Suggested Reading: Proverbs 30:15-20
In the classic family movie, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the climax of the movie occurs in a bowl of cereal. The kids, who had been shrunk and then accidentally tossed out with the garbage, have managed to work their way all the way back to the house and one boy, helped out by the family dog, somehow ends up in the father's cereal bowl. The boy didn't mean to end up in the father's cereal, but he did. So he, and all the other shrunken kids, begin yelling and screaming, trying to get their subjectively giant father figure to notice them, while the boy simultaneously tries to avoid getting scooped up by the spoon. Finally, as the boy is in the spoon headed toward dad's mouth, the dog bites dad in the leg, saving the kid from being consumed, and allowing them all to be seen and restored to normal size.
I was reminded of that movie while reading Proverbs 30:20, "An adulterous woman consumes a man, then wipes her mouth and says, "What's wrong with that?"" (NLT). Certainly, the adulterous woman is more aware of what she is doing than Rick Moranis was when he nearly consumed his movie son, but in both cases, the person being consumed should be perfectly aware of what is going on.
Often, we want to think of infidelity much like a frog in a pot of boiling water, slowly getting in deeper and deeper without realizing what is going on. But we all know that is not true. All along the way in those illicit relationships there are warnings and red flags - those little thoughts that remind us we shouldn't be talking about such personal things with this particular person, the twinge of guilt when we imagine ourselves in a situation we know should never exist, the justification that we deserve a little bit of happiness because we simply aren't getting it at home, the attempt to assure ourselves that no one ever has to know. All of those little things, and lots of others, serve as warnings that we are about to be consumed by something that will destroy us.
The choice we face is not whether or not to finally give in to temptation and be consumed but whether or not to walk away when that first warning sign appears. When we see ourselves driving over a cliff, we cannot wait until we reach the ledge to hit the breaks. We know that certain activities will consume us. We know that. And we normally know when we are slipping into that behavior. The adulterous woman (or man) may consume us, but it is entirely our own fault if we let it happen.