This is from the perspective of a woman, written as a message to married men, men who don’t know Christ, men who do profess Christ, men who are separated and not yet divorced from their spouses, men who are ministers or well-regarded in ministry to some level, men who are deeply in pain with a room mate marriage, men who may have dead marriages pulverized by their wives for whatever reason, or, men that have lost the respect for what marriage vows of faithfulness mean altogether no matter who is to blame. It’s written to those men and even those that may have great marriages with unsuspecting wives, set on trusting you, feeling free, but fooled, to enjoy the fact she has a man that is true. It’s written to any man who has opted to step outside of their marriage and to pursue another woman >>> the married man who cheats.
Let’s say hypothetically, the woman you could be pursuing, could be me. It might surprise a man how a lady like me truly feels about your passes. I’m not talking as a woman with a Jezebel spirit who has no conscience and may even partake in seducing men, or one that is wounded just as much as you are and feeling like trying on a new relationship regardless of the cost, but rather, the woman who you are pursuing, is the one that is walking with the Lord with all of her heart. As imperfect as she may be, busy about ministry, tending to God’s work, single or married, she isn’t “looking” for an affair, but to you, that may even make her look more enticing and exciting, with her playful, positive, tender-hearted, sensitivity and mystery, and the ideal person that you feel you have been missing out on in your marriage. Perhaps she is even the girl your wife used to have resembled or maybe she’s simply viewed as a refreshing departure from what you have always known.
But here is where we dissect an even deeper truth. Everyone can produce a vulnerable side, and if inspected long enough you will find any woman’s weaknesses, those areas which men are often all too familiar with, and carry that innate need to either lovingly protect that Achille’s Heal of her’s, or, shamefully exploit her in that area altogether. After all you had high hopes for your marriage, both of you and your spouse did, and now that things have settled into everyday life, predictable or miserable, dry and dull, or past the point of no return, you are lonely, certain you are deserving of more, and feel justified in flirting with danger.
After all, it’s your right to be loved and appreciated, desired, in the form of ideal companionship, right? And what about the scenario wanting to use another woman to get even with your spouse, perhaps an on-line connection, with a neighbor, former classmate, church member, or “friend”.
Personally, being the unwilling party on the receiving end of this type of pursuit in my history, I have found it completely and utterly insulting to be thought of as distraction for a married man, no matter his circumstances. I resent men who think so low of me, and I pity the fact you feel so low of yourself to toy and steal my husband’s or future husband’s territory, not to mention that of my heavenly Husband’s right to claim me as His for who He saves me for in marriage. A woman, who wants to live a life pleasing to the Lord, doesn’t have her sight set on a man coming into her world who has no intention of faithfulness when the going gets tough in his world, only to reduce me to being the cheater along with you.
Have you not read the Ten Commandments or are those regarded as old school and no longer applicable to you? Adultery is explained loud and clear not only there, but in several other places in the Word. Those virtues of the standard of living alone in the Word of God, are enough for me as it explains the consequences of this danger, which I have never found anywhere in anybody’s life to be that of nothing more than regret. We certainly won’t fix anything by stepping outside the marriage, in an effort to make ourselves feel whole and in fact accomplish quite the opposite which is a tarnished view of virtue. The Lord put this rule into place in order to help His children avoid pain and disaster, which affairs can always offer to men, women, their families, their children, the church, your witness, business, your good name, and on and on the list goes.
Being pursued to be your “other woman” causes a woman to feel disrespected for who she and your wife are in Christ, unworthy in the eyes of any man, of being honored and cherished as the opposite gender, inside or outside of marriage. It is never a blessed endeavor by God’s hand as it heavily dishonors your vows to your wife, no matter what kind of a situation it is, no matter the excuse. The male covering of protection, even that of her brother in Christ who needs to guard his own heart so as not to fall into adultery, is damaged to a great extent by these actions. In general, it taints and erodes away at the respect women have for men as they don’t feel safe, as it’s never an ego boost for a woman following God to encounter being the target for a fall as a good catch who you don’t have to commit yourself to … but rather, another glaring disappointment in men. It totally devalues the prospect of what love is INSIDE of marriage when this happens. And you set me up to be hated by the woman in your life. Your wife, or if you are single, your girlfriend, without a doubt, because I am a female, resent anyone that you have set your eyes on, no matter what the case.
Cheating has so many levels of meaning. Cheating on the Lord, cheating yourself of God’s blessings that comes with obedience, cheating your children of the opportunity to see a cherished couple, their parents, stay in it to win it, which is a pain they will never forget and sets them up for a mother load of trouble in the future. It cheats one of peace, joy, and in the still small hours of the night, it will come back to your mind and soul as a haunting. It just does. If it doesn’t, better check where you are in Christ and how far you have gone away from Him. No one ever said it would be easy and without a test, there is no testimony.
