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Many of the ills of society are linked to a breakdown in the family structure. Crime, social maladjustment, lack of self-confidence, giving in to peer pressure and children emulating the wrong icons are some of the results. Single parents who struggle against the odds and raise children who become good and successful citizens are to be commended. But having the help and support of a loving spouse is the ideal.
One of the reasons for the breakdown in the family is infidelity or lack of faithfulness on the part of spouses. The Bible warns us to avoid fornication and commands us to not commit adultery. This area of lack of faithfulness is well known and is popularly condemned by church and secular society alike.
The ills that can potentially result from fornication and adultery are well known. Among these are: children being disowned or not being supported by fathers who are not married to the children’s mother; jealous rages and conflicts among parties in love triangles; among others, each with their attendant negative consequences.
Another area of unfaithfulness, however, that is almost invariably overlooked is that spoken of by the apostle Paul – that of defrauding one’s spouse or withholding from them their just due: “Defraud ye not one another” (1 Cor. 7:5). Read the entire chapter, 1 Cor. 7:1-40. There are two sides to the matter of fornication. The Bible speaks of both. Popular practice, both in the church and in the world belabours one and ignores the other.
Fornication should be avoided, and faithfulness should be maintained – faithfulness in rendering to your spouse their just due, whether financial and material support or emotional and physical support of intimacy. By giving your spouse physical support of intimacy, you help to protect them from fornication and the Devil’s power of temptation (1 Cor. 7:5). Herein lies an area for repentance and reformation, which, if heeded, can make a major difference for good to the church and the world.
The story of Ruth and Boaz is very instructive (Ruth 3). Ruth needed rest. It is not explicitly stated what Ruth did to Boaz that night when she laid down at the spot where Boaz was sleeping, uncovered his feet and asked him to spread his skirt over her, but he was so drawn to her that he acknowledged her kindness and determined to do for her all that she would require (Ruth 3:9-11). When Ruth told Naomi, her mother-in-law, Naomi told her that the man would not rest until he made the necessary arrangements to finish the matter that very day (Ruth 3:18).
As we lament the unfortunate state of affairs in which many persons are lured away from their homes or seek rest elsewhere, the solution might be closer to us than we might imagine. It might verily lie in addressing the matter of faithfulness or lack thereof in rendering to our spouse due benevolence or kindness. Boaz was impressed with Ruth’s kindness to such an extent that he would give her all that she required. Are we kind to our spouses? Or do we leave a void with an open invitation for someone else to fill? It is well-known that nature abhors a vacuum. We can make a difference and help to keep our straying spouse at home.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).
For further information, please visit Patience of the Saints at http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/
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