Years ago I knew a couple whose marriage was coming unraveled. The couple was in their 30s. They had children. She had just learned that her husband had been having an affair with a person at work. There was much hurt, turmoil, and brokenness. She was ready to leave him. She was not going to live with a man who would practice such deception and break their marriage vows.
He woke up.
I talked with them one day. He told her how ashamed he was of his behavior. He cried. She cried. She recoiled in hurt. He seemed to almost crumble on the floor. He literally begged her not to give up on him and on their marriage. He spoke of his shame and failure. He begged for her forgiveness.
I was about 27 years old. I had never been close to anyone who was experiencing such heartache. I remember thinking that this wasn’t like it was on television or in the movies. On television, a married person might begin a relationship with someone else. There is laughter. One person says that he has never been happier. Sometimes the affair is romanticized to the point that the viewer wonders if he is not missing something by not having an affair. So often the focus is on the self and who seems to be getting their selfish desires met.
However, real men of character will never, ever throw their family under the bus while they chase their lustful fantasy with a new found “honey.”
Women of character will never do this either.
Yet, again and again it happens. A husband or wife begins a relationship with another person. This person has already made a promise before God that she/he would be faithful in marriage. After all, marriage is a covenant with God. A person marries and is in an exclusive relationship with a husband or wife.
Yet, later on, some married people put more energy into the pursuit of a lustful fantasy than they do their marriage. The marriage covenant is violated. As a result, another marriage ends. A person has chosen disobedience to God over obedience. This person has decided to take life into his own hands, making whatever selfish decision he believes is necessary in order to feel good.
- Smaller children experience the trauma of a mother or father leaving their home.
- Older children realize that their mom or dad has put their own desires before their family.
- Trust is fractured and even broken.
- Friendships are broken.
- There is much hurt, heartache and disappointment.
Marriage is often difficult.
Sometimes there are seasons during which a marriage is dry and even rocky. During these seasons, many men and women will often put great energy into their marriage. They will get counseling. They will seek to work through their problems. Some of these marriages get significantly better. Some do not.
Yet, adultery is never the answer. Not for a person who loves God and seeks to live in obedience to him. Not for a person of character.
What would you add to the list above? What are some of the everyday costs of sexual unfaithfulness? What have you observed?