Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Fleeing from Temptation or Flirting with it?

on November 4, 2014
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Sergey Sus via photopin cc

He’s just a friend. We get together and have coffee from time to time, but just as friends. We just have a lot in common. He’s fun to be with. We’re both married so it’s fine. He has been having some problems in  his marriage so he just needs someone to talk to. He’s a good listener so I feel like I can tell him anything. We’re just friends. What’s the big deal?

As married Christian women, we need to be very careful when it comes to having close relationships with men who are not family (same goes for Christian, married men). Some people blow this off as legalism or simply an old-fashioned concept, but there are many good reasons to avoid these kinds of close friendships with the opposite sex when we are married. This is an important issue and here is why:

  1. Adultery is on the rise.

Adultery is on the rise in America and throughout the world. While it’s always been a problem, it was far less a problem in the days of our grandparents, where some researchers estimate only 9% of spouses under the age of 25 in the 1950’s admitted to having affairs. In 1983 a similar study showed that number to have gone up to 29% of spouses under the age of 25 having had an affair. Today it is estimated that a third of all men and a quarter of all women cheat on their spouses, with more than 50% of marriages being touched somehow by adultery. We shake our heads and say, “ the world is going nuts” and surely it is! What about the Christians?

A study conducted by Christianity Today indicates that some 45% of Christians admitted to having done something that was sexually inappropriate and an astounding 23% confess to having had an extramarital affair. It’s hard to read those numbers. It’s difficult to understand how a man or a woman who love the Lord can sin against Him and their spouse like this. Then again…it’s not so difficult to understand it. Let’s try looking at it from another perspective:

A man and woman have been married for twelve years. They have four children. Both are Christians. For the past two years the man has had a difficult time, losing his job and falling into a bit of a depression. He spends his days searching the internet for a job and usually wants to be alone, because he (like many men) view their self-worth based on how their provide for their family. The wife feels shut out. They aren’t communicating well. She is dealing with the kids all day alone and feeling worn, lonely and frightened about the future. One day at the market she runs into an old friend from high school. He is funny, sweet and they have a lot of fun memories together. They decide to meet up for coffee and when they do they both open up to each other about struggles in their marriages and how they long for something different. These coffee dates become more frequent and the conversation more deep. Suddenly this woman realizes she is having an emotional affair with this man. They both feel the connection and attraction. One day, after she has had an argument with her husband and is feeling rotten, she meets the other man for coffee and, despite their convictions, they give in to their wicked desires. That’s it.

Adultery is something we should never accept or view as anything but evil and wickedness. It destroys families and people. It is a sin that is committed against one’s own body and God hates it. We should hate it too. Yet, we can see, if we are being honest, how it happens. We need to avoid close friendships with the opposite sex. No matter how strong we think we are, we are still weak human beings and sin is a temptress.

  1. Emotional Affairs Damage Marriage Too

We women usually are far more emotional than the men in our lives. We are emotional beings! That’s just how God made us! That’s why we are prone to love romantic comedies and novels that have romance in them. We love the whole emotional side of falling in love and being close with someone. This is why we are more likely to jump head first into an emotional affair if we allow ourselves to be tempted in this way.

What is an emotional affair? It’s when we form romantic feelings for someone who is not our spouse and allow ourselves to engage in a relationship with that person. Now, this doesn’t mean you are dating. The other person might not even realize you have an emotional, romantic attachment. Still, you are living it out by seeking to spend time with the person, opening up and sharing more than you ought to, and fantasizing about more. As women, we can be so overcome by our emotions. These types of emotional affairs can go on for ages. They can be easily hidden. So, is it wrong to engage in this type of relationship? Yes!

Ladies, it may seem like a harmless crush, but it’s anything but harmless. First off all, remember that Jesus warned that as Christians even the thought of adultery is akin to committing adultery. You are committing adultery in your heart and mind. Secondly, you may have no idea how an emotional affair takes a toll on the marriage. While you are madly in love with another man, you are most likely neglecting your husband at home. Instead of meeting his needs for companionship, relationship and sex, you are off fantasizing about someone else. Instead of praying for God to renew your love for your husband and working on drawing closer to him, this emotional affair is pulling away. Your kids will notice. Your friends will too. Your husband will definitely notice. Your marriage will be weakening by the moment. This is serious stuff my friends. Close relationships to the opposite sex is playing with temptation and you have to be careful to guard your heart.

  1. It Doesn’t Look Good

Whether or not you and your friend have any attraction or feelings for each other, a married, Christian woman meeting up regularly and engaging in a close relationship can look like something…even if it’s nothing. In other words, it can appear to be just the tip of the iceberg to strangers, your friends, family, your spouse, the other person’s spouse or maybe even to that other person. Your husband, while trusting and faithful, may start to have concerns about what’s going on or struggle with jealousy. After all, he should be your best friend right? A husband may come to feel replaced or displaces, as it were. It is not loving or respectful to put him in that position. Not only that, but what if your friend has misconceptions about what’s going on?

Let’s say, for example, that you have a good friend whom you have no attraction to whatsoever. You are in love with your husband and in a happy marriage. You would never in a million years struggle with feelings for this friend. He, on the other hand, hasn’t told you that he finds you attractive, is forming romantic emotions towards you, and is considering divorcing his wife because his feelings for you have grown so deep. You may not realize it or see the signs, but to have a very close friendship with a man who isn’t your husband is always a dangerous game…one that’s not worth playing.

1 Thess. 5:22 says we are to abstain from the appearance of evil. It’s not just doing evil that matters. God wants us to avoid even appearing like we are doing or considering doing evil.

“We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:8-13

Anyone who thinks he stand, lest he falls….wow. Think you are strong enough in your faith not to fall? You’ve got a big problem when you think that. No temptation comes that isn’t common to man. Many men and women thought they were strong enough only to fall hard. It isn’t worth it friends. We need to stand solid on the rock and not go for runs in the quick sand. We need to stand firm and not flirt with temptation. It’s just wise. It’s just prudent. It just makes sense.

I exhort my sisters in the Lord (and brothers accordingly) to not be wishy washy on this issue. Make your spouse your best friend. I encourage you to caution and to avoid close friendships with a person of the opposite gender. Let us not fall into the trap of justifications and carelessness. Perhaps nothing bad will happen, but what if it did? If we allow our hearts to be open without guarding them, someone may come in an snatch them away.

Let’s stand for emotional and sexual purity. Let’s stand for no compromise. Let’s be on guard. I pray that husband and wives would find emotional and sexual fulfillment in one another alone and not to look to anyone else to meet those needs. May we ever be willing to make sacrifices in order to abstain from temptation and keep our minds and bodies pure.

Thank you for reading! Also, make sure to enter my free giveaway that’s going on right now until Nov. 10th. Click HERE to enter.

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