Have you noticed, if you have been looking for help here, that I haven’t mentioned “the other woman” yet?
To be honest, I am not sure what to say about it. As a pastor I have encountered those women. They have tried to seduce me (without success), so I know what they are like, but they are all so different.
Some are trying to cause the pastor to sin. Others are simply needy, looking for someone to care (and we pastors always try to help those in need). It’s very hard to label the other woman as a Jezebel, an evil woman. Often, to be honest, it’s the pastor who causes an innocent needy woman to sin.
But there are those out there…women who are seducing men as part of their passion, their own need. Solomon described these women in three chapters- Proverbs 5-7. These chapters paint a very colorful picture of a woman who finds herself in this place…either by choice, lust or vulnerability.
Those of us in the church vilify her! We can’t seem to do the same to the pastor who sinned with her, but we should….so the “other woman” gets all the scorn, the rejection, and the blame. It might be more true that she is simply broken and the lusts of the pastor found an easy victim. It’s all so hard to sort out, but Jesus seemed to clarify it the best in John 8. Here’s the story and his response to the sin of the “other woman”-
“Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””
Did you notice Jesus’ response? He forgave? He didn’t accuse, he didn’t reject her, but he did give her direction for the days ahead- Don’t do that again!
Could we be dealing with the “other woman” as the cause of the sin rather than another victim? As Christians, when this happens in our churches, I pray we model Jesus and reach out to the “other woman” with forgiveness, redemption and a loving hand of restoration…who knows, it might be exactly what Jesus would have done…..