2nd Monday in Lent
You are not to commit adultery
What is this? Answer: We are to fear and love God, so that we lead pure and decent lives in word and deed, and each of us loves and honors his or her spouse.
Inasmuch as there is such a shameless mess and cesspool of all sorts of immorality and indecency among us, this commandment is also directed against every form of unchastity, no matter what it is called. Not only is an outward act forbidden, but also every kind of cause, provocation, and means, so that your heart, your lips, and your entire body may be chaste and afford no occasion, aid, or encouragement to unchastity. Not only that, but you are to defend, protect, and rescue your neighbors whenever they are in danger or need, and moreover, even aid and assist them so that they may retain their honor….In short, all are required both to live chastely themselves and also to help their neighbors to do the same.
You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5: 27- 28
SILENCE FOR MEDITATION
Reading this passage made me examine my own thoughts about such a profound subject. When Luther and Jesus focus on the severity of committing adultery, I find that it fails to address the act of forgiving that is paramount in their teachings. Should we address circumstances when adultery has been committed and family lives are torn apart? Or shall we focus on the families that have become reborn and committed to their spouse and chaste life? Often, the later situation fosters families to become more committed to their faith and each other. Children of adulterous relationships seem to have more anger and resentment toward their parents, often siding with one parent. This is where both parents need to become role models and continue to embrace God’s forgiveness each and every day.
Our society promotes being unchaste through both the written and visual forms of communication. These forms are not openly displayed but are suggestive of a more fulfilling sexual/emotional aura if one is satisfied in unchaste ways. The Internet is probably one of the largest offenders of such promotion. One can certainly find ways to become unchaste in free or monetary forms. Our television shows used to have strict guidelines as to illustrating immorality. That ban has been lifted as many shows are produced that allow all to take part visually in provocative scenes.
Books, magazines, and even some newspapers have headlines appearing on their covers or front pages advertising how to guidelines to “cheat” on a spouse/partner. If we are to tolerate these blatant promotions, one must think of Luther’s words to constantly remind ourselves that we must remain devoted to our faith and to live chastely.
However, Matthew’s Biblical wisdom does take into account that only thoughts have been exhibited, not actions. One’s thoughts are private and only God has access to them. Thus, this passage, in today’s society, has a vague interpretation.
As Christians, it is our obligation to uphold our sixth commandment each day. Many have been exposed to adulterous confrontations in our families, churches, and in the workplace. Do we forgive, but not forget? How long do we hold a grudge against that person or persons? Will that ensure that adultery never happens again? As Christians it is our duty to follow the commandments and to promote a chaste life, partnership, or marriage. We can set an example each day to our children, neighbors, and co-workers and embrace our faith through God’s forgiveness and love for all of us.
Let us pray that our faith in God sustains us each day to keep the commandments foremost in our lives as we are exposed to life’s continued challenges and find daily solace in God’s forgiveness. Amen.
Put a coin in your bank for each glass of water you drink today instead of a soft drink.