As the healing process proceeds, Hannah and I continue to peel away at this situation and learn from it. One thing I have discerned is this:
Pleasure is the idol of many.
Unfaithfulness is a product of the underlying lie that we all buy into, which says that pleasure brings joy. This is not the case. In the bible, we find that the richest and most pleasured man, King Solomon, is burdened tragically by his pursuit for fulfillment. In fact, 1st kings 11:3-4 shows us that Solomon’s accrual of lovers destroys him. Solomon’s book of wisdom, Ecclesiastes, is basically a collection of Solomon’s musings over the vanity of pleasure and wealth.
It seems so incredibly easy to outsource what the bible says about the rich, because every time we read it, we assume that the writer is referring to the guy who is slightly richer than us… But pleasure is another story. Pleasure is the common idol of all mankind. (1 john 2:16-17)
Look at downtown on a weekend night. Men and women alike congregate for the sole purpose of flaunting their best facade for the purposes of finding a mate, or a worshipper. It’s like a zoo. It is a sophisticated portrait of the animal kingdom—men overstate their masculinity, and women manufacture superficial sexuality in appearance and action.
Pleasure. It's the pursuit of pleasure.
Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines-- in other words; he could have sex with a different woman every day for 2.7 years without repeating one. This is the hyperbole of our world's manic pursuit for sexual fulfillment, and we see above that the outcome is grim. Let this be a deafening warning to our society which pines for fulfillment through physical touch.
Solomon knew opulence that we can only dream of, and he stood in esteem above more women than we can imagine. And yet, he was miserable. This is the misery of kings. We are hypnotized by the delusion that pleasure brings fulfillment. Sometimes it almost seems that prosperity has a toxic effect on a man’s heart. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that America has one of the highest standards of living and the highest rate of depression.
We are being destroyed by our drive for fulfillment, like a glutton eating himself into an early grave. Sexual promiscuity is incinerating the leaders of tomorrow alive. Pornography is fracturing the church. Illicit relationships are mocking the covenant of marriage relentlessly.
We are being engulfed in the fire of self fulfillment.
Take a step back and evaluate where pleasure falls in the priority list of your life. True joy is found in God, and not in the fleeting luxuries of this world.