This Sunday, July 9th, 2017, our guest speaker, Pastor Paul Brownback from The Abbey Church in Azel, TX, unpacked an amazing message in continuation to our Timeless Ten series here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.
Timeless Ten: “Affair-Proof” Your Relationships
“Do not commit adultery,” (Exodus 20: 14).
The definition of adultery can be explained as voluntary sexual intimacy between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband. In a better context, it could be defined as sexual intimacy outside of the bonds of covenant.
Our culture today has lost the understanding and value of Spiritual Covenant. A Covenant is a spiritual bond and union between individuals. It is a three-fold cord, of two humans and a spiritual being. God empowers, by giving grace, to the covenants that are made before Him.
The greatest source of sex mis-education in our culture is T.V. and movies. Very rarely on T.V. or film are sexual partners portrayed as husband and wife in a marriage relationship. In many films, there is a constant parade of seduction and suggestive sexual encounters. The image-makers surround it with laughter, music and sumptuous settings. It’s made to appear romantic, and exciting. But they brush away the deceit, betrayal and ugliness.
Sex outside marriage is seeking self-pleasure without the secure context of covenant commitment.
King David in the Bible is a classic example of this. He lusted after Bathsheba and within weeks his adultery had driven him to lie, scheme, plot and murder Bathsheba’s husband. David’s little indiscretion turned out to have vast repercussions.
Adultery, even when forgiven, leaves a scar.
“Can a man scoop fire into his lap and not be burned? So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife,” (Proverbs 6 :27-29).
Playing with adultery is like playing with fire.
“Whoever commits adultery is an utter fool, for they destroy their own soul,” (Proverbs 6:32).
The betrayal of adultery causes deep wounds, shatters trust, and severs relationship. While marriage is about giving, adultery is about taking. Adultery denies love, degrades people, destroys families, defiles marriage, and defies God.
Jesus affirms this in scripture:
“God made them male and female. A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two, but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together,” (Matthew 19:4-6).
Adultery invades the unity between two people, and God, in marriage.
You may be thinking, “I don’t need to hear this commandment. I haven’t committed adultery.” Adultery begins to play itself out on the stage of the imagination long before it occurs in real life.
“You have heard that it was said, do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell,” (Matthew 5:27-29).
Jesus is saying, “Take Drastic Action.”
The problem is not in the eye, but in the heart. Jesus urges us to deal decisively and severely with radical spiritual surgery. Jesus called lust adultery in the heart, and if you encourage it with sexually stimulating films, books, magazines, or social settings, fantasy will turn into reality.
Here are four pointers to teach you how to affair-proof your marriage:
“An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her,” – Agatha Christie.
Love is built on the foundation of respect.
- Respect the Covenant of Marriage.
- Respect your Partner.
- Respect your own Weakness.
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers,” (1 Peter 3:7).
Here are some common vulnerabilities to both men and women when it comes to attending to each other:
- Men are ego-driven. They want to be somebody’s hero as well as conquer a challenge and prove their inadequacies.
- Women are security-driven. They want to hold somebody’s attention, and be somebody’s prize They want someone to prove their worth and value.
There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, for the simple reason that every marriage is the union of two imperfect people. A happy marriage is not so much about how compatible you are, but how you deal with your incompatibility.
The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together. Love is true, when you don’t see eye to eye, but can still walk hand in hand. Instead of attempting to alter one another, you need to understand one another.
Good Communication is hard work. It’s important that you spend time talking and listening to each other. There are five types of communication that can strengthen your marriage covenant:
- Small talk.
- Serious talk.
- Self talk.
- Soul talk.
- Sweet talk.
Here are the four hardest, and most important, statements to make in marriage:
- I was wrong.
- I am sorry.
- I don’t know.
- I need help.
It’s important to use those four statements with each other, as they will build honesty in your Marriage.
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others, your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 2: 4–5).
Marriage and relationship problems are centered in selfishness and hard heartedness.
The question is not, “What’s in the marriage for me?”. It’s, “What has God anointed me to demonstrate of His character and nature in this marriage?”
“When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, ‘Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord,’” (Hosea 1:2).
“The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes,” (Hosea 3:1).
The trouble with so many people who stand up for their rights, is that they fall down miserably on their responsibilities. Take responsibility.
If there was more courting in marriage, there would be fewer marriages in court.
Do you remember how tender and kind you two were to each other on dates when you began dating? You anticipated the date with excitement, and that’s the way you should be with each other when you are married.
“May you rejoice in the wife of your youth. May you ever be captivated by her love,” (Proverbs 5: 18–19).
There are several things that you should share with each other that are important between the two of you to flourish in your relationship:
- Share adventures and experiences with each other. Go to new places, meet new people, share activities, and experience different cultures together.
- Share victories with each other. Overcome threats and dangers together.
- Share your serving together. Wether it is kingdom service, mission trips, church service, life groups, teaching or hosting something together.
- Share secrets between each other. Have secret names for each other, have a secret language, verbal and non-verbal, share secret jokes with one another.
- Share your fantasies with each other. Take turns planning date nights around your personal fantasies.
When you dated it was fun, make sure your marriage is fun.
A commitment is adherence to a decision that has already been made. Don’t wait to make the decision in the moment of temptation.
“Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? Guard yourself, remain loyal to your wife,” (Malachi 2:15).
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral,” (Hebrews 13:4).
Value your Marriage and prove your faithfulness to each other. Trying times are not the times to stop trying. In a marriage it is important to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters.
The starting point is to admit we need God and His help because He created us and marriage. You may need restoration because things in your lives and marriages are broken and need to be fixed.
Are you in an adulterous relationship? End the relationship now. No more conversations, no more phone calls, no more meetings.
For about a year, King David tried to live with a guilty conscience. If he had admitted his adultery and repented straight away, the subsequent lies, and the murder of Bathsheba’s husband, would have been avoided.
“When I kept things to myself, I felt sick deep inside me. I moaned all day long,” (Psalm 32:3).
Do you need God’s forgiveness and healing for inappropriate relationships in the past?
Do you have addictions, like pornography, which need breaking?
Does your marriage need reviving?
Are you struggling with being single, a single parent, or being widowed?
Don’t make matters worse. Confession is better than cover-up. Repentance now, is better than revelations later.
Watch the full message here: