To Married Men Who Cheat

WHERE IT ALL STARTS

All too often – married life has not turned out like couples had hoped it would. With the shortchange of dreams of happily ever after due to growing unforeseen conflict we find ourselves wondering what we ever saw in the person to begin with, that we married. Everything from health problems, boredom, a sharp contrast of our interests that allow us to grow apart, perhaps the wretched painful effects of the death of a child or fertility issues, meddling toxic in-laws, spousal abuse on every level, secret addictions with alcohol, gambling, drugs, or sex or all of it, we face the disappointment that the safe place to call home with a supportive loving spouse took a sharp turn from our original vision.  Marriage has become more of an albatross with coping mechanisms rather than a support system, and our desire to communicate and be heard, respected, and loved, begins to take presidentes in our mind, as we feel completely robbed of the entire original vision of what we thought marriage would mean. It’s not long before the area of enriching satisfying intimacy tanks on every level, and the finality of when mutual respect evaporates invites in bitterness and a quiet sense of desperation and boredom become our daily mindset while boundary lines are diminishing and being crossed all over the place.. No, our happily ever after definitely did not shape up the way we wanted, and our eyes begin to focus on the unhappiness of the situation, rather than the God who heals, and that is when we begin to become vulnerable to the enemy’s wiles. Satan loves to demolish marriages and disperse the family into despair in all directions, so before you blink, that desire for fulfillment might be found in another woman.

Or perhaps in lieu of the items listed above, something far more surprising might happen in that men actually do enjoy their marital companion, but still, somewhere along the way, got caught up in the forbidden extra relationship. It might be that fresh face with an exciting personality during a mission trip with our church, that gorgeous woman with the intoxicating perfume that works around the corner at our place of business, or maybe a connection on social media with a long time ago high school girlfriend, and soon the mind wanders into an unfamiliar enticing territory that numbs the pain and boredom. For men, it becomes an allure to a desire for something sexually charged that brings the worst out of us. Happy or not inside of marriage, seeking acceptance and the spice of life you have been looking for, may seem like a promising new venture.

REALITY CHECK:

This is not an opportunity to shame males for falling into an affair or would-be affair, but simply a chance to share how it possibly could be perceived through the eyes of the woman who is pursued outside of the marriage nuptials. It’s a message with the modus operandi to help give greater insight for men from the perspective of the women he finds as a perfect candidate, no matter his circumstances, and possibly without initially even meaning for things to graduate to a place of no return in his relationship with someone else.

Before we continue, we are not talking from the perspective of an Alex character type from Fatal Attraction, a woman with a Jezebel spirit woefully abandoned to her own demise, partaking in a conscience-free seduction, but rather, more from the perspective of someone less dramatic; the unhappily married lady next door with the husband who travels a great deal and needs of help with her honey-do list, the hot new face on social media that you spotted in a comment on a friend’s page, a high school acquaintance, a business connection at work, a child’s teacher,  an energetic fresh face at church deeply devoted to ministry work.

Before long, you are making the attempt to keep in contact with prospective women, exchanging phone numbers or emails, with the interactions culminating into a more interpersonal level with sharing things about your work, highs and lows of the day, and common interests. You find her exciting and mysterious and wanting to lure her into a more racy level of bantering in order to see how far this might satisfy the curiosity you have testing to see if she actually might have an adventurous wild side she is keeping under wraps until pursued.

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

It might surprise a man how a lady truly feels about passes and suggestions to toy with the danger of an affair, even if it’s just pushing the line of safe boundaries with a long time “friendship”. A woman not looking for a man to fix her needs or to partake in a side venture from a pure and upright walk, could be found as even more of a challenge, and what an incredible rush to actually see someone who never would normally indulge in such a sin, finally break down, and join you on this path of  choice. If she is of good moral character, that makes her even more alluring, slowly pushing through the barriers of the defensive wall of decency, that gives a man a new unchartered territory to conquer.

