My dad loved to pass down little nuggets of wisdom when I was a child. “If you’re ever tempted to smoke cigarettes (he often said), you may as well set fire to some cash and then hit yourself with a hammer.” In other words, it is a waste of money and harmful to your health. His perspective certainly makes it easier to denounce a smoking habit.
But before mocking the wisdom of smokers, we must realize that we’re making an equally foolish move each time we sin against our spouses who are, in essence, “our other half”. The Bible describes the purpose of marriage in Genesis 2:24 as leaving, cleaving, and becoming one flesh. This isn’t simply referring to intimacy — though I’m sure many husbands would be fine with that interpretation…
Marriage always involves the merger of two sinners into one new entity. A God-glorifying marriage will be a man and wife who act with one heart and one mind, just as demonstrated in the Trinity. The very act of marriage involves making a lifelong covenant before God and for God – a permanent relationship where two become one and commit to sharing life through good times, bad times, sickness, poverty, pleasure, successes and failures. We no longer live with only ourselves in mind.
In a very unique way, marriage can display God’s glory like no other union can. Chris Mueller’s recent sermon really sharpened my perspective on relationships as he challenged me to think beyond imitating the character traits of Christ, but work at emulating the relationships within the Trinity…honoring, serving, submitting, and loving one another.
When we sin against our spouses (e.g., failing to forgive them, withholding encouragement, putting them down, deceiving them, manipulating them, responding in anger, pushing the sensitive buttons that we know so well, etc), we are doing self-inflicted harm. Acts like these hinder the unity that God desires for our marriages.
So the next time you’re tempted to sin against your other half, see it for what it is. Rather than hit yourself with a hammer (or making your spouse want to throw one at you), prayerfully depend on Christ and God’s Word as He Himself did in Matthew 4.