The subject of infidelity is a hot one. It is an issue that touches the society in more ways than one and we are all affected in one way or the other. It is the subject of movies, jokes, and both radio and TV programs. But as a thorny moral issue, it is bigger than we think and has deeper roots than you would imagine.
It is simply defined as the ‘quality of being unfaithful’. The most basic definition of the word unfaithfulness is; “not true to duty, obligation, or promises”. This is a character definition in that it signifies a person’s nature being expressed, whether it is momentary trait or a permanent one. The definitions stretch further; “having the character of a traitor” and “not trustworthy”. Easily the most common definition, especially in the current generation, is the one that touches on our romantic relationships; “having relations with someone (including sexual) other than your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend”. Therefore, infidelity and unfaithfulness are perfectly interchangeable terms.
We must appreciate the fact that unfaithfulness or infidelity is a character trait and lies deep within, whether it is momentarily exercised or is evoked as a ‘usual’ pattern. It simply manifests itself through one’s persona and in various other forms. We often suppose Infidelity [cheating on our partner] and the attendant actions as the most pronounced and most common manifestations. However, neglecting or absconding from your duties and obligations is also a form of infidelity. This is actually the most common manifestation of infidelity or unfaithfulness owing to the fact that it is more prevalent in everyday life and exercised by more people.
Are we inherently unfaithful?
A research is not necessary for one to see this massive scale of infidelity; look at the present army of shirkers, the widespread hedonism [pursuit of ease and pleasure] that is the characteristic of our lot, the lackadaisical fashion in which we carry out our duties, the deliberate slackness and sloppiness in executing the tasks at hand, or the readiness to breach agreements. All these are in fact more pronounced manifestations of infidelity and unfaithfulness.
You would think that even an association with a higher power or with God would be sufficient motivation for faithfulness or fidelity, but alas! Christians and children of God have in fact bloodier hands when it comes to fidelity to God. This weekend, my devotion was on the subject of lovers, as seen from the book of Songs of Solomon [See songs of songs 3:1-5]. It is a depiction of the relationship between man and God. Instead of getting a sense of encouragement, I ended up hearing the admonishing voice of God. We cheat on God more often than we can acknowledge. It is a sweet analogy but sadly, it is only beheld in the face of expected blessing or anticipated gain, but not in the perspective of commitment and fidelity.
This may sound like a lashing whip from a duke on his high-horse to you but consider God’s own take on the matter in that, He thought of His people as having a special kind of infidelity or unfaithfulness. He was not referring to the degree, but rather something worse. He was referring to a strange and appalling kind that was even uncommon at the time. This was evinced through one of the not-so-popular prophet at the time [See Ezekiel 16:30-34] .
Perhaps we are all predisposed in some way to infidelity. I do not have any evidence of any such conclusion, and indeed I am not making it. Its prevalence however speaks for itself. But in any case, this is one of the many reasons we ought to be born again. We need a new nature and our old nature is no good. It is totally unacceptable in heaven and everyone who is not born again should make it their top most priority to get this newness of life. And it is a simple process.