The other night I was in my camp “hotel” room in Texas following the camp’s worship gathering. I’d been in bed for about 20 minutes. Then I got a “bang” on my door. I’ve been getting those for two weeks. Students get wind of where my room is and they oblige themselves. So, basically, I ignore the “bangs.”
But this time, for some reason, I decided to get out of bed and answer the door. It was a youth leader, a newly married youth leader. He had my 13 Ways book in his hand. “I’ve got to talk to you… right now!”, he said.
So, I told him to give me a second where I could put on a shirt and my flip-flops. We sat outside in 90 degree night-time Texas weather. Sweat running off our foreheads, he told me he was recently married but that he had another girl in his life that he’d been friends with for years who had just divorced. He said that she had been emailing him a lot. And he was emailing her back. Then she started texting him. And he was texting her back. And then with those texts came pictures (I don’t think they were “sexting” pictures but he didn’t clarify). He was walking headlong into emotional adultery.
“What should I do?,” he asked. He said he truly cared about this friend. That she was hurting. But he felt something wasn’t right about how things had escalated. I asked him, “What does your wife say about all of this?” His answer, “she doesn’t know.”
So I looked him right in the eye and said, “Dude. You need to end it… right now. Tell her not to email you anymore. Then don’t answer your emails. Tell her not to text you anymore. Then don’t answer her texts. And if needed, change your email address and mobile phone number. This is serious.” Then I waited for the excuses to come. But he really didn’t offer any. He knew the answer before he even came to me. That’s the way it goes, isn’t it? We often know the right thing to do but don’t do it. It’s like we hold out to see if we can justify ourselves, or find ourselves justified by someone else.
However, he was pained at the thought of “abandoning” his friend. I said, “What would your wife, think if she read those texts? Have you let her see them?” “No,” he said, “I deleted them.” I said, “Bro, you are in dangerous waters here. Tell your wife about the texts. Let her read the emails. Communicate my friend! Keep nothing from her. As a matter of fact, if you respond to further communication from this “friend,” copy it to your wife where your friend will see that you are willingly and joyfully including your wife on any further conversation. That should take care of lot it.”
I went on to say (and was a bit tough on him), “You are to love your wife as Christ loved the Church. There must be NO rivals! NO rivals. Does your wife feel honored, adored, protected, treasured, safe, by you? Bro, this friend that you have, you are not her “Messiah.” God doesn’t need you to help her or save her. You, and your wife, can pray for her. Give your wife your email passwords and access to your texts. Don’t delete anything questionable without her reading it first. Let your wife read anything else your friend sends. Copy your wife on any emails you send to her but you even need to end that pronto.”
I told him to read Proverbs 7, then I prayed with him. I prayed that God would guard his heart from finding his “manhood” or “ego” stroked and affirmed by another woman giving him “attention.” And that He would do whatever it took to cut the relationship and honor His wife.
Are you finding yourself in a similar situation? There’s one key word I gave him that the Apostle Paul gives us, that I’ll give you:
(1 Corinthians 6:18)