When the foundation stones break, the building crumbles. As a young man, I was alarmed that the divorce rate in the nation was at 25%. Today that number has skyrocketed to 50%. The family has been under attack for decades and if the family falls, society is destroyed. Individual lives, children, the church community, and a righteous government are dependant on the success of strong families. I have discovered that good people break from church fellowship and their own spiritual calling because of sinful relationships. This is especially true if it happens in their marriage. Many dynamics lead to chaos and personal hardship but few are more destructive than infidelity. Sexual activity, outside of marriage, is a hidden time bomb ticking away in at least half of the marriages in America today. Openly or secretly, people have been eating at the table of forbidden fruit. Like an unknown toxin in our food source, sexual promiscuity is poisoning the soul of America. This erosion of morality has infiltrated our homes, schools and our public places. Preachers must warn the people but we need more than preaching to turn this around. We need the Love of God and the fear of God. We need a Holy Spirit revival.
Millennials in the Crosshairs
Millennials are extremely independent and many have not received the strong Biblical values that are needed for family life and fidelity. It seems that each generation has to learn by trial and error, but the errors are becoming more costly. Sexual infidelity is ripping our nation apart and leaving ruined lives in its wake. Many teens and many in their twenties have never been told that sex before marriage is wrong. Even church-going youth have likely not heard a preacher tell them to have a pure relationship with their mate before marriage. For many people, looking cool and feeding their fleshly desires have become the focus of life.
I saw a T-shirt the other day with these words written on it. “The Three Rules of Life. 1. Always Look Cool. 2. Never Get Lost. 3. If You Get Lost—Look Cool.”
I thought it was funny but realized how true this focus was. Can something shift before a generation is totally lost?
Jesus is the Answer
As always, Jesus has the answers because He is the answer. The curse of infidelity has been haunting mankind since the beginning of time, but with TV, movies and the internet, it has shifted into overdrive.
The Bible tells us to flee youthful lusts; it leads to shipwreck. A shipwreck is one of the most devastating of all preventable calamities. It means the ship is torn apart, the cargo is lost, and in most cases, people die. Eventually, much of the boat goes to the bottom of the ocean and people are eaten by sharks. In a similar way everything is devastated when people allow their sexual appetites to have free reign. They fall to temptation, the lusts of the flesh and the lies of Satan. What starts as fun ends in death. For many, there is great pain, rejection, shame, disgrace, depression, abortions, curses, alcohol and drug abuse, anger, evil spirits, STDs, divorce, hurt children, abandonment, child abuse, lost ministry, witchcraft, suicide, and domestic violence. Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. The hope for humanity is that Jesus brings us life in abundance.
In Jesus, there is hope. The Bible tells of a story where Jesus was invited to the home of Simon the Pharisee. He was wealthy and lived in a large house and he allowed the community to come to his place for this special event. As it happened, an undesirable woman of sexual promiscuity and infidelity came. Everyone knew who she was and what kind of life she lived so the people began judging her and despising her in their hearts.
They did not know that a miracle had happened and she had changed. She had met Jesus and had been forgiven of her sins. Before then, she thought she was beyond hope and could never feel clean or have personal value again. She came to Simon’s house for one reason – to thank Jesus for turning her life around and for giving her a reason to live again. She had been a shipwreck, but Jesus had rescued her.
Jesus and Simon, and his honored guests, were eating their meal. As was the custom of the day, they ate in a lying down position, leaning on pillows. Their heads all faced the center where the food was and their feet were behind them, away from the table.
Suddenly, everyone’s attention was no longer on the food but on the woman in question. She was kneeling down behind Jesus and was crying and washing His feet with her tears. She began wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair and kissing them repeatedly. Then she poured expensive perfume on his feet. When Simon saw this he said to him
self, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Lk. 7:39
The woman was a sinner but so was Simon. Jesus knew Simon’s thoughts and began to teach him. He said, “Two men owed money to a certain money lender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he cancelled the debts of both. Now, which of them will love him more?” Lk. 7:41-42
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt cancelled.” Lk. 7:43
Then Jesus said, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven-for she loved much. But he who has forgiven little loves little.” Lk. 7:44-47
Then Jesus told the lady that her sins were forgiven and she could go in peace.
What Can We Do ?
There are four main lessons to be learned from this teaching. Let us look at them.
1. Do Not be Naïve About Your Flesh
Children and adults need to be taught the horrible consequences of infidelity. Every person can fall to temptation and no one should think that it could not happen to them or to their children. Don’t be naïve.
2. Set Boundaries Around Your Life
It is essential to set strong boundaries around your life to protect yourself from the temptations of sexual sin. This is especially important in the church community, when on mission trips, and with all coworkers at all times.
Let your spouse always know where you are. Do not be alone with someone of the opposite sex outside of your family, especially when counseling. Always copy texts and emails from those of the opposite sex with your spouse.
As a rule, do not talk about intimate or personal matters with those of the opposite sex outside of your family.
3. Always Love and Be Loved
As Jesus taught Simon, we need great love in our lives. Find the appropriate people to love and be family. Nurture tender love in your marriage. A dysfunctional family is void of love. God created us to live in an atmosphere of love and when people don’t have it they start to look in the wrong places.
4. Always Forgive and be Forgiven
Jesus spoke of forgiveness as he referred to the sinful woman. She was forgiven as she repented and as she forgave. Simon was judgmental, not forgiving, and that is why he could not love properly. We must forgive ourselves and those who have hurt us especially in marriage. Without forgiveness we cannot have loving relationships.
Let us be very watchful, set strong boundaries, forgive and be forgiven, and love tenderly as Christ loved us.