The Right To Choose

Feb 14, 2016

I know fear is from the devil. I know that worry is a spirit, so is anxiety. I don’t know how to feel right now. I’m not fearful or anxious or any of those emotions. I’m in-between contemplation and frustration.
There’s this idea that if a woman does certain things then she can “cheat-proof” her house; that her man will not stray only if she adheres to these things. And it frustrates me to read articles of men who cheat on their women, and even before I delve into the article to get the sordid details, my mind is already racing, speculating, and I end up bristling with annoyance and anger because almost immediately, the ideas about how to cheat-proof a relationship pop into my mind. It’s frustrating because most of these articles focus on what a woman can and should do in order to make sure that a man thinks twice (or doesn’t even entertain the thought) of straying: a woman has to be many things, but not too much that she leaves a man feeling inadequate. 
It’s a huge lie to say there is something that a person can do to keep another from cheating. The truth of the matter is everyone makes choices—good or bad. A good choice can maintain the strong foundation of a marriage and won’t be devastated that a kitchen cabinet is broken and needs fixing; a bad choice looks at that broken cabinet and chooses to bulldoze the entire house. And the choice that one makes lies with that individual solely. Everyone experiences environmental stresses. Maybe your boss is horrible. But you choose to stay employed, and not talk to human resources because you don’t want to either be unemployed or cause tension at work. You still choose. The power of choice is not taken away from you, even in those moments that you feel that, “I have no choice”; you always  have a choice. It may not be favorable to your current circumstances and you may perceive that you will suffer more if you made a certain choice rather than maintaining the circumstance that you are in, but at the end of the day, the choice rests in your hands. It never goes away. It’s an inherent right that is possessed by everyone on this Earth. 
It’s ludicrous to me to ever think that a man would think I can keep him from making a choice; that if I cook a certain way, or look a certain way, and be top of my career and be independent enough, and godly enough that I will keep him from straying. Personally, I do not want such a man. I don’t want childish reasoning. I don’t want someone who doesn’t critically think about the messages that exist in this world, and the messages that inundate him and seek to “supplement” his understanding of masculinity. I don’t want a man who thinks one-dimensionally, and does not have courage to express himself freely. Obviously courage is a trait that is challenging in some situations; but I want a human being who knows his environment; he knows himself and his responsibilities and will not make excuses for himself or his behavior. I want a man who is courageous and bold: a man who can stand up for himself; for his beliefs; a man willing to understand others and to show love, to show a love that doesn’t compromise, but a love that is based on truth and mercy.  But I digress.

Jesus came to Earth and exposed the wickedness in this world. He came and died for us so that our souls would not be damned to hell for eternity. He came and offered us a new life; one that can be lived with dignity; a life of peace, prosperity, of excellence. He offered us heaven in the midst of hell. He offered us something extraordinary. And in all of this, he still maintained our right to choose. He gave us the world on a silver platter, so to speak; but we still make choices that are harmful to ourselves, our health, our relationships with others, the environment, and ultimately our salvation. It’s arrogant to think that a human being can perform certain acts to keep you from making the choice to hurt that person, when we can’t even act right to be upright with God. If we can’t get it right with the one who Saves, how can we insolently proclaim that another human being can keep us from messing up?
Sometimes we begin to see issues as though they occur in a vacuum, or like they happen in the sky and suddenly descend upon us and cause irreparable chaos in our lives. But I believe almost always it’s our inability to recognize that someone expressed their God-given right to choose, and they chose something that hurt us, or something that we didn’t like. Or we like to make excuses about our environment, and how our environment  brought us so much dissatisfaction that we had no choice but to make the choice that we made. But we should never say that we don’t have a choice. It’s a cop out. It’s a way to not take responsibility; it’s a way to garner sympathy or empathy that one does not belong to you. And sometimes that’s what happens when people cheat on their significant other. A barrage of excuses are offered, instead of admitting that you didn’t want to put in work to change the things that were causing dissatisfaction. 
You can’t keep a person from cheating.
People choose to cheat.
Jesus died for us so we could live an abundant life. But we still choose a life contrary to paradise.
We need to stop lying to ourselves and to each other.

For The Sake of His Love

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