Posts Tagged ‘Adultery’



September 30, 2015

“My son, keep my words and treasure up my commands with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”  Proverbs 7:1-3

This is my attempt to retell the advice of Proverbs 7
in the context of this present age.

My son, I have some advice for you.

Pause for a time;

Hear what I have learned,

That you may receive wisdom and not pain;

That you will be guarded by knowledge and not nature.

For all that is shapely is not trim;

And not all that is buxom is natural.

Hear the truth in my words;

Value the understanding of experience.

A day will come when you will doubt the relevance of old men.

And dismiss advice as uninformed.

Therefore, settle the matter in your mind.

Decide if truth will be the foundation of your principles;

Be as familiar with her as of your sister’s image;

Know your principles as well as any intimate friend,

To keep you from the temptation of seduction.

The familiar story, you have heard.

A young man, full of naïve confidence,

Convinced of his own resolutions,

Purposefully pursues an avenue without sense.

Foolish boy who plays with indwelling fire,

Without an ability to extinguish.

He closes the door, beyond the eyes of elders.

A singular face illuminated by a screen;

Fully aware of the call echoing within;

Lying in wait.

Harmless browsing, bannered by advertising;

Images unsought sponsor a search;

Articles of the alluring allure;

Lists of the hottest ignite heat;

News of the attractive attract;

Only the simple ignore the sequence.

A swing of the door leads to a click on something dormant;

A scroll through the dormant germinates to a click on scantily cladded;

A scroll through the scantily cladded sprouts to a click on the claddless;

A scroll through the claddless blossoms to a click on the corrupt.

A slide starts with a solitary swing.

And now, O Son, listen to me,

And be attentive to the words of my mouth.

Do not believe those who claim no harm in pornography;

Do not value the famous who belittle the value of morality;

Do not credit bondage as freedom;

Do not confuse forgiveness with relevance.

This sin is written with a cursor of steel;

With an icon of diamond it carves cravings into the soul.

Cravings create a crack;

Cracks create a cleft;

Clefts keep one from the power of the One.

Everyday, you train your mind to either,

Seek the pleasure of God

Or the pleasure of flesh.

Let not your heart be turned by a door and swing;

Do not illuminate your face in privacy,

For many have been trapped

And their morality harvested;

Countless convictions have yielded to this call and compromise.

Pornography is a house along a path leading from God;

Those who travel it will never find Him.

Do not think that there are no consequences

To actions behind swinging doors.

PRAYER: Lord, I pray for all those caught in pornography.  Father, I ask that your healing and restoration will abide on all those caught in this sin who call upon your name.  Lord, keep me and my son from this hidden sin.  I ask that you will grow in us this fruit of your Spirit, self-control.  Help us to rely upon you in all things.  Help us to be aware of the danger.  Help us to be careful to love you with all of our heart, soul, and strength. I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen



September 8, 2015

“Be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God.”  Joshua 23:11

DSC_0011-ZF-5601-95690-1-001-010I recently returned with my family from our vacation to Northern Idaho and Montana.  A highlight of this vacation was ziplining within views of Coeur d’Alene Lake.  It was thrilling to soar from treetop to treetop, unencumbered by the constraints of the ground.  A zipline may just be the best substitute for wings available to man.DSC_0019-ZF-5601-95690-1-001-018


This activity was a huge accomplishment for my wife who has a fear of heights.  Her fear of heights is a misnomer.  She has a fear of falling.  Therefore, I appreciated the care taken by the tour guides of Timberline Adventures.  Our guides were very careful to make certain that we were always secured from falling.  We had safety harnesses that were always attached to the trolley, a tree, or a railing.

DSC_0021-ZF-5601-95690-1-001-020TheDSC_0023-ZF-5601-95690-1-001-022y were very careful because the danger was real.  That danger could have kept us from soaring.  It could have kept us from experiencing th
e heights.  It could have prevented us from encountering the freedom of an eagle.


