lunes, 10 de septiembre de 2007

Fines to Unfaithful Colombians

The News:
Colombians that after got married seek to have an affaire should think it twice, because could be expensive if a legislative proposal advances in Congress… Senator Edgar Espindola presented a government bill that seeks to punish with fines and common sanctions to unfaithful spouses, in order to recuperate marriage values and to avoid broken homes that affect children. "I aspire that… this project will motivate to a great reflection to everybody… of the importance of marriage, of the importance of home, of the importance of family"… The project contemplates fines of… about four thousand dollars, to the passionate lawbreaker … Also it would be sanctions as working during weekends in social homes of abandoned children and in rest clinics where find help those who have been affected by a loving treason… Espindola said that persons affected will be able to denounce their unfaithful couples with evidences such as photographs… But the legislator considered that offenders will be able to escape from punishment if they are forgiven by their spouse. (

Perhaps I shouldn’t be asking irrelevant questions in this case because could lead to a morbid situation, but there is a couple of them that I can’t resist. Please promise not to get distracted from the central point that is the criticism of adultery. Who pays the four thousand dollars? Because there isn’t a single lawbreaker, but two. Half and half? How much it would remain to the victim (after paying the detective that obtained the photos, the lawyer that presented the case, the therapist, and other expenses incurred during the process)? I doubt that would remain any quantity at all.

The idea is praiseworthy (to protect the marriage), but I’m not sure about the way to do it. Fines for the adulterer! Although the quantity can be substantial for the medium citizen, the format degrades the concept of the marital union. Let’s consider the case of Roberto (a married Colombian citizen with Mary) that is being attracted by Lily (a secretary at his office). Mary at the house calls Roberto’s attention toward the economic needs of the home, the conflicts with the small children, bad attitudes of the teenager, etc. Mary loves Roberto, but the pressures at home, the excess activities, the conflicts with the family, the lack of a proper budget for new clothes, etc.., make her not to dress beautifully for Roberto when he arrives from work every night. On the other hand, the young Lily arrives at the office every day with a perfect make-up, provocatively dressed, nicely scented and with a smile in the lips that betrays the natural lack of worries among single people.

Roberto begins to elaborate ideas of adultery. His attentions to the young Lily make her turn her head toward him. Having lived many years with Mary, Roberto knows some aspects that can impress women and employs them "only" to see how the young lady responds. One good day, Roberto it’s onthe brink to complete the adultery. And what has he in mind?

First, that he should be sufficiently smart not to be discovered. That is, he should plan everything carefully (although we already saw in a previous delivery that is very complicated to hide an affaire: "Florist Betrays Unfaithful Husband").

Second, what would be the consequences of his actions? If he doesn’t have a good knowledge of God, which seems feasible upon having arrived to this point, the only consideration remaining is if he would be able to pay the fine, that is, a mere economic thought.

And that’s the risk, to reduce the matter of a sin to God to a material issue measured in dollars. It shouldn’t work like that. The fear of God is priceless. Yes I know that the last phrase sounds like the famous promotional credit card campaign:

"Adultery: $4,000 dollars,
"fornication: $3,000 dollars,
"lust: $1,000 dollars,
"gluttony: $500 dollars, etc.."

We simply can’t establish a scale of prices.

What Does the Bible Says:
Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.

(John 8:3-11)

Note that Jesus didn’t say: "Pay four thousand silver coins!" He didn’t come to abrogate the Law, but to fulfill it.

According to the news "… offenders will be able to escape from punishment if they are forgiven by their spouse." I love this part, but it’s incomplete. It should add: after being repented and being forgiven by Jesus. Only Jesus is able to restore a damaged marriage. It would be better of course if we add Jesus to the marriage on time. A marriage with Jesus has more probabilities to be stable, to last, and to be happy. Though divorces among Christian marriages exist, those tend to be the exception, as are also the exception the happy marriages among couples that have not invited Jesus to their lives.

If you are married, don’t try to prove that your marriage is one of those few that can survive without Jesus. Go for sure and invite Him to your life!

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