Category Archives: infidelity

5 Actions You Can Take to Problem Solve in Your Marriage

 Problem Solve in your Marriage

Whether it’s before an affair, to #affairproof your marriage, or after an affair to reconcile, there are specific actions you can take to problem solve in your marriage.

The #1 topic in our Affaircare Topic Survey  was Problem Solving, and today we tackle how to solve those issues that are damaging your marriage.

The first thing that MUST be ascertained

Are you trying to get someone else to solve the problem for you? If you hear yourself saying, “I can’t make my mind up” “I can’t help it” or “What should I do?” those are typical clues that you want someone else to do your job. Ask yourself if you are trying to avoid taking personal responsibility.  Do you manipulate things so you can avoid the natural consequences of your choices? In essence if this is the issue, than “the problem” is not the real problem. The REAL problem is that you don’t want to be responsible. The solution is to make a choice, and act. Make the decision and accept the benefits of the choice you made and live with the consequences of the choice you made.

If, on the other hand, you are worried about making the RIGHT decision, then the answer to that is simple.

5 Actions You Can Take to Problem Solve in Your Marriage

1. Secure commitment from both to Christ and His Word as the standard for all that is done and said.

1.a. Study together what the Bible has to say about the problem. Keep an open mind.

Nave’s Topical Bible Concordance Online: http://www.biblestudytools.com/concordances/naves-topical-bible/

2. Foster and establish companionship between the spouses (making sure they have a right understanding of what marriage is)

3. Unity in intimacy
a. United “the two are one”
b. Intimacy: physical/sexual and emotional/mental

4. Growth, which means sanctification. Grow in Christ as a couple because of this issue.

5. Exemplify the relationship between Christ (The Groom) and His Church (The Bride)

If you take these five actions, and there is not a resolution, then it comes down to personal preference. Honestly, discuss it with your spouse and agree to pick one. Do not assume and agree together that you will do nothing until there is earnest, mutual agreement.

Example: Arguing about money–husband bought a “man toy” without speaking to his wife and now they are in more debt than they can afford.

RESOURCES:

Marriage Blueprint: The Purpose of Marriage (Companionship)

Link to Nave’s Topical Bible Concordance Online: http://bit.ly/2jJj6wr

Top Ten Marriage Sites to Help Your Christian Marriage Grow

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Doesn’t Seem Like an Affair to Me!

 

As Christian counselors who have worked with couples for 17 years, we frequently meet couples where one of the spouses just does not think what they are doing is an affair.  “It doesn’t seem like an affair to me!” they say.  So we thought we’d dedicate an entire episode to discuss some of the most common objections to why their “friendship” could not possibly be an affair.

 

If that friendship you have with someone at the office or at school is affecting your spouse, in what way is it showing your spouse love? After all:
the essence of married love, to which each party pledges himself or herself, is to put the other first.” ~Jay Adams

 

1. “Well they need to get over it”

But that’s not how Scripture deals with those things. In I Corinthians 8:8-12 Paul writes: “But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. …When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” He’s talking about a big controversy they had in Corinth about whether a follower of Christ could eat meat that had been sacrificed to an idol. Further, Paul was Jewish and some in Corinth even said that Christians had to keep kosher! Paul answered all this by saying that there is only one God from whom all things come and for whom we live, thus “where a meat is cooked” does not make the meat sinful or non-sinful. BUT if eating that food causes a brother or sister in Christ to fall into sin, we not only sinned against a fellow Christian, but against Christ! And he goes on to say that if something he does causes someone to fall into sin, he would rather not do it AT ALL then to cause them to fall. This is the way of Christian maturity.

The mature Christian does not put a stumbling block in front of the baby christian, even if it is the baby Christian’s “weakness.” If you’re spouse is stumbling because of your actions, you are not loving them. And if you are not loving your spouse and loving someone else (a “friend” or someone “who needs you”) then that is the very definition of infidelity. You need to end that “friendship” and refocus on your marriage.

It may be it is a weakness, and they need to grow, and there are ways you can help your spouse do that that don’t involve hurting them or the marriage or the family.  PUT OFF the sin of causing them to stumble because of your actions, and PUT ON the godly action of helping them to grow in Christ.

 

2. “Well I wouldn’t be friends with the Other Person if my spouse wasn’t such a grouch!”

Wait a minute! Let’s define right here and now who is responsible for what in your marriage.

