Being Cautious of Opposite Gender Acquaintances

Sometimes in marriage, we become too trusting of other's. Wives, especially, think that no one could find them attractive other than their husband, and husbands are oblivious when other women are flirting. But when we add social media or text messaging into the mix, we create a dangerous concoction of emotions and blindly walk into situations that could be avoided.

Unfortunately, in today's society, you can never be too careful, but there's also such a thing as being overly cautious -- to the point of being obnoxious. But a little bit of caution goes a long way, and we should, rightfully, be on guard at all times.

This morning I received a text message from an old "friend". And while it was harmless, I know our history, and it wasn't something I felt comfortable with. It's one thing to talk business with someone, but it's another thing to randomly text message them. While I knew nothing would come of it, I felt as though it was disrespectful to my husband, even though it had nothing to do with him or anything inappropriate.

I was cautious. I kept our conversation short and to the point, and I think he got the point without me coming out and saying it. But it reminded me that if you give a little, Satan can take a lot. Not necessarily from you, but from the other person.

You see, you don't just have to think about yourself stumbling. You have to realize that your involvement in someone's life could cause them to stumble, as much as they don't want to. Therefore, it isn't just their problem, it is also your responsibility, as a Christian, to remove yourself from the situation.

Sometimes we could use a little help trying to figure out what these people are really after when we speak to them, so here are a few things to help you think about when interacting with acquaintances of the opposite gender, or people from past relationships.

Is There any Unwholesome Talk?
Are they talking badly about their spouse? Are you or they talking badly about yours? Is there inappropriate talk or gestures, as funny as they may seem at the time, that could lead to something bigger? Are you or they confiding on a very personally emotional level? Do they speak to you (or you to them) when you're bored or have alone time? If you answer yes to any of these questions, it's time to take a step back. You are creating an atmosphere that can easily turn into a downward spiral that's not very easy to get out of. No one wakes up one morning and says, "I think I'll have an affair today." It happens in the heart and mind before it ever happens physically. It is a gradual process and can happen before you realize what is taking place.

How Would Your Spouse Feel About It?
In moments like today's, I often stop and think about my husband. What would he think about the text messages that I'm receiving, even if they are harmless. My husband and I are completely open with one another and I will express my concern to him whenever I feel uncomfortable about something. While it's happening, think in your mind, "would my spouse appreciate me talking to this person this way? or at all?" If at any time you think that your spouse wouldn't appreciate it, then stop the conversation immediately or drop the touchy subject that you're talking about. If you have any concern with this person or the relationship you have with them, express your concerns to your spouse so that they are aware instead of being blind sided should this "friend" make a very noticeable pass.

Are You a Stumbling Block?
It has always amazed me how people can remain friends after a dating relationship fails. I, personally, cannot.  It makes me feel awkward. But even more so, it must be awkward for our spouses if we remain friends with someone that we've had an intimate (not necessarily sexually intimate) relationship with. If we don't have feelings for that person, we become oblivious to what they might be feeling for us. Pay attention. And if at any point you feel like they are more emotionally involved in your relationship than necessary, then it's time to step away from the relationship as much as possible, if not completely. In Romans 14:21 we're told that we should not be in a situation, do or say anything, that causes our brother to stumble. If you, yourself, simply being in their lives is a stumbling block for them, especially if they are married as well, then it's time to move on and take yourself away from it. Not just for yourself, but for your fellow brother or sister in Christ. If you are knowingly causing your brother or sister to stumble, it is sinful. You are causing this person to sin, and it's just as bad as you sinning yourself.

Are They a Stumbling Block for You?
It's easy to try and lie to yourself, but what we all need to realize is that we're human beings, and sin is a very real thing. We don't like to think that we could fall into a romantic affair, whether an emotional or physical affair, with someone other than our spouse. But it happens. We must guard our hearts and minds, because our marriages are not worth losing. Is there someone in your life that is a stumbling block for you? Do you find yourself overly flirtatious when speaking with them? Are you any of the above? Emotionally attached? Are they an outlet for when things get rough at home? Do you confide in them or think about them often? If so, you most certainly need to end the relationship as much as possible. I understand that it is hard at times, especially in business scenarios. But it is necessary. Should you find that you're becoming emotionally involved in someone's life, even if it's not physically, run far away in the other direction.
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell." Matthew 5:27-30 NKJV
We must be careful and extremely cautious with opposite gender acquaintances and those who we've had a relationship with in the past. Society tells us that it's ok. And while in many cases it is completely harmless, it can quickly turn into something very dangerous. Your entire marriage could fail because of your deliberate pit of oblivion, because of you simply not being cautious of other people's emotions....or even your own.
"Keep your heart with all diligence,

For out of it spring the issues of life."
Proverbs 4:34 NKJV

No comments