Wednesday, June 8, 2011
"All Men Cheat"
I had a rather disturbing chat last night with a Facebook friend who is convinced that there are no men that can be trusted, stating "I trust no man to be honest, to be faithful, to be loyal."
Certainly, this friend is the victim of someone (or someones) who betrayed her trust. She's been deeply hurt and also apparently the victim of a man with a controlling personality, because she also claimed that all men want to control their women. Though I tried to help her by getting her to open up more and pray for her, she just kept repeating that 1) all men are cheaters and can't help looking lustfully b) all men want to control women and c) she doesn't need a man financially.
I don't mind saying that, as a married woman, I took offense to these allegations, because since she was saying that all men cheat, that had to include my husband and my friends' husbands. Now them are fighting words! So I did what any red-blooded American woman would do and conducted a Google search on the percentage of men who are unfaithful. The statistics will probably surprise you.
According to a 2007 online survey conducted by MSNBC.com/iVillage of some 70,000 Americans, although people "think" that 44% of men and 36% of women have cheated on their spouse, the reality is that 28% of men and 18% of women have cheated on their spouse. While these numbers are still unacceptable, they are a far cry from 100%. CLICK HERE to watch the news clip and read the article.
The Bible is clear that adultery is a sin: 1 Corinthians 6: 8-10: Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Apparently, it's always been a problem, so I won't blame society, although our political leaders and other "heroes" certainly have set the bar pretty low. I blame the sinful nature of mankind. Adultery is never justifiable or acceptable in the eyes of God; it has always been an issue dear to God's heart. And the reason for that is the deep intimacy (both sexually and emotionally) that He designed to exist between a husband and wife. While all sin is disturbing to God, I believe that the sin of infidelity truly grieves the heart of God because it is so far apart from his perfect design for marriage. It puts a permanent scar (sometimes a continuously bleeding wound) on the heart of the betrayed one and undermines the stability of the marriage.
But back to my friend. I am committed to praying for her. I believe she has some hard work to do if she is ever to even begin to consider dating and remarriage. And that hard work begins with forgiveness. The analogy that "harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die" rings true here. (I could almost taste the poison while chatting with her.) Forgiveness doesn't make sense in our finite human minds, but it is, once again, God's perfect design for us to be able to put up with each other here on earth.
So, even though she wouldn't listen to reason or answer my ongoing question of "How can I help you?" - thank you Bruce Wilkinson - some of my friends came up with some recommended reading. I would add that daily choosing to forgive, a lot of prayer and possibly some Christian counseling may be in order to unpack and heal the layers of pain and distrust on my friend's heart. It's funny, she started out asking what's going on with Cache' Connections, which indicates on some level that she may ultimately want to find a man she can trust. I hope that some day she does, but more than that, I hope her heart become softened by the love and grace of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to do what she cannot do on her own.
Some people think that at Cache' Connections, we put finding a mate before a single's relationship with Christ, which is not true. Clearly, this account proves the truth of Matthew 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Without the love and guidance of Jesus Christ in our lives, things can and do quickly go astray. No spouse is going to fulfill that special place in your heart that only God can fill. And frankly, marriage is not an easy band-aid for those searching to fill it.
The Bait of Satan by John Bevere
Forgive & Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve by Lewis Smedes
When You've Been Wronged by Erwin Leutzer
The Art of Forgiving: When You Need to Forgive and Don't Know How by Lewis Smedes
Tattoo Forgiveness - CC blog post from a woman in the same shoes.