The Public Face of Private Sin

Sin is never isolated and it never affects only the sinner. If there is one thing for sure and for certain it is that individual sin reaches far and wide into families. Much like the rings that emanate from a pebble tossed into a still pool of water, the ripple effects of the sin of one person affect many other people.We see this pattern in Scripture (Rom 5:12) where one man sinned and it affected the whole world

We don't tend to think of our clandestine and private sins in that manner. Our deceitful hearts convince us that "no one will know" or that we are not hurting anyone else by what we do in secret but in reality nothing is further from the truth.

When a man or woman views pornography they are on some level affecting their spouse. Their thought life becomes perverted, their desires turn toward unholy things, and the Spirit-life within them is dulled so they no longer desire to fellowship with God. These consequences affect marriage on numerous levels outside of the bedroom! Communication is stunted, relationships suffer, tempers flare; all because of a sin "that won't hurt anyone."

When a woman lies about spending or money, hiding purchases or having credit card bills sent to other addresses (yes, this is done all the time!) she may deceive herself into believing that it is better than having constant fights with her husband over money or worrying him about the budget. This is also revealing the foolishness of the heart. Obviously how money is spent does affect the whole family! Everything from bill paying to food purchases is affected on a practical level, and those important relationships are affected because secrets are a fertile breeding ground for sin! One lie leads to another lie that leads to omission of truth that leads to ongoing deception. There is no openness or oneness in such relationships.

Couples that decide to live together before marriage also think that what they are doing won't hurt anyone. If this is true, then why do many hide the fact? In Christian and other religious families it is particularly devastating when it is learned that children have forsaken all the morals and values they were raised with to shack up before marriage. It ruins trust and calls into question the true regeneration of our kids when they so blatantly disregard Scripture.

Additionally, living together before marriage has long lasting consequences on that marriage. God will not be mocked, and pretending to be married and living as though you are will bring tragic and heartbreaking results to your relationship. A lack of trust, disrespect, a lack of oneness, poor communication, a lack of desire for intimacy on the part of the woman and more sorrowful consequences than this particular post is intended to list.

Becoming involved with an unbeliever also will affect entire families. Even though the disobedient Christian will bear the most direct results of this sin (2 Cor 6:14) others are also hurt by this relationship. When a believing child decides to disregard Scripture and marry an unbeliever it causes strife within the family, heartache for the parents, and separates siblings. If and when the marriage crumbles the children suffer as their parents split up and split them up through divorce.

While sin can take place in private its affects are far reaching and often tragic. Never be so foolish to think that your sin does not hurt anyone else.