Certainly it would be easier if to be faithful if your spouse was loving and pleasant … Certainly it would be easier if they were always what you wanted them to be! But God has told husbands to be loving PERIOD! Ephesians 5:25 and 28, Colossians 3:19, I Peter 3:7 And God has also clearly told us that wives are in submission to their husbands, whether their husband is loving or not! Ephesians . 5:22 and 24 and 33 and Colossians  3:18, I Peter 3:1 You don’t do it in hopes of getting your spouse to do what you want them to do -OR- “only on the condition that…” You do it because God expects you to and has given you the power to do so.  PUT OFF the behavior of self-centeredness, and PUT ON the behavior of God-centered obedience.

 

3. “But this is just the way I am! I’m friendly!”

Doubtless that is the way you WERE as a non-Christian, and being friendly is not the problem. But allowing the guise of friendliness to corrupt your good character IS! It’s not the way God wants you to be and with His power it’s not the way you will be in the future, so continuing to use that as a reason to keep sinning is not valid–you’re still harming your spouse! Scripture is full of warnings to keep away from outside influences that lead to occasions to stumble. In I Corinthians 15:33 Paul writes: “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.Proverbs 12:26: “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.Proverbs 13:20Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” (There are so many in the book of Proverbs we could go on and on.) Psalm 1! Keep away from all whose lives are displeasing to God; otherwise, you are likely to be influenced by them…and being pleasing to God would be building your marriage relationship and honoring your commitment!  PUT OFF the rationalizing of “that’s just the way I am” and PUT ON the confidence that in God you are a new creation, as promised in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

 

4. You may just be in outright denial that it’s an affair.

The examples above are ALL affairs, and I bet the disloyal spouse in those scenarios didn’t think they were! If you have convinced yourself that what you’re doing is justified even though you know it’s harming your marriage, in that case, you obviously need to stop. If you are the only person in the world Other Person has to lean on, then you have an inappropriate relationship–you’ve given a third person the support that’s due only to your spouse. If you have told yourself “I deserve better” or “Love shouldn’t be this hard” and crossed the line of honoring your vow to forsake all others, then you have been unfaithful. Stop using euphemisms! PUT OFF the denial and justification, and PUT ON admittance and repentance.

The end result is the same in all instance: the relationship outside the marriage needs to stop forever. There needs to be a rebuilding of your primary commitment–your marriage. Whether your spouse is weak, there’s a flaw in your spouse, you don’t want to change, or you are in denial, all of those instances indicate a deep issue in your marriage that needs to be addressed.

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Marriage Blueprint: The Obligation of Marriage

 Marriage Blueprint: Obligation of Marriage

Our site is about helping people recover their marriage after an affair.  But how can we talk about adultery without first knowing what marriage IS?

This series will focus on erroneous views of marriage that lead to wrong expectations, attitudes, and practices.  Many bible-believing Christians go wrong because their concept of marriage is an illusion. So we’re going to spending the next weeks studying the blueprint of marriage: 1) the origin of marriage, 2) the purpose of marriage, 3) the obligation of marriage, and 4) the commitment of marriage.

We talked two weeks ago about the Origin of Marriage–it began with God, who instituted it even before businesses and churches, as a foundation of society.

Our last podcast post discussed another common misunderstanding: the Purpose of Marriage.  Many couples, even Christians, think of marriage as legalized sex or procreation, but the true purpose is a COVENANT of COMPANIONSHIP.

This week we talk about the one erroneous belief about marriage that leads to wrong expectations, attitudes, and practices: the Obligation of Marriage.

The Duties of Marriage

There are many “marital duties” mentioned in the Bible:

a) Sexual duties

In I Corinthians chapter 7, Paul gives us some clear instruction about married life and sexuality.  We can glean from these verses that sex should only be between covenant-committed, married husband and wife.  Please note that the couple yields there bodies to each other, rather than seeking their own sexual pleasure. Finally–we are not to deprive each other of regular, healthy, lively, enjoyable sex!

1 Corinthians 7:2b-5
…each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.  The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.  The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

b) Duties for wives

Again the Apostle Paul teaches us about marriage in the fifth chapter of Ephesians.  In these verses, addressed to wives, we learn that wives are directed to submit to their husbands the same way that we submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

c) Duties for husbands

The Apostle Paul continues this chapter addressing the husbands, and here we learn that husbands are COMMANDED to love their wives the way that Jesus Christ loved the Church–sacrificially.  Paul even points out that a husband who loves his wife, loves himself!