The harmless initial conversations have now been exchanged with wandering far and away into the forbidden territory and now you are in it, looking over your shoulder, deleting messages so no one finds them, sneaking around, longing, wanting, wishing, plotting and more. At this point, perhaps even both of you are dealing with the guilt and shame mixed with excitement of not getting caught, which only plays more heavily into the cycle of how it all repeats. The satisfaction of lust, all the more exquisite, as you feel alive, wanted, and appreciated more than ever before. The delight of the way it fills the bill, seems to offer promise of more of the same down the line if you continue in never getting caught.

Or, does it?

In reality, someone along the way is going to want more – and usually the woman. She wants a committment and will struggle to understand why a man plays the field if he is so unhappy in his status quo or even volatile and painfilled marriage. More often than not, something happens regardless of the exquisite promise of a new venture for your love life, in that in the end up – men often end up staying married to the original partner. The wanna-be new life starts to become the center of procrastination and excuses and before too long, your lover realizes, regardless of the loving exaltation, that she was used for something vastly in contrast to what the Word of God ever meant for a woman and was strung along to become another statistic in the world of affairs.

Emotional ties to someone your heart is not truly committed to, will yield to the fact that some day, someone is going to get burned, usually the woman, who looks far beyond the physical connection, and ties her value to how noncommittal the male lover is to her, as if an affair could offer a promising future of security anyway, be it that it’s birthed in a sinful time frame.  The other issue is, the wife may soon find out through a process of discovery, feeling devastated beyond remedy, children in the marriage are thrown into  chaos, and life as we knew it, is a bundle of disarray, raw emotions, and total uncertainty.

I also want to address the men who pursue other women and hide the very fact that they are even married, say it’s done through an online dating site. The level of energy it takes to juggle and hide each relationship from the other, must become quite exhausting in the over all scheme of managing and weaving tales. Whatever the issues that supplied a set up for a new romance, you now have a side relationship that appears to be a safe secure haven that engages your interests, emotions, and physical desires and yet hiding the fact of an existing marriage is far more of a cowardly act than one might like to admit. Even lying that your marriage is far worse off than it is, is also a way of seducing by way of deception.

As strange as it sounds to quote Bob Marley, but oh so true, “the biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her”, be it your wife that was promised “for better or worse” that you have cheated on for whatever the reason may be, or the one whom you have stirred into an emotional commitment to love you outside of your marriage, yet, knowing full well, you are not able to be faithful to either party. To entice another soul to fill the void, sooth your pain, knowing very well, everyone is denying the reality of a sad ending. It’s wickedly unfair to have lured an unsuspecting soul into a web of deceit to begin with – hence why the Word of God in Proverbs 1 discusses the sheep led to the slaughter and the fool who partakes in joining his soul to another person outside of marriage. Even if you have had a rare exception of happiness in an affair that ended up working out in the long run, no matter what, you live with the stigma of an affair in your present and past. Those infractions are rarely forgotten and go down in the historical account by family, children, and certainly the ex-spouse and both sides of your world, your’s and her’s ,will whisper of the truth of it, for quite some time.

Personally, having been the unwilling party on the receiving end of this type of pursuit in my history, I have found it completely cheap and disheartening to even be viewed in the most minor way as a surrogate wife to a married man. It short changes everything the Word of God says is pure and honorable of marriage, and towards women as a whole. Having experienced these passes of married men, men in the church especially,  who want a potential rendezvous, I have found the words they use as empty and nothing more than a smoke screen for what is going on in a broad range internally andcertainly would never promise a fulfilling future. Having the opportunity to be his cherished one and only one day seems quite ridiculous especially if he can’t cherish the one and only he is with currently.

LISTEN UP LADIES

Ladies, if you are reading this message, you know very good and well, that if he cheats with you, he will cheat on you. There are better ways to live on this earth, other than playing the game of being the one he hides and lies about in his world. If you are damaged goods by other men, do know that all be it rare, there are Godly men that will protect your achilles heal of past hurts, rather than exploit and use and become an added feature of even deeper scars on your soul.

