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The 7th Commandment...

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CaptainRogers posted 10/11/2020 14:40 PM

This is the week. The week of preparation for our Adult Sunday school class. I've been the "even" guy, but next week, my teaching partner is out of town, so I get to teach "Do not commit adultery."

This isn't a canned curriculum that we are using. I get to write the lesson all on my own. There's some fun research!

Today, my wife learned for the first time that I'm teaching the class, not just sitting in. She thought that, since I had the evens, I would be sitting through the class as a participant. Today, I got to tell her that no, I am teaching next week as my partner is out of town.

So, although I didn't think that this far out I would be feeling the stress of planning the class...well, I am. I know that I'll be able to "get through" teaching it. I've been on panels that have discussed marriage issues and infidelity has been a topic. I know how to switch into teacher mode and then let it all out after class.

But, boy am I feeling the stress of playing the lesson.

Thanks for listening to the stream of consciousness. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

HFSSC posted 10/11/2020 15:43 PM

Please note: I know that not everyone believes the same thing and I’m not inviting debate on the merits of religion or faith. This was and is my experience. YMMV and probably will.

When JM and I first separated, I was teaching our SS class. And the entire month of lessons was from the book of Hosea. I was FURIOUS. I went to my pastor and said, “I can’t teach this.” He said, “Yes, you can.” I said, “Well, I won’t do it.” And he said, “You can and you will. Because you made a commitment to God and to this church to teach.” He went on to say that nothing about my situation was a surprise to God.

Oh, how I grumbled through that month. But one Sunday as I was talking about Hosea’s wife, I realized I was no better than her. Which led me to a place where I knew I was no better than my H. That moment was the key to opening my heart to the possibility of R.

I know you’re at a much different place in your R than I was at that time. But I hope that this will be something that brings you closer together as you consider the impossibility of righteousness under the Law and the miracles of grace and redemption.

CaptainRogers posted 10/11/2020 16:01 PM

I've had more than one opportunity to see where I was to teach on something that was the perfect subject at the perfect time. More than once, I couldn't have put everything like that together if I tried (which is why I'm not in charge of things like that 😄.

Just wasn't quite expecting the stress to sit on my shoulders as heavily as it is. But, I don't have broad shoulders for nothing...

Can't imagine having to teach through Hosea, though. Woof!

[This message edited by CaptainRogers at 4:02 PM, October 11th (Sunday)]

Thumos posted 10/11/2020 16:19 PM

I hope you will be blunt and unvarnished - speak truth and let people know that adultery is abuse.

CaptainRogers posted 10/11/2020 16:41 PM

There is certainly the unvarnished aspect of adultery and not allowing the "shades of gray" parts. Thus far, I have moved more to discussing what marriage is supposed to be/represent and how adultery "unpaints" that picture.

Justsomeguy posted 10/11/2020 17:29 PM

Yup. I use to teach a short story called "The Painted Door". Spoiler, the husband finds his wife in bed with another man and kills himself. I leave that one off the syllabus now.

CaptainRogers posted 10/11/2020 17:41 PM

Certainly understand why, JSG.

Mindjob posted 10/11/2020 22:42 PM

Noting quite like personal experience to gain a bit of perspective on the love of God, eh?

"For even when we were yet enemies..."

CaptainRogers posted 10/12/2020 01:57 AM

Amen, my brother! Amen indeed!

Good to hear from you, Mindjob! How you doing, my friend?

WilliamM posted 10/12/2020 10:01 AM

I bet this will be one of your best teachings. How has your wife reacted since she learned you will teach this clash?

Unhinged posted 10/12/2020 10:22 AM

Thou shalt not commit adultery and here's why!

If it were me, I think I'd talk about my own journey. I'm absolutely certain that such a degree of vulnerability would be frightening. On the other hand, nothing speaks like experience. You know? You can't fake your way through this shit.

Plan the lesson? Brother, you've been planning this lesson for nearly three years. Think of the lessons you've learned here and the wisdom you've gained.

Maybe the "stress sitting on your shoulders" is the fear that teaching this class is going to be a mini-vacation in Triggersville. At least, I'm sure it would be for me.

So, let's break this down. How many lessons do you have? Nightly? Twice a week?

What does infidelity do to the wayward?
What does infidelity do to the betrayed?
How does it affect the family?
How does it affect one's relationship with G-d?

