Monday, September 13, 2010

A Question Answered

The following is a post I don't want to write. It's a lesson I'd rather keep to myself because I know there will be people who won't agree. But the more I see and hear, the more I realize it's a subject that needs to be brought up and talked about.

Ever since becoming a Christian I've had a question that never had a clear answer. "Is it ok for a married person to be friends with someone of the opposite sex?" (By "friend", I mean more than business-related or small talk). A few years ago I would have said yes. I thought as long as there was not an obvious problem with lust or something inappropriate physically that it was ok. Today I would answer differently. Here's a few reasons why...

Marriages are falling apart all around me, both non-believers and Christians. Sometimes a physical affair is involved. But even if it isn't, there is usually an "understanding" member of the opposite sex who has befriended one or both individuals. Things start out very innocent, but once that person starts to listen and meet emotional needs that the spouse is not, there is trouble. My eyes have been opened to this pattern that is being repeated over and over in various forms.

I believe that opposite-sex friendships give Satan a foothold in our lives. There is even more to consider than the obvious temptation of emotional or physical affairs. Let's say the relationship is 100% there any harm? One thing to consider is the spouse. There is potential for jealousy and feelings of insecurity to arise in them, which could put distance in any relationship. And then there is the potential for rumors to spread. It doesn't matter if they are true or not...rumors could do damage to our witness for Christ. Satan wants us turning to members of the opposite sex rather than to God or same-sex friendships because there is so much destruction for him to put into motion. Marriages destroyed...friendships strained...Christians losing their power to influence others...

Being someone who grew up with mostly male friendships I can tell you that this part of married life has been a struggle for me at times. I have had to give up a good friendship. It wasn't easy...but it was right. I figure I'm already in a battle with the enemy, and I certainly don't need to be providing him with more ammunition. Decide today what your boundaries will be. Pray that your eyes will be opened to Satan's schemes. And please feel free to comment any thoughts you have on the subject.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


The past few weeks my devotions have been in the book of Deuteronomy. This book is a written account of what Moses said to the Israelites just before they were about to enter the Promised Land. He began by reminding them of God's goodness and He rescued them from slavery in Egypt and provided for them in the wilderness. Next he lays out God's expectations and commandments, urging the people to obey. Moses tells them if they are obedient they would experience abundant blessing, but if they chose to disobey or worship idols then the consequences would be ugly. Ultimately it all came down to a choice. "Today I have given you a choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Choose to love the Lord and to obey Him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life" - Deut. 30:19-20

We also have choices to make every day that can result in blessing or consequences (curses). We choose whether or not to listen to God's voice, believe Him, and obey. We choose how we react to circumstances that are a result of the choices of others or a result of living in a fallen world. We choose whether or not to love, to forgive, or to put the needs of others above our own. Our choices can lead us to abundant life or to a miserable existence. Let it be said of us that we chose life.