You shall not commit adultery. (Ex. 20:14)

How does adultery happen? It may happen in many ways, but Stuart Briscoe suggested it could happen like this: A man is not happy in his marriage. At the end of a tiring day at work, he can’t face going home to two or three or more noisy kids, to a wife who gripes a lot, and to a house that looks like the aftermath of a bomb site.

Instead he stops for “happy hour” and while he is having a little cheese, a little wine, and some hors d’oeuvres, he meets an attractive woman. He thinks to himself, “I’d be crazy to go home to that disaster when I could enjoy a quiet, relaxing hour with an attractive woman.”

So it begins, he convinces himself, in an innocent, understandable way. It’s because he has an unsatisfactory marriage, unfulfilled desires, and unlimited opportunities.

In an act of selfish fulfillment, he may feel a little better temporarily, but in the long run he is making matters worse. If he continues in this way, the marriage will split, finances will become more problematic, and several people’s lives will be adversely affected forever.

Keeping our marriage vows is an obligation that is designed to honor God, honor one’s spouse, and promote the welfare of our societal structure. Broken hearts and broken marriages have a ripple effect that continues endlessly.

Work harder on building a positive marriage than on excusing your weaknesses.

Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife Carol. He has written his weekly column, Positive Perspective, for more than thirty years.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.