In The Rochester Family’s song Highway to Heaven, the chorus tells us:
You can live as you please
But you must pay the cost
John Edwards is discovering that the cost continues to be paid long after the pleasure is gone. What he did is not illegal, though there can be legal consequences. After a brief fling, the other spouse may file for divorce, in response to broken vows.
You see, marriage is not simply a religious rite it is a legal contract. Breaking the contract negates a number of provisions and the contract must be renegotiated. In many instances, negotiations fail and the contract revoked.
Eliot Spitzer learned that breaking the marriage contract also breaks contracts with others. His commitment to his constituents appeared just as broken as his commitment to his wife and his position was lost.
Breaking vows is not confined to politicians. Ted Haggard and those listed in the John Jay report broke vows, too. And the cost is high.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart,
I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:
I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14 KJV)
The common thread, “I will”, remains the contract breaker. Each of the examples thought of themselves and the pleasures they desired, not of the promises they had made to others. We all do when we follow the “I will” of self-gratification. For what? A few hours of immediate pleasure?
When it comes to making a commitment, the promise God makes is not broken. Though we fail often in our own promises, God is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12 KJV)
We trust Him, as John tell us: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:11-13 KJV)
And, Peter, too: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:9 KJV)
Thus we pray:
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10b KJV)
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. (Luke 11:2b KJV)