“Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?”
This morning’s “Ask Amy” section in our Washington Post contained a letter from a man whose wife had been cheating on him for two years. She wanted to hold the marriage together for a few more years “until the children were older.” Of course, she also wanted to continue to see her lover. Her husband had passed through the anger stage about the affair and was now in therapy and on medication.
A couple of observations are in order – all from Solomon.
First, sex (call it affection, physical intimacy, whatever, you get my drift) is powerful. In all its forms, men and women both require it. It is such a strong desire that must be fulfilled, Solomon likens it to “an ox going to the slaughter.” Once you head down that path, there is no turning back. Husbands and wives simply must see to each other’s needs in this area, and if they don’t, the needs will be met by someone else. It’s not an excuse – certainly not before God. But it is a reason and you are only stupidly deceiving yourself if you think you or your spouse is any different.
Second, there is no relationship in mankind more intimate, more life changing, more important, more influential (on your life and the lives of your family) than marriage. The breakup of a marriage never affects only the couple and is never inconsequential. Likewise, an unhealthy marriage never affects only the couple and is never inconsequential. It affects the children, the in-laws, and the personal friends as well and always negatively. How many men have ruined their lives, their reputations and their careers because they ruined their marriages with unfaithfulness?
Why be captivated by an adulteress (or an adulterer)? There are reasons, but none of them good, and an abundance of reasons for not doing it – not the least of which is yours and your community’s personal health, future and eternal destiny.