An ”Affair,” Part Two

In Part One, we acknowledged that our society has embraced a subtle lie about affairs, believing that not only is the grass greener on the other side, it’s acceptable to hop the fence. What’s more, believers are just as likely as nonbelievers to do the hopping. But infidelity isn’t an “affair,” remember; it’s adultery. And it’s deadly to a marriage. Robert J. Levin and Alexander Lowen noted three specific ways.

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An ”Affair,” Part One

The sad fact is no longer surprising—infidelity has invaded the ranks of professing Christians. The church body bears more ugly scars than ever in its history, and instead of hiding those scars from the public eye, we now speak of them without much embarrassment. The tone is sophisticated. The head is unbowed . . . the heart is unbroken . . . the terms are mellow.

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Closing the Door to Lust, Part Two

Yesterday we looked at the grim, pitiful life of Samson, a powerful leader whose lust ultimately destroyed him. (Read Judges 16.) Lust is a deadly intruder you dare not entertain for a moment. When lust knocks on your door, you must call on Christ to meet it. Before giving lust a firm shove away from your life, have Christ inform this intruder that the permanent peace and pleasure you are enjoying in your home with Christ . . .

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Closing the Door to Lust, Part One

Samson was a he-man with a she-weakness. In spite of the fact that he was born of godly parents, set apart from his birth to be a Nazirite, and elevated to the enviable position of judge in Israel, he never conquered his tendency toward lust. On the contrary, it conquered him. Several things that illustrate his lustful bent may be observed from the record of his life in the book of Judges.

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Simple Opposition

As a pastor, I have been amazed at the difference among Christians when it comes to accepting instruction. Some never seem to learn! Many believers remain keenly aware of God’s leading, submitting to every nuance of His internal prompting, but many other churchgoing followers of Christ insist on learning the hard way. They are exposed to the same truths year after year, but wisdom fails to soak in.

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Lasting Consequences

Solomon concluded this discussion of sexual temptation by considering additional consequences. He noted that when a man steals in order to keep from starving, most people empathize with his situation. Even so, empathy doesn’t remove the demand for justice. His community may feel sorry for his desperate choice, but they will neither excuse his sin nor set aside the victim’s right to receive complete restitution multiplied by seven!

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Reasons to Avoid Temptation

We’ve discussed what things to avoid and we’ve thought about how to avoid them, but we haven’t explored the question of why we should stand strong against temptation. Why did Solomon take such a hard line on resisting lust’s appeal? Without the slightest hesitation, the wise man set forth the truth, which so few people stop to consider today.

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Plan for Purity

Solomon warned his son to avoid the wiles of a temptress and gave him four practical instructions to help him. The first two—“Stay away from evil people” and “Guard against the smooth tongue that invites you in”—focus on the external component of temptation. That is, these instructions tell us to place distance between us and the potential lure and fulfillment of sin.

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Flee Temptation

While virtually every outlet in popular media bombards us with sexually oriented material—a phenomenon that previous generations didn’t experience—we also face another danger: the opportunities to commit adultery have never been more prevalent. Furthermore, we live in a society that is more accommodating than ever. In addition to the normal temptations that occur in everyday life, we can go online to a dating service for married people seeking affairs!

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Battleground Brain

Solomon was a straight shooter. I find that rather refreshing in our day of vague definitions and bold rationalizations. The words you just read are timeless and no less relevant today than when the ink was still wet. The battle against lustful temptations hasn’t declined in the millennia since the wise, fatherly king warned his own children. In fact, we could make the case that temptations are far more numerous today.

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