Sunday, April 6, 2014

Adultery: Pleasure or Misery?

What are the reasons for adultery? Frequently it is an escape from the challenges of home life; pleasure without the accompanying worries. It may be a targeted seduction, or simple adventurism.

Sexual fulfillment and release always produces a sense of pleasure. But moments of pleasure may lead to a lifetime of distress, for ourselves and others.

Friction which results from infidelity is obvious. Betrayal, anger and loss of trust by the wife of a philanderer is alone sufficient to cause tension. The variety of attitudes by the husband, from outright denial or excuses to utter remorse and self-reproach can only add to the conflict.

Further, the affair might still drag on after discovery and even if it doesn’t, the wife’s loss can trigger a long period of mourning countered by the impatience of the husband. Often there is no reconciliation and the marriage breaks up, or it continues in an uneasy co-existence with the wife using guilt to hold the husband hostage.

Infidelity creates a near death experience for marriage, so it is remarkable that many marriages survive and become meaningful for both partners again. Most of David’s life is a remarkable record of his source of survival; we find that he never lost his confidence in God, and his psalms are a legacy to us of his victories in times of difficulty.

We may have to face the consequences of our sin, but God’s grace toward us and the forgiveness we receive can bring both comfort and strength to continue.

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