Affairs, even if never carried fully into fruition of the actual act of full on sex, carries with it the surefire way to fail and be used. I resent men to the nth degree who think I would find their advances, of all things, flattering, knowing it could cost him and me everything, plus perpetuate generational sins already established rather than being the ones that are the catalyst to break that cycle.  Is the reality of all of this really supposed to be a turn on? As it looks, it’s a simple short fix that will amount to nothing more than a need for another fix.

Where are the real mean out there with backbone and inner strength who willfully decide to go the distance?

WHAT ABOUT YOUR HER?

A new-found secretive relationship could cost your partner in the affair everything , as there is no escaping the fact you both made decisions to act in this, unless it’s a girlfriend you hid the fact from that you are married. The fact a man would dull his own conscience to his marriage and the heart crush it would cause his wife, the price tag for his children, and the usery of the other ladies he chases, tells me volumes more about his lack of character than anything else. These actions help fuel the Gloria Steinem mentality that spews bitter hatred and self-righteous this and that, due to the inability to deal with and heal from pain with an attempt to guard and protect themselves from men they have labeled as “evil preying cheating monsters”.

Hey guys, let’s take a look at what women really want. We women need honorable men in our world. I, personally, want a safe covering for my life in the form of a faithful husband. Affairs dilute the institution of sacredness toward marriage as a whole, and for those in waiting for God’s very best like myself, failure to secure the borders against infidelity gives us one more reason to be disappointed in men and diminishes hope that there will ever be a “real man” that can be found anywhere in sight. Any more, it’s rare to find any man who hasn’t cheated somewhere in his lifetime.  The days of men protecting a woman’s honor, seems to have all but disappeared and is now used as a theme brought into films on the screen as an antiquated romantic ideal.

HOW IT WAS MEANT TO BE

People also forget the blessing that comes from the Lord by waiting on Him, for the best person, and in the sexual realm, keeping things pure before marriage and during marriage. There is a reward that comes from two people who truly work at making a long-term commitment priority and surrender the coping methods they have been using to the Lord, and allow Him to do the repair work needed and guiding into a renewed respect for the original spoken promises in our vows. It’s also the finest and the best of two people making a decision to marry, to marry the right person, at the right time for the right reasons. Oh the issues of life that could be avoided, if we prayed first, waited on the Lord for His best, and then proceeded into a life of blessings, rather than the constant challenges that marriages bring when not done in His will, with patience and a true reality check of what we bring to the table in the matrimonial world.

So let’s figure out where you are right now by answering these questions:

How does disobeying the Lord in the first place ever seem to assure a blessing in the long run?

Did you marry the wrong woman in a hurry due to lust and now there are great regrets shopping around outside of your marriage to see what it could have been?

When did respect for each other die in the way of protecting purity of another human being not to mention for yourself?

I personally love it when a man shows a serious level of maturity by realizing what is best for a lady, his own, and others. He opens the door for women, knows what good moral code is, and protects himself from his own weaknesses, even if the other party could never appreciate it. He will flee from the Jezebels that do indeed exist, and in contrast, also understands that if a vulnerable side of woman appears, it’s his duty and place to protect that by simply walking away, instead of maneuvering into a place to take advantage.Yes, she needs to guard herself as well, and as obvious in the situation, two people need to play the role of mature adults and simply flee from the temptation.

If he is my brother in Christ and knows better, and if you lady reading this know better, than why do we push the envelope into the affair level thinking it will ever bring a promise of a stable future more soundly than where we find ourselves now? It’s a lie from the Enemy to set one up for certain disaster.

If I were married, you are toying with another man’s territory, and if I am not, you are treading in the area of that of a future husband and the daughter of the King. Even if you dream of being that future spouse for a new lady, what kind of courtship is that – to be romancing someone while you are betraying your current vows, no matter what the excuse?

