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Today, I’m sharing a response to a post I wrote many months ago on adultery.

This response is written by Julia Minayeva:*

As I started reading Pastor Ed Taylor’s post, 7 Things to Consider Related to Pastors & Adultery,” my stomach started to turn in knots and my eyes welled up with hot tears. It was a scenario all too familiar, painted by just the sound of the word “adultery.” It’s hard to see men of God succumb to this sin, and it’s harder to watch the foundation of your own family crumbling to it. I pray that I would never repeat such destruction from my own hands, but I know the enemy’s twisted heart is that we would be enslaved to sin and carry out the very things we said we’d never do. It takes an alive relationship and intentional living in God’s Spirit to not live in our default flesh, where we can often continue generational sins, and validate the reality that “you too, may fall into the same sin” (1 Corinthians 10:12). These 7 things to consider gave me hope knowing I don’t have to be a product of sin, and I can choose to let God redirect my path away from evil destruction towards an empowered life. How can we stay strong against adultery? Although I’m not a pastor, I, too, took these to heart as a woman, a young adult, and a servant of God.

As a woman, these safeguards are just as important to keep our hearts pure. Men are more commonly known for engaging in pornography, yet more women are becoming enchained to this destructive act of lust (there is no trace of love in this). Even so, romantic movies and other ideas fed by our worldly media can water seeds of adultery. In today’s culture, even a lighthearted and innocent flick will cultivate infidelity within it. Enticing magazine headlines buzz with all sorts of affairs that normalize this mindset. Over time, we can become so desensitized to the reality of adultery – which has been wrapped up in a glamorous and scandalous Hollywood bow – that this sin becomes justifiable as it creeps into our hearts and minds. Women come to a place where they can excuse leaving their husbands because they were never really in love, or have now found their actual soul mate who understands them, or other reasons why they deserve to do what is right in their own eyes. We as women have just as much responsibility to protect ourselves from the schemes of the enemy that harm our hearts and relationships. If we truly knew what God created and intended love to be, we would not even entertain and settle for the crumbs the world has to give. Know that the love Christ has for us is one that GIVES life, while the world’s will always deceive us with instant joy and pleasure, but enslave us by the very things we thought would free us. What vast good could come out of a life more and more surrendered to God, the Author of love? What can we lose by giving ourselves more to Him, knowing that everything we give into His hands He breathes into with His breath of life?

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (in abundance, overflowing, in excess).” (John 10:10)

As a young adult, taking these safeguards seriously can be “extreme, spiritual, and simply not culturally acceptable.” It’s easier to be in the gray area, where we can be politically correct and tolerant. We live in a time where many pastors aren’t, in fact, disqualified by adulterous and lifestyle sins, but instead are excused because, “Why would one man’s sin be greater than another’s?” My question is, why would we conclude to allow them both? Especially because in allowing sin, we allow the kingdom of death to continue to reign in our lives? Living a compromised life cannot lead to God’s blessing, simply because the blessing of God’s presence cannot be present where He is not. Again, God’s heart will lead to life and to love, and without Him we live by the enemy’s destructive regime. Contrary to the culture in our generation, this is why we cannot feed impure thoughts, date as the world does, or live together before marriage without thinking it will harm us and our future relationships. His presence is what brings about true life, freedom, and love in our lives. Ways of worldly living are not of His heart and not done in His presence. As Christ’s disciples, we’re not called to follow the ways of the culturally acceptable world, or to live a lifestyle in the flesh, but we are called to live in His Spirit.

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. … In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” Romans 6:6-8,11-12

As a servant of God, regardless if I’m a pastor, these safeguards are by no means extra rules for only the most spiritual Christians, but by His Spirit, they become applications we can place in our hearts that we may have fellowship with Love Himself. You may say living in the Spirit is necessary for a pastor or a leader, but don’t forget that YOU are the church, God’s chosen people with a calling for your specific life. So let us guard ourselves that we may not be derailed from our callings. Adultery will not only derail pastoral callings, but it will also derail you from your ministry calling where God has you as a single, married, young adult, or parent, but above all, a follower of God. I’m sure you have already seen Satan’s hand trying to disrupt the path God has put before you. Let us not be deceived to trade in these precious callings for lies to entertain temporary pleasures. Although you may say you can handle a little compromise because “it’s your life, or it’s your hidden sin,” know that sin never affects just you, but will very much cause pain to those closest to you: those you once vowed you would always protect and love.

May we examine our hearts and uproot these seeds of destruction for what they are now, that we may not end up in a place distant from God’s heart. Whatever your stage in life may be, ask yourself, “What is the cost of my freedom?” If we use freedom to feed guilty pleasures and thoughts at the risk of destructive seeds growing in our hearts, is it worth it? Is using our freedom to walk in the ways of the culture and not the wisdom of God worth reaping the years of an abusive relationship? Is feeding our carnality for a season worth the torment of a mind and body enslaved to lust and fleshly addiction? Jesus emptied Himself of glory to come down and pay the cost of our sins, that He would set us free to walk in an abundant life and to know Love (John 17:26). And this is hope to those suffering any consequences today – that it’s never too late for Jesus to take the burden and bring the restoration and healing found in His presence.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to induce the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love … Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 5:13, 6:7-9

Consider these 7 safeguards and apply His word to your hearts and minds. Let God bring his light into the dark crevices found within (Psalm 90:8). These destructive seeds of adultery and other sins are often overlooked for their seemingly small size, yet they grow into a powerful avenue for Satan to wreck our lives – as he is ever eager in doing. Is it not worth it to protect your future husband or wife? To spare your kids heartache and a lifetime of struggle? But above all, to ultimately share in God’s perfect and pure love that leads to the abundant life He has for you in Him? I couldn’t think of anything more worth it.

Julia Minayeva

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