They were good Christian people. Respected by others in their church. Married to great spouses. Beautiful kids. So how did they end up in bed together?
Every form of adultery starts with casual contact. Working on a church committee together, a series of innocent lunches at the office, regular meetings in the park to let the kids play together – it’s all well-intentioned and seemingly harmless – good, even, but is this the path of wisdom for a married Christian? Or, is it a path that leads to distance, separation, and in many cases, divorce?
Most of you reading this would never dream of betraying your spouse and cheating on him or her with anyone in your circle of friends. Neither did the man and women mentioned above yet, it became the path they chose after working closely together on a project at church. They divorced their spouses, destroyed their testimony, devastated the lives of their kids, and remarried each other.
And then there are our friends (who gave permission to tell their story). He worked the nightshift and came home to sleep. She wanted him to rest well so she took the kids to the park and met with a male friend and his kids. His wife worked a different shift than him, too. It all made sense to enjoy casual conversation together and let the kids play.
But it wasn’t okay because even though you don’t have sex with someone who isn’t your spouse doesn’t mean you aren’t giving (or eventually will give) pieces of your heart to that person – sharing with him/her in the way that you should reserve for your husband or wife. Our friends listened to the counsel they were given, recognized the dangerous path they had chosen, and are today, closer, healthier, and more in love than ever. It was difficult to explain their change of heart to the other man but they chose the right path and she stopped meeting with him. They chose humility, wisdom, and protection for their marriage over their own ideas.
Do you have a relationship outside your marriage like this? Or could you see yourself innocently developing one? God made you and your husband/wife “one”. Sharing your life with another man or woman on a deep level, entwining your emotional lives together as you continue to share, is inviting another person into the oneness of your marriage. The oneness of marriage is a unity of two people, not a trinity of three.
Remember, every form of adultery starts with casual contact. Emotional adultery – entangling your heart and emotions with another person who is not your husband or wife – happens to the most unsuspecting, well-intentioned people, like that couple from church. That’s why the Bible warns against your heart becoming hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13)
Are you cultivating relationships with the opposite sex outside of marriage? It always seems safe at first but it is a serious mistake and a dangerous path for your marriage.
You’d never commit adultery (right?) but have you put safeguards in place to protect your marriage from entangling your heart with someone outside your marriage? This is the topic we’re discussing on the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast today. Join in and listen how Lisa and I have protected our marriage from emotional adultery.
Join us for deep encouragement every week!
We would sure appreciate a review of the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast. Reviews are very important and help other listeners find the podcast. If you enjoyed this episode or any of the others, please leave a five star review on iTunes or for those who are willing, please leave a written review on iTunes. We read every one!
Do you want to subscribe to the podcast and receive each episode automatically?
Just click here to access the podcast in iTunes or use the links below to subscribe via various other platforms. You can also search for it on your favorite smartphone app and subscribe there.
Matt Jacobson is the founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).