Before you justify your actions to get your “needs” met outside of your consecrated vows of til-death-do-us-part, let’s take a look beyond the first pass you make into the reality of the situation. I understand painful inflammation exists in your current marriage, but how does adding insult to injury help anyone in the situation? Are you really going to divorce at some point, or it is easier to live in the familiar misery while testing the waters elsewhere? If you are truly ending your marriage, then take time to pray and seek Christ, and give yourself time to heal before entanglement with another potential divorce set up with a new person. Remember as strange as it sounds to quote Bob Marley, but oh so true from the perspective of one man to another and certainly resonates with women, “the biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her.”
If you do pursue something before the end of your current marriage, you are a married man who cheats, and she has lowered herself to becoming a woman who cheats as well. If you cheat with her, you will cheat on her and a new marriage to her can carry with it an anxiety and episodes of suspicion that was never thought possible. She can never trust you, and you will never trust her, and let’s not forget the obvious guilt that can linger later after the dust settles and the wake of destruction is clear and evident.Most of the time, I don’t think married men consider the long-term issues that evolve out of affairs or even the foiled attempts to have an affair, especially amongst the body of believers.
The woman you pursue could be strong, she could be fragile, married or single, emotionally damaged, bored, or a Jezebel, but unless she is someone with no conscience, she too is highly breakable by the price tag of an affair. Do you really intend to cause her to fall from grace and then to be disgraced? Usually the case is that men grow close to someone in an effort to fulfill missing intimacy with their wives using the coping mechanism of indulging into the life of another woman as the way to fix their own emptiness or even a spiraling sexual addiction. Along the way though, they never truly consider the damage of what being unfaithful can mean to their sphere of influence and beyond, or may no longer care even care about what that price tag may be for their business or ministry reputation or the women involved. Since things have grown stale in their marriage, or maybe due to outrageous volatile arguing and mud slinging, they won’t consider that their actions will continue to worsen the situation causing pain in their wife’s and children’s hearts , the heartache of friends and other family, fellow church members, those that look up to and esteem them, a church body that can be completely divided over infidelity, or the significant risk of financial ruin for various reasons, venereal “gifts” that never go away and will plague a body and future sex life the rest of you life, and so much more that comes with the package of deception. And never mind the unbeliever or weak in faith who is watching, thirsty to see if anyone truly lives an authentic Christian life – how about what they perceive in the body of Christ to be true and dependable?
It may appear exciting and quietly scandalous at first with the secrecy of something off-limits, but then again it could go awry and one day be featured on a prime time t.v. episode of “20/20”. It’s messy, and always has been. I have a close family member who had a husband who cheated while she has always been faithful and loved him. It’s been incredibly sad to see that for decades, the pain and bitterness she feels towards him even after all was said and done as they decided to stay married. He still flirts, and it still hurts. Often, heaven forbid, it seemed they would have been at far greater peace, divorcing so that this “thing” was not always hanging over their heads in an argument and undertone for every situation. It was Biblical grounds for divorce, but they held on and unfortunately never fully recovered from it. When you have small children and a husband crushes your heart with cheating, it doesn’t always mean the end of the marriage, sometimes you both simply get to live with it and the reminder of it until the end of your days. Just chew on that fact for a minute before you indulge for the first time, or even again.
Since I have never been married for many of the reasons I have seen that have caused divorce within the sixteen dissolved marriages in my immediate family, and countless friendships, it drives a long nail into the coffin of desire to ever even want to enter into a possible mindset of even meeting someone to begin with. Paul said it best in I Corinthians 7, that in marriage, there will be “trouble” and that he was trying to “spare them” from that pain and derailment to their walk with God. Part of the subliminal footnote I feel Paul intended in that passage conveys that two imperfect people with a sin nature, enter into marriage and then place the other person in the marriage responsible for all of their needs to be met, and to make all of their dreams come true. I have had enormous pain just in the dating relationships, with “men of God” who most certainly would have been a disaster to married. It’s pretty much curbed my appetite – but it provides one fact I can rest upon: never married, never been divorced either.
