Does simple flirtations outside of marriage hurt anyone?
Where does a breach of marital betrayal start? Rules have become blurred reports a USA Today article, titled “Infidelity today has a new face.” Some of the questions that seem to blur what was once quite clear are: What’s wrong with having lunch everyday with an opposite-sex work friend? Or, What’s wrong with a flirtation on line, or a secret friendship with another married spouse? After all, they say, no sex was involved.
Some quoted psychologist and family experts explain “that infidelity today is not just about sex but about trust, betrayal and marital disloyalty, even if adultery is not part of the picture.” That is exactly what infidelity has always meant.
So who has blurred these lines, or, is it that society is accepting the glamorized version of marriage by TV, the movies, and other mediums, which portray marriage as dull unless extra marital affairs of unfaithfulness are included? Clinical psychologist Sue Johnson says “People are getting this incredible message that if you’re not hot and having a certain kind of Hollywood-style sex, something is wrong with you.” And many in society are accepting the lie that everybody is being unfaithful as they see it portrayed–or maybe certain people only want to use this belief as an excuse.
A young married gal wrote to a columnist, “My husband has kept a secret friendship with a married female friend from his past and has maintained it for the last two years.” She shared how she felt when she realized his actions: “I was just as devastated as I would have been had they been involved sexually.” A proverb asks, “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?”
Getting involved in cyber-relationships, pornography, or a tryst is not the answer to any problem in marriage. These hellish doors open death, not life. Certainly Satan doesn’t want to see good marriages survive. Does that mean then that all marriages are doomed to affairs? No! Wholeness for a marriage starts in the heart. Here is simple sanity from Proverbs: “He who hardens his heart falls into trouble…Out of the heart come evil thoughts, …adultery, (and) sexual immorality” (28:14). Both partners must keep their hearts unhardened and clean before God and be willing to walk in His way. You are to “put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and desires” (Colossians 3:15, NIV).
Fight for, and lay hold of, the time you need to spend in God’s presence. Then together do the fun things you did before marriage; take time for each other and invest time in your marriage. “Above all else, guard your heart” (Proverbs 4:28, NIV).
As mankind forsakes God’s values, He allows ignorance, futile thinking, and darkened understanding to take its place, which blur the rules about what is acceptable (Ephesians 4:18, NIV).
(USA Today, July 1, 2008; Proverbs 6:27, NIV; Sue Johnson, Ottawa, Canada)
Florence Simmons ia an author and hosts her website www.common-sensewisdom.com, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org