With the rise in popularity of social networking sites, (there will be an estimated 250,000 by years end) it has become very easy and convenient to “connect” with people. I do not have a “beef” with social networking sites, in fact I just became a member of Facebook, but if people would spend as much time trying to “connect” with their spouse as they did with their Facebook contacts their marriages would be in much better shape.
One of the issues with social networking sites and chat rooms is that it makes it easy for people to “connect” and to interact in private. I, for one, do not frequent chat rooms. I do not have anything against them but I don’t have anything for them either. Many people have fallen prey to idle chatter only to have it grow into something more serious and cause a breach in their marriage. If you want to talk to someone, talk to your spouse, it may shock them but I guarantee they will enjoy the conversations with you.
There is no good, sound reason that you should, either in a chat room, on the job or in any other setting, give personal details of your marriage and its content to anyone of the opposite sex. If you’re not happy or if there is a situation in your marriage that needs attention discussing it with a third party will not help the problem only compound it. Go sit down with your spouse and explain the situation to them, pray together, work it out, counsel with your pastor or allow him to help set up professional Godly counsel, that is the only solution to the issue.
I have heard all the arguments such as; He/she understands me, or, we’re just friends, it doesn’t mean anything; even, a little flirting will help your marriage. In most cases, before you have a physical affair you will have an emotional affair, but if you keep your affair in the emotional phase it is just as wrong as if it was physical. Some of the warning signs of an emotional affair are:
1. You keep your friendship with the individual a secret from your spouse
2. You share your feelings with this individual instead of your spouse
3. You become preoccupied with thoughts of this individual
4. If confronted about this friendship you become defensive and say that you are just friends and that they understand you better than your spouse does
5. Sharing intimate emails or conversing regularly in chat rooms
Most affairs start with the words, “We’re just friends.” If you need a friend you should look to your spouse, they should be the best friend that you have, second to none. We are living in crucial times and the institution of marriage is under constant attack. We must be on our guard, do everything that you can to affair proof your marriage. Pray for your spouse everyday, spend quality time with them, pray together, go to church together, and always be open and honest with each other in your relationship. Do not hide feelings that would cause problems in your relationship, communicate with each other and do everything within your power to enjoy a happy healthy relationship with your spouse.
This article “Online Adultery” by Scott Stone was excerpted from: The Preacher’s Page newsletter. August 2009. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”