Approximately fifteen years ago, a very good friend of mine discovered her daughter was cheating on my friend’s son-in-law. The family was a strong Christian family and the daughter was taught Christian values. My friend was crushed. She was absolutely crushed.
During a conversation with my friend, she asked me, “What would make her do this?” My response was simple, “That is a great question. I’m so glad you are willing to ask it. Why not ask her?”
It is easy for us to see the guilty party and focus on how bad they are instead of asking what would make a good person do a terrible thing? Now, don’t panic. I realize our society doesn’t want to hear what makes an abused woman eventually kill her batterer or why neglected children choose a life of crime. It is so much easier to look at life through one lens – right or wrong. Our willingness to look through a multifaceted lens prompts us to ask, “Why?” Understanding “why” doesn’t change the past; it does, however, mold the future.
I am not condoning adultery. I am not saying people shouldn’t be held accountable for their crimes. I am simply encouraging us to understand that none of us wake up one day and say, “I’m ready to do something really off the wall just because I want to do it.” The Bible clearly says we all sin.
In the case of my friend, the marriage ended in divorce. It was eventually revealed during the divorce proceedings that the daughter hid a great deal from her family. The daughter tried everything to make the marriage work despite emotional neglect and multiple affairs by the husband. The daughter knew things weren’t good very early on in the marriage. She was both embarrassed that she had been played and she really believed she could push through the dysfunction to the “happily ever after” ending. The daughter believed the man she grew to love would eventually grow into the man she knew he could become.
What’s my point? There are times we need to ask, “Why,” instead of pointing at, “Who.” It’s not just a matter of there being two sides to every story. It’s an issue of time. In all our lives, there comes a point we say, “Enough!” The challenge is to say it before we fall into sin ourselves.