Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud.
When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
and with shame comes disgrace.
It happens too often. One of the sad things I have to endure. It’s one thing to be the victim of other peoples’ selfishness, or to experience the tragedy of the death of a child, or losing a job due to an economic downturn. It’s another thing altogether to go through the ravages of self-inflicted foolishness. He came to me with a broken heart.
“My teenage boys have totally rejected me,” he mourned.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“I had an affair and they are aware of it.”
“Is the affair over?”
“No. I love her. She is the one I love. I can’t believe they are judging me this way. It’s none of their business who I see. I just need to be happy. Can’t they see how unhappy I was with their mother? Why would they judge me like this? I think it is totally unfair.”
The only thing more tragic about this man’s affair is that he was still deluded about how hurtful his behavior was. The Bible doesn’t mince any words here. Affairs are simply called wickedness and sin. Ouch! We don’t like that. Sounds too judgmental. We don’t call anything wickedness anymore. If you say sin, you’re just being a fundamentalist. Get off your high horse. It’s self-actualization, instead. I’m in love. I just have to be happy. This is my life. Quit telling me what to do. I can make my own decisions. You are being manipulative and controlling. We joke about adultery. We make light of it on our sit-coms. Our movies portray it as idyllic. If there are 100 movies with love scenes, 95 of them (100?) are between people not married. Oh, the joy! The adrenaline. Pursue your passions = sleep with whomever. There are no consequences. There are no downsides. It’s just you being happy. The world revolves around you! Everyone else exists to make you happy!
That’s the proud part. I can do evil and it won’t matter. I am invincible. The warnings of the Bible that adultery is like having a fire in your lap or like a sheep going to slaughter go unheeded. Just a bunch of naysayers.
And then the word is out that my father slept with another man’s wife and people find out. This is when the contempt starts. You have control over your own behavior. You have NO control over what other people think or do in response to what you do.
Do you want to know one of the most creepy thoughts a teenager could ever imagine? His father or mother in bed with another lover. You don’t have to tell a teenager that affairs are wrong. They don’t have to ever have been in Sunday School. It is intuitive. Something is deeply wrong here. Children know, without anyone teaching them, that their family is to remain intact. Boundaries are there for a reason. Mom and dad are to love each other. Mom or dad loving someone else THAT way? Too scary, gross and disgusting for words. They are not being judgmental. They know…It’s WRONG! It’s selfish. It’s foolish. It’s hurtful. It’s unbelievable. It’s evil. It’s wicked. The result is contempt for the fool. And then the chaos starts.
I told the man who was having the affair and was upset his children had rejected him that if he wanted his relationship with his sons to improve, he needed to stop his affair. “Oh, I can’t do that. That’s not why I’m here. I love her. No. We’re going to be together. I just want to know how to reconcile with my boys.”
You want to know a more creepy thought than your dad having an affair with someone else’s wife? Your dad marrying her. Now she’s your step-mother. Now she’s telling you to quit being so selfish and to clean your room. If you are that teenage boy…this is the definition of wicked.