Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” -I Samuel 16:11, ESV
Not much has changed in years between Samuel selecting the next king of Israel and today. We still use age as a proxy for maturity and leadership when deeper qualities are the real issue. But God looks at the heart.
Personally, I am tired of the age excuses for infidelity.
On one hand, I have heard the excuse that “we just married too young.” And the other excuse, I hear is “he/she was having a mid-life crisis.” Last time I checked, neither one of these “explanations” is a Biblical reason to commit adultery or to divorce.
Plus, I suspect they are truly smokescreens. They present a veneer of civility to others about the divorce so that other people do not have to confront the moral reality that adultery killed the marriage and no one is exempt from the potentiality of such a sin scourge.
Adultery is not an age problem.
It is a character problem. A sin problem.
Like many errors in reasoning, this one is built upon some generally true–although seriously flawed–assumptions. When we age, we gain experience. Hopefully, this means we mature and develop better skills in relating to other people. But this does not always happen. Who has not encountered a middle-aged man or woman still acting like a teenager in full rebellion?
Age is just a number.
What we do with our years is what matters.
God saw what David, the future king, was doing with his few years and liked what He saw there more than what He saw in David’s older brothers.
And the most blatant counterexample to the “we married too young” excuse is how generations upon generations before us (Millennials) married earlier than we do and stayed married for fifty or sixty plus years. Some high school sweethearts who married around WWII are still adding to those decades of marriage. It’s not an age thing.
That is how I see the vital piece.
It is a commitment to another through thick and thin. A commitment to one’s vows, which explicitly prohibited looking to another person for marital needs.
But one needs character to execute commitment. You need the “intestinal fortitude”–as my old football coach would say–to see your commitments through during the difficult and challenging days.
Adulterous spouses lack “intestinal fortitude.” Instead of facing the marital challenges united, they chose to cut and run like cowards with the poo of their character trailing down their legs.
It’s not an age thing.
Character is what matters.