Just because you didn’t kiss him, doesn’t mean you didn’t cheat.
So like we’ve said purity is more than a physical state, it’s one that takes stage in the mind, infiltrates the heart and then is manifested through action. Take emotional affairs for instance. The betrayal does not come through the physical but the loss of relational territory to another outside the safety of the relationship. When a boy/girlfriend or husband/wife allows an outside person into the relationship emotionally the hurt runs deep. With emotional affairs, secrecy is involved hence confidence and trust is shattered.
Equally, it is worth mentioning that we must always be careful about the ideas, thoughts & images we entertain. Like I mentioned previously about pornography defiling the relationship, the same can be said of lustful desires. Lance gross might be a fine piece of something but girls keep your head outta the clouds and hands in the air. Beyoncé might be cute, but she’s not cute enough for your salvation bro! Keep your hands to yourself and tongue in your mouth. Matthew 5 says that it you just after a woman in your heart you have committed ADULTERY!! So just because you’re not physically acting on your lust, lusting is still a sin fullstop. Beyoncé & Lance may not be in your immediate reach, but allowing them to lustfully reside in your mind whilst building an altar to them within your relationship will only plant seeds of destruction. Some people actually have those celebrity wish lists whereby a person allows their partner/spouse to have a little list of celebrities they can be intimate with should the opportunity present itself. This isn’t something I’ve come across in the church but it’s still problematic all the same. It’s not cool in anyway shape or form because it automatically means that you’ve given your spouse grounds to defile your marriage and the vows you made to forsake all others. God forbid the opportunity actually presents itself!
Back up back up
In what will appear to be a totally random, off tangent topic let’s briefly discuss back up plans in marriage. Holy Spirit is urging me to type this so let me obey. Now this is something I had to throw on the altar and really press into God about. Being raised in a single parent household and going through the struggles that entails, my view of marriage was warped. Like many, I had never been privy to the working of a successful marriage, and had entertained half-truths about marriage. So it understandable why both believers & non-believers enter marriage with a back-up plan. We’ve seen nothing but disaster and want to protect ourselves. However, you cannot have a back up plan and still expect your marriage to bear positive fruit. A back-up plan to me is as good as telling the other person you have no faith in them or the marriage and you’re simply waiting for them to screw up. Thats when you will kick your back up plan into action, and receive praise from the bitter anti-marriage spinsters. ‘gurrrrl you showed him’, ‘mama didn’t raise no fool’ etc. Proverbs tells us that a foolish woman plucks down her household and thats how I honestly view a backup plan. It’s a blatant act of unfaithfulness.
It is highly destructive to be unfaithful. Unfaithfulness to your marriage and the other person in it because you are cheating on them with the third wheel in your relationship – doubt. It could stem from what we’ve grown up around or what we’ve experienced but whatever it is that governs such an attitude needs to make its way to the altar. There’s no place for negative elements of the past to be embedded in the foundation of your future marriage. I’ve heard it said that marriage isn’t 50-50, its 100-100. If you’re only giving half of yourself to another person, or half of your effort, how then do you expect to stay winning? At University, we had college families, which meant that following the traditional family unit it consisted of college wife, husband and children. My college husband often joked with me about what he heard jokingly said by his (real) mum which sounded like wisdom from the throne of God at the time. Now I am wiser, it turned out to be a lie from the pit of hell. All the same, it was funny and a motto I carried with me for a while because I genuinely believed it. In terms of marriage, she joked that ‘what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own’. Back then, when I thought that we as women had to protect ourselves from the husband that would eventually walk out on us, downgrade us or cheat on us – that was my motto. I was all set to have my ‘secret’ account stashed away with emergency cash for that rainy day. Now I’ve realised that if that’s your mentality and outlook to your marriage, do not be surprise when not only the rain, but the floods comes in. You get what you prepare for – so if you prepare for downfall you will end up engineering a situation conducive to such an outcome. Now this is not our portion in Jesus name. But let it be said that marriage is not a joke and must be entered into with all intents and purposes, with both parties committed to making it work and seeking God every step of the way. Afterall, if your spouse wins, you still win because you are one. The only back up plan in marriage, should be one that you & your spouse have come up with together under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Marriage is hard work and not something one can passively try to sustain. There are so many things that come together to make marriage hardwork both in & out of your control. Finances, jobs, sex drive, family, children, emotions, trust etc. One that is deserving of mention all by its self is the plague of the dreaded Other aka the other man or the other woman. Affairs within marriage are probably most devastating because unlike dating & courting where there is still time to get out if you’re unhappy, marriage is a conscious commitment made before men & most importantly God.
