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02(Exodus 20) 7th Commandment

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SAN DIEGO: an 18 yr old bull rider who was kicked & trampled by 2300 lb Brahma bull during a 9/18 rodeo has died from his injuries, hospital officials said.

Paul Coronado died Tuesday at Sharp Memorial Hospital. He had been unconscious and in critical condition since being trampled during the Lakeside Rodeo. Coronado had been competing professionally in rodeos for only a few months since graduating from El Capitan High School in June.

Ever seen a rider hanging for dear life onto the back of a Brahma bull? When that bull swings the rider off, instincts tell him to run. Sometimes, he leaps onto and over the fence. He’s mighty glad that fence is there to separate him from 2000 lbs of raging bull.

Young Paul Coronado might have wished fervently for a fence between him and that bull seconds before, but it all happened too quickly.

Why should a cowboy love a fence? Because the fence isn’t there to restrict and restrain the rider, it is there to restrain the bull. That’s what God’s commandments do for us; they protect us.

(Read 7th commandment)

In our fallen state we don’t like commands. We see a door that says do not enter and we want to enter it, just to see. We don’t like the apparent restriction.

In The Magician’s Nephew, one of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia classics, two English children, Digory and Polly, are presented with dilemma while exploring strange, ancient world. A beautiful golden bell; next to it is a tiny golden hammer. Below a sign, vague and then comes into focus:

Make you choice, adventurous Stranger:

Strike the bell and bide the danger,

Or wonder, till it drives you mad,

What would have followed if you had.

Polly shrinks away, wants to go home. Before she can stop him, Digory strikes the bell. Makes a sweet sound, but instead of fading, it grows louder, louder. Defeaning, the reverberation collapses walls and buildings, they barely escape with their lives. Through the circumstances that result, Digory’s impulsive decision brings tragedy beyond anything he could have imagined.

Proverbs 6:32-35 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul. 33 Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy is a husband's fury; Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He will accept no recompense, nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts. NKJV

I. Attacking the foundations.

A.    Marriage is a covenant, a mutual promise before God.

1)    Your vow is basis of marriage in God's eyes, not sex.

a)    However, sex is one of the greatest glues for intimacy.

b)    It involves vulnerability and trust.

c)     This is reason God confines it to marriage.

B.    Adultery breaks that bond.

1)    Even non-religious people realize this.

2)    Not just violation of an oath, but of another person.

a) Destruction comes not only from the act but the deceit.

b) Every adulterer tries to cover it up.

According to Atlanta psychologist Dr. Frank Pittman, "People get into these (situations) not because they met somebody 'wonderful,' because somebody wonderful is not messing around with married people. They fall in love as a way of running away from a life that is too real for them.

C. Adultery is a great sin.

1) It causes tremendous agony.

a) It is not glamorous, as Hollywood implies.

b) Everybody loses.

1> Note emotions in Proverbs 6:32-35.

2) Adultery never solves problems.

A few years ago a researcher named Linda Wolfe wrote a book on infidelity in marriage. She interviewed 66 women and found that 21 of them were having affairs to preserve their marriage. Five years later the author checked up on them to see if it worked. Only 3 out of 21 were still married- fully 81% were divorced.

II. Five practical steps for protecting your marriage.

A.    If single, only marry a Christian. God commands it in 2 Corinthians 6:14.

The June 1990 issue of "Good Housekeeping" had an article called "Faithful Attraction" by Andrew Greeley. He went over current research and found that religiously mixed homes were less likely to say they were happily married by 7 percentage points. Such marriages showed more strain and conflicts over children, hurting the effectiveness of the relationship.

B. Center your married life on Christ.

1)    Make spiritual growth a priority.

a)    Seek practical help from the Bible.

b)    Seek out Christians you respect and find out their secrets for happiness.

2)    Let God mold you into a spiritual person and spouse.

What area of life is the most important for determining a successful marriage?

You may be surprised to know it is religion. Andrew Greeley notes that prayer is a more powerful predictor of satisfaction in marriage than frequency of intimate

32% of American spouses pray together often, and 75% who do so report their marriage is very happy (as opposed to 57%who don't pray as often).

70% of those who attend church regularly (as compared to 57% who don't) are very happy.

The fact that prayer, church attendance, and an interest in the Lord's work are a key for a happy home are not just preacher talk. They are solid facts that must not be ignored by any husband, wife, or young person.

C. Make your spouse a priority.

1)    Communicate openly and frequently.

2)    Continue courtship.

a)    Romance shouldn't end with "I do."

b)    (Bridges of Madison County - adultery begins with intimacy for a neglected woman.)

D. Meet your partner's sexual needs.

1)    To see what a priority it is in the Bible, read the Song of Solomon.

a)    Apostle Paul even commands couples not to abstain.

2)    Then they will have no desire to look elsewhere.

3)    Requires sensitivity to whole of life and marriage.

E. Avoid relationships that might tempt you.

1)    Be sexually pure before marriage so you won't have comparisons.

2)    Avoid intimate situations with those you are attracted to.

III. Adultery is not the unpardonable sin.

A.    God's grace is greater than your sin.

1)    Jesus can forgive you.

2)    He didn't condemn adulterous woman.

3)    He did tell her to sin no more.

B. Spouses may not be as forgiving.

1) But it does happen, and often.

IV. God wants to liberate us.

A. The seventh commandment is given for our good.

B. Sex is not the ultimate answer to our needs.  God is.

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