Stop Doing the Stupid Stuff

Stop Doing the Stupid Stuff

You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14

My wife and I recently wrapped up a marriage small group study at our church. At our final meeting, we reflected upon the improbability of us leading a marriage study nine years ago. Nine years ago our marriage was still reeling from the disastrous consequences of my addiction. Things weren’t good between us and though I wasn’t willing to file for divorce, it would have been a relief if my wife had. She didn’t though, and we just kept working at our marriage. I turned my life around, finding recovery, and she gradually allowed herself to believe in my transformation. Now, nine years later, we truly like and love each other, genuinely enjoying our time together. Our marriage isn’t perfect. I’m still selfish and I still do hurtful things sometimes. We’ve learned though, how to have a healthy marriage – First, stop doing the stupid, destructive things, and then learn and meet each other’s emotional needs.

Today’s passage deals with that first step – avoiding hurtful behavior – specifically regarding fidelity. A marriage is meant to be an exclusive relationship between two people and anyone else in the relationship is a destructive force. The seventh commandment simply states, You shall not commit adultery. Jesus later expounded on this though, adding, I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away (Matthew 5:28,29). According to Christ, viewing pornography, or even fantasizing about someone else, is sin. Such behavior is to be violently cut out of our marriage.

Why such strict rules, God? It’s important to remember that God’s boundaries are meant for our protection. God doesn’t just make up rules to vex us. Rather, he prescribes behavior that produces the lives for which we were created. So, if we desire to have the marriage he intended, we’d do well to live within his boundaries. Today’s lesson is that having our deepest marital needs met by anyone outside of our marriage is destructive to the relationship. According to Jesus’ teaching, this isn’t just about literal adultery. This is about any experience outside of our spousal relationship that replaces our spouse. This include lust and pornography, but it also means that we should avoid any intimate conversation or exchanges of affection with those of the opposite sex that our spouse would find hurtful.

In my addiction, I did whatever I wanted, sacrificing my marriage. Now, in recovery, I often find myself asking, What would my wife think of this? How would it affect her? If I want a healthy marriage, the first step is to avoid those behaviors that are destructive to our relationship.

2 Responses

  1. Dianne Parker says:

    So good, Scott!
    Love the “violently cut out” things that wound and are sin in our marriage!
    Thanks for leading the study!
    Jeremy and I found great benefit from this book and the group!

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