[This message edited by Unhinged at 10:23 AM, October 12th (Monday)]

Thumos posted 10/12/2020 10:55 AM

After justsomeguy posted about “the painted door” I read the story. I had never read this one. It describes almost perfectly the wayward thought process, the false narrative she has concocted (expecting her husband to read her mind) and the intellectual laziness and selfish need for ego kibbles that allows her to sin.

The WW realizes too late with dawning horror what she has done. It also describes the steady faithfulness of a good man she took for granted, as well as the “insolent” nature of the WW’s AP who is perfectly content to come into their home and defile it.

I’m not the “plodding” rancher described in the story as the betrayed husband, but in many respects I felt I could relate to this metaphorical story.

I’ve talked elsewhere about how adultery is abuse and akin to a form of rape. In some ways I think it’s a soul murder too. BS’s can heal and get out mojo back but for a time it feels as if our WS has murdered our heart and soul.

This story did a good job of portraying the compound abusive nature of adultery — as well as the intentionality of the WW.

[This message edited by Thumos at 10:56 AM, October 12th (Monday)]

Westway posted 10/12/2020 12:24 PM


Yup. I use to teach a short story called "The Painted Door". Spoiler, the husband finds his wife in bed with another man and kills himself. I leave that one off the syllabus now.

I remember that short story from college, by Sinclair Ross. I did a report on it. Very sad tale. I think they made a short film from it too.

[This message edited by Westway at 12:26 PM, October 12th (Monday)]

sisoon posted 10/12/2020 13:04 PM

I think I understand being stressed by this, CR.

Experience is the best teacher ... but exactly how can you best use your experience? How will you keep yourself from saying what you don't want to say? Or is what you don't want to say exactly what you need to say and what the class needs to hear?

It's not your shoulders that will get you through this, but you know that.

Next Sunday could be a peak experience for you and the attendees. I wish you the best.

CaptainRogers posted 10/12/2020 13:24 PM

Her response has been supportive, if not a little timid. Her initial reaction was "Ohh...so you're teaching it...you going to be OK?" and that's been it. Didn't expect a lot more since she had just gotten back from a week-long trip with most of the kids to see her family.

Two parts of craziness to this lesson:

A. It's a single, 45-minute lesson
2. No one in this class knows about the past (nearly) 4 years

The biggest pieces I'm going to hit on are why the prescribed "penalty" in the OT was death (basically, why was adultery considered a capital offense) and how has it increased in society in the last 100 years & what has been the result?

So, most of those questions, Unhinged, will get answered in that 45 minutes, as well as the question of how does infidelity depict the Church?

There will certainly be things that aren't shied away from, including the statistics from Barna that say infidelity is just as present inside the church as it is outside the church. I thought about doing the whole "look to your left - look to your right" thing to then go with "statistically speaking, two of the three of you have been affected by infidelity in some way".

That should get people thinking!

HouseOfPlane posted 10/12/2020 14:39 PM

If you teach it with a focus on those who get caught, or what happens when you get caught, then you are teaching to the minority audience. Because the majority of adulterers never get caught and they take it to the grave.

I thought about doing the whole "look to your left - look to your right" thing to then go with "statistically speaking, two of the three of you have been affected by infidelity in some way".

Or you could just pick a story line from here (not your own) and use it as a case study. Maybe 2-3 of them, highlighting a couple of aspects. Include one with a religious figure.

Thumos posted 10/12/2020 15:22 PM

You could talk about what happens when a WS doesn’t get caught and takes it to the grave and the poison it invites into families nonetheless.

CaptainRogers posted 10/12/2020 15:52 PM

This is why I need a month of Sundays for this topic. Woooo!

Thissucks5678 posted 10/13/2020 07:46 AM

One thing that might be nice for people to hear/learn is how hard it is for the people going through it. I have a male acquaintance who is going through it and my WH and I are pretty close with one of his best friends. The friend we are close with knows about me but still struggles to be empathetic with his best friend. He wants him to just get over it and move on and doesn’t want to hear about it anymore. Normally this guy is very empathetic, but when it comes to infidelity, he’s very lacking.

I don’t know how you could incorporate that into your lesson, just a thought I had. I know how lonely it can be when dday first hits and people around you just don’t get it. Good luck with your class.

HouseOfPlane posted 10/13/2020 08:26 AM

That's a good idea...teach a course on how to help someone get through it. You're not in their face accusing them of it, just explaining that when their relative or neighbor encounters it, this is what they are going through and what you need to do to help. The subliminal message of don't do it yourself will come through too.

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