Ephesians 5:25-28
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

d) Duties for parents

King David teaches us that one of the duties of marriage is the produce and raise godly offspring, who can be “shot out into the world.”

Psalm 127:3-5
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.

The ONE Obligation of Marriage

So there are many duties relating to marriage–but the ONE UNDERLYING OBLIGATION is the promise to provide lifelong companionship to your spouse. When a couple takes marriage vows, whether you know it or not (and most often people don’t know) you are promising to spend your life meeting THEIR needs–not the other way around!

Today’s society has told us that “love” is about YOU: you’ll never be alone, you’ll get regular sex, you’ll have someone who is “there for you,” and you’ll have your needs met! But as usual the world got it 100% backward!

THE obligation of marriage is that “love” is about GIVING and not RECEIVING.

Your marriage vows state that your spouse will never be alone, because you will be their companion. You promise to provide regular, lively, loving sex for your spouse. Your pledge is that you will “be there” for them! And together the two of you covenant to spend your lives getting to know each other so that you know how to meet their needs.

That means that when one spouse comes to us and says “I’m not getting my needs met” it is nonsensical. We do not have counselees fill out the Love Kindlers questionnaire so they can present it to their spouse and DEMAND that their needs be met! NO!  The reason for filling out and sharing the questionnaires is so you can learn what would meed the needs of your spouse and then begin to plan how to meet that need! In other words, the work in the questionnaire is TO LISTEN and LEARN, not to demand.

Thus we help our counselees see that the primary question is “How can I please God and my spouse?” not “How can I please myself?” If the focus is taken off of pleasing The Self, then selfish actions such as “I’m not not getting my needs met” or continuing in infidelity will not make any sense.

AFFAIRCARE RESOURCES:

The Origin of Marriage

The Purpose of Marriage

Bible Verses to Save Your Marriage After an Affair

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Marriage Blueprint: The Purpose of Marriage

 Marriage Blueprint: Origin of Marriage

Our site is about helping people recover their marriage after an affair.  But how can we talk about adultery without first knowing what marriage IS?

This series will focus on erroneous views of marriage that lead to wrong expectations, attitudes, and practices.  Many bible-believing Christians go wrong because their concept of marriage is an illusion.  So we’re going to spending the month of September studying the blueprint of marriage: 1) the origin of marriage, 2) the purpose of marriage, 3) the obligation of marriage, and 4) the commitment of marriage.

We talked last week about the Origin of Marriage–it began with God, who instituted it even before businesses and churches, as a foundation of society.

This week we talk about another common misunderstanding: the PURPOSE of marriage.

Common Misconceptions

Many people think it is for procreation–or to raise godly offspring–and still others believe it is a moral sanction for sex–in other words, the purpose of marriage is so we can have sex in a way that is acceptable to God! But both of these purposes are too narrow. Sex doesn’t start a marriage and sex doesn’t end a marriage–so marriage is not “for sex”! Likewise, people can and do procreate inside, outside, along side and upside down of marriage! Mating and making babies does not equal “marriage”!

So what IS the purpose of marriage? Let’s look in a couple verses!

It is Not Good to be Alone

Genesis 2: 18

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

God made Eve, not only as Adam’s HELPER, although help is one dimension of companionship, but also as his COMPANION.

The reason God instituted marriage was to meet the need for intimate companionship. Marriage was designed to defeat loneliness. The essence of marriage is a COVENANT of companionship–and both parts are important: the COVENANT part…and the COMPANIONSHIP part. This same emphasis on companionship is stressed elsewhere.

A Companion Who Was Formerly WILD-Now Willing to be Close!

Proverbs 2: 16-17

“So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;”

Hebrew word for “companion” here is אַלּ֣וּף  transliterated: ‘al-lūp̄ from the root word alluwph. This word means a friend, an intimate, someone who is familiar and gentle from the knowing. The funny thing about this word is that it also has an aspect that has to do with wild animals. The concept is “one who is turned” and it means a wild animal that has been tamed and is not familiar and gentle. So this so someone who had WILD attitudes and actions, who is now tamed–warm and willing to be close.

A Companion of Like Character, Rank and Calling.

Malachi 2:13-16

“You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “covers his garment with violence,” says the Lord of hosts. “So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

Hebrew word for “companion” here is חֲבֶרְתְּךָ֖ transliterated  ḥă-ḇer-tə-ḵā from the root word chabereth. That is a word that means your fellows–your associates who are of like character. These are the people of your society who are of like rank and like calling. In other words–YOUR BUDDIES. The guys you grew up with and went to school with. The girl across the street. Someone CLOSE.

