As most of you know, I was raised in a Christian home. I was taught a lot of things from a young age that I still believe today. It seems like everywhere you turn, spouses are cheating, even people who are “pillars” in the Christian community. Jimmy Swaggart famously cheated on his wife while running his gigantic TV ministry. Countless others did as well. It raises the question as to why this has become so common particularly when people in positions of power are involved.
US News ran a survey that estimates approximately 3-4% of men will cheat on their wife. Other surveys put the number at closer to 15%. According to one survey, 90% of Americans believe that cheating is morally wrong (which makes you wonder what’s wrong with the other 10%).
I believe that some people stray because they are unhappy and they “fall” into it. In other words, they weren’t sitting around thinking about cheating, but they were unhappy and when someone came along and offered them what they felt they were missing, they went for it. Some people stray because they simply don’t respect their spouse and feel they are entitled to do what they want.
People in positions of power or notability find it much easier to cheat. Not because they necessarily look to cheat, but because they attract people to them with their power and fame, whether they like it or not. I would imagine that being a famous professional athlete, for example, would make faithfulness difficult. Women throw themselves at these guys regularly. You’d need to have strong fences and boundaries built up around you to insure that you stayed on track. Most of these athletes that cheat probably actually love their wives. But easy opportunities and loneliness on the road make it too easy. Bill Clinton had things offered to him (icky things, but things nonetheless) and he must have felt that he’d never get caught or that he had enough power to keep people quiet.
I personally have a hard time understanding how you can rationalize cheating. If you really are unhappy, get a divorce. At least then the other person has a chance at finding someone else. It’s completely selfish and wrong to “have your cake and eat it too.”
The Bible is completely clear on adultery. Thou shalt not. It’s one of the stinking 10 commandments. It doesn’t get much more clear than that. It’s on the same list with “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not steal.” In some states there are still laws making adultery a felony.
I’m not saying people should go to jail for it, just that it’s pretty obvious you shouldn’t do it.
The best way to prevent adultery is to love your spouse. Respect her. Care for her. See the beauty in her. Understand that her love and trust are irreplaceable.
When the opportunity to cheat knocks on your door, the Bible says to “FLEE”. Run away. In Proverbs it compares it to scooping hot coals into your lap. “No one who touches her will go unpunished.” That’s from Proverbs. The Bible also says to “Be sure your sin will find you out.” Yikes.