Let me set a scene for you. You’re working late at the office. No one else is in the building except you, a very beautiful young colleague (also working late on her own project) and God. You’ve noticed her on many occasions glancing at you when she thinks you’re not aware. She’s not married, but you are…and happily at that. She has no children, but you do…two amazing boys. You hear a knock at your open door and look up to see her standing there. She says she’d like your opinion on a layout she was doing and comes over to your desk. You say you’d be glad to, and as she leans in next to you, become keenly aware that she’s wearing a somewhat low-cut dress, heels and smells of freshly cut flowers. What do you do? You have a split second to decide…be faithful to God and the covenant He created for you and your wife or pursue something that will cause you, your family, her, her family and your Father nothing but pain and heartbreak. What do you do?
I know this is a fictitious story that’s portrayed in movies and on television the world over. But it occurs in real life with all too much frequency. The answer to the question, of course, is run away as fast as you can. I don’t mean jump up from the desk and flee screaming like your hair is on fire. Instead, politely, and with as much force as is necessary, explain that the two of you shouldn’t be in that position. Explain that she is God’s child and He loves her and wants the best for her that life has to offer. But how many of us could do that? How many of us would cling to our faithfulness to God and our wives? It’s hard to say you could unless you’ve been there and done that. Which leads me to the heart of this post…be Faithful to God first and He will return the favor, giving you what you need to remain faithful to His great gift to you…your wife.
The day that God put this lesson on my heart, I had the opportunity to counsel a dear friend of mine. Thankfully he wasn’t dealing with an infidelity issue (that would have been a nightmare!), but he was having some trouble in his relationship with his wife. Now, remember, I’m not a licensed psychologist or anything like that. Shoot…I barely get by on my own as it is :). The thing is, since I started to become obedient and faithful to what God wants for me in my life, He has put me in a position to share some of the trials and tribulations that Lena and I go through and how we deal with those issues with others…hence I was able to help a brother in Christ.
As has been the custom with these posts, I need to give you the scripture to go along with what God has been showing me. In this case, it comes in two parts. The first was Genesis 39:8. I’m going to paraphrase this one because it tells the story of Joseph and Potiphar, Captain of Pharaoh’s Royal Guard.
Potiphar had purchased Joseph as a slave for his house. Joseph had succeeded in everything he did because the Lord was with him, and Potiphar noticed that. He put Joseph in charge of virtually ALL of his household affairs, which put Joseph in close proximity with Potiphar’s wife. She apparently had too much idle time on her hands because she soon began trying to seduce Joseph. He refused her advances, but, to make a long story short, she falsely accused him of attempting to rape her which landed him in prison. As a reward for Joseph’s faithfulness, he ultimately became the warden’s favorite and was placed in charge of everything that happened in the prison! How faithful is God to us when we are faithful to Him?
Hey…that’s a pretty good segue to the next verse if I do say so myself :)! Exodus 34:6-7:
“The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, ‘Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected- even the third and fourth generations.’”
This was a manifestation of Himself for Moses. The guide says:
“Moses had asked to see God’s glorious presence, and this was God’s response. What is God’s glory? It is His character, his nature, his way of relating to His creatures. Notice that God did not give Moses a vision of His power and majesty, but rather of His love. God’s glory is revealed in His mercy, grace, compassion, faithfulness, forgiveness and justice. God’s love and mercy are truly wonderful, and we benefit from them. We can respond and give glory to God when our character resembles His.”
The last part of this verse, about the sins stretching across generations, should give us pause at its implications. Again, the guide:
“Why would sins affect children and grandchildren? This is no arbitrary punishment. Children still suffer for the sins of their parents. Consider child abuse or alcoholism, for example. While these sins are obvious, sins like selfishness and greed can be passed along as well. The dire consequences of sin are not limited to the individual family member. Be careful not to treat sin casually, but repent and turn from it. The sin may cause you little pain now, but it could sting in a most tender area of your life later- your children and grandchildren.”
I can personally attest to this, being the son of an alcoholic mother. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother regardless. I do, however, hate what her alcoholism did to our family. Knowing what I do now about life, relationships and God, I realize that it wasn’t just her. It takes teamwork to make it work. The point here, though, is that the sins of my mother and father have affected their children. My sisters and I have all felt its sting.
So, be faithful to God and each other. Be the one to break the chain of sin that has affected your family and be who your Father wants you to be. Walk away from the desk and tell your wife or husband how much of a gift from God they are!