His Conviction

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, that a man has his father’s wife. But you are arrogant. Instead you should have mourned, so that he who has done this deed might be removed from among you.” 

The words of the apostle Paul played over and over in his mind. When he was in church that morning, he felt as if the minister was speaking directly to him as he gave his sermon about Judgment Against Immorality. His eyes darted over to where his father and his step-mother were sitting. His father was listening intently to the sermon and at times, glancing down at the open Bible on his lap. His gaze shifted to his step-mother. She seemed unperturbed. He glanced away when she suddenly turned her head and looked at him.

His face becoming crimson, he turned away and for the rest of the sermon, he kept his head straight, his eyes fixed on the minister. After the service was over, he got up and filed out. He didn’t stop to speak to anyone but headed straight to the parking lot. Instead of going the manor he went for a drive. He needed to clear his head. It was a beautiful, mild and sunny spring day. After parking his car, he walked for a bit through the meadow before he found a spot where he sat down.

Maybe he needed to hear that sermon today. Maybe it was God trying to get him to do the right thing–the decent thing–end his illicit affair with Sable. He must have been out of his mind to get involved with her in the first place. She was his father’s wife, for Pete’s sake. There are lines you just don’t cross and he had crossed that one. One look at her and he was hooked. He tried to fight his attraction for her but she didn’t make it easy for him. The affair began when he went for a walk on the moors and she just showed up. He tried to get her to leave, informing her that he wanted to be alone but she refused to go. Angrily, he had grabbed her by the arms to forcibly get her to leave but when he looked down into that lovely face, he lost his head. Pulling her roughly in his arms, he kissed her.

She wrapped her arms around his waist and kissed him back. Before he knew what was happening, they were lying naked in the grass, kissing wildly. After making love, they got dressed and walked back to the manor, neither of them saying a word. Guilt riddled him but not enough for him to stop the insanity. They frequently went to that spot on the moors for their trysts because it was too risky to do anything at the manor.

He thought of moving out of the manor and into a flat in London but she always managed to talk him out of it. “You can’t leave your job,” she told him. “You love it too much and besides, London is almost four hours from Yorkshire. We’ll only be able to see each other on the weekends and during the holidays. Is that what you really want, Layne?” Then, she would raise his shirt and cover his torso with kisses, driving him wild and weakening his resolve.

For three years, he and Sable had been lovers and during that time, he had tried rather unsuccessfully to end it. He even tried dating other women but it never worked out. He always ended up going back to Sable. No matter what he did, he couldn’t seem to get her out of his system. He couldn’t say no to her. She wore down his defenses every time. He was beginning to think that he had dug himself into a pit which he would never be able to get out of until today. The sermon today was his way out. All he had to do was be strong.

Now was as good a time to pray about it. He got up onto his knees, clasped his hands, closed his eyes and bowed his head. He had no idea how long he prayed for but when he was finished, he felt a peace he had never experienced before in his life. He stayed there for a little while longer and then he returned to his car.

As he drove off, he thought of what Jesus said when He spoke about adultery. Right after saying that if a man has already committed adultery when he looks at a woman with lust in his heart, He said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.Now, he understood what Jesus meant. He didn’t mean a person should literally dismember themselves. Sin was something that MUST be avoided at all costs. In other words, whatever caused a person to sin, it was that person’s responsibility to take drastic measures to get that thing out of his or her life.

In his situation, if moving out of the manor and Yorkshire would prevent him sinning against his father with Sable, then, that was what he was going to have to do. That would take care of the physical part but He would need God’s help to take care of the other part–his heart. It was in the heart where the sin was usually committed. A person committed adultery in the heart until an opportunity came presented itself making it possible for them to physically commit the act.

Yes, adultery was a very nasty business. It destroyed families, marriages, careers. It destroyed lives. He had been a weak fool allowing himself to be enticed into an adulterous affair with his father’s wife. He hated what he had been doing to his father who trusted him and Sable and he hated himself too. He wished he could hate Sable but he couldn’t. What he felt for her wasn’t love but infatuation fueled by lust. It was time for him to get over it.

Half-hour later, he pulled up on the graveled driveway, parked his car and alighted. He ran up the steps to the front entrance. He removed his coat as he made his way to his room. After closing the door, he quickly changed and then headed back downstairs.

He bumped into Sable who was on her way to the dining-room. “I thought I heard your car,” she said. “Did you just arrive?”

“Yes.”

“Where did you go after you left church?”

“I went for a drive.”

“Why?”

“I didn’t feel like coming straight home.”

“What’s the matter?” she asked.

“Nothing.”

“You’re acting strange.”

“Am I?”

“Layne…”

He moved his arm so that her hand fell to her side. “I’ve to go.”

She looked startled. “Go where?”

“Out.”

“Aren’t you going to join your father and me for lunch?”

“No.”

“Will you be gone long?”

“I won’t be home for dinner.”

“Why not?”

He didn’t answer.

“What about your father? What do I tell him?”

“Tell him that I’ve made other plans.”

“With whom?” she demanded jealously. “Another woman?”

“Maybe,” he retorted. “Don’t bother waiting up. I won’t be back for a while.” He walked past her and towards the front door.

She stood there, watching his retreating back, wondering why he was in such a bad mood. The door closed behind him and minutes later, she heard his car drive away. Where on earth was he off to now and why had he gone for a drive instead of coming straight home? Why was he acting so strange? Had something or someone upset him? Did he really have plans with another woman or did he infer to upset her? Why should he want to upset her? What could she have possibly done to make him want to do that?

After they had lunch, she had hoped that they would go for a walk on the moors and spend the rest of the afternoon at their favorite spot. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the sky was a clear blue. It was perfect Spring weather. And she couldn’t enjoy it with him because he had gone who knows where. It was all very vexing for her. What was she going to do now? How was she going to while away the afternoon? And what about this evening? How was she going to sit through dinner, wondering where he was and who he was with? Damn him!

“Lunch is ready, Madam,” Preston informed her.

Turning to face him, she said, “Thank you, Preston.”

“Is Master Layne going to be joining you and Mr. Wharton, Madam?”

“I’m afraid not, Preston. It will just be Mr. Wharton and me for lunch and dinner.”

“Very well, Madam.” He preceded her to the dining-room where her husband was waiting.

Source: Got Questions

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