Proverbs 13:15 can be translated, “The way of the transgressor is hard.” The Bible certainly seeks to point that truth out in a variety of ways. Proverbs 5:1-4 is one such example.
__________ My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
_____________ incline your ear to my understanding,
__________ that you may keep discretion,
_____________ and your lips may guard knowledge.
__________ For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
_____________ and her speech is smoother than oil,
__________ but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
_____________ sharp as a two-edged sword.
The way of the transgressor is hard. We expect to hear that from the Bible. From The New York Times? Not so much. That’s what makes this article by Wendy Plump—a woman writing from the perspective of having had an affair and suffering as the victim of one—so worthy of note. Here’s an excerpt:
The affairs metastasized in our relationship from the inside out. By the time all was said and done, there was little left to save. Our marriage had become like a leaf eaten away by caterpillars, where the petiole and midrib remain with some ghostly connective tracery in between. Not enough to hold even a drop of rain.
I look at my parents and at how much simpler their lives are at the ages of 75, mostly because they haven’t marred the landscape with grand-scale deceit. They have this marriage of 50-some years behind them, and it is a monument to success. A few weeks or months of illicit passion could not hold a candle to it.
If you imagine yourself in such a situation, where would you fit an affair in neatly? If you were 75, which would you rather have: years of steady if occasionally strained devotion, or something that looks a little bit like the Iraqi city of Fallujah, cratered with spent artillery?
From where I stand now, it all just looks like a cheap hotel room, whether you’re in that room to have an affair or to escape from the discovery of one.
And despite the sex and the excitement, or the drama and the fix of everyone’s empathetic attention, there is no view from this room that is worth having.
It is not a pleasant read, but it is a message we need to hear. Whomever you are, sin will always carry you farther than you intended to go, it will keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and it will cost you more than you ever planned to pay.