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What marriage was meant to be

You shall not commit adultery,” comes right on the heels of “You shall not murder.” There’s something murderous about adultery, isn’t there?  It is a hand grenade thrown into the crowd of love, trust, friendship, home, and community.  The initial explosion is devastating and the shrapnel wounds and mars.  Adultery is a crime against spouses, children, families, and society.  Under the old covenant it was punishable by death (Leviticus 10:20).

You’ll have to look hard to find something less adult than adultery.  Adultery is when two people say, “We’re going to do what we want to do no matter how much pain it brings to everyone else.”  It is a two year old who wants their way and incapable of seeing anything else.  Only in the case of adulterers, they refuse to see anything else. 

If you think about it, the entertainment industry’s typical portrayal of adultery tends to run right along these lines. Their glamorizing/romanticizing of it in so many movies and television shows reflects the self-fulfillment-at-all-costs mantra of our culture.  He cheated because he wasn’t happy at home or was no longer interested in her.  She cheated because he didn’t understand her or their marriage was in a rut.  Whatever the presenting issue might be, the bottom line is always that despite the vows they made before God, their families and friends, they felt entitled to self-indulgently pursue their wants and desires at the expense of everyone else.  Families, homes, and nations cannot be built or sustained on such shallowness. 

That’s why there’s something uncommonly lovely about couples who chose to grow old together. Despite the dry seasons, the stormy weather, the highs and lows, climate changes, and whatever else has come their way, they have learned how to work around and through these things.  They have allowed love to grow and flourish in their lives.  As a result, there is a depth of character and oneness to them that is beautiful and I suppose in some way reflects the oneness of the Godhead.  Such couples know the meaning of compromise, sacrifice, selflessness, honoring each other, obedience, and submission.  Families, homes, and nations are built on these things.

My in-laws, Reed and Connie Hendrixson, have been together for seventy years as of today ---isn't that amazing?  If you asked them what their “secret” was, they’d tell you in a heartbeat that it was placing God at the center of their lives.  As far as novelty or surprise, I suppose that’s not much of a secret.  But as far as effectiveness goes, it’s hard to argue with the results.  Congratulations, Reed and Connie --- you’re life together says what we all need to hear!
By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.
(Proverbs 24:3-4).
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