Marriage is a Covenant of Companionship

In both of these verses we are being warned about adultery and being faithless, and both verses indicate that abandoning the Covenant of Companionship is infidelity! Together the two Hebrew words speak of a relationship in which there is constant commitment (the covenant part) and intimacy (the companionship part). The two passages make it clear that entrance into marriage should mean the desire to meet each other’s need for companionship. Love, in marriage, focuses on GIVING one’s spouse the companionship s/he needs to eliminate loneliness! In practical terms that means finding out what makes your spouse feel lonely and giving them what they need so they don’t feel lonely!!

Intimacy apart from commitment is not adequate; commitment to remain together apart from intimacy is equally deficient. BOTH elements are necessary!

Now we’re not saying that raising godly offspring is wrong–it’s just not the purpose of marriage. It is PART of the purpose. It is an aspect of marriage, as is mating. The intimacy of biblical companionship extends beyond the physical (sex), to every aspect of human nature.

“One Flesh” Is Not All About Sex!

Finally, let’s discuss one phrase that is very commonly misunderstood as it relates to marriage: “One flesh” (as found in Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:6, Mark 10:8, etc.) Almost everyone thinks that is referring to sex! The words used are closer to the word we use in English when we say “everybody.” Do we mean “each physical body”? No–we mean “everyone” or “each person”–and the Hebrew and Greek words here are similar.

The marriage union is meant to be the closest, mose intimate of all human relationships. Two persons may begin to think, feel, and act as one. They function as one unit. So when God speaks of “one flesh” He’s talking about union:

  1. one body — sexual union, a close physical union
  2. one flesh — the marriage union, an even closer union of companionship
  3. one spirit — the union with Christ, the closest union of all!

God’s revealed goal is for a husband and wife to become one in all areas of their relationship–intellectually, emotionally, physically. The Covenant of Companionship fills this need.

People who enter marriage with the idea that marriage is pretty much legalized sex also have a grossly unbiblical idea of the next important concept about marriage that we’ll discuss next week: The OBLIGATION of marriage.

AFFAIRCARE RESOURCES:

Bible Verses to Save Your Marriage After an Affair

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Marriage Blueprint: The Origin of Marriage

 Marriage Blueprint: Origin of Marriage

Our site is about helping people recover their marriage after an affair.  But how can we talk about adultery without first knowing the origin of marriage?

This series will focus on erroneous views of marriage that lead to wrong expectations, attitudes, and practices.  Many bible-believing Christians go wrong because their concept of marriage is an illusion.  So we’re going to spend the next four weeks studying the blueprint of marriage: 1) the origin of marriage, 2) the purpose of marriage, 3) the obligation of marriage, and 4) the commitment of marriage.

Most Christians have a simple understanding of the origin of marriage. “Adam and Eve–Garden of Eden” is a typical response. But many are unaware of the significance of that origin. So here is one of the basic concepts in the blueprint of marriage: MARRIAGE IS OF DIVINE ORIGIN!  The practical relevance of this basic concept must be considered!

1) God designed marriage as the foundational element of all human society.

God formally instituted marriage before there was a church, a school, or a business.  If marriage were of human origin, then humans could change or alter the terms for whatever reason they wish!  However, if marriage is of divine origin, then marriage should last until God ordains otherwise.  The rules and ideals of marriage are to be those which HE sets forth.  Marriage must not be redesigned by political correctness.  Individuals may marry, divorce, and remarry without sin only if, when and how God says.

2) Marriage is a foundational institution.

It was first to be instituted formally as a sphere of human society (before schools, business, even religion). Society in all its forms depends on marriage. Marriage is the foundation upon which the Church, as God’s family, rests. The covenant community is weakened as marriages are weakened. It is a group of individuals living under one roof, under one human head, and is a separate decision-making unit.

3) Marriage is not “for the propagation of the species”

Humans (like gerbils, rabbits, monkeys and other mammals) can propogate outside the bounds of marriage by mating. While it is true that God ordained that righteous procreation must be one duty of marriage, it is not the FUNDAMENTAL feature of marriage. Marriage is not “mating.”

4) Marriage must not be equated with sexual relations.

