There was a very specific reason I asked this question on my social media page today:
Catching up on Dr. Laura Podcast and a call came through that made me wonder what your thoughts were?
The caller said she had met the perfect man for her. They talked for hours about everything. Enjoyed each other’s company and had so many things in common. There was only one problem, he was married.
Dr. Laura asked her why a decent woman of character and integrity would want to blow up another woman’s marriage and destroy the woman’s children’s lives?
The woman went on to say this was why she was calling. Should she care? The man of her dreams was unhappily married and had been for a long time.
Dr. Laura responded again with the same question.
So here are four questions:
What would have been your response?
When is adultery ok?
Does the answer change if you’re a follower of Christ?
Don’t people have the right to be happy?
I tried to be neutral in my question not because I had any doubts to my own answer but because I work with women and I know if the question is being asked by one woman it is in the hearts of many. I am asked on fairly regular basis if we have a right to be happy? My answer always depends on the cost to the well being of others. My rights do not supersede the breaking of another person. For example, changing careers when doing so would put a financial hit on the family bears consideration. Moving away from a support system bears consideration when the outcome is uncertain and others are involved.
Lisa Bevere in her book Adamant says God is love but love is not God. In other words we miss the point when we idolize love. To idolize love over people is to trample over the lives of others thereby missing God completely.
At what point do we stop and listen and ask and respond? When someone takes the time to call a radio program, go through a screener, and then ask a question where people will recognize their voice and their question, it means the question is important enough to them to risk. If it important enough to ask and risk being found out, then we need to think through the question because a bigger question is being asked.
When the question was, should I care, it brought to mind two things. One being that in that caller somewhere was an ability to discern right from wrong. The caller was looking for validation to not care. People who don’t care and don’t count the cost of who it hurts wouldn’t have the discernment to look for counsel. Second, it brought on an even more serious question and that is, when did we decide that what was important to us superseded the reality of the pain caused to others?
In this reformation back to holiness lots of seemingly foolish questions are going to be asked. Will we respond with non-response? Will we be intolerant and say we don’t have time for nonsense? Will we beat them with scripture as a Pharisee would? Or will we roll up our sleeves in love and answer from experience of what we have seen, know, or maybe experienced for ourselves regardless of outcome?
How many of us know women who have cheated on their husbands and blown families apart? How many of us have known the “other” woman who is justifying their behavior and covering their selfishness with cries of rights to be happy?
You see, this question was not born out of a, I should know better therefore you should know better, place. It was born out of an attempt to understand how we find ourselves in situations where we are seared to truth? Because as I see it, talking to married person is wrong whether you follow Jesus or not. Caring about others is not a Christian vs non-Christian question it’s a humanity issue. These are character and integrity questions. Only when we see that ideals have been skewed for a prevailing thought of what is right for me, then love calls us to answer the question, first to ourselves, and then to others.
We cannot control outcomes but we do have a voice to speak up and tell the truth. Which approach will you take? Will you take these questions to heart or will you walk away thinking it will never happen to you or your loved ones?