Monday, May 28, 2012
Welcome to Day 148 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Proverbs 7 gives us yet another warning against an adulterous woman. (Sorry ladies…)
v 21-22, “With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter…”
Proverbs 8:35, “For those who find me [wisdom] find life and receive favor from the Lord.”
In Proverbs 9, Solomon compares foolishness to an “unruly woman” calling out to those who pass by…
Romans 9, Paul expounds on the rejection of Christ by Israel and his personal anguish over this rejection.
Men, as a general rule, lack wisdom and are far too easily led astray. (Sorry guys…) And you can’t blame the wayward woman for that… Men own their own actions. That’s why Proverbs 5:8 states to stay far from her door!
The young man in Proverbs 7 is compared to an ox being led to the slaughter, a deer stepping into a noose, and a bird in a snare, “little knowing it will cost him his life.”
I have one observation regarding affairs… people really don’t consider the long-term consequences of their actions. An affair has life-long consequences that just aren’t considered upfront. Too often people succumb to the mindset, “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” not knowing it is a path that leads to destruction.
That little phrase in Proverbs 7, “little knowing it will cost him his life.” is so true. And it works both ways, doesn’t it? It does take two…
The affair itself is like pulling the pin on the grenade… and when it is found out, the explosion occurs. How widespread the destruction often depends on whether one or both parties are married.
No matter, someone’s life is destroyed and it goes from there.
The breach of trust is immense. Trust is a highly volatile commodity… once it is broken, it takes years to rebuild, and yet, is hardly ever entirely regained. There is always a question that lingers, “Can I really trust you ever again?”
I like what Doug Roe, our pastor at the Vineyard says, “If you struggle with alcoholism, don’t go to the bar to eat the peanuts.” In other words, have good boundaries. Be smart and careful.
For men, an affair us more often simply about sex. It’s physical. There can be emotional attachment, of course, but it typically begins with the physical aspect.
But for women, it’s more often about emotional connection. Fulfilling an emotional need not being met at home. Her husband is distant, cold, unconcerned. Her guy friend from work pays attention to her. Comments on how she looks. Listens when she talks about how her husband is never around. A spark ignites…
If my needs aren’t being met at home, perhaps I am not giving what the other needs? Perhaps I need to make my needs known? A little communication goes a long way…
My wife, Bonnie and I talk about this often. I am quick to tell her if I feel someone has thrown a lure in my direction. She is quick to tell me if I’m not meeting her emotional needs. (Yes, I’m still a guy…)
If we can’t or don’t share our inner thoughts and feelings with our spouse, we are asking for trouble.
I choose to be faithful not because I’m a pastor, although the destruction caused when church leaders fall is huge… I’m first a Christian, called to a life of righteousness and holiness. Not perfection, but a standard. We are all called to the same standard. And aside from that, I want to model to my kids that marriage can work. Not merely “staying married for the kids.” But a thriving, loving marriage. A lasting friendship and partnership with mutual respect and admiration. With conflict and forgiveness. With fun and warmth.
I like what Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” I firmly believe all of us as Christians are called to be an example. An example for others to follow.
I often hear that I make being a Christian look, “fun, doable.”
I have always wanted to be the kind of father and husband that my sons would want to grow up to become. That my daughters would look for a guy who would treat them the way they have watched me treat Bonnie as they have grown up.
That’s the target I have been shooting at for 26 years. Again, not perfect, but in process.
How can you hit the target if you don’t know what you’re shooting at?
Lord, my prayer today is for all those looking on, whose hearts may be heavy because their marriage is not great, or perhaps they have gone through what I described and are reeling from the effects of an affair or a divorce. May your healing power and grace rest now on their hearts.