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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

No Still Means No!




Almost daily, we hear of an adulterous affair. Infidelity by celebrities, politicians, clergy, businessmen, and women is attractive bait for the media to increase audience ratings.


It’s challenging to find television programming that does not include or insinuate an adulterous relationship. The “forbidden” somehow becomes a winsome, magnetic attraction that draws the audience in — like a moth to the flame.


Media moguls recognize how immorality attracts viewership. They know that “sex sells.” Storylines are intentionally crafted to rationalize, justify, and encourage immoral behavior.

The more exposure to immorality, the less shocked we are. That which is forbidden becomes as appealing as the forbidden fruit in the garden (Genesis 3:1-7).


The seventh Commandment reads: “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Not ever? Even though others do? William Barclay wrote:

“It is the paradox of human nature that there was no sin regarded in Judaism with greater horror than adultery, and there was no sin which, to judge by the rebukes of the sages and prophets, was more common.”⁠[1]

Infidelity isn’t new. Despite the attempt to glamorize or justify adultery, the sting of betrayal is as painful as ever. Adultery hurts! It strikes at the very heart of a relationship and encourages loneliness, despair, and disillusionment. Spouses and children suffer. And infidelity destroys trust!


On the surface — and in light of the media’s attempt to make adultery attractive — God’s command may seem too prohibitive. But a closer examination reveals how God desires to spare us pain.


The media’s attempt to minimize the destructive force of adultery does not lessen the anguish. Although infidelity may appear to be common practice, it does not change God’s command. No still means no!


God understands the anguish experienced by broken promises. Time and again, Israel broke their covenant with God, and were enticed to pursue other gods. (God knows what it’s like to have your heart broken!)


Is it time for us to re-examine our relationship with God — who loves us so much that he desires to spare us pain — and return to him? “Return, faithless people, declares the LORD, for I am your husband. I will choose you…” (Jeremiah 3:14).

 

[1] William Barclay, The Ten Commandments, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press 1998, pg. 84


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