An Adulterous Affair
I was in an adulterous affair for years. I claimed alliance to my husband, but my actions told a different story. I spent my time and energy cultivating trust and intimacy elsewhere. In all honesty, my husband and I didn’t have much of a relationship; it was in word only – not of the heart. We rarely talked. We hardly spent time together. Oh, I played the act of the good wife at the right times, but that is all it was – an act. Yet, I expected him to do so much for me. I hung out more with our friends than him. It was extremely backwards. I was very selfish and one sided. I was so caught up in my adulterous emotions because it felt “good” that I didn’t really think about what I was doing to him, me or to us. I didn’t realize I was living a lie that would never fulfill.
My husband was God. (not my earthly husband)
Today I have a wonderful relationship – beyond my expectations. I’m so thankful He never gave up on me.
Adultery is a deceptive beast because the adulterers are so captivated by the sensual emotions that they don’t realize all the damage and pain they are creating.
There are two sides to adultery. On the side of the adulterer, there are feelings of excitement in the newness, the unknown, and the combined desire. On the other side of the one being cheated on, there are feelings of intense pain and hurt taking claim of their hearts. With adultery, you can’t have one side without the other. They are two sides of the same coin. Therefore, there is nothing about love in this act. It’s a selfish act that creates intense pain.
Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.
God is our husband; we are His bride. God uses the example of adultery, something we can understand emotionally, in the Bible so we can taste how He feels when He isn’t our first love, what it does to us and our relationship with Him. Ezekiel 23 (Those who profess a relationship with God are the only ones who can cheat on Him, and play the harlot as He speaks of in His Word.)
I’ve talked before about how God’s people play the harlot against Him today. For example, they willingly trust in other things or people when they should be cultivating trust in God. They don’t spend time in His Word fostering intimacy. Without thought, they put other things and people above Him, even the church. They hold a lackadaisical attitude about spending time with Him. They don’t try to trust Him to be their Teacher about Him. They neglect to personally get to know Him. They give others the place of “first love”. They spend their time on everything else even serving Him but not with Him.
The alluring emotions of playing the harlot blind and deceive people to what they are really doing in their relationship with God – destroying it. This is a description of how I use to be. I’ve often considered the pain and loss, but what recently struck me was the other side of the coin – the enticing emotions that pull people into an adulterous affair so they forsake their first love and how blinding those emotions are to what they are truly creating. And I see many people being blinded by these emotions today.
When we are on the side of the adulterer, it doesn’t seem so bad because it feels “good” even though those emotions are fleeting, only in our heads and not reality. Reality is pain and death are being created in our life. But those emotions and the empty promises they allude to lure us in. They emotionally overtake us pushing us farther into the situation and mask any damage we are creating. We want more of what we are feeling and the cost of our actions is thrown to the wind. Actually, we don’t think about the costs, because we are consumed by the emotions and blinded to all sense of judgment, discernment, wisdom and true love. But the reality is we are creating much pain for all involved. Sometimes we don’t think about how our lackadaisical attitude or not spending time to get to know God affects His heart. But we can understand His heart through His Word as He uses the descriptions of harlotry over and over.
Ezekiel 23:19 “Yet she multiplied her harlotry In calling to remembrance the days of her youth, When she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.
Love is about intimacy, putting others first, looking out for their needs, desiring to be with them, knowing them, listening and talking with them. No one trusts God perfectly, but what is our heart’s desire? What do our actions and efforts show? Do they show we desire intimacy with our Lord and for Him to be our first love?
It is very easy these days to be blinded to the state of our own hearts. Because of the “feel-good” emotions being pressed upon us by many leaders, teachers and pastors, we are mislead to thinking what we feel is love with God because His name is mentioned when it really is selfish indulgence. If it is so deceptive, how do we know we haven’t been lured in? Look at your life, how do you spend your time? What motivates you? What truly is your desire? Who are you listening to the most? Examining our hearts in earnest prayer with God and in His Word will expose the truth in us. 2 Corinthians 13:5
Until I really spent time and acted like a God’s bride, I never saw my actions for what they were – adulterous. I wasted years where I could have been in an incredible relationship. I’m thankful I’m not wasting anymore.
If you have found that your actions haven’t lived up to your words, make a renewed commitment to Christ to be your first love then start living your life to show it by making time to spend with Him, seeking His will, reading His Word, and listening and talking to Him. God is merciful and is looking for those who will come to Him in truth and spirit. Many of us, probably almost all have been in an adulterous affair against our Lord at some point. But now is the time to set things straight with Him.
February 1, 2010 at 10:01 pm
That is FANTASTIC. What a way to see it. It’s really made it clear for me, thank you.
