The media continues to buzz with stories of notable Christian men caught in or confessing to adulterous affairs. These men's families are destroyed. Their ministries are thrown into turmoil. And the world, the flesh, and the devil carve notches into their evil belts and smile.
Adulterous affairs seldom make our local news unless the people involved are high profile citizens, but the effect of their sin is equally devastating. I’ve seen smart men and women who love God risk their families, ministries, careers, wealth, and reputations because they’ve become emotionally involved with someone other than their spouse.
The why is complicated, but I think I discovered a clue to the how during my quiet time.
Job was a righteous man, by God’s standards, one who “feared God and shunned evil.” He was committed to purity and took special steps to avoid temptation and lust. “I have made a covenant with my eyes,” he said. “Why then should I look upon a young woman?”
He recognized what many people forget—that when we allow our eyes to go places they shouldn’t, our minds, and often our bodies follow closely behind. Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mat. 5:28).
Listen again to Job, “If my step has turned from the way, or if my heart walked after my eyes,” (Job 31:7).
“If my heart walked after my eyes. . .” What a painfully accurate description of what happens when people commit adultery.
Think about David and Bathsheba. David saw her on the roof bathing. Instead of turning his eyes away, he continued to look. His lingering look led to lustful thoughts, which led him to covet Uriah’s wife, which led him to commit adultery.
I wonder how many sins we could avoid if we didn’t allow our hearts to walk after our eyes.
Dave Carder is the author of Close Calls! What
Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage. His book contains the list, “19 Danger Signs of Close Call Relationships.” Based on years of counseling research, he’s identified the actions that often precede extra-marital affairs. The list is eye opening and frightening.
Even more eye opening is his description of how subtly and innocently most extramarital affairs begin. Because men and women are thrown together so much more in today’s society than they used to be—at work, the gym, and yes, even at church, the possibility for temptation is higher than it’s ever been. It’s not unusual that men and women spend more time together every day with someone other than his or her spouse.
This opens up a whole new world of temptation. Regularly working together on business projects, working out at the same gym, and even ministering together on a worship team or a church committee throws members of the opposite sex together in ways that didn’t happen 40 years ago.
I’ve included Part I of Carder’s interview with Moira Brown below. If you’re reading by email, CLICK HERE TO VIEW Dave Carder’s interview. It contains wise advice about how you can protect your marriage against adultery. You owe it to yourself to watch it, then share it with your spouse and other people you care about.
Getting married takes work. Staying married takes even more work. But it’s worth it. May we heed the wise warning of 1 Peter 5:8:
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”