“Forbidden Fruit” (Post #15) Lessons Learned by a Dating Widower
Remember the forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve ate in the Garden of Eden? It was the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). When they both ate it, they then realized that they were naked. As a result, they both hid from God (because of being embarrassed that they were naked . . . but I also believe it was because they realized that they sinned and disappointed God).
Well, for men, we have one more forbidden fruit. Let me quote Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife . . . nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” If you haven’t noticed, this is one of the 10 commandments. It made the “Top 10” list of do’s and don’ts. And, if you notice, it doesn’t say ANYTHING about women coveting their neighbor’s husband, so this part of the commandment is just for us men!
Evidently, God knew the problem that men were going to have, keeping our hands off of the ‘forbidden fruit’ called the ‘married woman’.
Now before you jump to conclusions about my mistake in this post, let me assure you that I have NOT dated a married woman . . . NEVER HAVE! But I find it incredulous that I am even attracted to a woman with a wedding band on her left hand. But, (here’s the confession), it’s happened . . . more than once! I can’t explain it. I see an attractive woman; great hair, great eyes, great legs, great smile, and my eyes automatically check her left hand for rings. And you’d think that if I spot a wedding band, that I’d just be courteous, respectful, and then fade into the woodwork.
After all, a wedding band should be a ‘stop sign’ for me. But (here’s my mistake) – if I’m attracted to her, and if she reciprocates in any way, I allow the sport of flirting to begin. And I’m really embarrassed to admit, I’ve even invented reasons to “return to the scene of the crime” to pick up where I left off with the flirt.
That’s absolutely wrong!
I don’t EVER recall participating in this behavior OR actually flirting with married women when ‘Ruby’ was alive. In fact, I had a job where I interacted with dozens of married women every day. The potential for infidelity was high. So I frequently and specifically prayed that God would guard my eyes (knowing that a man’s eyes are the ‘gateway drug’ for all kinds of poor decisions that we make: i.e. we see a new car – so we want it, we see new electronics – so we want them, we see new toys . . . new women . . . etc. – so we want them!). It was ALWAYS my goal to remain faithful to ‘Ruby’, and I can say, by the grace of God, I was. But now that she’s gone . . . well . . . I know, that’s no excuse . . . It’s still very, VERY wrong. Down-right sinful!
So, why did I write about this mistake? Not that I really wanted to; I know some people who are reading this blog that actually know me. But here’s the reason; I’ve talked with a lot of you out there, and I’ve learned that there’s a large contingency of you who’ve misbehaved just like me. You’re widowed, you’re divorced, your single . . . heck fire, some of you are married! And you’re still doin’ it! And there’s a high percent of you reading this post that are participating in this sport of flirting with married women on line . . . behind your wife’s back!
There’s been several ‘ah-ha’ moments of learning for me that I’ve had which has helped me stop this ignorant behavior. This is what I’ve learned about this mistake . . .
#1: If a married woman actually joins me in this flirting fling, I can’t consider it a compliment. Instead I’ve got to question her horrible judgment and compromising morals! Let’s say she eventually separates and divorces her current husband, and marries me! If she was unfaithful to her former husband – what’s to say she isn’t going to be unfaithful when I am married to her? Do I want to be married to such a woman who has warped common sense and malignant morality??? And for the same reasons, why would she want to be married to me???
#2: I plan to spend eternity in Heaven. I know my mother is there already (oh, and ‘Ruby’ too!). If I ever break up a marriage because of flirting with a married woman, I’d never hear the end of it from mom (or ‘Ruby’) once I get to Heaven . . . IF I ever get to Heaven!
#3: Am I that insecure and selfish that I need to break up someone else’s marriage to placate myself??! (And ya know, that’d probably happen even if I merely date her!)
#4: Did I mention the grief I’d get from my mother when I get to heaven?
#5: Have I considered the consequences? Have you ever seen the jilted husband in a broken relationship take his vengeance out on the wife’s new lover? I have! And it ain’t pretty. Solomon even talks about it in Proverbs 6:32-35. On a regular basis you can find a news article about an estranged husband who went on a shooting spree.
#6: Ah . . . then there’s my mother . . .
#7: I remember changing some of my driving habits (like speeding!) once I knew that I’d be teaching my children how to drive. I knew MY MODELED BEHAVIOR WOULD SPEAK VOLUMES when it came to teaching them. Waddya think my ‘break-up-a-marriage’ behavior would teach my adult married children (or anyone else, for that matter)?
#8: Hi mom!
#9: Have you ever, EVER seen how a broken marriage rips apart the hearts of the children left behind in a broken marriage? I have. It’s absolutely devastating! And the impact affects generations! I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.
#10: It’s not just wrong. Remember the 10 commandments? It’s a sin!
Now that you’ve finished reading this post, I’m sure you have some thoughts on this topic, and I’d love to know what they are. Feel free to post your comments, whether you disagree or agree with what I’ve learned. I’d be indebted to learn from your thoughts and experiences too!