Have you noticed that people often believe something is morally wrong, but are still fascinated by it?
Take marital infidelity. According to the Pew Research Center, 84% of Americans believe it is wrong for a married person to engage in sex outside of marriage.* They agree with the seventh commandment in Exodus 20:14. It says, “You shall not commit adultery.” (NIV)
Yet Americans are still interested in it. They consume films about adultery. Over the years, some of these films include The Painted Veil, American Beauty, The Bridges of Madison County and The Graduate. Also, the cheating spouse is a staple in the soap operas, as well as multiple styles of music. Obviously, many who believe adultery is wrong are still listening and watching.
Jesus has some challenging words about adultery in Matthew 5:27-28, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NIV)
The seventh commandment and Jesus’ words illustrate the high value God places on marriage and human sexuality. He designed it all and gave laws to protect it. A strong marriage blesses husband and wife and provides stability for their children. As Jesus indicated in Matthew 5, marriage is so valuable, it can be violated by fantasy, not just action.
Today, don’t just observe the seventh commandment. Appreciate and value the institution of marriage it protects.
*Richard Wike, “French more accepting of infidelity than people in other countries,” Pew Research Center, January 14, 2014, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/01/14/french-more-accepting-of-infidelity-than-people-in-other-countries/
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.