February 2, 2010 at 12:13 am
February 2, 2010 at 2:41 am
having a personal relationship with Christ is very essential in achieving peace and happiness in life…as for me who believes in Him…
February 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm
Karen – so true as I have also discovered from personal experience.
February 2, 2010 at 4:57 am
Same here; this is a very helpful way of looking at our relationship with God. I was telling a friend the other day about how God worked through His Word over this past year to show me the real me who claimed to be His but wasn’t acting like it at all. It seemed that every time I opened the Bible, He brought verses to me that were full of His wrath and blunt judgment of His people who were turning against Him; it was very painful… but that much more beautiful to experience His offer to turn away from those ways and come back to Him! It still amazes me to read the prophets in which the Word so adamantly condemns these rebellious people before describing how God delights in mercy and will blot out all our iniquity when we turn back to Him (Micah 7:18-19 is just one of many verses that fill my soul with great joy!) Still, I know that for this relationship to flourish and continue on the right path, our intimacy must be kept diligently and ernestly; good reminders here, Rachel!
February 2, 2010 at 4:36 pm
Ruth – you pointed out an interesting dynamic – understanding God’s wrath yet experiencing His love at the same time. It amazes me how you can read about the wrath of God and understand His sovereignity and seriousness and yet be enraptured by His love. The Bible protrays such a tremendous balance. When I saw my actions for the first time for what they were – I felt His love pour over me at the same time. His mercy endures forever. His love is beyond our comprehension.
February 2, 2010 at 9:47 am
I commend you on your honesty concerning the affair you had while still in your marriage.
During my years after divorcing my husband I had many “flings” and affairs that I deeply regret. Yep, I definitely fall into that catagory of not putting God first then, and even now my relationship with God is so much closer, I still find that there are things that I place before Him. This has been my thinking process for the last two weeks. So, I’m looking at this for sure. Thank you for this wonderful reminder that God is waiting for us, for me, to put Him first as His husband, and me, His bride. Jane
February 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm
Hi Jane – to clarify- I didn’t have an affair on my earthly husband – it was only in my relationship with God. Sorry if that was confusing . . . I may have to revise 😐 God uses the analogy over and over about His people playing the harlot and of being married to Him, yet cheating on Him with another throughout the Bible – I was highlighting that analogy. And sharing my own experience in regards to it.
Putting God first is a process. I don’t think it comes instantly or quickly. But as we foster intimacy with Him by abiding in His Word and communing with Him daily in prayer and listening we grow to truly know Him, thus our trust grows. Then we start to let go and put Him and His will first out of love for Him. For me it came bit by bit, little by little. But the life living in His will verses outside of it – no comparison. We think we will somehow lose out (a great deception) when all we do is gain beyond our imagination. God is very very good and loves us so much.
February 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm
A really amazing point of view. It does make us stop and really thing about how our relationship with God is going.
February 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm
Hope – thanks for your comment – that was my goal – to get us all to stop and consider the true nature of our relationship and to draw near to Him as a Bride in truth and Spirit 🙂
February 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm
Great analogy Rachel.
It is helpful for me to think in terms of the larger plan for my life. Though my actions today may not appear to mean much, when considering heaven, they place more barriers in the way of a meaningful relationship with God.
Your writing is insightful–keep it up.
February 4, 2010 at 6:26 pm
Slamdunk – thanks for your encouragement. We are all a work in progress. Our part is to seek Him and abide in His Word.
February 2, 2010 at 9:55 pm
I’m new to your site, so “HI!” I have never heard it put quite this way, and I loved the way you described what our relationship with God needs to be. I look forward to reading more of your work.
February 4, 2010 at 6:24 pm
Hi Marty – so glad you found me, and thanks for commenting. I’ll check out your blog 😉
February 3, 2010 at 1:43 am
“God is our husband; we are His bride. God uses the example of adultery, something we can understand emotionally, in the Bible so we can taste how He feels when He isn’t our first love, what it does to us and our relationship with Him.”
AMEN! Well said.
February 4, 2010 at 6:22 pm
Hi Mike! Always good to hear from you. 🙂
February 3, 2010 at 8:03 am
Something is always lurking to take the place of our First Love and it is good to be reminded to be watchful . Edifying article. thanks
February 4, 2010 at 6:21 pm
Connie – so true!
