How many people are you married to?
Unless you are from the show Sister Wives, my guess (and hope) is that your answer is simply: One. Or none; single and dating people are welcome here too! But all in all, I expect no answer other than one. Am I right?
But then, of course, I could start talking about being metaphorically married to other people and things. You may think of being married to your job, being married to your volunteer opportunities… the list goes on and on.
But what about being married to all those of the opposite sex on Facebook? Or perhaps being married to your co-worker? To your child? To the image on your computer screen? I’m pretty sure that none of these popped into your mind, and for good reason. You are not legally married to any of these people and you certainly don’t sleep with them, share financial responsibilities with them, share household responsibilities with them , or any of the other acts generally associated with marriage.
But are you being a spouse to someone other than your husband or wife?
OK, OK, I’ll get to my point and stop leaving you hanging. I believe that it is quite possible, and sometimes even easy, to be “married” to someone or something without even realizing it. And I believe that it is even easier to give others what you should only give to your husband or wife in our day to day lives.
Here are some examples:
- Porn. Pretty self explanatory. You are giving another person… er… image sexual attention that belongs to your spouse alone.
- Individual time. This is one that gets us all a lot. We give our time to our co-workers, to our children, to our church, and to those in need, but barely lean over to kiss our partner at the end of the night.
- A Peep show. Sounds harsh… and weird… but it’s more than common in Christian and non-Christian cultures alike. Ladies, I’m calling you out here. Your body belongs to your husband. He is the only one that should see it and the only one that should be blessed to truly enjoy it. Modesty is not just a problem with our teenage generation, it is unfortunately an issue for woman of all ages and in my opinion is becoming more and more common. Yup, you look great in that bikini, and it’s not necessarily bad for you to wear it, but posting that picture of you in it on Facebook? This is not only allowing men access to your body that is intended for your husband, but also possesses the potential of bring another husband into temptation.
- Alone time. Similar to individual time, but even more intimate. It could be at work in your office with a person of the opposite sex and a closed door behind them. It could be as innocent as a meeting with a pastor or church member in a location for just the two of you.
I hope you do not feel ashamed by any of the things listed above. I am a firm believer in grace and believe Christ looks at you with love no matter your circumstance. If you are a follower of Him you are already forgiven. The reason I list these things above is because many of them are situations that are not addressed. They are acts that threaten our marriages without us even realizing it. While the church and other Christian outlets (you’re reading one now) will warn you of the dangers of porn, our world tells us that it’s ok, that it’s normal for men to enjoy and if women want to they can too. We see time with someone else as a way to love them or as “just part of our jobs”. And when we hear phrases such as “Flaunt it if you’ve got it!” we may think “Yea! I worked hard for this body!” But what we do not hear is the husband who tells his wife that Facebook in the Summer time is his hardest struggle.
Why am I going here? Are these things really that bad and will they actually hurt a marriage? The answer is yes and even more so yes. Infidelity is a real problem in our world and while there are some that purposefully seek out to cheat on their spouse, the majority have a very different story. “It just happened!” “I fell out of love after spending time with ____.” “It was one night…”
1 Peter 5:8 tells us that the devil is a prowling lion. That we should be on full alert because Satan is on the attack and ready to take us down at any chance he has. He will take the seemingly smallest of situations to attack our marriages, as marriage is one of his favorite blessings to destroy.
So I urge you, brothers and sisters, be on guard. Assess each situation and always be a spouse to your spouse alone. Be proactive and let it be known that you are married and loving it. That you love your husband or your wife and can’t wait to get home to them tonight. Only reveal yourself to the one who’s committed his life to you and guard those computers from any images that could bring your mind away from your marriage bed.
Be married to one and love them with all you have. Enjoy the amazing blessing God has given you and do not let Satan or anyone else get in the way of that!