We would like to think that Christians do not have affairs, but statistics don’t bear that out. Chances are, if you’re in church this Sunday, there is someone on the pews who is married and cheating on their spouse.
There was a time at my workplace when a male colleague walked into my office with tears in his eyes and wanted to talk. At first, I felt compelled to listen to him. He was broken-hearted. But then, he began to talk about his failing marriage and red flags started popping up.
I let the man know politely that I wasn’t the one to help him. That response might seem cold to some, but I’ve witnessed what happens to others who are receptive to such conversations. The discussions may start off innocent enough but what happens after that can be devastating.
Affairs do not start in the bedroom. Affairs start with friends or friendly acquaintances, and they begin with intimate conversations that should never take place. They are conceived in the thought life and birthed with enticing words and dark secrets before culminating in physical betrayal.
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (James 1:14-15).
Identify the Trap
For some, an affair is not a temptation. For others, it is an ongoing struggle. If you never open the door, sexual sin can never enter in.
The enemy knows your weakness. He knows how, and when, to tempt you with an affair. He hears the complaints, “romance is missing from our marriage,” “you take me for granted,” “why did you buy that thing!?”
Then the handsome, thoughtful new coworker brings you a cookie from the local bakery. He heard you loved chocolate chip. You find yourself sharing a sandwich with him at the local deli. You both love the chicken salad. You can fill in the blanks from there …
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:12-13).
If you know that sexual sin is your weakness or that you’re vulnerable at this time, take your struggles to the Lord in prayer. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and He wants no part in adultery.
Maybe it’s too late. You opened the door and you’re in an affair. You know it’s a sin, but the temptation is too strong. You don’t want to end it. You’ve tried, and you just can’t.
No temptation has overtaken you except such is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Do not believe the lie that you’re unable to stop. God’s grace is sufficient. You don’t need a tender farewell for the sake of closure or one last encounter. Simply say and mean it: “No more. I’m done. Forgive me, Lord.” Then start anew, and never return to the bondage from whence you have been set free.
…And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” – John 8:11
Is there a way you can preemptively protect your marriage? Yes. There are many books on the subject. A few safeguards we suggest include:
Connect emotionally. Set aside time to talk about the day as a couple. For some, it is over coffee in the morning. For parents of toddlers, it may be the few minutes before you close your eyes at night. The main point is to share an intimate connection that transcends the bedroom.
Connect physically. Honor the sexual union between a man and wife for it is a gift from God. Accommodate your partner but remain respectful of each other’s wants and needs.
Connect spiritually. Pray together with your spouse every day, specifically praying for your marriage. Pray for the Lord to protect and bless your union. Pray for Him to run interference on your behalf, even in the unseen places.
If you think your marriage is in trouble, seek godly counsel today. Refuse to be a victim of the enemy’s scheme. Hold tight to the purity of your marital bed. And remember that there is no sin uncommon to mankind. Others have experienced temptation and rejected the opportunity to sin. You can do the same. Whom the Son set free is free indeed!
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