Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ten Commandments: God and Your Marriage

Chuckle: Church bulletin, "Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands . . .!"
Quote: "A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short." --Andre Maurois

"You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14 NIV).
The Bible distinguishes between holy and unholy sex. Holy sex is that which takes place between a husband and wife. Unholy sex (adultery) is every other kind in every other circumstance. "There shall not be a promiscuous woman among the daughters of Israel, and there shall not be a promiscuous man among the sons of David"  (Deuteronomy 23:18). God has much concern about adultery because He ordained the home and the church as the two institutions on earth to visibly model his love. God's standard for marriage and sex is never-changing, absolute, and non-negotiable.
There's no doubt we live in an adulterous society. Children are confronted with such issues as "what kind of sex constitutes adultery?" "Is it a bad thing? On TV, sexual encounters are presented as normal, romantic, exciting, fulfilling, and funny. They seldom mention sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancies, lingering guilt, loss of reputation, or being used merchandise to an eventual spouse. Sadly, our children see their seniors modeling immoral sexual behavior. Can you imagine President Clinton counseling teenagers to be pure and restrained sexually? How about promiscuous parents?
If you have never committed adultery, you may feel as if you're wasting time studying this commandment. Really? Hear what Jesus has to say: "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery,' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28 NIV). No doubt adultery begins in the heart. When Jimmy Carter admitted he had never committed adultery physically, but had done so many times in his heart, the American media didn't know how to handle such honesty.
Our real battle is in the mind as it was with Eve in the garden. As Satan whispers in your ears, you begin to think about what you desire, what you deserve, what you need, and what (by all rights) you should have. For the Christian, such thoughts are a sure sign of spiritual immaturity and lack of respect for your marriage covenant. Lasting marriage relationships are based on maturity and mutual commitment. Love is more than a feeling; it is a commitment to faithfully serve, satisfy, and fulfill your mate, not a selfish desire to be served, satisfied, and fulfilled.
I think I can safely say we all have failed in this command. Is there one of us who has never allowed an adulterous thought to linger in his/her mind? Jesus says that's as bad as the physical act -- yet we tend to think otherwise. If you are currently in an adulterous relationship, end it now! Not tomorrow! Not next week! Decide right now! Then pray: "Lord, I confess my sin and ask your forgiveness and cleansing of my life." Then accept his forgiveness and pray: "Lord, thank you for changing me and cleansing me. This thing is over." "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22 NIV).
Thank God for His mercy and restoration; hen show mercy to others as Jesus did to the woman caught in adultery. "Who among you is without sin? Who of you has never done this or thought it in your secret heart? Let that one cast the first stone." Jesus did not condemn her, but said to her: "Go and sin no more" (John 8:9-11 NIV).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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