The sad news of house churches falling apart due to marital infidelity regularly reaches our ears. In our own area, we have recently witnessed the devastating effects of an “emotional affair.” Even though the affair did not get physical before it was discovered, lingering chaos and grief were the results.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that if Satan can destroy another Christian home, he can later exploit all the resulting problems will emerge in the kids and even the parents. Obviously, the chances of such a devastated family later hosting the church is diminished (though not impossible by the grace of God, of course).
From the Focus on the Family Site:
“A new crisis of infidelity is emerging in which people who never intended to be unfaithful are unwittingly crossing the line from platonic friendships into romantic relationships … ,” asserts the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. The statement is backed up by alarming statistics conducted through a national poll. While the findings showed that 15 percent of married women and 25 percent of married men have had sexual affairs, it was also revealed that an additional 20 percent of married couples have been impacted by emotional infidelity.
So how can you recognize an emotional affair? These signs may indicate that a relationship has gone too far:
- You share personal thoughts or stories with someone of the opposite sex.
- You feel a greater emotional intimacy with him/her than you do with your spouse.
- You start comparing him/her to your spouse, and begin listing why your spouse doesn’t add up.
- You long for, and look forward to, your next contact or conversation.
- You start changing your normal routine or duties to spend more time with him/her.
- You feel the need to keep conversations or activities involving him/her a secret from your spouse.
- You fantasize about spending time with, getting to know or sharing a life with him/her.
- You spend significant time alone with him/her.
Brothers and sisters, let us guard our own hearts, warn others, and be ready to lift up the fallen.