The Videos
After reminding us that the 10 Commandments offer a “map not a track”, we watched those in London, when questioned “Will an affair revitalise a marriage?” A mix of responses, but the youngest pulled a face of disgust and said “just think of all the diseases you could get” (so those public health campaigns are paying off then?), and another that modern relationships are all about ‘use and abuse’. Most modern affairs start on the internet…

Perry & Heather
Perry and Heather met at a church event, and he soon had to inform her that he was a haeomophiliac who had contracted HIV via a blood transfusion. This was in the 1980s, at the height of the fear of AIDS. They told us of their story, of expecting 5 years of marriage, with no children, but have just celebrated their 20th Wedding Anniversary (although Perry has regular stints in hospital, including one 2 weeks ago – and at times plans have been made for his funeral), and have had 2 children through pioneering surgery.

Back to J John
After a beautiful rendition of the 23rd Psalm, J John came bouncing back on giving us the modern perception of the 6th commandment, which we tend to think is “You shall not admit adultery”, rather than “You shall not commit adultery” – I think we’d agree there’s a subtle difference there! After cracking a few more jokes (man in a fridge, anyone?), he went on to talk about that other joy – contemporary culture – where loving couples are rarely married, but are surrounded by music, laughter and sumptuous surroundings – it’s all romantic & exciting, with little recognition of the tough times that come in a committed relationship.

Adultery
Even when forgiven, leaves scars… it hurts and shatters trust.

Love = giving
Adultery = taking.

Marriage was designed by God in the Garden of Eden, where 2 become 1, should never be split.

Is this topic not relevant?
For most of us, having realised how we’ve #failed in the past 3 commandments, if we’re not in a relationship, have we won at this one?! No, because affairs/lust start in the mind:

“Many people have sex on the brain, and that’s the worst place to have it”.

As a man followed with his eyes a beautiful woman walking past the window, his wife, without even looking up says “Was it worth the trouble you’re in now?”

Thoughts -> Words -> Actions – > Habits -> Character

Practical Steps
When the Bible says ‘take out your eye’ or ‘cut off your hand’ if they cause you to sin, we’re not LITERALLY talking that! If it’s what you’re looking at, cancel the Playboy subscription or the adult channel… by encouraging fantasy, you’re encouraging reality.

If you’ve had an affair in the past: go for counselling (delicate/painful/needs to be done)
If you’re having one now: STOP (that’s all… and read Psalm 51)

Rationalising, simply means “Rational Lies”.

In the story of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus commanded the woman to “Go and Sin no more

One for the archeology dept: “Why do archeologists make the best husbands? Because the older she gets, the more interested he is in her” (boom boom)

How to maintain interest over the years:

  1. Respect
    Mutual respect: the husband should love the wife as himself.
    There’s no such thing as a “perfect marriage” as it’s the union of 2 imperfect people.
    “You can bury a marriage with lots of little digs.”
    “Don’t criticise your wife’s judgement: look who she chose to marry”
    It’s not about how compatible you are, but how you deal with the incompatabilities: may not necessarily see eye-to-eye, but still be able to walk hand-in-hand.
    Good communication is key (even for ‘conversationally challenged’ men). Women speak 35,000 words per day, men 20,000 (so they’ve run out of words by the time they get home!). [See a refutation of these stats]
    Need to TALK and LISTEN, 4 hardest statements to use more of:
    I was wrong
    I am sorry
    I don’t know
    I need help.
    A theatre was packed full of men waiting to hear “How do you get your wife to treat you like a King?”…. simple answer: “Treat her like a Queen”.
  2. Responsibility
    Look to fix the problem NOT the blame: your attitude should be the same as that of Christ
    The number one problem in marriage is selfishness, too much concern for rights, rather than duties.
  3. Romance
    “If there was more courting in marriage, there’d be less marriages in court.”
    “Adam should have said to Eve: you’re the only girl in the world for me!”
    The Bible says “Rejoice in the wife of your youth”
    Dating was fun, so marriages should also make time for fun.
    The vicar gave a talk on “sex” (marking it as “sailing“)
    The Man’s Guide to Female English (never say what they mean); The Woman’s Guide to Male English (it all comes back to sex).
  4. Resolve
    A recent marriage, the couple took a small candle each, lit a large candle, then blew out the small candles, signifying that there would be no more “old flames”.
    J John called for all to value marriage, remaining loyal, proving faithfulness to each other.
    Life has all seasons, including its “winter seasons”.
    “Trying times are not the times to stop trying”
    “Treat disasters as incidents, not incidents as disasters.”
    Arches are made of 2 weaknesses, which lean against each other for strength.

To start: admit that need God and his help, as he created us, marriage, sex, etc.

A Proposal?
Every page of the Bible is a proposal to you… God’s present to us was pinned to a Cross, and he doesn’t woo us with perfume, but with blood, sweat and tears.

If you wanted to see a past series on DVD, see here.

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