So why then do some people make it their business to pray for another person’s spouse. I’m not talking about those ‘dear Lord please heal my best friend’s husband’s illness’ I’m talking about those prayer whereby people are praying for the downfall of another person’s marriage so they can swoop in and play superman/woman. Now I’m not perfect but I feel like the pursuit of holiness and righteous should be at the top of every Christian’s agenda. So imagine we were in the old testament and God was still smiting with sulphur and fire. Would you dare stand in the temple and pray against another person’s marriage? Would you then be eyeing someone else’s boyfriend during praise & worship? Would you be hugging your homegirl in church and winking at her man behind her back? As Christians we need to understand the importance of the presence and omnipresence of God. Moses said he wouldn’t go where the presence of God was not going. Yet in the place of relationships & marriage we’re more than ready to move on ahead with or without it forgetting that even when we might lack His presence, He is still watching all the same. We all know how to claim and call upon the presence of God when we go through the valley of death but what about in our daily lives? People say ‘would you do that if God was standing next to you?’ and the funny thing is, He is. He’s seated high and lifted up in the glory of heaven watching us. Now I didn’t say He is judging us (that day will come), but he sees the affair, the sin, the unfaithfulness – so why do we keep going?
The institution of marriage is being attacked & defiled on all sides; from within the church as we de-sanctify it and externally as governments institute same sex & underage marriage legislation. If only we were a church that the governments wouldn’t dare to upset. Say what you will, but the government wouldn’t even dare to enforce such legislation in mosques or temples, but the church is too busy tearing itself down from within they haven’t realised they’ve left the door open for others to come in. I won’t go on because you guys already know how I feel about the state of the present day church *sigh*. Even from within, the lack of teaching on relationships, dating & sex leave people underequipped when it comes to marriage. Unfaithfulness is soooo real.
Get your own!
Now the beauty of marriage is that it’s a life gift. Nobody sensible gets married with intention of divorcing years later. So couples go through thick, thin and everything in between. People go through hell and back with their spouses but God is faithful enough to bring them through it. But I’ve also seen situations whereby a spouse is unfaithful and cheats on their spouse full in the knowledge the spouse will honour their commitment before God and forgive them as the adulterer. This is very noble and humbling but at the same times borderline manipulative. We all know one ‘uncle’ that is a prolific cheat, has children out of wedlock that slot nicely between the ages of the children he has in wedlock and is past the point of remorse. They throw it in the face of their spouse, loud & proud for everyone to see and feel like they’re King Solomon. Certain countries propagate a culture of first, second, third etc wife which despite being form a culture that does this, still upsets me. How can a man have more than one wife? Divorcing one wife and taking another is understandable, but to have more than one wife is beyond mind-numbing. Marriage is between one man and one woman, everyone else is just a concubine. Sorry if that’s you dear reader but its true.
The scripture that makes me giggle to myself yet is so real is Ephesians 5:22. It says ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord’. To your what? Your OWN husbands. Here we see Paul is checking the church and reminding women (and men in turn) that it is essential you submit to your own spouse, not to other people’s! The same goes for multiple wives. Man cannot have more than one legitimate wife, he really cannot. Marriage as an institution is between one man & one woman. So men & women it is your responsibility to honour that cleaving and knitting and be the best husband/wife your spouse could ever hope for. At the heart of every marriage must be an altar raised to God. From Him springs forth other wells that will water your marriage and cause it to flourish. In all things put Christ first, let Him lead the way for your marriage and relationship!
Thanks for reading guys and I hope you’ve been blessed and your spirit has been stirred to walk in a upright manner when it comes to conducting yourselfs in your singlehood, couple-ship and marriage.
Don’t take my word for it and instead pray and discern. James 1:5 says that ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.’
So let’s spread the word, feed a spirit, encourage a soul!
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