Marriage is an ideal place to find out how giving or selfish we can ultimately be with another person, and the expectation levels we put on each other are far from the ability any human being could ever endeavor to meet, which leads to the obvious and highly expected let down that ensues. After all marriage is about how we can evolve in Christ together as a team, and not about how we can tear each other apart with the microscope looking for “the answer”. God never intended for it to be the whole picture for happiness, but rather a place where “iron sharpens iron” according to Proverbs 27:17, and for the sake of ministering to each other and with each other for those around you. If one falls down the other can pull them up for two are better than one as depicted in Ecclesiastes 4. It’s to glorify the Lord in the way Christ gave Himself up for His bride, the church as her Husbandmen, and for the wife to honor that role and that man. Remember, Jesus never cheats on His bride and she has certainly been a handful for him for centuries now.
Wives, you as well can play party to the problem of a cheating husband. Maybe you have been totally pure and worked as hard as you can on your relationship, blindsided by that gut shocking reveal that the man you loved was not the man you thought you loved. But what if you helped set up this disadvantage for what is now a reality – did you happen to ignore the signs of what was coming? Did that bitterness and the put downs, the male slamming and bickering happen to lead to a place over the years that your husband just got tired of the stress and felt driven away? Do you refuse counseling? Did you know better than to marry that guy that possibly was unfaithful before you said those nuptials thinking you could change him? Did you marry just to marry or escape another situation only to realize you two were not a life long match? Did you stop being a friend to him, and dismiss intimacy, and became the mother rather than the wife in the marriage? Do you hold pasgt hurts from things of your childhood and other men in your life over your husband’s head as if he needs to pay the price for all of humanity? How about putting a leash on your spouse, did you think pulling him in tighter to your control was the answer? All of this is self serving for both parties involved.
“Perfect love casts out all fear” as I John 4:18 says, but that perfect love needs to be established carefully, with mutual agreement, done over time, and with open and honest transparency. Even if one person is working it harder than the other, at least they know they can put their head on their pillow at night knowing they are doing all things possible to make things work. But if all things are operating out of fear, it will serve as a sinking ship for the bottom of the abyss.
Men are visual, they like to be nurtured, we all like to be nurtured – yes, men, we women desperately need that as much as you do, and when we can’t deepen the communication and be respectful in our quest to get things out on the table for healing and counsel, we heighten the danger for either one in the marriage to seek solace elsewhere. Dr. Henry Wright, a champion on spiritual roots of healing in the ministry God gave him points out many issues that are given for health problems due to lack of nurturing from those we are to receive it from, even including marriage. Check out his amazing ministry at http://www.beinhealth.or.
We also need to take a look around at generational attitudes/curses/sins passed down to the next group growing up behind us, dealing with men and women in a committed situation. Are we sure we are not feeding the fire of generational infidelity by ignoring God’s principles – “love one another” – “do all things heartily as unto the Lord” – not unto the tradition of making men the target of ridicule, and ignore the entire message of I Cor. 13 about L-O-V-E. Are we flirting with danger thinking we can stop at any time? Women are you keeping yourself attractive for your guy? We may not think he notices, but YES, he does. Oh and guys, please don’t fall into that sexist trap that it’s ok for you to have a belly falling over your belt with softened biceps, while expecting your wife to live off of rabbit food and flaunt her rock hard abs and tight end for your viewing pleasure. I don’t mince words here as I have seen the double standard and that expectation can get old quick!
Men, do you put down your wives in the company of friends to fit in with their attitude? Does she feel valued, adored, needed, and protected? Have you set her up to feel bitter against you? And that thing we think is “harmless” with flirting, is absolutely untrue. For the small violation of trust with flirting, means a larger violation of trust is imminent. Flirting can turn into an all out affair and it is painfully disrespectful to your spouse. Caring, God-seeking friends – won’t set each other up for a fall into sin – so making someone that is a friend an object of your flirtation, can be a very dangerous risk on your part. One of the things we subliminally wish for in seduction is that even though the girl you are chasing may love the Lord and want total commitment to Him, we want her to respond. She is human, and can fall, so when a man who knows better, looks for insecurities, plays on emotions, trying to slowly diminish the boundary lines of what was once – taboo, and justifies his actions due to his miserable emptiness in his marriage, it creates a total breach of safety for all, and Satan sees that nothing and no one is off limits.
The good news is, the Lord has equipped us fully and completely with the ability to be filled with His knowledge by His word, flee immorality, clean up our mind, cling to His Word, and learn from other’s mistakes or our own. One has to be on guard, instant in season and out, and it’s the toughest lesson to learn that the enemy of our souls plants his wiles among the pews and in ministries even outside the church walls, in businesses, and anywhere that people have to interact and where the Holy Spirit dwells. Target practice is common place especially if believers are not on guard. And honestly, I would rather see a cordial end to a marriage that is simply out of fuel, both parties completely spent and done, LONG before one tries out another new relationship, and only then, after a time of counseling and reflection. We don’t want a repeat of what just happened.