By being very careful, we were prevented from falling and we saw the world from a new perspective.

The word “careful” has been resonating in my mind as I have observed the revelations and opinions spilling into the public awareness after the disclosure of the Ashely Madison registrants.  The mere existent of a website like Ashely Madison is a stark reminder of the current condition of our society.

We live in a careless culture.

Consider the habitual attitude inhabiting a mind, long before a person registers on a site like Ashely Madison.  Those exposed in this latest of scandals probably embraced the carelessness of our culture long before any action was taken.  This revelation is not an abnormality and not limited to the secular world.  The majority of professing Christians that I know, myself included, live in a morass of careless and muddled thinking.

I believe that careless minds devastate more Christians than anything else.

So, what causes us to be careless?

I am careless when I don’t perceive danger.  I am careless when I am comfortable, confident, and certain.  I am careful when I am fearful of falling.  I am careful when I sense danger.

My carelessness rises in direct proportion with my freedom from fear.

Joshua warned the Israelites to be careful.  He warned them to be careful because they were in danger.  The danger that they faced was from not following the commands of God.  The Israelites were warned many times to fear God and be careful to obey His commandments. Some will argue that the fear of God is an Old Testament warning.  However, consider Jesus’ warning to the disciples:

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  (Matthew 10:28)

I know that a lot of people struggle with the ideas of both loving and fearing God.  I have reconciled these two seemly contradictory concepts by equating the fear of God to the fear of heights.

I don’t fear heights.  I fear falling.

I don’t fear the majesty or glory of God.
I don’t fear a God who is merciful and gracious.
I don’t fear a God who is abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
I don’t fear a God who forgives iniquity and transgression and sin.

I don’t fear God. I fear falling away from God.

I fear the indwelling unbelief of my own heart.
I fear the unbelief that prefers the trinkets of this world to the glory of God.
I fear the unbelief that the pleasures of this world are better than the love of God.
I fear the unbelief of a lukewarm faith.

We live in a spiritually dangerous world.
Yet, many live in careless tranquility.

We were meant to soar in the love of God. DSC_0026-ZF-5601-95690-1-001-025

However, I don’t have the ability to stand in God’s presence on my own.  I will certainly fall without the power of the Spirit working in my life.  It is those thrilling heights of God which increases my fear of falling from His presence.

Therefore, we must be careful to secure ourselves to His presence by being careful as to where we allow our minds to settle.  That is why we need to be careful.

It is easy to be critical of those currently blushing due to the revelation of their sin.

I cannot cast a stone.  I have too much carelessness in my own life.  For me, the Ashley Madison revelation has been a good admonition to renew a healthy fear of God and increase the carefulness of my own daily walk in the Spirit.

By being very careful, we abide in the Spirit and are secured to God’s presence.
There is no greater height than the throne of God Almighty.

So, before you start throwing stones, ask yourself:

How careful are you?
Where do you allow your mind to wander?
Do you allow your mind to settle on the things of the Spirit or the things of the flesh?
Are you aware of the dangers of your own unbelief?

PRAYER: Lord, I pray for all those whose carelessness has resulted in such a devastating sin as adultery.  Father, I ask that your healing and restoration will abide on all those caught in this sin who call upon your name.  Lord, I ask that you will raise up within your Church, followers who excel in self-control.  I ask that you will grow in me this wonderful fruit of your Spirit.  Help me to rely upon you in all things.  Help me to be aware of the danger.  Help me to be careful to love you with all of my heart, soul, and strength. I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen



November 30, 2013

“And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15

PetI am always searching for advice on triathlons, running, cycling, and swimming.  This is how I coach myself.  I know  it is not as good as the real thing but it is all that I am willing to pay for.  In my typical search of cycling blogs, I ran across the (Coming to Terms with) Becoming the Other Woman blog.  It did not contain the content that I was seeking but it affected my heart to the extent that I could not set it aside and get on with my morning devotions.