To add insult to injury, there is also nothing like the object of a husband’s affection that will guarantee the fury more of an anguished jilted and justifiably angry wife. Your other woman, will be regarded as the seducing villain, the enemy forever in the story, with no recourse, for no one can ever repair the feeling of being “less than”, than a wife that has been cheated on. This is one wound only the Lord Himself can heal.  And please, don’t tell me sir that you are totally forthright with your wife after being caught, only to lay a large amount of blame on the woman you had the affair with or almost affair with … because somehow she gets thrown under the bus no matter if she did or didn’t do a single thing to encourage your desire. Don’t blame your wife either for your stepping into infidelity.

Still feeling enticed to cheat?

What about our children? It sets up a major role model for our children to look up to and they will find themselves knowing that there is a higher standard to wait for in a husband. It’s about self respect as well and the best way to love a child, is to treat their mother with the highest level of integrity.

IS IT TOO LATE?

You may have already been there and done that, way past the point of no return, never having dreamed of having an affair, or even another affair, possibly wrestling with a huge sexual addiction, and are now standing in a position that makes you wonder how in the world this whole thing started. You are staying in a heavily broken and strained marriage by choice in the aftermath, or even ransacked by divorce proceedings, bank account drained, reduced to seeing your children every other weekend, or even more of a dagger in the heart, your children have decided not to have anything to do with you. Your job is in question, and if in ministry, you know full well this could and probably has cost you everything you ever worked for over the years.  And let’s not forget, perhaps an unplanned pregnancy or a surprise venereal disease pops into the scenario for you both to have to deal with the rest of your lives. The gift that keeps on giving. Plus this as well, what about 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?

Let’s see first how the dynamic of infidelity is a set-up from the origin, and learn how to avoid the perfect storm of lies from the evil one before it ever hits – that faulty promise that the grass is greener on the other side. Marriage was never meant to fill what only God could fill. That should be the beginning of baby steps toward understanding the Lord is the only and all fulfilling God and marriage is a GIFT and a commitment between two very imperfect people. Everyone woman can produce a vulnerable side, and if inspected long enough you will find her weaknesses and strengths,  what makes her laugh and delights her heart, those areas which men are often all too familiar with – the way of her wounds and needs and past issues that she carries into her present. Isn’t that what attracted you to your wife? So when you see it as an attraction to a new person, it’s the same pattern of setting one up for emotional ties not meant for any reason other than for marriage.

Often men experience that innate desire to either protect or exploit that Achilles Heal of a woman in “befriending” her as a brother, to fulfill her at least with words and encouragement to help her feel whole, only to find himself gradually falling into an unintentional desire for filling that role himself. She will respond to you one way or the other and may even fight you for a while, but if she doesn’t run from temptation, she soon moves closer to you in heart. It’s the thrill of the chase and winning her trust and affection that keeps you both coming back for more. It could also be that she seems quite stable in her ways, and that helps you feel whole and completed drawing from her strength where you can no longer look to your wife for support.

So one has to ask himself, did the affair of the heart start with the first glimpse of each other, or was it when you decided that it was each other’s responsibility to play the fixer upper?  If you can no longer fix your own, you mine as well divert your abilities onto a life that could appreciate it – right? And somebody had to make her aware of how smoking hot and desirable she is – so let it be you to do the task. You feel that she needs to understand that she “deserves to be loved and appreciated”.

Oh danger – danger! This is where we go from flattery to forgery of God’s call on her life. That is not anyone’s place to make a woman feel desirable but that of her husband alone. Your actions will woe her into falling in love and wanting you on a permanent basis and it is woefully unfair for you to truly have no intention of ever following through. This is why the Word of God says to “guard your hearts” (Proverbs 4:23). Even if you have not found yourself intertwined emotionally with a woman, you may feel that an on-line participation of a sexual nature, but no physical touching, is less threatening and more credible as the non-affair type of affair.  However, let this be a glaring reality for all to know, cheating is cheating, no matter how you slice it.

