Editorial note. This post is a guest post penned by my very good friend, Dan Williams. Dan has not only served as the preaching minister with the College Ave. Church of Christ in El Dorado, AR since the early 1980’s, but is a licensed family counselor with years of experience. I was privileged to serve across town from him from 1987-1993. He is one of a rare breed; he is “a minister’s minister.” I commend his thoughts to us all for our sharpening.
Gary Hart could well have been elected president back in 1988 – until he got caught in some “Monkey Business” and had to drop out of the race in disgrace.
John Edwards was a candidate for president during the 2004 and 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaigns – until it came to light that he was engaged in an affair while his wife Elizabeth was a cancer patient.
Elliot Spitzer was governor of New York and was being promoted as a presidential candidate for the next election – until the revelation that he was unfaithful to his wife by consorting with prostitutes.
Mark Sanford was governor of South Carolina and was considered a promising candidate for president in the next election cycle – until it became apparent that he was committing adultery with an Argentine “soul mate.”
Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, devoutly wants to be our next president, in spite of the trouble he has explaining why he dumped not one, but two, sick wives after beginning adulterous relationships. Now his campaign has imploded, in part because of tensions between his now-departed staff and his young “trophy wife.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger managed to limp out the last years of his second term as governor of California before it was revealed that he fathered a child with a housekeeper: now his marriage and his reputation are in tatters.
Anthony Weiner was widely expected to run in, and win, the next election for mayor of New York, until it came to light that he had conducted lewd textual relations with numerous women. He became the punch line for countless jokes and was forced out of Congress.
In a weird twist of fate, Bill Clinton conducted Eric Weiner’s wedding ceremony last July. Clinton, of course, almost lost his presidency back in 1999 when he was impeached, but not convicted, after his extramarital affairs became public knowledge.
So, what lesson are we supposed to take away from that dismal list? Is it:
a. If a politician is in town, you should lock up your wife?
b. Are some women especially attracted to men in positions of authority?
c. Does the arrogance of power lead office-holders to feel entitled and make them reckless?
d. Is the temptation of adultery so compelling that it leads men to sacrifice even their most cherished life goal?
All of those suggestions have some validity, but Jesus suggests another lesson: “There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17). An illicit affair thrives on the expectation that “We can keep it secret – no one will know.” As history has repeatedly demonstrated, however, the idea that adultery can be hidden is a fool’s dream.
Learn from the sad examples of so many once prominent, now disgraced men: keep your heart pure, your moral boundaries high, and your marriage strong. Remember: “A man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself” (Proverbs 6:32).