February 3, 2010 at 11:12 am
well, unlike most, if not all, of the above, i’m not really a believer as one would say… i’d call myself sitting on the fence… but truth be told, i really like your article!! what an amazing story!! impressive skills u have to potray your thoughts and define what u’ve read… i’d just like to add something… it’s always like that… i mean, as a human, or more precisely, someone who’s sitting on the fence, aka an agnostic, i’ll tend to forget about what the Almighty has done for me in the past when i’m contented with what i have… but at times of need, and grief, and when i have no one else to turn to, only then, i seek for God’s help… actually, i’m not only talking about myself but a plenty of my friends too… sad, but true… well, that’s my point of view… but again, what u’ve written strikes me!! i’ve joined ‘Alpha’ in a local church here in KL once and many of such thoughts come to me… anyway, sorry for a long winded comment, thanks for sharing! keep it up!! cheers…
February 4, 2010 at 6:21 pm
dknypg83 – I’m really glad you stopped by and read my post. There is so much out there that is misleading and deceptive in this realm of religion – that it is easy to be on the fence. The thing is it is about a relationship with God – not religion. For me personally – I stopped looking around me – and started looking and seeking from God of the Bible- and that changed everything. We each have our journey to walk, but if you have a heart to seek and to know – I would encourage that and just don’t look at others – we’re a mess – but look to God and ask to know Him as He is. When you start abiding in that relationship with Him – nothing compares. It will exceed your expectations – He has mine on many levels. Hope that makes sense.
February 4, 2010 at 6:34 pm
The cool part about God is that even when I am busy looking around at other “pretty” and ‘distractive” things, people, opportunities God remains faithful to me. I love the fact that when I turn back towards God I’m not hit with the “Why were you looking at her/him? That opportunity, etc.” Instead I am “hit’ with “welcome home. I thought you were lost, but now you are found. Welcome home, my son, my daughter.” In other words I am confronted by amazing and powerful love, compassion and understanding – not judgement or condemnation.
February 4, 2010 at 6:37 pm
Tim – that is so true – His love and mercy never cease to amaze me.
February 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm
That was a good one
February 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm
Hi John – thanks.
February 3, 2010 at 6:57 pm
Great analogy Rachel. Right to the point as usual. I love Ruth’s insight as well. Glad that I looked at the other comments. Keep stirring girlfriend.
February 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm
Hi Judy – hope you are doing well. Been thinking out you. I truly enjoy the comments as well.
February 4, 2010 at 12:39 am
Your reflection reminds me of this description of Jesus, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…”
I have discovered in my years as a pastor and Navy Chaplain that adultery is the fruit of a broken heart and it produces broken hearts. If couples have any hope of staying married forever then it is important to recognize pain when it occurs and then to deal with that pain in a healing manner, by turning to the perfect healer.
But couples need to do this together – I have also experienced walking with many wives who have turned to the church for that healing and have been accused by their husbands of committing adultery because they have fallen in love with another person – GOD. What man on this planet can compete with that? Which is why many men don’t go to church – they believe in their heart they can never measure up.
February 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm
Tim – You brought up some great points – it is interesting getting your input since this is something close to your heart.
I found it so interesting what you said in that last paragraph. I never thought of that. I did have a friend who became very wrapped up in the church and it drove her husband crazy – making him upset. I wondered why? But your comment brought some light to it and made me think a bit further.
I believe – from personal experience – that when you are rightly related to God then your marriage is strengthened not weakened. Earthly marriage is a reflection, a physical illustration, of our spiritual marriage. They are connected. When we are right spiritually – rightly aligned to God – then it reflects in our physical world including and especially our marriage. When we are rightly related to God then our husband takes an even more significant and special place in our heart. Because I believe that is God’s desire – so we are walking in His will. Of course God is first, but because He is, your love for your earthly husband increases – if that makes since.
Could it be – that sometimes for people in the situation you described – that their relationship is really with the church and not so much with God? In that case, that misalignment will affect them on many levels – including their marriage. I have seen this misalignment affect people on so many levels – certainly it could their marriage as well.
There is a big difference between church and God – I know that sounds simplistic – but when you look at the actions of others- what they cultivate is a relationship more with the church system and not so much with God. And that is detrimental to our spiritual health on many levels.
February 4, 2010 at 6:14 pm
You are absolutely correct – “Sometimes people are more connected to church than God”. I have had to invite folks to consider on numerous occasions that they love the church more than they love God. Kind of hard to imagine being married to God while having an adulterous affair with the church. People are emptying one pain only to take on a new pain – that being the discovery that the church cannot make the whole or complete only God can do that. When I coach and guide couples and families I challenge them to focus in four main ways – unconditional love, powerful forgiveness, unreasonable compassion and outrageous trust in God. I believe that when we focus on those four areas we discover that “organizational church” and family/marriage is the great laboratory for living out the Great Commandment.
February 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm
Tim – great thoughts. I think it is great how you are helping others in these ways!!
February 5, 2010 at 2:39 am
Very good post, Rachel. It brings to mind the story of Hosea and his adulterous wife. Although God was giving a message to Israel on her adultery against the true God, it is a truth for us also. How awesome that my God forgave me and took me back after I sought after “others” instead of him.
February 5, 2010 at 5:38 am
Marianne – Hosea such a powerful example, isn’t it?! And I agree – His mercy is very great toward us.