We can dissect an even deeper truth of the vows you willingly took on your wedding day. You took the time to consider your wife, to court her, and convene with her in marriage, for better and for worse.  You are in it, although bored, restless, and wandering, feeling unloved and unconnected, feeling a fresh new face could fool you into thinking that this is the answer, even if just for a temporary fix. But beware, every relationship dynamic has areas that need to be examined, and carrying old baggage into the new, complicated by the very real fact this is an affair, can rarely ever transpire into something promising for the long haul. I will never understand why a man who wants to play the field, decides to marry and stays in it, and justifies all day long running around behind the backs of those that trust him the most. All of it, can go up in smoke with one phone call, a picture for evidence, or text copy – living on the edge of disaster smacks of nothing more than immaturity in character at its worst.

Are the Ten Commandments no longer applicable to adultery? The answer to that is an unequivocal NO. Those virtues of the standard of living in the Word of God,  in Exodus and Proverbs, and more, explains the consequences of this danger over and over again and prove to be right on the money for the 21st century beings we are today. It can and will cost more for the undertaking of it, than anyone ever could have prepared themselves to pay. The Lord put these rules of conduct into place in order to help His children avoid pain and disaster and never for the reason of causing you to live a life that is less than. 

Before you justify your actions to get your needs met outside of your consecrated vows, as yourself how adding another relationship into the equation help the matter?  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. Do you really want a healthy marriage as it is? Then give it all you have got. And if you do end things, don’t play around for the mean time.

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 have married. It’s pretty much curbed my appetite for ever wanting marriage and provides one fact I can rest upon: never married, never 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 worked as hard as you can on your relationship, slowly let down over time, by the 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? Did 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 past 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 as self-serving as it can get.

“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.

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 with another, 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 who is a friend an object of your flirtation, can be a very dangerous risk.  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 key isn’t the empty marriage, it’s the emptiness within the people themselves.

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.

Again, my goal is not to berate, but simply to paint a sobering picture and provide a checklist in the mind for future reference that will give you guys something incredibly profound to consider before deciding to open the door to share intimacy with another woman.  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.

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 meantime, 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 …

Checklist:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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?
  3. 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”?
  4. 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?
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. 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?
  8. Am I lying to myself that flirting with anyone, is harmless? ) All marital infidelity begins with flirting.)
  9. 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?
  10. 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

Love

The One Thing I Don’t Ever Want To Do

“You’ve never been married?” Some have stammered with shock and disbelief over the years searching me with wannabe x-ray eyes and a mind riddled with assumptions and probing questions.

“Never been married, and I’ve never been divorced either,” I confidently retort.

Point being, I NEVER want to divorce.

Their reaction to my befitting response generally disarms and silences that quizzical mind that is about to hurl an almost accusatory tone of inquiries that borders on the edge of insulting all the way up to and including, “what’s wrong with you then?”

For some reason it’s almost as if they are personally injured because I didn’t choose marriage such as they did or possibly feel I have been robbed of marital bliss that all human beings should know about and experience. Quite frankly, I have not met anyone, even in the best of marriages, that hasn’t had to work through some tough issues in a lifelong commitment.

So the truth is what is RIGHT with and for me? What is right for you and what is right for me may have an ultra sharp contrast.

I have waited. On purpose. For God’s best. In His timing. For His purpose. I have heard His glorious voice that told me “single, for now,” when I asked. And, I don’t have the angst and worry that many singles do that have not married as marriage is not the center of the universe for me.

Paul, in the New Testament, even wisely addressed this ideal of singleness and that it is highly beneficial to remain, even as he was … single, in order to fulfill the work of God, unencumbered. He points to the topic of singleness in I Corinthians 7:8 and carefully uses the word “good” that one remains in a free state of being, that carries with it a vast and surprising meaning in the original Greek text. That very meaning even tips over the line into a definition that could be mistaken as “better” and carries an exquisite and lengthy root word trail wrapped up in descriptions such as “praiseworthy, magnificent, precious, and honorable,” which is spelled out in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

Praiseworthy? Magnificent? Precious? Honorable?

