Paul and Virginia Friesen are friends and co-workers in their ministry to married couples. I love their take on how every extramarital affair is an intentional affair. This is a guest post taken from their book, “The Marriage App.”
The first commandment says, “You may have no other gods before me.”…God is not saying that He wants to be first in the running with many gods; there are to be no other gods. Just as we are not to have other gods before God, we are not to put any other person before our spouse. Virginia is not amused if I tell her, as we drift off to sleep, “I love you more than all the other women I love.” She doesn’t want to be the first of many. She expects, and rightly so, to be my one and only.
Because marriage is exclusive, we must guard against an affair with all our heart.
We are to let nothing come in that would eat away at the vitality of our relationship. Every time Virginia and I counsel someone who has had an extramarital affair, that person can pinpoint the time when their relationship crossed the “exclusive” line and they started sharing with another what was only to be shared with their spouse.
We often hear a counselee state that his or her affair was “an accident.” But the only affair that is an accident is if two people are walking down the sidewalk naked and they bump into each other. Every other affair is intentional. You may say, “Not so, it was an accident that I started to like her!” It may not have been intentional at first, but early on you surely knew it was not right—and from that time you were intentional about when you took your break, where you went for lunch, what you didn’t tell your spouse, and so on.
The simplest way to avoid an extramarital affair
If you are married and you start finding increasing enjoyment in the company of someone of the opposite sex other than your spouse, you need to end that relationship or curtail it significantly. It may be a co-worker with whom you have coffee, or a friend with whom you chat at the children’s bus stop, or your best friend’s spouse with whom you vacation. Whoever it is, you need to stop the relationship.
You can read more about Paul and Virginia, and check out their books, at www.HIMweb.org