Popular culture tells us to end a relationship if someone has been unfaithful. What does the Bible teach us? My blog tells our story - the story of a married couple who is on the road to restoration after marital infidelity.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
The Idolatry of an Affair
Gold is beautiful, isn't it? The idol pictured above certainly is beautiful. It is attractive to the eyes. It is interesting and mysterious. However, at its core, it is empty. This idol can provide nothing for your life that satisfies.
What about these?
Did you ever consider things like these to be idols? Aren't they the things everyone wants? Why? What is it about these things that would actually make our lives feel complete?
The Bible is clear that we are to put nothing before God. Anything that we put our hope in or deeply desire as if it will bring us satisfaction are things that become idols in our hearts.
The Bible tells us to Trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, leaning not on our own understanding, acknowledging Him in all of our ways, and He will direct our path (Proverbs 3:5-6). But when we see things that attract us, causing a deep desire as if it will bring inner satisfaction - leading to a dissatisfaction when we don't have it - that is idolatry.
The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Philippi about being content in every situation (Philippians 4:10-18) because, "God will meet all your needs" (Philippians 4:19).
This directly applies to affairs, infidelity, adultery, and lust. We lust, which according to Webster means, "intense longing," for things we believe will bring us contentment and satisfaction.
People lust after careers, houses, property, vehicles, fame, food, travel, entertainment, relationships...and the list goes on and on. Sometimes people get married, believing that their spouse will bring them contentment and satisfaction.
THE TRUTH IS: TRUE CONTENTMENT AND SATISFACTION CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN GOD
When a person is lacking in validation, fulfillment in their relationship, sexual gratification in their marriage, or any number of other areas, they believe that someone else can fill the void. They believe the LIE that an outside physical relationship with someone else will finally bring the satisfaction they have been seeking.
That causes their thoughts to wander. Then their eyes wander. Then they begin to act out on their desires by flirting. Then it leads to an affair.
This goes directly against God's plan for our marriages. One man and one woman comprise the holy union of husband and wife - together they are one flesh (Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:8) designed to grow together in their relationship with God and with each other.
When someone seeks an outside relationship, they have succumb to idolatry. They have made the decision to forego contentment. They have decided to place their hope and trust in an ungodly physical relationship as if it could ever truly satisfy.
The end result is ALWAYS destruction. Destruction of trust. Destruction of multiple relationships (with their spouse, their kids, the person they've engaged in the affair with, their friends, their family, their colleagues, their neighbors). Destruction of learning to be content. If repentance doesn't happen, the cycle will continue. They will seek out a new relationship to cover up the mess they've already made...as if a new idol could ever heal, mend, and restore.
That is precisely what I did in my life. I sought out the idol of sexual relationships to bring contentment and meaning to my broken life. I avoided the One True God - the ONLY ONE who could ever satisfy, heal, restore, and mend the brokenness I had on the inside.
I stand here today with my marriage fully restored to testify and speak out against the lies our culture tells us. Our media sends explicit sexual permission to our homes through movies, TV shows, advertisements and talk shows designed to desensitize us towards the dangers of lust and self-gratification.
I pray that you will avoid the idols that fight for your attention. I pray that you will turn to God as the only one who can bring true contentment and satisfaction in your heart, mind, and soul.