How’s that for the truth!? This is exactly why I don’t like to run toward a lifelong commitment.  What better way to prove maturity in Christ than to choose Him as the primary focus, even though there is nothing wrong with marriage as he continues to discuss in that powerful set of verses in I Corinthians 7. Paul was not lonely and depressed, but simply, and overwhelmingly, and willingly available, to the Lord’s purpose and plan.

My challenge to anyone who questions an on-purpose-single such as I am, is to do a word study on these verses in the Word of God before they decide to turn and lecture by making assumptive comments or allowing the unsolicited advice to begin with and basing it on the desires of the average Joe or Josephine they have met. It may even challenge some to look into their own lives and see if they too are not called to singleness if given a moment of meditation and reflection. There is nothing more gratifying than understanding one’s call, so rather than fear singleness, find out if it might just be for you.

I am vastly contented in my 47 years of freedom from the yoke of marriage, and have been quite fulfilled in my marriage to the Lord.  Some cannot fathom this and one woman years ago even flat out called me something short of a liar. That’s when I knew I was talking to someone who couldn’t survive without a man herself; therefore the rest of the women in the world must be just like her. Right? Poor lady. Even more ridiculous, sometimes one will reach over and pat my hand and look at me with a pseudo compassion – completely displaced I might add, affirming that God will bring “him” one day … just you wait honey, “it” will happen.

Nothing could grovel my bones harder than the misguided idea that I have been feeling dissed, hurt, lonely or any other misnomer to that cause because there is not a significant earthly other, as if all singles are panting and pining for a mate. It never quite hits them in the way of wisdom that maybe some singles really choose to be alone and that some of us have had some very interesting suitors that have turned our taste buds completely off to marriage for the present, only to be replaced with a vastly more fulfilling call in God’s work. Not only that, marriage is hard work! And I am not so sure I want to add a line item of marriage with a number of work orders attached to it that will naturally float to the top in importance and attention in my life until I am good and ready.

God has given me an enormous amount energy, ridiculous ambition, and a fistful of diamonds of ministry that I serve with my whole heart, and it would take a very special man to share in that energy, joy, and calling, and not feel threatened, or become needy in the process. The Lord has equipped me for His work. In turn, if and when that elusive gentleman of mine presents himself, I want to go in with my eyes wide open, equipped with the understanding that we are a team and not in competition, and that we have all the “stuff” that is needed to be a success. There is nothing I would love more than to serve my husband in a way far better than he even prayed for … but the Lord can only create that cocktail mix for all the necessary elements to be in place. Namely – that we were made for one another. I have dreams and baggage and I imagine he will too, so it has to be the perfect fit and I will not settle for anything different nor will I get married just to be married to beat the clock only to end up in divorce or worse — marriage with infidelity present somewhere. Trapped in a disappointing marriage because I didn’t want to wait? NO WAY!!

Has God’s call cost me the opportunity for children? Possibly so, … but I could be the rare 50 something year old woman someday that married in God’s perfect timing and gave birth and beat the shocking snot out of everyone.  Yet, never has it been burning in my bones to hear babies crying at 3 a.m. nor to deal with a possible dysfunctional teenager. I’m not really wired for that, just like it’s not been in me for the immediate drive to marry out of high school or college. If the Lord should so wish for me to have children, step or home grown, He will be faithful to give me the ticket before I climb on board.

So there it is, from the beginning of time … that simply dynamic complicated union … which has become the emotionally charged target for descriptives tethered to its side ranging from “the hardest thing one has ever done” to the “best move one has ever made,” that life engulfing entity that dreams or nightmares are made of, that life-altering experience that offers a variety of material that film makers can draw from … the source for fulfillment, emptiness, excitement, hard work, ministry, thrills, boredom, strength, sorrow, great love, bitter disappointment, happiness, faithfulness, depression, peace, infidelity, challenge, frustration, abuse, total and complete joy, electric chemistry, great-boring-or-no-sex, the source for so many thousands of dollars spent in counseling and legal fees, that fascinating union of two, that God-given gift and creation … called … marriage.

