You’ve heard it many times, many ways: “Avoid sexual immorality.” “Don’t engage in sex outside of marriage.” “Be faithful to your spouse.”
Don’t get me wrong; I believe this is great advice, but few people I have encountered know why this is one of the best choices you will ever make. We have been told, or believe in our hearts, that sexual faithfulness is important because:
- Sex outside of marriage is bad.
- It is evil to be intimate with anyone but your spouse.
- We will stand guilty before God.
- It makes God mad.
- We will get a disease if we don’t remain faithful.
But what’s the real reason you’re supposed to be faithful to your spouse?
It’s Not About Guilt
The Bible presents a much bigger motivation for being faithful to your spouse than any of these guilt-driven reasons
“‘And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. The man who hates and divorces his wife,’ says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘does violence to the one he should protect,’ says the Lord Almighty.” —Malachi 2:15-16
Based on this passage, we know that God has two reasons for making a commitment to marital fidelity.
A Legacy You Can Be Proud Of
First and foremost, God is seeking “godly offspring.” Most of the guys I have met interpret this as, “If I mess up, my kids will mess up and my family is going to be a mess.” This is not what God is trying to convey here. He is trying to remind his people that we are inherently powerful in our influence. We are all creating a family legacy that automatically reaches three or four generations ahead in the future. The decisions we make today will produce ripples in the future that make our kids and grandkids stronger.
It is like revving up the engine in a powerful automobile. None of us would think to invest in an expensive, powerful automobile and then beat it up with reckless driving. It is the same with our intimate decisions. When we set the bar high for ourselves, it sets a trend for our kids and grandkids that helps them live more powerful lives.
Protecting The Ones You Love Most
God also wants us to understand that infidelity “does violence to the one he should protect.” Everyone in your family believes you are committed to them with a deep and courageous love. Your faithfulness confirms what they already believe is true about you. Unfaithfulness shatters their natural conclusion and wounds their hearts.
One of the ways to protect your whole family is to faithfully love your spouse. As part of your strategy for building your family legacy, consider these steps that will solidify your marital faithfulness:
- Remind yourself you are a powerful influence on your family.
- Ask yourself daily: “How can I protect my spouse’s heart, spirit and body today?”
- Before you make any intimate choice in your life, ask yourself if you would encourage your grandkids to do the same thing.
- Thank God that he wants to partner with you to construct a godly legacy.
A commitment to faithfulness will thrill your husband’s or wife’s heart and it will empower your kids and grandkids!
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