…I have over 800 Facebook friends (seriously, who are these people?), but only a few of them have I run my hubby before I hit accept. We have a deal that if we get friended by anyone we have any sort of “past” with we run it by each other before we make that step.
…Ryan’s work occasionally requires him to go out to dinner with coworkers of the opposite sex. He goes to great lengths to make sure that he invites others along so he isn’t one-on-one eating and drinking with someone from the opposite sex.
…We have lots of couples friends but we would never consider spending time with the friend of the opposite sex alone, whether virtually or in person. And we have been careful not to have opposite sex friends who aren’t a part of both our lives.
…And, most importantly I would never discuss my marriage or problems related to Ryan with someone who was of the opposite sex. I would never even consider seeing a professional counselor who wasn’t a female.
Are any of you thinking, “Geesh, that’s kind of a lot of extreme rules?” Or “she must be really insecure in her marriage to make all these rules?” I can see how you might think that, but the fact is, my marriage is far too precious to me to take even a little risk with it. 1/3 of marriages today end because of an affair, so let’s face it, friendships with the opposite sex can put your marriage at risk.
From four years of marriage ministry, we’ve learned that most affairs don’t begin with some encounter in a hotel bar on a business trip. Most affairs start with a seemingly innocent friendship that develops into one of intimacy when your spouse isn’t meeting that need. But those relationships can only happen if there is a friendship there to begin with.
These emotional affairs used to be limited to when a spouse had close contact – those in offices or with neighbors, but now the stakes are raised with the rise of social media. Never has it been easier to track down an ex on Facebook with harmless intentions and suddenly find yourself growing closer and crossing boundaries you shouldn’t be crossing. And since it is all hidden on the internet, nobody is the wiser.
Our pastor once used an analogy of sledding when referring to sin and I think it is extremely applicable here. He said that when you sled down a hill, you don’t typically sit down on the sled and immediately go screaming down the hill. You usually have to do a bit of “scooching” first to get your sled going. Sin is the same way. Are any of your friendships the beginning of you scooching?