Marriage … couples blend together and consummate their lives, their individual character traits, interests, talents, skills, beliefs, cultures, family background, belief systems, approaches to parenting, and more, and the entire process is often found to be the very hammer that pounds out the strengths and weaknesses of the couple who dared to enter over into its threshold. And for those very reasons listed above, I have approached marriage with a painful caution even slipping over the edge into a viewpoint of cynicism.

I was birthed into my two immediate families – one of mom, one of dad, who have successfully created sixteen hefty complicated divorces and a host of remarriages and blended family unions, diversifying every holiday as children work to figure out how to juggle one family verses the other, or as well as the other, for a visit–not to mention, a number of divorces that exist throughout my non-immediate family with the greats, the cousins, and so on. Some of those people have actually managed to marry and divorce multiple times in a short record number of years, or have remained single since then, and some finally got it “right” or simply decided that one more scar on the heart was unwelcomed. Nothing like a little variety in life-mates right?

Yes, few, very few, marriages successfully survived the worst and remain intact, namely my grandparents who have been together for over 73 years. It has been tough and difficult, but they have also been a source of delight for one another not to mention that they love their children and grandchildren voraciously. Being the first born grandchild and only grand-daughter, I have grown old enough now to see things with my own eyes and have listened to the stories of old and new to learn the reality check of marriage. I am not sure I would want a marriage like theirs at all. In fact, I know I don’t for a variety of reasons I will refrain from unpacking.

There has been more than one opportunity for marriage for me, but deep in that women’s instinctive gut He gave us girls, there was no doubt, they were not “the one.” It was hard to walk away, many tears and heart ache involved, and often I have questioned God as to what the purpose of that set up was for, only to fall back on the original truth in my heart — that I never really enjoyed the dating process that I figured later was for this very reason … it’s not in the Bible. It’s an “American tradition” as Elisabeth Elliot pointed out personally to a group of us in a women’s conference years ago and at that point, I nearly stood and applauded her insight at the podium in that God could do a splendid job of matchmaking without our help. Help that usually turns things into a mess. We end up with people that the Lord never intended for us.

Yes, He can use dating, but often we yield to a wrong match making process that’s Plan B when our Father had a much better idea with Plan A. I choose Plan A. Still, I have yet to truly encounter the man, single and ready, with whom I have that natural chemistry and complimentary match up of the fundamental basics that one would not want to survive without in a lifelong commitment. Never settled, never will. God has created me as an Eve for a perfect fit for my earthly Adam husband, aside from the spiritual Husband I already have called Jesus Christ. After all, in the book of Isaiah, He is called our Husbandmen. That to me, is worth its weight in gold.

One close friend said it was exactly what she had prayed for when she married at 42, that her husband most certainly filled “the list” she had created for her praying friends to offer to the Lord after multiple years in ministry service which has yielded her a beautiful speaking ministry AND she got the marriage goods to go with that gift. Had she married younger, she would have missed one of the most incredible ventures in mission work that anyone could have ever imagined. No, it was not easy in ministry all the way, and unlike me, she truly did want to be married all along. But in God’s timing, He brought her – her imperfectly perfect man and no doubt she would not have it any other way.

Conversely, there is no way to summarize and count correctly the number of pain filled voices I have heard of women and men who wished they had never married him or her, or wished they had waited, or hurried into marriage because they were pregnant, or married for sex or money or loneliness, or simply, because they thought it was time. But the big one that REALLY rips me a new set of angries, are the stories of marriage that yielded to the pressure of parents, the church, friends or otherwise.

For the love of everyone, why would anyone pressure their children, a friend, or a minister, to marry someone that they may not deeply love, or have chemistry with, or could have massive issues with down the line? Is it pride, money, prestige that drives us to put someone into the hot seat? What are we doing when we try to live vicariously through our children or friends and miss the greatest satisfaction aside from our love of the Lord … the love from a man or woman that was divinely made to fit us in every way with a spiritual yoking that fits? Oh how vital that is for making a union peaceful and those complimentary gifts for one another that provide balance and a sense of relief as the other mate has got our back in those places we are weak.