People can and do have sinful sex before marriage, but their sex does not translate into a marriage! Furthermore, the first sexual act of the honeymoon does not solemnize the marriage. Marriage AUTHORIZES moral sexual relations. Thus, adultery, while exerting tremendous strain on the marriage, does not DISSOLVE it. Marriage is bigger than and inclusive of sexual union. Sex doesn’t CREATE a marriage and sex doesn’t dissolve a marriage. Divorce, following adultery as a consequence, is not merely an outward formalization of an inward reality, but a new and further step beyond the adultery.

So if marriage is not sexual union, and if marriage is bigger than and distinct from “sex”–we have to ask: “What IS marriage?”  Tune in next week as we examine the PURPOSE of marriage!

 

AFFAIRCARE RESOURCES:

Bible Verses to Save Your Marriage After an Affair

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Refresh Series: What to Do If You Just Found Out

What to do if you just found out -renovations 

Affaircare is REFRESHING the website this month with a new look and updated info!  We thought it would be a good month to have a Refresh Series to refresh everyone on our fundamental concepts.  We are going to refresh YOU with our straightforward, Christian guidance!

This week we continue our Refresh Series by talking about “What to Do If You Just Found Out.” Next week we will conclude the series with “The Steps You Can Take to Save Your Marriage.”

A Parable about finding out

You have known that something is wrong in your marriage, and now you have in your hands the proof you don’t want: your spouse is having an affair.  You instinct is to do something FAST, and most likely your gut reaction will not be helpful toward saving your marriage and reconciling.  So this podcast refreshes you with what to do if you just found out.

Usually when people just find out, their reaction is one of two things: 1) revenge or 2) pleading.  If your inclination is toward revenge, you may have an overwhelming urge to rage, scream or “hurt them back.”  If your tendency is less self-assured, you may beg them to love you, plead with them to stay, ask for another chance, and promise them you’ll change!

Both of these compulsions are counter-productive, and both of these reactions are sinful.  Since biblically saving your marriage IS so counter-intuitive, and since our Christian worldview is even more counter-intuitive to the world view, we want to give you four things you CAN do that will help immensely.

First, in the podcast we shared a parable about what it feels like to discover that your spouse is cheating.  We shared this parable because language is usually insufficient to convey the full depth of the emotions.  Until we heard this example, nothing had really come close to describing it–and yet this parable does come close. Therefore, this parable is shared with hope: hope that Loyal Spouses will now have a tool to “describe” it in word pictures…and hope that Disloyal Spouses will have an image that will reveal the crisis of just finding out.  If you’d like to read the parable more fully, click on our blog “How it Feels to Discover Your Spouse is Cheating.”
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Four Things You Can Do If You Just Found Out

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1) Don’t be in a rush

The first thing you need to do calm down and don’t do anything rash. There will be plenty of time for making decisions, deciding what to do, when and how.  Unless you are in the right state of mind, you will experience even more confusion and pain.

  • Schedule an appointment with your doctor.–You are going to need an STD test and  it is a wise idea to have your personal physician informed on the things that could be affecting your health.  If your doctor tries to prescribe anti-depressants, don’t use pills as a crutch.
  • Open your Bible –You have a Source of undending strength, compassion, and healing at your fingertips. God promises to be there, and what God promises, He does. Right now you need comfort, in the upcoming days you will need support and truth. This is all found in God’s word. Start with the Psalms.

2) Take responsibility for your part of what has occurred

Taking responsibility is not accepting Disloyal excuses or blame!  But it is saying “I could have chosen this or that, and I made this choice.” Just be honest with yourself about any areas in which you need to repent and change! What things did you stop doing that were kindling the fire of love?  What things did you start doing that were purring out the fire?

3) Do a U-turn from what you’ve been doing

Your marriage is in a crisis.  Your family is in a crisis.  What you’ve been doing is NOT WORKING; thus it would be foolishness to return to “the way things were.” We recommend that you do a complete “about face” in the way you view marriage, in the way you think about your spouse, and in the way you ACT.

4) Get advice from an expert

Get some help and support, privately and confidentially, from someone you trust who is wise and who will give you wise counsel in getting through this. Your expert could be a pastor, parent or grandparent, sibling, coach or counselor. But the idea is to find someone who will encourage and support you in doing the right thing (even when it’s hard) and who will tell you the truth to your face.

 

AFFAIRCARE RESOURCES:

The “Just Found Out” tab to receive our newsletter

The article for those who “Just Fount Out”

Search for the terms “Just Found Out” on the Affaircare website

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Refresh Series: What Is an Affair and How Do They Start?

