A couple of nights ago, I posted a question on FaceBook asking the importance of fidelity in a relationship. Pretty much, what I asked was, if you were to get married and your spouse had regular, continual, affairs and did not stop, how long would you put up with it? I got a great response with long explanations from different view points. One person said that forgiveness would take place the first time, as long as the person was sincerely remorseful for what they had done. Another responder stated that there would be zero tolerance, and the moment it happened they would be out the door. Responses ranged from being lenient with their reaction to this hypothetical situation, to being 100% firm in their strict expectations – and everything in between.
What my friends on FaceBook did not know, was the reason I was asking this question and wanting responses. I told them towards the end that I was working on a blog about the importance of staying faithful and committed in a relationship, but that’s all I said. You see, the reason I asked this question was because I wanted to get their minds working on a personal level. You see, when you think about your husband or wife (or even boyfriend or girlfriend) cheating on you, you get angry and hurt, many of us tend to feel betrayed and abandoned. It’s as if those words of commitment from that other person meant absolutely nothing to us anymore. That one act of betrayal, completely negating every prior word of reassurance. Because after all, actions speak much louder than words, right?
Now, let’s flip this emotion on a spiritual level and look at it from a different angle. You see, when we come to Christ, that moment of salvation, we make a commitment to Him and we say that He is the Lord of our life. The Church, after all, is the bride of Christ. The Bible talks about how you should be equally yoked with other people in righteousness, many people transpose this to marriage and say that we should not marry someone that we are unequally yoked with. Meaning, if we are a strong believer in Christ and our commitment to Him is on a firm foundation of walking the path of righteousness, then we should seek to be with someone of equal spiritual maturity, not someone who is into partying and drugs and living a wild lifestyle. That’s what it means to be equally yoked. And being that the Church is the bride of Christ, how much more should we (the Church) be equally yoked to our groom, Jesus Christ?
For those who are married, you know that saying your vows is easy, but working on a marriage is hard. Standing at the altar, looking each other in the eyes and saying “I do” is easy, but sustaining a healthy marriage is hard. The wedding ceremony is fun, and the festivities of the evening are great, but lasting 50 years to that golden anniversary is tough …. Praying the sinner’s prayer is easy, living a life worthy of the calling God has upon your life is hard. Going to the altar at youth camp and getting lost in His presence is easy, going home and walking in the light while you’re at school is hard. Professing that Christ is your Savior is easy, but not denying Him by the way you live your life is tough work.
The reason I asked that question on FaceBook a couple of days ago, is because there is a serious problem of infidelity with so many of us “Christians”, myself included. We commit to serving Christ, but then we have an affair with the world. We vow to live a life that will have God’s approval, but then we leave the groom at the altar while we go to the club on Saturday night. We say we are in a committed relationship with the Creator of the World, but we act like a loose woman seeking pleasure from anything and anyone outside the walls of the church. Do you not realize that the same feelings of anger, betrayal, jealousy and abandonment that we feel when our spouse cheats on us, is the same (if not more) feeling that Christ feels when the person He died for cheats on their relationship with Him with the pleasures of this world?
I mentioned in my post on FaceBook that I was going to talk about the consequences of infidelity, and trust me there are high consequences. Because we can say that we are in a committed relationship with Christ all day long, but remember actions speak louder than words. The time will come when your infidelity will catch up to you, and you stand before the judgement seat of Christ and He will look down upon you, and repeat the words of Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who professes unto me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only they who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? And in Your name cast our demons? And in Your name done many wonderful works?’ But then I will declare unto them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me you workers of iniquity.'”
I want to leave you with this, a letter from Christ to His church. This is intended to be read from the perspective of Christ’s broken heart to His believers who were left behind after the rapture of the church ….
I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what went wrong. We had such a great relationship in the beginning. We communicated on a daily basis, you came to me with your problems, you actually took my advice when I tried to help you. We were so in love. It wasn’t long before you made that commitment to be with me forever. Remember those words? Forever? We were at the altar, tears coming down our eyes as we joined together in a convenant that was meant to last for eternity. Things were so good. I’d leave you little notes in the Word and you’d read them every single day, smiling that beautiful smile as they spoke to your heart. You used to brag to your friends about the things I did for you and how awesome our relationship was. I remember at first your parents were a little hesitant of our relationship, but you stood your ground and defended your love for me like nothing else. Eventually they came around, but it wasn’t easy. I remember you would come to me, scared and worried about what people would think. I would reassure you that everything would be okay, and that what we had would be forever. You were so committed to me, it was perfect.
But then something happened. One day you were with your friends and they convinced you to give in to the lusts of what they had to offer. You did that, you cheated on me. Everything we had built up to that moment, for a few minutes of pleasure. But my love for you was so great, that when you came to me with a sincere heart and were truly remorseful, I forgave you. It hurt, and I did feel betrayed, but I still forgave you. After all, I was committed to making this relationship work. I guess maybe you took advantage of my forgiving heart because you gave into those lusts again … and again … and again. Apostasy set in, and you no longer felt guilty for the things you were doing. Your heart had become numb to the infidelity you were committing. For you, it didn’t even seem like you were cheating, you thought you were merely living in the grace of my forgiveness. You see, there’s a big difference in coming to me for what you’ve done wrong and me forgiving you, and you taking advantage of my heart and living with the expectation that I’ll overlook what you’ve done to me.
Well, obviously you’ve now realized that I’m no longer there. You go to your knees and beg for me to come back, but I’m no longer there. My presence is no longer with you. I wanted to bring you home, but I just couldn’t bring someone who wasn’t as committed to me as I was to them. It has truly broken my heart, to see the passion and love that we had in the beginning go down the drain simply because you wanted to have “fun” without me. I offered you everything you could have hoped and dreamed of, and I wanted to take you places that your mind couldn’t even comprehend, I was so committed to you – I gave my life so that we could be together … Well, I hope it was worth it. Your infidelity has cost you an eternity with me. I hate to leave you, but you were warned this would happen. When you take advantage of my grace, there’s consequences to that. You forgot the love you had for me when we first got together, and that is a sad conclusion to an amazing relationship that could have been great.
With all of my love – Jesus Christ
“I know your works, I know your toil and your patient endurance … But I have this one thing against you: you have forgotten your first love. Repent, and do the things you did at first; if not, I will remove you from your place in heaven.” – Revelation 2:2, 4-5.