My mother and father have never pressured me into marriage to any degree whatsoever and I am all the more blessed to have not made that mistake of yielding to the wrong situation. Probably they didn’t ride my heels for marriage or grandchildren because they have been married a time or two or three themselves and they know full well what it entails. Thank you mom and dad.

How about this one–physical desires and intimacy? Assumptions cannot be made here about how “it” will be. So, imagine if one will, openly discussing and expressing wants and fantasies even before marriage to a fiancé in a spirit of chaste respect, so that they are aware of expectations going in rather than bitter disappointment after the nuptials took place. Not being correctly balanced with the person the Lord has made as an Eve for an Adam, could almost guarantee a lack of fulfillment in this area, possibly leading to infidelity and a tearing asunder as one searches for that very basic need outside of their vows that our Creator Himself intended to be fulfilled by the right person inside of marriage. Oh the woes of being unfaithful, but oh the woes of why they did it and the numerous examples in history of those devastating consequences of a cheating spouse. Dissatisfaction in this precious part of marriage doesn’t just affect the couple alone, it affects everyone else too.

Married men or women may act the part of a seducer and not even be aware they are doing this, simply because they are hungry for stimulation mentally from someone else that is attractive, and then emotional and ultimate physical desires will soon follow. Think on that chain reaction a minute and see how that could be true and the path where that could lead. I will say though, I truly understand why some do wander. Since marriage is already filled with challenges, it’s even harder if it’s to the wrong person. The wrong person can make it supremely difficult and one will feel rejected, unloved, unsupported, and this can go on for years and years at a time. We can hardly blame a person for looking around and comparing when times are tough, but then when actions follow, it gets ultra-complicated. When one is not fulfilled in Christ first, they can make the unwise choice all the way down the line in who and why they marry to begin with, all the way to the trip outside of marriage if things are not going well. It boils down to our identity in Christ and our trust in Him for His choice for us. Do NOT settle.

Summing up, without a doubt I have with great certainty come to the conclusion that 99% of the reasons couples don’t survive marriage is because they did not marry their divinely created Eve or their Adam that was designed as a teammate to withstand what life can hurl at them, albeit we will still sin even with the right fit as happened in the Garden of Eden. But it’s so much better to be equally yoked. It’s a choice to marry right, and a choice to stay right within that boundary of commitment. Not being equally yoked can devastate and disable even the most well-meaning suitors and marital partners.  Big woops is all I have to say if we settle for less. I have even seen blessed second or third marriages when the first one or two spelled mistake. Now the Baptists would have a field day with that comment, but I have indeed seen this to be true.  God works with us despite our mistakes – even divorce, for He is a gracious and loving God and if we are made in His image with His gigantic heart of love. I want ALL of that love for you and for me when we choose a mate.

My greatest reservation to marriage for myself is the fact I dread the idea of divorce. Others reading this, dealing with heart break if you split due to a mismatch on this side of marriage before it happens is far less painful than marrying someone that you discover is all wrong  … it even saves your life. Why be married to someone who is wrong for you? For when the time comes, dissatisfaction later on will set in when there comes the game-playing of hatred, withholding intimacy, using children as a weapon, messy money issues, and a lifetime tied to that person from then on even if you divorced, if even just for the memory of the experience.

Proceed with calculated caution and a mother load of prayer and WISE counsel. If that is not enough to read and digest, the Word of God is full of promises for us when we pray and lift our imperfect selves, broken marriages, scarred hearts, and even our joy-filled thanks to Him. But, if there is one caution I could give to someone who reads this … Men, WAIT on your EVE. Women WAIT on your ADAM. I don’t want to settle for good. I want to run toward great and I want the same for you. Take your time and pray for and against those things you desire in marriage and learn that you may need to surrender to God’s type of person He brings that is better than one could ever imagine. Ask anyone who has done it right. It’s well worth the wait.

Disclaimer: This blog is from the viewpoint of the author, and her opinion is not up for debate.