I spoke to a woman last week who wanted advice about having an affair. She clearly had no idea who she was talking to or what I had been through. She told me her husband was never around and she recently met a much younger man on her walking trail. They’ve flirted and he has given her an invitation. This woman was standing at the point of decision. Should she dive in, explore this new way of living or go back to her boring, lonely life. After talking to her for about thirty minutes it was clear that she wanted to have the affair. The temptation of what could be behind that curtain was too great. She had already made her mind up to dive in.
This weekend Bob Coy, pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale resigned from his position as senior pastor citing “moral failure.” It is rumored on blogs that the moral failure included at least two affairs in the past year and a “problem with pornography.” It was mentioned that his wife and children have already left the state. I’m not here to bash Bob Coy. That will undoubtably happen in the public square without me chiming in. But my thoughts today are for his wife. And this woman I talked to’s husband. The victims of infidelity. All the spouses who are faced with their lives falling apart around them because their partner decided that their own pleasure was more important than honoring their family.
When you are tempted with a smile, a laugh, a joke, the brush of a hand, a wink, whatever it might be…think of someone other than yourself. Think of the destruction your actions will bring to your family if what you are about to do ever gets out. Even if you have no qualms about what you are about to do and feel justified in your own mind…if it is found out…it will bring destruction.
There is natural consequence to sin. The bigger the sin, the bigger the destruction, and adultery is big. I’ve lived through the pain because my first husband chose that route for himself. In fact his words to me after 23 years together were, “I gave you the first half of my life, the second half is mine.” Nice.
There is financial destruction. You could very well lose your job over it. My first husband did. He was told to knock off the flirting at work with his coworker and he didn’t. We had already separated and I went to fill a prescription and was told the card was invalid. I had no idea it was because my husband had been fired from his job. I was so afraid for our financial well-being. He also had to move 60 miles away for affordable housing which meant he only saw his teenage kids every other weekend and one night during the week for a short dinner. He had no money to do anything fun with them.
There is emotional destruction. My emotions were a given. I expected to be a wreck for a good long while. But my son had rage and my daughter closed herself off. They are basically healthy, happy, successful kids but underneath I still see the scars. My daughter adored her father. She was a daddy’s girl. But this daddy’s girl has become jaded and to this day has never had a real boyfriend. She’s a freshman in college and I don’t see her opening up any time soon. My son lost respect for his dad. He searched for years without a good male role model. For a while we clung to some key leaders at church that he looked up to. But when he broke up with a girlfriend he felt ostracized from that crowd. Then he looked for someone to look up to in his coaches, but they disappointed too. Both of my kids thought maybe they found what they were looking for in an old boyfriend of mine…but that man turned out to be worse than their dad. It led to a lack of trust on their part. A lack of intimacy in their lives. And a lack of confidence. They will have to deal with those issues, and work through them because my ex decided his pleasure was more important than their pain.
When you’re tempted, take that brain trip down that road of what if’s. Because it just might be enough to shock you out of the selfish stupor you are in that convinced you it was a good idea.
Oh and odds are that the person you choose to have an affair with will end up being a worse relationship than you currently have with your spouse. The grass is not always greener. My first husband found that out about 4 years too late.
Whatever problems you have in your life. Behave with honor and meet those problems head on instead of looking for an easier route. In the long run it’s going to pay off. There is a study that says couple who stay together for 5 years after conflict in marriage say that they are happier now than when they first got married. Couples who stay find a way. Couples who cheat only find defeat.
It’s too bad that so many people are so selfish and short-sighted.