Did you ever purchase a bag of apples which look beautiful on the outside but when you open one it is filled with rottenness? Or do you recall Snow White who took a bite of the apple that outwardly was beautiful but inwardly was filled with poison that caused her to fall into the sleeping death which could only be broken by the kiss of the prince? Unfaithfulness or infidelities are the poisons that rob us when we fail to be faithful to our vows. The effects are seen and felt both within ourselves but also in those we vowed to love till death do us part. “Mainstream sociologists would tell us that taking one’s faith very seriously—in word and deed—does indeed make a marked positive difference in the health and longevity of marriage.” [Gospel Coalition] It is not because they are perfect but they take their vows seriously in sharp contrast to the first century religious leaders who came to test Jesus in Matthew 19 on the question of divorce. But the problem of divorce did not begin there, it began where Jesus said: “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of your hard hearts, but from the beginning it was not this way.” Thus the real crux of marital infidelity begins in the heart. We see it in three ways:
- We fail to realize the ways of the enemy’s seducing power. We should be wary of this because we saw in the Garden of Eden how Satan seduced and then deceived Eve. The author of Proverbs begins: be attentive, pay close attention. Open your ear gate and incline it to listen with intent.
- We need to put safeguards around our emotions and our hearts lest the enemy draw us away through what looks inviting but only leads to death. Eve saw the fruit as good for food, would make her wise but failed to obey God’s warning not to eat from it. Snow White saw that the fruit was good for food but failed to see that the outer covering was deceptive. It was desirable but a beautiful outer covering shielded what lay within.
- We fail to recall the counsel of God or add to his words. Eve truly recalled that the tree was not to be eaten but she added not touch it. Truly Satan’s words are as seductive and smoother than olive oil but in the end bitter as wormwood which lead down to the well of spiritual death.
Failing to be attentive, failing to place safeguards around our marriages opens our ear and eye gates to the deception of the enemy’s ways. When we taste that which is forbidden we face the consequences as the Proverbs father told his son. Thus the father’s wise advice is to protect yourself in your youth lest your body be ravaged with sin’s poisons. Listen now so that one day you will not recall and say I hated the discipline of my father’s counsel, and my heart spurned reproof both by him and my teachers. Know this principle: “For the ways of a person are in front of the Lord’s eyes and the Lord weighs all that person’s paths.”
The bottom line begins here: Pro 4:23 Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it are the sources of life. And Mar 12:33 “love God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” Today, whether you are married or single, divorced or in a remarriage know this: God is always willing to restore and bless the repentant. Will you purposefully choose to be faithful?