What is an Affair -renovations 

Affaircare is REFRESHING the website this month, so we thought it would be a good month to have a Refresh Series to refresh everyone on our fundamental concepts.  We are going to refresh YOU with our straightforward, Christian guidance while we refresh the look of the site and refresh the podcast.

This week we continue our Refresh Series by talking about what is and is not “an affair” and how affairs start. Next weeks we’ll keep going with “What to Do If You’ve Just Found Out: , and then the final week of August we’ll conclude with “The Steps You Can Take to Save Your Marriage.”

“What is an affair?”

You know me, I love to define! We are REFRESHING this definition!

“Infidelity is giving less than 100% of your affection, loyalty, and companionship to your spouse; in other words, giving any percentage or portion to someone other than your spouse.”

Let’s first talk about what IS and IS NOT a marriage. I’m not going into this too deeply because we’re doing a series on what marriage is next month. But for now, God defines marriage as: a man and a woman who covenant a lifetime of giving love before God. Marriage is not the same as “living together” nor “a serious relationship.” Those relationships may have an expectation of exclusivity. However, marriage is a covenant promise before God to love someone else for life!  Thus has legally and morally binding implications that other relationships do not.

Another common question we get asked is “Wait! What about giving some affection to children and relatives? You don’t mean we shouldn’t give our affection to our family, do you?”  This is not the intent of the definition.  Marriage vows promise used to include the terms “forsaking all others.”  The two in the marriage KNOW and are known in a way that is unique.  It is true intimacy–physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Finally, we are not defining an affair so you can find out “How far can I go and still get away with it?” It is emotional infidelity if you give even a little affection to another person. If you give someone your loyalty over and above your spouse, it’s an emotional affair.. You are more than “just friends” if you are a companion to someone (or something) else other than your spouse–think “football widows”.

“How do they start?”

Affairs start when we do not vigorously guard against sin and rigorously root it out!

Next, affairs bloom when there is a switch from pleasing God to pleasing self–from pursuing godliness to pursuing “happiness”

Third, affairs usually start in a way that seems fairly innocent…but is actually crossing just a very small line.

Affairs grow when the second small line is crossed…the third…the fourth…and pretty soon it snowballs and you’re off track of the godly life and heading toward a train wreck.

How an Emotional Affair progresses

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Refresh Series: Signs Your Spouse is Cheating

renovations 

Affaircare is REFRESHING the website this month, so we thought it would be a good month to have a Refresh Series to refresh everyone on our fundamental concepts.  We are going to refresh YOU with our straightforward, Christian guidance while we refresh the look of the site and refresh the podcast.

This week we start our Refresh Series with 1) Signs your spouse is cheating.  In the next weeks we’ll continue with more central discussions, on topics like “What is an affair and how do they start?” “What to do if you’ve Just Found Out: , and “The steps you can take to save your marriage.”

The Categories of Signs that Your Spouse is Cheating

 

The Classic Clue:

When you see lipstick on your husband’s shirt or strange hairs on their clothing or in the car.

Sign 1–Gut Instinct

Sign 2–Behavior That Is Not Their Usual Character

Sign 3–Birth Control

Sign 4–Showering andCologne

Sign 5–Uncomfortable Around You

Sign 6–Electronic Clues (email, cell phone, and computer)

Sign 7–Things Are Just Different at Home

Sign 8–Lots and Lots of Changes

Sign 9–Telephone Mannerisms That Are Differen

Sign 10–Automobile Related Signs That Something is Up

Sign 11–Paper Trails of a Cheating Spouse

Sign 12–Sex Tip-offs That Something’s Wrong

Sign 13–Work-related Signs That They May Be Cheating

Sign 14–Things you’ll hear

  • “We are just friends.”
  • You are not respecting my privacy.”
  • “I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You.”
  • “I need some space to figure out my feelings.”

 

Check out “ALL the Signs Your Spouse is Cheating” for more examples, of each of these categories!

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Biblical Precepts-Notable Cases of Adultery in the Bible

bible-and-rings

My spouse is cheating, and I’m a Christian, but I’m so upset I don’t know what God wants me to do! I’m the spouse who cheated and I am a Christian, but I ended the affair and confessed to God–do I have to tell my spouse?

