Dangers of having an emotional affair
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” 1 Cor 10:12
The word of God is full of instructions on the relationship between married couples and it is very clear that sexual relationships between a man and a woman, should only exist in a marriage between a couple.
It would, therefore, have been safe to assume that adultery does not exist in the body of Christ and such occurrences are rarely heard of in Christian homes. However, with the news and emails that occasionally filter in, we know that it does exist. In actual fact, a lot more than we know.
Many are of the opinion that these things cannot happen to them and only happens to other people.
You hear words like “that would never happen to me (us), “we never meant this to happen”, “I never thought this would happen” but it did. The question then would be, why do these affairs occur in the church, where the word of God is being preached daily? Or why does it sometimes happen to the very people who preach the gospel?
While we may be quick, as usual, to attribute everything to the devil, the truth is that it is the devil in us that we feed when we sin. Let us remember that while temptations may come, the word of God tells us that “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” 1 Cor 10:13. In other words, you will be tempted, I will be tempted but there is always a way of escape available. All we need to do is look out for it and grab it!
Falling into the sin of adultery is a lot more tricky for a Christian (even the very good ones can fall if they are not careful). It almost always starts innocently. It doesn’t look harmful. Just exactly how the enemy comes in -subtly. And more often than not, the very beginning of a physical affair in the church or in the life of a Christian is via an emotional affair!
An emotional affair starts innocently. A hug, a time set apart to talk, a counselling session, a home visit, a lift in the car from church, a phone call, text message etc. While most of these acts are not bad, it is the inability to draw the line i.e. when to stop that is the problem. It is the continuity of these acts that invoke emotions between the two parties involved which may eventually lead to an emotional affair.
Emotional affairs are equally as damaging as a physical affair and sometimes more so because an emotional affair starts with the two parties being “just friends” which eventually evolves into something more stronger as they begin to bond, get to know each other more and confide in each other about their spouse(s), not only is the marital trust broken, and sexual tension begin to build up between the two individuals. It only takes a matter of time before it progresses into a sexual affair. This is actually the reason Christians who indulge are way past caring and would do anything to carry on these acts though they understand the wrath of God and the consequences of their actions.
One of the main reasons an emotional affair occurs in a marriage is usually due to the absence of emotional intimacy in the marriage. Unfortunately, intimacy is always linked to only sex! And that shouldn’t be. Yes, there is the physical intimacy however what qualifies the physical intimacy is actually the emotional one. A couple who are emotionally connected will most likely enjoy a better physical intimacy than the couple who lack emotional intimacy.
A couple must be able to talk to each other and confide in one another without the fear of being ridiculed, put down or judged. A couple must be free to express their fears, hopes and aspirations without the information divulged being used as a weapon at a later date. Once, both parties in a marriage are emotionally connected, there will be no need to talk to/confide in someone else than the spouse.
The dangerous thing about emotional affairs is that, it is usually someone within close proximity and easily accessible, which is the main reason most emotional affairs are with either close family friends, neighbours, colleagues and/or co-workers.
Hugging the opposite sex chest to chest in the name of Christ is a no-no.
While giving the opposite sex a lift once may be okay depending on the circumstances, making it a routine is not acceptable.
Visiting the opposite sex at home alone in the name of house fellowship or follow up should be discouraged.
Counselling the opposite sex should either be done with open doors or with a third party close by.
Constant Lunch dates with a particular co-worker of the opposite sex should be discouraged.
While the list is inexhaustible, it is advisable to be on the watch out for yourself and your spouse. Guard your heart, guard your marriage. Your relationship with someone of the opposite sex may seem innocent, however, if your spouse is not happy with it, it’s better to cut it off. After all, you should strive to please your spouse above others.
The Lord will help us all.
Certified Relationship Counsellor & Professional Therapeutic Counselor