My goal is not to shame and berate, but simply to plant a checklist in the mind for future reference, if you will, that will give you guys something incredibly profound to consider before deciding to open the door to share intimacy with another woman to fill your void, instead of the Lord doing the healing in your marriage. Hitting on a single or married woman, who is entrusting you as a friend, a minister, a best friend’s husband, is wickedly demeaning to women in general, and puts her into a place that is painfully awkward and uncomfortable. What is she supposed to do if she turns you down and you keep insisting? Are you willing for her to expose your intentions? What do you expect from someone who might eventually cave in and then you find yourself being pursued in return by someone you never meant to go “that far with” emotionally? Why would you foster intimacy with someone who can’t have you? How cruel. And why would you continue to put another women into a place that skews her entire perception of how solid and strong a man can be in Christ when he does things RIGHT?
Marriage is a beautiful sacred gift from the Lord, one I fully respect and even protect by not wanting to advocate as a deterrent to a man’s purity. In and of itself, marriage is a ministry that requires total devotion and care and we have to be willing to go the distance by understanding that if we don’t put the Lord first, we set ourselves up for a sad ending. There can be incredible joy shared between a husband and wife, but how about when we self sabotage that opportunity? Even if a divorce is imminent, you will rarely be trusted fully again in a new relationship due to the obvious. Furthermore, to try to pull another woman, an unwilling one into this is pretty dark and sad.
Let’s also bring up the area of internet pornography and chat rooms as a “safer” means of cheating – after all you are only entertaining the mind and won’t even lay a hand on her – right? But stop for a second and consider these facts; I recently learned more of the sex trade from those involved in the mission of rescue, that often times these men and women on the other side of the camera are trapped in slavery, and forced to work up to twelve hours a day performing for the camera to make a living. They are scarred, beaten, treated brutally, sore, and tired from putting on an internet show for someone. Even if your eyes and mind entertain the untouchable physically, it definitely pierces the soul regardless and violates the vows for trust. The Scripture verse Hebrew 13:4 that says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous,” bears some pretty heavy weight with it and seems rather terrifying to someone who knows that unless they repent of this, get the help they need, and fall headlong into the Lord’s ability to heal, there is a sobering expectation in the long run. It’s even worse, when one does know that truth and still chooses to defy God’s warning.
But let’s look at the fact that there is hope, if two shall agree to get the help they need to safeguard against adultery, or the repeat of adultery. Infidelity, sin, for whatever reason, in whatever form, will never produce the righteousness of God. In the mean time, let’s do our best to remember that truth of the matter and work to overcome the desire to cause another one to stumble along with us. To finish off my ending note, what can we do to prevent a disaster and unwanted outcome in marriage, and when do men need to know that professional Godly counsel is in order to prevent further damage?
- For men and for women – do I need to get counseling in my marriage even if I am doing it alone? Do I have a sexual addiction? (There are volumes of places to help with this.)
- Do I spend time flirting with the opposite sex calling it harmless, and even convincing myself that this flattery is making them feel worthy and needed?
- Do I have a history of infidelity and should I avoid certain types of women that may trigger a desire to step out on my marriage? Should I really be on social media, or stay in the same realm of work on that floor of the church, with “her”?
- Am I calloused to my spouses needs and have I become less and less convicted about the idea of cheating? Wives are you pushing your man away and berating him with a honey-do list and income as his means of existence for you?
- Am I spending time in God’s Word daily and pursuing the heart the of the Lord to prevent issues even in thought, that could lead to infidelity?
- Is my marriage truly over? Have I tried everything to make it work, and have I been totally transparent with my spouse that temptation sits at the door if we don’t work on things together?
- Did I see some warning flags with my spouse before I married them? Could I have prevented heartache ahead of time? Was she cheating with you and now she is cheating on you? Were you the one cheating and thinking the next marriage would fix whatever it was that was broken?
- Am I lying to myself that flirting with anyone, is harmless? ) All marital infidelity begins with flirting.)
- Do I really want to hurt someone I say I care for? My wife, the ministry, my children, the church body, unbelievers who are looking for hope, and the other woman I encounter?
- Are there generational issues of infidelity in my family that I need to be freed from? Can I truly be the one that breaks the line of the curse? Of course you can!
I pray for blessings on you as you read this and take it to heart. There are so many blessings when we ourselves remain personally healthy and attach ourselves to the same. The Lord has a great plan for you, according to Jeremiah 29:11-13, and that would include freeing you from the stronghold of infidelity. God bless you as you endeavor to overcome.
Suggested reading: The Fantasy Fallacy – Shannon Ethridge