Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The lethality of the straying heart

If you tell a child not to touch the plate of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, that will be the very thing they want to do. When they take one illicitly, they lose the chance to get two later with your blessing on top of incurring your disappointment and the associated punishment.

In most of life, God calls us to hold out for something better, for a reward that will be far greater. This is seen in vivid and garish color when looking upon the state of sexual America. Folks are humping with all the commitment and intimacy of junk yard dogs, yet they wonder why those relationships--if they can be called that-- are so unsatisfying. God unleashes the sexual relationship within the confines of marriage (Hebrews 13:4), and he does so with eye-popping power.


IT BRINGS ABOUT CHILDREN. I can't fix a garbage disposal, but with my bride, God has used us to create what the world sees now as four men! What a jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring thing. The sweet affections, the pounding passion of husband and wife brings about something grander still, a child.

IT THWARTS SATAN'S DESIGNS. I've spoken often about Satans intentions. He is a deceiver and a destroyer. All good things of God, Satan likes to see in smouldering ruins. That includes your marriage. Paul gives the Corinthian church an innoculation against such attacks against the marriage: Get in bed. So volatile is the sexual relationship that Paul says if you don't make it a regular, frequent priority in your marriage you actually give Satan a foothold (1 Corinthians 7:5).

Such power outside marriage leads to devastation. This is true of pre-marital encounters (who can vouch for the struggles of toting such baggage into a marriage?) and extra-marital encounters. Gents, take some time and give this article a read. It's a tragic plea from Wendy Plump about the wreckage that is her marriage due to extra-marital affairs on her part and her husband's part. I don't believe that she is a believer; you'll find "God" nowhere in her words. But you will find the truth of God's word and its consequences riddled throughout.

Consider these statements. Each could have a book written about it.

-- "You will be found out." You're no brighter than your children. Sin cannot be covered up. The seeds you have planted in your rebellion and disobedience will bear fruit that betrays.

-- After an affair, "You will hear yourself saying you cheated because your needs weren’t being met. The spark was gone. You were bored in your marriage. Your lover understands you better. One or another version of this excuse will cross your lips like some dark, knee-jerk Hallmark-card sentiment." Sin breeds excuses. Man up. Confess your sin for what it is. Better yet, don't travel this cadaver strewn highway.

-- "I’m not saying these feelings aren’t legitimate, just that they don’t legitimize what you’re doing." It cannot be said with greater clarity and sobriety than that.

-- "The great sex, by the way, is a given. When you have an affair you already know you will have passionate sex — the urgency, newness and illicit nature of the affair practically guarantee that." Solomon said the same things to his sons but that while it's sweet at the time, the end is death and bitterness (Proverbs 5:1-6). Bubba, if your physical relationship with your wife isn't great, make it great! If you don't know how, get some help. Talk to a man whose marriage you respect. Read a book. Talk to your wife. Get to work. It's worth the trouble!

-- "I knew I needed to stop it, but didn’t have the will to do so on my own." Oh, the quicksand of sin! Brother, if you are caught in sin, if you're adultering your wife, if pornography is an issue, then get help. Again, seek a man whose walk with Christ you respect. Talk to your pastor if he is that man. Look for a man who will not soft pedal your sin but call it the rebellion against God that it is and provide you with steps to take to turn your back on that sin.

-- "Sooner or later your illicit, once-beloved object of affection will become tawdry, wearying." The promises of sin will become emptiness and ruin. Satan will not make things better. Your sin and rebellion will only make things worse.

I'll leave you with Mrs. Plump's final paragraphs.
I look at my parents and at how much simpler their lives are at the ages of 75, mostly because they haven’t marred the landscape with grand-scale deceit. They have this marriage of 50-some years behind them, and it is a monument to success. A few weeks or months of illicit passion could not hold a candle to it.
If you imagine yourself in such a situation, where would you fit an affair in neatly? If you were 75, which would you rather have: years of steady if occasionally strained devotion, or something that looks a little bit like the Iraqi city of Fallujah, cratered with spent artillery?
God's got a better plan. It's a long-term plan, long-term for this life and long-term for the life to come. Trust him and enjoy the ride.

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