“Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.”
-Proverbs 7:18-20, NIV
Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God.
-Proverbs 2:16-17, NIV
To the obnoxious question used to blame-shift on many a faithful spouse, I have a simple and Biblical answer.
Question: What’s missing in the marriage (i.e. ravaged by adultery)?
Answer: Character. The cheater’s.
It’s not rocket science folks. You don’t have to sit down and do an exhaustive study of “where things went wrong” going all the way back to the first year of marriage when one partner stacked the dishes improperly and the other kept forgetting to restock the toilet paper in the bathroom. When a catastrophic moral failure has happened (as adultery is), you look at whose morality failed.
In other words, you look to the character of the adulterous spouse.
That’s what went wrong.
They chose sin.
They chose lies over truth.
They decided to play god.
Notice from today’s verses the resounding silence about assigning blame to the husband of the adulterous spouse:
- It does not go into a long exploration about how the adulterous woman was not getting her emotional needs met by a husband gone for such a long period of time.
- It does not explore the question of whether he gave her enough sex.
- It does not even hint that the foolish young man is doing a service to the adulteress’ marriage by sleeping with her.
The Scripture warns off the young man from sleeping with another man’s wife. It uses strong language reflecting the character of a young man who chooses not to listen. He is considered foolish (or lacking in wisdom).
And the adulteress is portrayed as nothing more than a brazen, predator who cares nothing about the fool she ensnares, the husband she violates, or God she ignores with contempt.
Might there be more missing in a marriage ravaged by adultery? Sure. But the lack of character in the adulterous spouse is where to begin. They are fully and totally responsible for the ravaged marriage. Explore what lies or lines they bought. It’s all on the adulterous party as this Scripture makes clear. And not the faithful spouse’s “full moon” long trip away from home.