She was the brash, rebellious type,
never content to stay at home.
She is often in the streets and markets,
soliciting at every corner.
She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
and with a brazen look she said …
“Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning.
Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,
for my husband is not home.
He’s away on a long trip.”
-Proverbs 7:11-13, 18-19, NLT
Being married ought to matter.
It ought to matter when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex. They don’t call it “getting married and settling down” for no reason. The season of open dating is over.
A lifelong choice has been made and sealed with a solemn vow before God and the community.
Yet some spouses fail to accept this reality…
They refuse to accept their days dating the field of men (or women) is over.
After all, that’s what “forsaking all others” means.
These individuals are stuck like rebellious teenagers or young adults who act on their base impulses without thought or care for those they hurt in indulging such selfishness. They keep partying and carousing at their spouse’s (and children’s) expense.
If it is a woman doing this, the typical story is of her hitting the bar scene either with or without her “girlfriends.” She wants to prove she is attractive. The desire for some guy to buy her a drink or ask her out to dance is there. She wants the thrill of having someone hit on her. She wants to “feel pretty.” It is like she thinks she is still available to date.
She is not. A husband (and sometimes even children) at home says otherwise.
She is feeding her ego at their expense. And it is a hole no amount of drinks and male attention–even from a husband–can ever fill. Only God is big enough to deliver the verdict of self-value she seeks with any finality.
If it is a man, the typical story is how he may go out to “prove” his masculinity. Women are conquests. He wants to show the world he is still sexually powerful. This “man” wants his ego stroked.
“See? That beautiful woman wants me, and I can have her.” So, this adulterous man says to himself feeding the lie that he is available.
But he is not. A wife (and sometimes children) at home says otherwise.
He is feeding his ego at their expense. And no number of sexual “conquests”–or even sex from his wife–will ever prove his masculinity or worth. Only God can bestow that upon him.
Ultimately, this is why I have such strong issues with much of the counseling world when it comes to adultery. It is not about the attention for the wife–even if the husband is lackluster in giving it. It is not about the sex for the husband–even if the wife is less than sexually enthusiastic.
Something deeper is at work for the adulterous spouse. It is a heart issue as Jesus taught (e.g. Mark 7:21-23). So, the real cause can only be discovered by looking into the heart of the adulterous spouse…everything else is just destructive noise and confusion.
*A version of this ran previously.