Adultery Creates Brokenness
Bible Text: Proverbs 6:27-29 | Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, And his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; Whoever touches her shall not be innocent. Proverbs 6:27-29, NKJV
An extremely wealthy man became enamored with a very lovely woman who was several years his junior. In a rather bizarre set of circumstances, he happened to get a glimpse of her bathing. She did not see him, but he saw her. He was middle-aged and slightly bored with life. Married to the wife of his youth, he had several children and everything that money could buy. From the first moment he saw her, he wanted this woman.
Daunted at first with the knowledge that she was another man’s wife, he hesitated, but then his desire overcame his good sense. After all, a man with his money and his power, was not accustomed to being pushed into a corner by anyone–and almost before he realized it, he was involved. Sounds quite contemporary does it not?
Whether it is Monrovia, Manila, or Palm Beach–the circumstances of extra-marital involvement are pretty much the same the world over. Desire heightened by boredom and the quest for adventure produce a justification for extra-marital involvement. The situation which I just described is one that took place 3,000 years ago. You can read about it in the Bible in 2 Samuel 11.
Nonetheless, a study conducted by an association of Marriage and Family Counselors says that adultery is the cause of nearly half of the problems that confront marriage counselors today. “Despite its prominence as a factor in marital problems,” said Dr. Frederick G. Humphrey, a professor whose specialty is family relations, “there have been few scientific studies on adultery. It is not a very respectable subject, scientifically.” But Humphrey indicated that it is a serious problem, producing broken homes in at least one out of three marriages in which it surfaces.
One of the last articles that came from the pen of Professor C.S. Lewis of Cambridge was an article entitled, “We Have No Right to Happiness.” Lewis dealt with the flood of sexual laxity that has confronted our society, and then urged that the sexual instinct of our bodies be treated exactly as any other instinct. A sentry standing guard duty does not lie down and go to sleep simply because he is sleepy. Neither does a person walk out of a classroom, and head for a restaurant because he is hungry.
Lewis contended that there are fundamental moral obligations and duties, and that a person has no right to sexual happiness when it means he takes that which does not belong to him. The Bible asks the question, “Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent” (Proverbs 6:27-29, NKJV). “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32, NKJV).
We are living in a period of time when sexual laxity has taken its toll on all segments of society, including those who fill the pews of churches on Sunday, and negative preaching is, by and large, rather ineffective; nonetheless, if we could but get a picture of the true nature of God and the way in which He views broken homes, I am confident that our behavioral patterns would change.
C.S. Lewis contended that sexual laxity destroys a nation, and the facts of history are on his side because nations are but a reflection of homes, and the cold facts of life indicate that when adultery is tolerated, broken homes and hearts result. God is not a cosmic kill-joy who wants to take the fun from life; to the contrary He designs only our greatest happiness, and He instructed that “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh…” (Matthew 19:5).
Resource reading: 2 Samuel 11