By Craig Funston
While each one of the Ten Commandments is applicable and timely, this seventh one and the one we just looked at seem more relevant than ever before. I’ll leave the “murder” edict alone for now, though just to add that so much more could have been said, in light of what happened at Orlando, Las Vegas, New York City, and, most recently, Sutherland Springs (Texas).
Think with me about your circle of friends and relatives, colleagues and neighbours. Now break it down in terms of relationships—those married and those not married; those where one of parties is married, but the other is not. Good: Let’s now talk in terms of the seventh commandment, the vice of adultery.
Don’t sugarcoat it with some Hollywood mantra, like “if it feels good, do it.” Don’t even allow yourself to cave in to those other feeder vices, namely, pornography, x-rated movies, and Internet smut. And while you’re at it, don’t blur the lines between lust and love, guys and gals, or whatever you think you can get away with.
One reason our culture has been turned on its head in these past few decades is there has been a wholehearted abandonment of self-control in the area of sex. Restraint has been supplanted by no holds barred, and “nothing doing” has been trumped by “anything goes.”
By the way the Brits have taken quite a hit in this area. I don’t know where the expression, “No sex please, we’re British,” came from, but it’s a cheap shot that is unnecessary—although they’re not exemplary in their behaviour by any stretch. They say that the Victorian era was marked by an attitude in which there was no sex. I counter that this current era is marked (or is is “marred”?) by living as if there is nothing else but sex.
The Bible is not against sex—not by any means. One of the first commands to a newly-created Adam and Eve was to “go forth and multiply.” And subsequent to that, one of the first recorded acts on the part of Adam and Eve was the starting of their family.
It’s that fine line between sex for procreation (in marriage) or recreation (outside of marriage) that seems out of control these days.
However, the Bible makes it very clear that if you truly want sustained happiness, good health, stable family life, and a better society overall, you will not commit adultery. That sounds like God is the ultimate Killjoy, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Back to my second paragraph: Think through those friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbours, and catalogue those who have had affairs, flings, one-night-stands, and other euphemisms for unbridled sex. Those events are often made out to be such a wonderful conquest, but I assure you that the results and memories tell a different tale.
My assignment for you today is to think about the wife that was dumped, the kids’ trust that was shattered, the home that was broken up, the money woes that followed, and the lives of the then-lovers that were destroyed. Let me use some words to describe the results in our culture, if we are don’t obey this seventh commandment: grief, poverty, violence, disillusionment, STD’s, infertility, bitterness, anger, confusion, promiscuity, addiction, murder, unemployment—and I’m just warming up.
And someone says that adultery has no consequences?
We can all reject the idea that God is our Maker. And we can all reject the law of gravity. But rejecting the law of gravity doesn’t help when we jump off a building; we still suffer the consequences.
So it is with rejecting the laws of God. He has made us and knows what’s best for us. So when He says “no hanky-panky” (His thoughts, but my creative spin on the wording), He knows what He’s talking about.
Look at that list that I started a few paragraphs ago. What good can come out of the consequences of any adulterous relationship? I can help you with the answer: None.
With a culture hell-bent on self-destruction in this area, the blame must be clearly placed at the feet of those disobeying this commandment. I know for a fact that there are a lot of “amens” as I write, and they are not just from religious people.
They are from the victims of these rampant acts. I think it is prudent to think of all possible consequences before you commit adultery—then run from it as far as possible.
Keeping your hands to yourself would be a great place to start.