I was called one evening about 5 years ago and asked to go and meet with a husband and wife. As I entered the home, the children in bed asleep, I found myself in a highly emotional, angry and volatile situation. As I sat and listened, the wife, in body shaking sobs, described how she had just found out that her husband, sitting across from her, had been cheating on her for the past 18 months.
The repeated question from the wife… Why?
The repeated response from the husband… I don’t know!
What was left? A broken family, hurt and pain, a family destroyed.
Check out these cheating statistics...
In over 1/3 of marriages, one or both partners admit to cheating.
22% of men say that they've cheated on their significant other.
14% of women admit to cheating on their significant other.
10% of affairs begin online. (But increasing)
40% of the time online affairs turn into real life affairs.
We live in a world where adultery, cheating on your spouse is in many senses accepted and even expected. There are even specific websites set up so you can find someone to commit adultery/cheat with.
Sexual purity is given a huge amount of focus in the Book of Proverbs. And our focus this morning is seeking wisdom when it comes to the sin of adultery.
Adultery – A married person having sexual relations with someone they are not married to. Or a single person having sexual relations with someone who is already married.
Not something that we openly speak about, other than to condemn. And yet a message that is for both the simple and the wise.
This is a message for…
Teenagers as they learn about their emerging sexuality
Singles as they consider their reaction to the influence of the highly charged sexual world around them.
Although the passages we are exploring use the imagery of an adulterous woman, it is not blaming the cause or source of adultery on women. The imagery of the adulterous woman is a symbol of sinful foolishness. In the same way that woman wisdom is a symbol for wisdom and righteousness.
Adulterous behaviour is found both in men and woman. It takes two to tango.
Certainly, it is appropriate to use discretion as we talk about such sexual behaviour – adultery.
But we should not remain silent. God’s Word isn’t.
Adultery is condemned by God.
Condemned in the law - You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14
But that would never happen to me. I would never do that.
There is no way I would engage in adulterous behaviour.
Jesus Christ condemned adultery, but also extended the understanding of adultery to include inner lust, our thought life.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28
Maybe that could happen to me. Maybe I could of have done that.
Maybe I have engaged in adulterous behaviour.
I think it would be naive and wrong for us to think that as believers, we are immune to the temptation and sin of adultery both physically and in our thought life.
WHAT LEADS TO ADULTERY?
We are simple, lacking sense...
At the window of my house I looked down through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense. Proverbs 7:6-7
The simple person and the person who lacks sense are talking about those who are gullible/naive. Those who fall easily into temptation.
Those who say, that could never happen to me.
I would never cheat on my husband or wife.
Those who say, this only happens to other people.
I would never seek out sexual satisfaction from online pornography, chat rooms or camming.
The simple and those lacking in sense, bury their heads to the reality of the fallen world we live in.
And what is wisdom's response…
Proverbs 5:1, 7
Proverbs 6:20-21, 23
Listen, pay attention, turn your ear, keep/bind/fasten, make a way of life, store and guard.
WISDOM and the WORD!
There is no excuse for being simple and lacking sense, gullible and naive! As his can lead to adultery.
We go looking for it…
He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. Proverbs 7:8-9
The foolish person goes looking for sexual gratification from one other than their spouse.
The person spoken of here in Proverbs wasn’t near this her house by accident. He potentially wandered toward her house purposefully, knowing where she lived.