Idolatry and Adultery
It's safe to say adultery has been a common problem in today's society. Don't believe me? Look at divorce rates. Not only have a lot of marriages ended in divorce, but aside from financial situations and irreconcilable differences, spouses cheating on their husband or wife has resulted in the end of the relationship more times than I care to count. And wouldn't you know it, but God gave us a commandment not to cheat on our spouse; You shall not commit adultery. Funny how that works; it's almost like He knew it would get us into trouble. Divorces have led to the breakdown of family values, and the justification of all sorts of behaviors that at one point or another have been found to be taboo. But I digress.
While I am on commandments, God also told us not to put any other gods before Him. I may be going out on a limb here, too, but maybe He knew what would transpire once His people ventured too far off course, and turned to other things besides Him to fix their worries and pass their time. Instead of striving to have a relationship with God, people have made their own gods for generations. Money, fame, other people they looked up to and admired... zip forward to modern times - television, radio, internet, their own ideology; all have become idols to many of us over the eons. I include myself as part of the problem, for I am as flawed as all other human beings. But that is why God gave us His Son. He knew we would fall short; He knew something had to happen to make up for our shortcomings, and Jesus paid that ultimate price.
But does that mean we shouldn't address the problem? Of course not. We who believe should strive to have wholesome relationships with our spouses, so that those outside our faith can wonder, 'what is that couple doing right that makes them so content with one another?' Believers such as myself should also strive to make the "American Gods" like television, radio, and the internet, be a much smaller priority in life than our time we actually spend with God.
God wanted our relationship with our spouse to be parallel to the relationship the Church is supposed to have with Jesus Christ. And for all the men out there, as sexist as this may start to sound, I think God gave us Jesus as the perfect example of what kind of bride groom to be for our significant other - humble, loving, caring, supportive, protective, and sacrificial. Throughout the New Testament, despite being the Son of God, fulfilling hundreds of years of prophecy, Jesus is always depicted as having humble character, and humble beginnings. He faced the ultimate humility for mankind at the cross. Of course Christ is loving, and His love was shown through what He did for us, but also in how He showed love to His disciples. Christ cared enough about his disciples to calm the storm when they were all frightened out on the Sea of Galilea, and He cared enough to heal the sick and wounded. Jesus showed His support for His friends when He would offer reassuring words to those who were worried about their loved ones when they came to fetch Jesus, and were worried He may not make it back to their loved ones in time. Jesus was protective of the people, when He expressed His frustration with the tax collectors at the Temple and turned over the tables. And Christ Himself demonstrated the perfect sacrifice when He gave all for a debt He did not owe.
What if husbands did the same for our wives? I know I try to do all these things for my wife, but I also know I fall short. But I keep trying, and I know it will be something that I have to keep pursuing; keep persevering through, just as we should pursue our relationship with our heavenly Father.
Of course, wives out there, this doesn't mean you're off the hook. God leaves pretty specific directions for you in the New Testament as well.
"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Does this mean wives must be doormats? Not at all, but if husbands follow Christ's example, and wives simply show respect even when they disagree with the husband, things will usually work out in peaceful accord.
A side note here... I am a police officer, and I have witnessed what happens when a spouse discovers their husband or wife just cheated on them. I have responded to scenes where jealousy led to some unfortunate decisions on the part of both parties. And jealousy has been the root cause of everything from a spouse going to jail, to a spouse killing their spouse, a lover, and even themselves. Jealousy is a dangerous force, and we should not trifle with it, so why open up the door for it by being unfaithful?
Now take that a step further with our relationship with God. Although Jesus came because we are flawed and imperfect, God does tell us that He is a jealous God. So even if He may not smite us when we do place other things higher in priority than we do Him, consequences still may catch up to us, and God will stay out of the way of those consequences.
Have you ever stopped to think about either one of these two major concepts? How much time do you devote to God? Where does He fall in your priority list? I am guilty of not placing Him first sometimes; I might as well pray that He keeps my heart grounded and reminds me sometimes of how short I may fall. How do you treat your husband or wife, for those of you out there who are married? God gave us some basic instructions, and great examples. Seek the answers to questions you may have on how to worship, and how to treat your spouse, and God will reveal these things to you.
Just this guy's two cents.