’s a bit more tricky. Other times it sneaks in a back window, temptation disguised as a well-meaning friend, someone to listen to you, a shoulder to cry on, perhaps even a member of your congregation. This is why it’s so important to not allow a situation where you might be tempted.
Every Christmas I buy red and green M&Ms and put them in a tree-shaped dish by my front door. I put it out last night. I noticed pretty quickly that my three year old was sneaking back to that dish over and over. I instructed her to ask me first. Then I instructed her strongly, “No more candy!” She just couldn’t help herself. I had no choice but to move the dish out of her reach before she made herself sick.
It’s beyond a kid and a candy dish, but I think we’re at risk of making ourselves sick, our marriages sick, our souls sick. I think if we allow ourselves to be in a tempting situation, we can fall. I can’t for the life of me imagine doing such a thing, hurting my husband, our marriage, our children, but I’m not going to set myself up for failure either. I’m not going to test my strength and resolve to the limit when the stakes are so high. For marriages to stand untarnished they must be treated with utmost regard, handled with tender hands like the fragile and precious gift they are, not taken for granted and left out in the elements to weather the storm.
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
You don’t think it’s in you to commit adultery? Good. Prove me wrong. I dare you.
That is all 🙂