In this week’s episode, we conclude our series “Biblical Precepts on Adultery” which was a summer study of what the Bible has to say about infidelity and how God would have us act. Today we discuss two notable cases of adultery in the Bible: 1) King David and Bathsheba, and 2) Hosea and Gomer

 

King David and Bathsheba:

2 Samuel 11 and 12

Chapter 11
1. David was not where he was supposed to be–he was the king and should have been leading his army.  We learn that when we are not where we are supposed to be (honoring our vows) we can be lead into temptation!

2. David let his eyes wander; he had not disciplined his eyes to avoid lust.  We learn that if we do not live our life to please God, we can be overcome by sins such as lust.

3. David got the OW pregnant, then tried to hide a) by bringing him home from war, b) by getting him drunk, and finally c) by killing him. We learn that when someone commits adultery, they very often will do drastic things to try to hide it.

4. David tried to legitimize his adultery by marrying the OW, but what he had done displeased the Lord. We learn that often cheating spouses will try to legitimize their relationship with someone else.

Chapter 12
1. The Lord sent his prophet, Nathan, to David, and confronted him about his adultery. Nathan told David that because he had used the sword of his enemies to kill the OW’s husband, the sword would never depart from his house. We learn that adultery affects our families: parents, siblings, children and grandchildren!

2. Further, Nathan told David that he did his adultery in secret but that God would bring about all this judgment in public.  We learn that what is hidden eventually does come to the light of day–the truth is revealed.

3. David REPENTED. He didn’t blameshift. He didn’t avoid looking as his own sin. He changed 180 degrees! Psalm 51 is his poem of repentance for his adultery.  We learn from this repentance that there is HOPE, because David was the apple of God’s eye and yet he wasn’t perfect. He committed ADULTERY! And when he truly repented God did forgive him!

4. Now the real lesson! Note that after he was forgiven, God told David that HE (David) was not going to die but the child born of adultery was going to die. David begged and pleaded with God, but in His holiness, He allows David to experience the consequences of his adultery: the child died AND his older sons rose up against him and tried to take the throne and were killed in the coup attempt.

Hosea and Gomer:

Hosea 1-3

Hosea is believed to be the first prophet to use marriage as a metaphor of the covenant between God and Israel.  Whenever there is “husband imagery” that is a metaphor for God; and whenever there is “wife imagery” that is a metaphor for God’s People, Israel, His Bride.

Chapter two describes a divorce. This divorce seems to be the end of the covenant between God and Israel. However, it is probable that this was again a symbolic act, in which Hosea divorced Gomer for infidelity, and used the occasion to preach the message of God’s rejection of Israel. He ends this prophecy with the declaration that God will one day renew the covenant, and will take Israel back in love.

In Chapter three, at God’s command, Hosea seeks out Gomer once more. Either she has sold herself into slavery for debt, or she is with a lover who demands money in order to give her up, because Hosea has to buy her back. He takes her home, but refrains from sexual intimacy with her for many days, to symbolize the fact that Israel will be without a king for many years, but that God will take Israel back, even at a cost to Himself.

Chapter 11 is God’s lament over the necessity of giving up the people of Israel, whom God loves [The metaphor is a husband’s lament over losing an unfaithful wife whom he loves].

In Chapter 12, the prophet pleads for Israel’s repentance [just as a Loyal Spouse pleads for their Disloyal to end the affair and return to the marriage].

Chapter 13 foretells the destruction of the kingdom, because there has been no repentance [just as a spouse might try to warn their Disloyal of all that damage and hurt and pain that will come if they don’t end the adultery and reconcile].

In Chapter 14, the prophet urges Israel to seek forgiveness, and promises its restoration, while urging the utmost fidelity to God [Similarly, a Loyal Spouse might say “Have you ended the affair yet? No? Come talk to me about reconciling when you have” in order to let their Disloyal know there * could * be restoration if they would be faithful]!

The “Biblical Precepts” series:

  1.  Introduction
  2.  Old Testament precepts about adultery
  3.  New Testament precepts about adultery
  4. Today:Notable cases of adultery in the Bible and what we can learn
[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Notable+Cases+of+Adultery+in+the+Bible.mp3]

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Biblical Precepts on Adultery: The New Testament [Podcast]

bible-and-rings

My spouse is cheating, and I’m a Christian, but I’m so upset I don’t know what God wants me to do! I’m the spouse who cheated and I am a Christian, but I ended the affair and confessed to God–do I have to tell my spouse?

