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…