“Sorry, but I’m happily married.”
People use words like these as an out to an extramarital relationship, and we applaud them. “How wonderful that someone would cling to his marital vows!” we think. It’s all very honorable. Isn’t it?
Honorable on the surface, yes, but misguided at the core. Because, you see, such thinking is a subtle trick of the devil’s. He wants you focusing on your happiness while God wants you to focus on your vow.
I’ve been thinking recently about my years in the newspaper industry, perhaps because I recently wrote a little about my journalism training. Newsrooms in my day were the Sodoms and Gomorrahs of our society where every kind of deviancy was openly celebrated.
I began working at a major metropolitan newspaper as a 23-year-old married woman. I’ll never forget my first week on the job, when I literally had a receiving line of men at my desk, some married and some not. But not to be outdone was my editor at the time, who would shout date invitations to me from across the newsroom.
At the time I was in an abusive and unhappy marriage. Still I found such conduct sickening, especially as I watched other “unhappily married” people around me openly carry on extramarital affairs.
The implication of the happily married card is that a foray into marital unhappiness gives a green light to extramarital relationships. Such thinking is the product of situational ethics, a pervasive mindset throughout society. But our choices cannot be based upon our feelings. Our hearts cannot be our guides.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9
Your hearts will deceive you, my friends, and allow you to fall into the enemy’s snare. Our unchanging focus must be on our unchanging God.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
– Proverbs 3:5-6
Be wary of the devil’s subterfuge. Though our enemy is crafty, our God is all-wise. He alone has our best interests at heart. And His heart can be trusted.