Included in this week’s issue:
Christ’s grace and judgment
Christ’s Grace is merely sentimental w/out His judgment. His judgment brings hopelessness w/out His grace. We must preach both.
God has been very clear about fidelity in marriage. It’s right there in the Ten Commandments. One would think the acceptance of infidelity over the last few decades would have increased dramatically as our culture grows more “tolerant.” But this is not the case.
Over the last 30 years, the number of Americans who believe adultery is wrong has remained stable, 3 out of 4 adults. The number of people who report being unfaithful to their spouse has remained largely the same over the last three decades as well: 16 percent.
However, the changes are in who’s doing the cheating. According to the General Social Survey, since 1990, infidelity is increasing steadily among those 55 and older and decreasing overall among those 55-18. Much of this cheating is done by adulterers while in their late 50s and 60s, declining in one’s 70s and beyond. Put another way, those born between 1940 and 1959 and married between 20 to 30 years have the highest rates of infidelity. Sociologists propose that it’s the result of two things:
- Midlife crisis and the marital issues that go along with it.
- These couples came of age in the midst of the sexual revolution.
What’s more, couples aged 30 and under are less likely to divorce in the face of infidelity. Does this mean they are more committed to working through the problems or that infidelity does not bother them as much? Since jealousy is a universal human emotion, it is most likely the former. They desire to avoid divorce at all costs because they saw how harmful it was to their parents’ lives, as well as to their own lives as children.
So regarding marital infidelity in the United States, it is largely a good news story. We just need to get grandma and grandpa to make a great commitment to sexual purity. Whoever thought that statement would ever be true?
You can read more about this research from the folks at the Institute for Family Studies.
The Glory of a Good Wife
We know that Martin Luther held a very high view of marriage and family life. His views were not just theological, but very personal as well. In 1531, he praised his good wife Katie to his friends:
“I would not trade my Katie for France or Venice for three reasons: first, because God gave her to me as a gift and also gave me to her; second, because I often come across other women with far more shortcomings than Katie, and although she has a few weaknesses of her own, they are far outnumbered by her virtues; and third, because faith serves marriage best through its fidelity and honor.”
Of course, our spouses have faults, just like we do, probably fewer. But like Luther, it is helpful and healthy to focus on their virtues, just as we hope they would do the same with us.