This blog chronicles the path of a nurse’s affair with a doctor.  I was once again reminded of the advice of my father.  I wrote about his advice in The Petraeus in all of Us so I won’t repeat myself.  However, I will repeat my heartfelt warning to myself and my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Beware of who you befriend!

The nurse’s story struck a chord with me due to the commonality of circumstances.  Her relationship started through cycling.  Her bond with this other man developed through the familiarity of work.  They grew to the point of being able to complete each other’s sentences.  They relied upon one another and confided in each other.  They become one with each in an affair of the mind before they ever took it to a bedroom.

Her commonality of circumstance is a path open to most of us if we are not careful to guard the path.

I ride with a cycling club that includes female riders.
I work with women.
I go to church with women.

I love and praise God for the women who are in my life.  I appreciate all that they bring into this world.  My world is such a better place due to the women who inhabit it.  I know that I could covet the affections of one of these other women if I were to allow my heart to wander.

However, I am called to one woman – my wife.

I know the danger of another woman being able to complete my thoughts.  I do not want another woman to confide in me.  I do not want to share myself with another woman.  Affairs are rarely fits of passion.  They are slow estrangements from the one who we committed our lives to.  We must take care to protect our affections.  We must guard the access to the oneness of our hearts.

I know that there are brothers and sisters in Christ who are flirting with the affections of others.

I know that there are some who are enjoying the pursuit of someone who is not their own.

I know that are many out there who fantasize about someone other than their spouse.

I know that there are some who are so unhappy in their marriage that they long for companionship.

Auzigog / / CC BY-NC-SA

I plead with you to stop!
I beg you to open your eyes to what you are really doing.
I implore you not to seek emotional affirmation from someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse.

I beseech you to guard you heart.

Do not come to terms with being the other man or woman.
Do not believe the lie, buried in coveting, that this other person will satisfy you.
Do not strive up or awaken love for someone else.

Seek your satisfaction in the One who will not disappoint.
Be completed by the only One who can truly complete you.
Know the joy of abounding love and faithfulness that comes only from God.

Bring your healed and redeemed soul into your fragile and flawed marriage and
then let God transform your marriage into the glorifying union it was meant to be.

Start with guarding your heart.
Begin with taking care in who you are befriending.

PRAYER: O Lord, thank you for my beautiful wife – she is my beloved and my friend.  Thank you for bringing her into my life – I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.  Thank you for all the joy that has come into my life through her.  Lord, you know that I am prone to be dissatisfied for no real reason.  You know that I have a thirst for what is false through the media.  You know that my eyes glance over the grass on the other side of the fence.  Father forgive me for my covetous heart.  Thank you for guarding my heart.  Thank you for keeping me from the adulterous.  Lord, keep my marriage pure; bind our hearts to one another; interweave our emotions so that we may be one.  Lord, lead us to rely upon You for our satisfaction rather than each other.  May we glorify you in our lives and our marriage.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.



September 27, 2013

“But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whoring on any passerby; your beauty became his.”  Ezekiel 16:15

When do our actions correlate more with the street corner than the pew?
When does one become a harlot? 

Consumerism characterizes my world.  We buy goods and services every day.  However, there is a demarcation where consumerism becomes unacceptable.  There is a level of consumerism that is completely expected and even encouraged:

English: A picture of the inside of a remodele...

English: A picture of the inside of a remodeled Walmart in Miami, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do our grocery shopping in a variety of locations.  No one has ever accused me of being unfaithful for shopping at Wal-mart and not Fred Meyer.

I buy gasoline on regular basis.  No one has ever accused me of infidelity for stopping at a gas station that is conveniently located along my travel route.

I like to try new restaurants.  My wife has never felt betrayed by my desire to eat someplace other than our dinner table.