In this week’s episode, we continue our new our series “Biblical Precepts on Adultery” as we begin a summer study of what the Bible has to say about infidelity and how God would have us act. Today we discuss three topics we can glean from the NEW Testament about adultery: 1) God is concerned not only with the outer man, but also with our hearts and minds…our INNER man , 2) The one moral exception clause for divorce: infidelity, and 3) Those who commit adultery do not inherit the kingdom of God and will be judged by God.

 

Every “adultery” verse in the New Testament:

Matthew 5:27 NIRV

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.'(Exodus 20:14)

Matthew 5:28 NIRV

28 But here is what I tell you. Do not even look at a woman in the wrong way. Anyone who does has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:32 NIRV

32 But here is what I tell you. Anyone who divorces his wife causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who gets married to the divorced woman commits adultery. A man may divorce his wife only if she has not been faithful to him.

Matthew 15:19 NIRV

19 Evil thoughts come out of the heart. So do murder, adultery, and other sexual sins. And so do stealing, false witness, and telling lies about others.

Matthew 19:9 NIRV

9 Here is what I tell you. Anyone who divorces his wife and gets married to another woman commits adultery. A man may divorce his wife only if she has not been faithful to him.”

Matthew 19:18 NIRV

18 “Which ones?” the man asked. Jesus said, ” ‘Do not commit murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give false witness.

Mark 7:21 NIRV

21 Evil thoughts come from the inside, from people’s hearts. So do sexual sins, stealing and murder. Adultery,

Mark 10:11 NIRV

11 He answered, “What if a man divorces his wife and gets married to another woman? He commits adultery against her.

Mark 10:12 NIRV

12 And what if she divorces her husband and gets married to another man? She commits adultery.”

Mark 10:19 NIRV

19 You know what the commandments say. ‘Do not commit murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give false witness. Do not cheat. Honor your father and mother.’ “(Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20)

Luke 16:18 NIRV

18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and gets married to another woman commits adultery. Also, the man who gets married to a divorced woman commits adultery.

Luke 18:11 NIRV

11 “The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself. ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people,’ he said. ‘I am not like robbers or those who do other evil things. I am not like those who commit adultery. I am not even like this tax collector.

Luke 18:20 NIRV

20 You know what the commandments say. ‘Do not commit adultery. Do not commit murder. Do not steal. Do not give false witness. Honor your father and mother.’ “(Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20)

John 8:3 NIRV

3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman. She had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in front of the group.

Romans 2:22 NIRV

22 You say that people should not commit adultery. But you commit adultery! You hate statues of gods. But you rob temples!

Romans 7:3 NIRV

3 But suppose that married woman gets married again while her husband is still alive. Then she is called a woman who commits adultery. But suppose her husband dies. Then she is free from that law. She is not guilty of adultery even if she marries another man.

Romans 13:9 NIRV

9 Here are some commandments to think about. “Do not commit adultery.” “Do not commit murder.” “Do not steal.” “Do not want what belongs to others.”(Exodus 20:13-15,17; Deuteronomy 5:17-19,21) These and other commandments are all included in one rule. Here’s what it is. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”(Leviticus 19:18)

1 Corinthians 6:9 NIRV

9 Don’t you know that evil people will not receive God’s kingdom? Don’t be fooled. Those who commit sexual sins will not receive the kingdom. Neither will those who worship statues of gods or commit adultery. Neither will men who are prostitutes or who commit homosexual acts.

1 Timothy 1:10 NIRV

10 It is for those who commit adultery. It is for those who have a twisted view of sex. It is for people who buy and sell slaves. It is for liars. It is for those who give witness to things that aren’t true. And it is for anything else that is the opposite of true teaching.

Hebrews 13:4 NIRV

4 All of you should honor marriage. You should keep the marriage bed pure. God will judge the person who commits adultery. He will judge everyone who commits sexual sins.

James 2:11 NIRV

11 God said, “Do not commit adultery.”(Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18) He also said, “Do not commit murder.”(Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17) Suppose you don’t commit adultery but do commit murder. Then you have broken the Law.

Revelation 2:22 NIRV

22 She sinned on a bed. So I will make her suffer on a bed. And those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly. Their only way out is to turn away from what she taught them to do.

 

The “Biblical Precepts” series:

  1.  Introduction
  2.  Old Testament precepts about adultery
  3. Today: New Testament precepts about adultery
  4. Notable adultery in the Bible and what we can learn
[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/NT+Precepts.mp3]

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