There was a time when a divorce would disqualify someone from public office. Now people admit affairs and expect to stay in office. "It's just sex," said defenders of Bill Clinton. One might as well say, "it was just a gun" that killed my spouse. Adultery wounds in ways a bullet cannot. One can potentially heal from a bullet wound, but a shot to the soul and to the trust that must be central to any marriage is nearly impossible to repair. The wounded spouse always wonders, "Will he/she do it again?"
A relationship most promise to venerate "until death us do part" is damaged by adultery, whether it's a TV evangelist, a politician or a regular Joe who violates the marriage bed. In fact, we rarely even use the word "adultery" anymore because it sounds so, uh, biblical, and those teachings and commands long ago fell out of fashion, though they work for those who embrace them.
Any man who claims never to have had thoughts of straying is a liar. Any man who has sought the help of God and other men in helping him to honor his marriage promises to his wife and children is a hero, especially in today's morally exhausted culture.
I miss Paul Harvey and his acknowledgement of those who had been married 50, 60, even 70 years. Those people are my role models. I'm sure they heard the voice, too, but they told it to get lost and it did. Pushing against weights builds up the body, pushing against the voice builds up the soul and improves a marriage. You can never take a marriage -- or the voice -- for granted; it's always on the prowl looking for new people to destroy.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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