“You Must Not Commit Adultery”
We took a little side trip into the parable of the prodigal son, not because I wanted to avoid this topic for another week, but because I’ve usually chosen to do that “sermon in song” on Father’s Day. In reality, it fits right in here because if you recall, one of the spoken complaints of the elder brother was that his brat sibling had spent his father’s good money with prostitutes. Forsooth and anon! What could be worse than spending a good man’s fortune on dissipation? It seemed the elder brother wanted to shock his father into rejecting the young scallywag. (An unsuccessful attempt)
The prodigal did experience a measure of freedom on his father’s dollars and experienced miserable slavery once the money ran out. God wants us free, and in order that his chosen people might remain free, they had to be sexually stable. Adultery is not just about sex, although that is definitely part of it. Adultery (and most of the commandments from here on out) involve secrecy and real loss when those secrets are exposed. If you’re an adulterer, you are keeping secrets from people like spouses… and you are not free. Not free to love the one you pretend to love. Not free to be honest with a spouse. Not free because you are keeping secrets from children, employers, neighbors, and friends.
Media gossip is filled with names of people garnering 15 minutes of ugly fame for breaking non-disclosure contracts. They’re failing to keep these secrets secret. People harboring secrets are less and less free. In my experience (as a pastor, not as an adulterer) when the news of an adulterous affair gets out, things tend to explode like the fireworks we may enjoy this coming weekend. But the lives explode without really anyone enjoying the fireworks.
The way sin generally works is this: you may choose to commit them. But you cannot choose the consequences that follow. Living free is not “free love” as the 60s pretended it could be. The free-est love is committed love. To God and to others.
PRAYER: Lord, we can watch almost any “drama” on television to know the consequences of breaking this command are never good. But help us see it in the loving light of your strong desire for our freedom. Amen.