This level of consumerism is acceptable because there is no expectation of faithfulness.  Costco was not offended when I tried Wal-mart toilet paper and returned after discovering that their quality did not satisfy.  I did not have to sulk back into their warehouse and offer an apology.  Trying different toilet paper didn’t make me a toilet paper whore.  Consumerism is acceptable when there is no expectation of faithfulness.

However, a person will encounter chastisement once they proclaim their faithfulness but still continue to practice consumerism.


Chevrolet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For years, I endured all of my cousin’s jokes about the superiority of southern California in comparison to Idaho.  I have had a lot of fun reminding him of his unfaithfulness now that he has moved to Idaho.

This sort of consumerism is still socially acceptable.  A person can move to another state without the fear of being stigmatized as a whore.  They may not be liked, particularly if they are from California, but they won’t be thought of as a harlot.  Other than a period of good-hearted ribbing, no one takes offense to a person seeking a new favorite.  Consumerism is acceptable when there is no expectation of faithfulness and a personal relationship is not involved.

Our society begins to apply a social stigma when there is an expectation of faithfulness in an intimate personal relationship.  We risk the whore label when we continue with attitude of a consumer in search of satisfaction from any person or thing, in violation of a commitment to faithfulness.  This is most evident in our views of marriage.

English: A Catholic wedding ceremony in Milwau...I have committed to be one with my wife physically, emotionally, and relationally.  When I married my wife, I made a vow to her and entered into a covenant with her and she with me.  I became hers and she became mine.  We committed to each other that we would seek our relational satisfaction only in each other as we became one before the Lord.  Consumerism has no place in marriage.  The search for someone better ended when we said, “I do”.

Therefore, I violate my promise to her when I seek to have my relational desires satisfied outside of our marriage.

I will clearly play the whore if I were to go sleep with someone else.  However, our commitment to physical fidelity can also be violated via pornography, romance novels, and the relational ideal.

I can play the whore through a platonic relationship by desiring an intimacy that was intended to be with my wife.  Our commitment to emotional fidelity can be given away through family, kids, buddies, hobbies, work, and the general chaos of life.

God describes our relationship with Him as a marriage.  He has established a covenant relationship with us.  Interpersonal faithfulness is the fundamental characteristic of this covenant relationship .  There is no place for divine consumerism after we have said “I’m yours” to God.

God said to Israel:

I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine.  (Ezekiel 16:8b)

This is how God viewed Israel following the gods of other nations:

You played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; yes, you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied.  You multiplied your whoring also with the trading land of Chaldea, and even with this you were not satisfied.  (Ezekiel 16:28-29)

God viewed Israel’s search for satisfaction outside of His covenant relationship as adultery.  I doubt if the Israelites considered their actions as adulterous.  They were just practicing consumerism.

God viewed their actions as adultery.

We live under the new covenant.  We are new creations in Christ.  We no longer need animal sacrifices for our sins because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  However, I  cannot find anywhere in the scriptures where the new covenant changed how God views sin.

I may not face the condemnation for my sin but my sin still has the stench of adultery.  Thankfully, I have never experienced the unfaithfulness of my spouse.  However, I can imagine the feelings of betrayal if my wife were to be unfaithful to me.

I hate the thought of my actions conveying that type of unfaithfulness to Christ.

Yet, I know that I have been unfaithful to my Lord.  I despise the fact that I have played the whore to the One who saved me.  I hate my unfaithfulness not because I am afraid that God is going to whack me.  I hate my unfaithfulness because it is such unloving behavior to show toward the One who has shown such great love to me .  Jesus said:

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  (John 14:15)

Let’s abandon our lives of divine consumerism.

May the actions of our lives communicate our love for God and not the desires of an unsatisfied whore.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for being faithful even in my unfaithfulness.  Thank you for forgiving me for seeking my satisfaction in the most unsatisfying places.  Lord, I want my actions to declare my love for you.  I want you to be glorified in all that I do and say.   Help me to be faithful to you in all of my thoughts, desires, hopes, and dreams.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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