April 8, 2010

Going Rogue

In all of the recent outings of public officials and celebrities caught in the web of adultery, I've noticed a trend. We've begun to refer to adultery as dating. When the heck did that happen?

When David Letterman confessed that he had sex with women on his staff, there were questions about whether he had continued to "date" any of the women after his marriage. Even it all of it took place before his marriage, do you think Dave ever thought of it as dating?

When Tennessee Titans quarterback, Steve McNair, was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide, the Nashville newspaper reported that he and his girlfriend [who was also found dead at the scene] had been "dating" for months.

When the wife of a recent presidential candidate was interviewed by CNN a couple of years ago, she was asked directly why her husband "dated" her while he was still married to his first wife. She replied, "[His] reasons were [his] reasons." My question for her would have been, "What the heck were your reasons?"

But I have a pretty good idea what the answer is. After all, she wasn't the one who was married, so she she may have rationalized that there is a loophole in that whole "Thou shalt not commit adultery" business. She wouldn't be the first single person to do that. If God wanted to answer her prayers with another woman's husband, who was she to refuse God's answer?

That's precisely the problem, of course...and this is where people often go off course and make a decision to go rogue. God cannot answer our prayers in a way that is contrary to His Word any more than He can answer our prayers in a way that is contrary to His character. He can't answer our prayers in a way that causes us to sin.

Let me be more direct: 

God will never answer your prayers with someone else's spouse.

I understand how easy it is to get off-track. I've had friends who convinced themselves that the married men in their lives were an answer to their prayers.

It always started innocently enough. They were flattered by the attention. They didn't know the wives, so it was easy to believe everything they were told about them. It was easy to believe that the marriages were all but over. It was easy to believe that they understood these men better than anyone else - especially their wives - ever had. It was easy to believe the guys really cared about them. It was easy to believe that these men were the answer to their prayers.

But God will never answer your prayers with someone else's spouse.

I have had friends who looked forward with excitement to the phone calls received, and the text messages and the emails that the married men in their lives had to sneak around to send.

And I have also had friends who were the wives of men who sneaked around to make phone calls and send text messages and emails to other women. I know the devastation those wives felt when they discovered the evidence that their husbands were cheating. I've also known men who were just as devastated by the evidence of their wives' affairs.

It didn't matter whether or not the relationships had progressed beyond texts or emails. It was a betrayal that shattered their trust.

Just in the last couple of months we've learned how Elin Woods and Elizabeth Edwards discovered their husbands' affairs by checking their cell phones. The tragedy is that the same scenario is played out every day in countless homes, wreaking havoc on the lives of countless people.

Tiger taught us that there can be more than one girlfriend. That shouldn't surprise anyone. If a man is cheating on the woman with whom he vowed to share his life, the mother of his children, and the woman to whom he promised to remain faithful unto death, he'll cheat on anyone.

Sometimes the other woman convinces herself that the she has nothing to do with the problems in the marriage. On some level, that's true. At the same time, it's the extramarital relationship that has given the husband an excuse to quit trying to make his marriage work. As I said in my last post, it's the coward's way out.

I understand what you might be thinking. The candidate's wife who was interviewed by CNN is proof that sometimes people who begin their relationships while one is married do wind up together.

That's because God allows us free will. He allows us to make our own choices, as painful as those choices may be for Him to watch. It happens because we're too willing to settle for less than all that God wants for us. His truth never changes...

God will never answer your prayers with someone else's spouse.


  1. I've been cheated on in previous relationships, and it is a kind of hurt you could never imagine until you've experienced it. I couldn't think how much more it must hurt when there are kids and a marriage involved.

    I still can't understand how a woman could intentionally involve herself in that. I can only imagine it's because nobody's ever done it to her.

  2. I think that's often the case - if you haven't experienced that kind of pain, it's hard to imagine it. But sometimes I think it just begins as a friendship, then over time it turns into an emotional affair, and it progresses from there because they just don't realize that they're playing with fire...and with people's lives.

  3. A person who is in a realtionship with someone who is already married has to have a pretty low self-esteam. I'm not saying that being involved with someone who is already in a committed relationship is ever justified. I don't think it is. However, I think you are kind of over simplify the situation.

    And really, do you think God ever answer's someones prayer for the perfect mate? Maybe He does, I honestly don't know. That just seems to be venturing into "Magic Gennie" tarritory.

  4. Katy -

    I think it's more complicated than low self-esteem, although that can certainly be a factor. Sometimes it's not a matter of self-esteem so much as it is a battle of wills - ours vs. God's.

    I've never believed that God provides perfect mates. I do believe that if we allow Him to lead, He will provide the person who is perfect for us, in that they will bring out the best in us, helping us to become all that God created us to be. God will never put us in an adulterous relationship to make that happen.

    I also believe that, as a follower of Christ, I have to accept that God may never call me to marriage. My wholeness will always come from Christ, whether single or married. So, far from your "Magic Genie" analogy, it's more a matter of "Not my will, but thine."