Andrée Seu Peterson: You were available

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, June 25th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. The seventh commandment forbids adultery. It’s designed to help us.

Andree Seu Peterson now on how women—in particular—fool themselves.

ANDRÉE SEU PETERSON, COMMENTATOR: Where people go wrong is that they think they are unique. I’m convinced of it. No one ever responded to the attentions of an illicit pursuer without thinking their affair was a special case that soared above the laws applying to other mortals.

I speak to women. Men are a different species. On an old Prairie Home Companion radio skit a man and woman are on a date and one of them mentions that it’s been six months since they first met. Then they both sit in silence while driving, and we’re privy to the woman’s thoughts as she assumes that her companion is, like she, thinking how romantic it all is that out of all the people on the earth they should have come together six months ago.

In reality his mind has gone off a quite different direction: “6 months,” he thinks. “Time to get an oil change.”

I say nothing but what Genesis predicted. Men are not relationship-driven in quite the same way as women. Men are all about John Deere and tinkering in the garage. Call me a sexist but your quarrel is with Scripture. “Your desire shall be for your husband,” the Lord says in Genesis 3:16. With the man he discusses hassles at work, in verses 17 to 19.

Every woman contemplating an affair should take a field trip to a men’s locker room. In that inner ant-sanctum she would learn that affairs are not the same for him as for her. He is not wont, between furtive passionate episodes, to congregate with friends over latte, there to sigh and dream and mewl. You will find him in undistracted concentration on the company’s quarterly financial report, studying the Eagles’ stats, or perfecting his golf swing.

Knowledge by women of this one fact alone could obviate more incidents of adultery than a dozen fire-and-brimstone sermons.

Self-flattery is the culprit. Would it help you to see, oh woman caught in defiling trysts, just how interchangeable you are for him? You were available, that’s all. You work in the next cubicle, that’s all. If it hadn’t been you it would have been another one.

Men do not generally have affairs because you are their long sought mystical “other half.” Hello! These Romeos are not looking for more relationship, they’re looking for less; they’re looking to escape the hard work of the gritty, daily, time-consuming, sometimes unrewarding back-and-forth of marriage. He finds wearisome the job of living with his partner in “an understanding way”—as 1st Peter says to do.

The wise woman and man will heed these words from Paul ˛: “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment…” – Romans 12:3.

It will help next time somebody decides to  flirts with you.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Andrée Seu Peterson.

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