Daily Devotional for Monday June 29, 2009
Governor Sanford and the Sin of Adultery
Governor Sanford and the sin of adultery. Word came last week that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford had committed adultery. Certainly not a new story, just a very sad old story where EVERYONE involved gets terribly hurt. Let me first speak directly to Governor Sanford's act of adultery. While he now becomes an easy target, I deal daily with men and women who love the Lord, are saved, and have allowed this sin in their lives. Satan is an equal opportunity destroyer.
Rather than joining the masses slamming Governor Sanford, use that effort to pray for him instead. Today Governor Sanford, tomorrow the wonderful pastor down the street, or perhaps YOU! Trust me, I am not excusing in anyway this man's failure. Like with all sin, he will pay a HUGE price when all is said and done. I am simply saying that we all fail God at times, we can be pillars of faith one day and a pool of Jell-O the next if we don't do all the things we must do each day to stay close to the Lord and fight the temptations of sin that come our way each day.
I pray for his wife today, and for the Governor, and for the healing and restoration of their marriage. It takes TWO for a marriage to be healed and restored. The offended spouse must find God's strength to forgive, and the offending spouse must truly repent and work hard to regain the broken trust. What a great testimony of God's grace and mercy for this marriage to survive.
God's Holy Institution has been under assault for years. First by the incredibly high divorce rate, as marriage is now looked at as little more than a legal date, and now with the attempts to redefine marriage to allow men to marry men and women to marry women. The restoration of this marriage would be a great testament to God's Holy Institution under assault, so please join me and pray for this marriage to be restored for God's glory!
Early in my marriage ( 20 yrs ago), when I was not walking with the Lord, I was involved in several adulterous affairs. I thank God daily for His love and mercy, for His forgiveness. I thank God daily for my wife and her commitment to our marriage and unconditional love that allowed her to forgive me. I confess this to you today so those who read this will know that I understand this subject from personal experience.
Adultery is simply an act of gross selfishness. There is NO excuse for it, no way to even try and justify it. It is an act of total rebellion towards God. It is sin, and trust me my friend, God can not, and will not bless sin. When you commit this act, you are sinning against God, your spouse, yourself, and you are contributing to the sin of the other person. There are NO winners in an adulterous situation. EVERYONE LOSES. For whatever moments of pleasure there are, you pay an incredibly high price. So why are so many involved in this activity?
The reasons for committing adultery are endless. All of them added up together still aren't justification for this blatant act of disobedience to God. Do you realize the time and effort that it takes to be involved in an adulterous relationship, if that same time and effort were put towards your spouse, it would do wonders for your marriage? If you took all of the time of planning it takes to be together with that other person, put forth the same energy you do to please that other person, was as kind, considerate, and affectionate as you are with that other person with your spouse...how much better your marriage would be??? Do you realize that when you are involved in an adulterous relationship how much communication there is with the other person? If you put even half of that communication in your marriage it would be dramatically better!!!
Here is reality my friend. There is no future with a person you are involved in an adulterous relationship with. It will never work out, if for no other reason, God is never going to bless such a union, rooted in such sin Whatever problems exist in your marriage that even cause you to consider committing adultery are fixable with the effort of both spouses and God's involvement. For whatever reason there may have been, you chose to commit to marry that person, now you need to make it work.
For those who are yet not married, maybe now you can see why it is SO IMPORTANT to not rush into marriage. To stay pure so you aren't forced into marriage, to be equally yoked so there is spiritual harmony and communication in a marriage. Most problems stem from the marriage starting on a bad foundation. Marriage is SERIOUS.
However, if you find yourself in a marriage that was started on a bad foundation, Jesus Christ will help you rebuild that foundation on the Word of God. But you have to be willing to put forth the effort. Trust me, you may think things will be better in a new relationship, but ultimately, after a period of time, there will be problems. So don't compound them by fighting against God. That is a battle you will lose every time.
I love you and care about you so much. I know many of you are hurting today. For those who are in pain today because your spouse has cheated on you, let me encourage you. You are NOT responsible for his/her actions. Your spouse has the same free will that you have. Your most effective weapon is to pray for them, and commit them to God since only He can change their heart.
My wife learned how to really trust God 100% during that period in our life many years ago. It will help you to make your faith real. The Lord will help you overcome the pain and hurt, and actually be able to forgive your spouse and move forward in your relationship. For those who are currently involved in an adulterous relationship, let me challenge you. STOP TODAY!!!
I know that it will be difficult, but it is the first step to getting your relationship with God back, and your life back. Anyone who is honest, knows that life becomes almost not worth living under those conditions. God will always help you when you are trying to follow His way. Whatever problems that exist in your marriage, adultery is not the answer. Honest, open communication with your spouse; allowing God to be an active part of your life; working at the commitment you made to your husband/wife...this is what it is going to take to make your marriage all that God wants it to be.
Because of the widespread nature of this issue, know that I will be spending time in prayer for those of you who are dealing with this in your life. Both those who are committing adultery, and those who have a spouse cheating on them. My prayer is that you will find that intimate personal relationship with the Lord that you need to overcome the circumstances you are facing in your life. No matter how hopeless things may look, there is ALWAYS hope in Christ. Get right with God, then get right with your spouse. It is the only answer, and God will help you when you commit your life to Him and follow His Word.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller