Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. – Ephesians 5:11-12, NIV
When I share about this blog with others, I am sometimes met with interesting reactions. One reaction I’ve got was a “Why would you blog about that?” The very idea of blogging about adultery and infidelity–in one’s free time no less!–struck this person as very odd and unappealing.
I write this blog because it is important to expose wicked deeds to the light. And I write this to let other faithful spouses know they are neither alone or crazy. The attack is a common one even though that fact does not make it less devastating for the individual. Adultery is evil.
To be honest, it does feel like I am wrestling with mud and muck sometimes talking about this subject. Talking about the wicked things people can leave one feeling “slimed.” However, Paul here makes it clear in the verse prior that we are to expose these evil deeds.
And I do not lose heart as I feel called to pastor those willing to listen. God knows this is a subject where the fields are full and the workers–i.e. compassionate and courageous pastors–are far too few (i.e. Mt 9:35-38).
How do I know this? Well, I am basing it on personal experience and by what I read from others who come here or post on another infidelity website. Think about it:
When was the last time you heard a sermon on adultery dealing with the reality of this sin as well as protecting the faithful spouses plus kids ravaged by it?
I have never heard one of those my entire life!
And I have been a Christian for nearly three decades. And this includes sermons preached on passages directly addressing adultery in both the Old and New Testaments. At best, the sermon devotes a minute or a paragraph to this subject moving quickly on to spiritualize the day’s lesson.
In practice, passing over this topic by pastors suggests adultery and infidelity only affects a few unfortunates. The idea being it is only a married person problem and really very few marriages will ever deal with these issues. So, one can afford not to teach on these matters in depth as few will find it applicable.
All of that is a lie. Satan has been so successful in selling this lie.
It is a lie that adultery/infidelity only affects married people. God understood it as a problem hitting the community as taught in the Old Testament (e.g. Deut. 22:22). Any faithful spouse can tell you how the infidelity of their spouse negatively impacted their parents, kids, friends, and community. While we do not condemn adulterous spouses to death anymore, the truth that this is a community-level evil has not changed.
And even if one is not directly impacted by an adultery situation, the passages teaching on adultery give a pastor an opportunity to teach on character and keeping commitments. Fidelity is a beautiful thing that ought to be honored, cherished, and guarded in our lives and communities. In our consumeristic and hedonistic, “do whatever makes you happy” society, these lessons are vital. Where else will Christians hear such teaching if not from pastors or other Christian leaders?
Finally, I understand talking about actual adultery isn’t a hip or feel good thing to preach. It is icky. As my Catholic professor from seminary said, it is like wallowing in the mud. Or to use a Lutheranism, it is like trying to grab hold of a cow pie (i.e. Martin Luther was actually speaking of dealing with heresy). This is messy and stinky work.
But sometimes the sheep are found in the dug pit floundering in the sh#! I know my Good Shepherd got dirty reaching down and pulling me out of that mire. And I am SO thankful He did!