I’m sure that the title of this blog raised a lot of eyebrows. It would almost seem that certain things are just a given. Unfortunately, this specific topic must be addressed almost regularly in light of the consistent and growing inappropriate behaviors involving women and married men. Over the course of the past 12 years that I’ve been married, I’ve had to lovingly, and while I’m not proud of it, in an unloving way times past, address these issues with women in my own life. Recently in counseling and talking to other wives, this issue while serious indeed is left unresolved because the wives do not want to say anything to the woman that would give off the perception that they are insecure or jealous.But, let me make this perfectly clear. This blog is not intended to be a shield for insecure wives to hide behind. If you are insecure, jealous, or just don't trust your husband, then that's the heart of what needs addressing in your own lives. Moving forward, the women who know me, and especially those that know the testimony of my marriage, know that I have no problem at all dealing head on with anything that would attempt to be a threat the purity of our union. My mother used to always say that “common sense isn’t always common”, and that’s so very true. There are some women that just don’t know because they were never educated on the subject, and then there are some that know exactly what they’re doing. I pray that the majority of the women reading this fall into the former.
Let me also say that I’m not speaking from a one sided place. I was married during the time of my rebellion in which I had a sexual affair with a man who was engaged and only a couple months away from his wedding. Some of what I’ve listed below includes things that I’ve done to engage taken men with wrong motives. What I also need to say is, yes married men most certainly need to be responsible for their actions, have boundaries, and behave in a way that honors the Lord and their wives when he is amongst other women. To give you an example, my husband has told me on several occasions that specific women have made him feel uncomfortable by their interactions with him. I didn’t ask for this information, but because of his own boundaries, and because he himself is about protecting the purity of our marriage, he willingly and quickly gets accountable with me and his accountability team.
I love chapters of scripture like Eph. 4 that give us guidance on how to live with and treat one another. Eph. 4:27 encourages us to not give place to the enemy, and this area, if not discussed, exposed, and corrected will do just that. Instead of writing a litany of paragraphs, I’ll just bullet point some key ways (in no particular order) of how women can be more mindful of their interactions with married men. This is by no means exhaustive, and for the wives who read this that have other input, please let me know and I’ll include it. Here we go.
What to Avoid:
- Stay away from him if you’re attracted to him to the point of you wanting him for yourself. Period. There’s no need to feed the desires of your flesh by staying in close contact with him.
A very dear friend of mine told me that a woman had the audacity, the utter audacity to go the Pastor’s wife of a church and say, “Your husband is my future husband” and was very serious when making that statement. Pause. That is blatantly disrespectful and as Proverbs 18:6 says, it invites a beating. Now hold on, wives, I am NOT endorsing MMA resolution. Lol! We, in the face of our own responsibility to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel must respond, even in dealing with blatant acts of disrespect, in such a way that pleases God.
What I am saying is yes ladies, you might be attracted to a man that’s good looking, solid in the faith, holding down a job to provide for his family, and publicly shows love and adoration for his wife and family. It’s natural. That is attraction worthy. But, and I do say BUT, that is someone else’s husband. Leave him alone.
- If you would not say it with his wife standing next to him, don’t say it at all.
- Flush out body image, sexual struggles, and even loneliness with solid women in the faith. Often times, some women go to men with these struggles to be affirmed by them. I have seen women use this as a way to get showered with compliments. That’s just being manipulative and sneaky.
As a shepherd and counselor, my husband counsels men and women. When he counsels women, unless I have another appointment or I’m unavailable, I sit on the counseling sessions. My husband asks me to be present to provide counsel and for dual accountability. In one way my presence keeps the women accountable with their interactions and conversation with my husband, and it keeps him accountable in the same way.
- Be mindful of the frequency in which you text or call him.
- Use godly wisdom regarding the time of night that you call or text him IF you have a valid reason to call or text him in the first place. If you have to text him at night, out of respect, text his wife first as common courtesy to let her know that you’re reaching out to her husband.
- If you’re going to be around married men (all men really) please mind how you dress. There are times where close married couple friends of ours have come to our home and prior to the couples’ arrival, I’ve changed my attire. How I’m dressed in front of my husband may not always be appropriate for other men.
- If you visit his home, plan to do so when his wife is there and again, please be considerate of how you dress.
- Be appropriate in your physical contact. All physical interactions should honor the Lord and respect their marriage.
- Be attentive of your body language. Walking in a seductive manner, intentional eye contact that's coupled with sensual lip movement, stroking one's own body, etc.
- Stay out of his personal space. You don’t need to be up close and personal to dialog with him.
- If you have to meet with him outside of his home, meet in a public place at an appropriate time.
- Flirtation of any kind is an absolute NO! You know how "you" flirt.
- Don’t use social media to get his attention. Poking him on Facebook for example, liking only pictures of him, but not liking anything regarding him and his wife looks suspect. Additionally, ongoing inbox message conversations or private chats should be avoided. If you can’t say it out in the open it where his wife and everyone else can see it, must it be said?
Things to Do:
- Regard his wife. Don’t interact with him as if he’s a single man. Take initiative on being introduced to his other half. Not only are you becoming a friend of their marriage by doing so, but you're also gaining a sister in Christ!
- Be a friend of his marriage, not just his friend. In your conversations with him, encourage and give counsel that'll benefit his marriage.
- Don’t be an ear or escape for him! Point him to his wife or other solid men of God. Most emotional affairs are the result of the person outside of the marriage being a safe haven or getaway from their spouse.
- Honor his marriage even if he doesn’t. Men can be vulnerable at times. Don’t enable or feed into it.
Ladies, all in all this boils down to the greatest commandment and the golden rule. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37) and “..in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you (Matt. 7:12).” The magnificent, God-created, and God-protected union of marriage is tough enough between the two involved without outside influences being an added hindrance. God is very serious about marriage and holds this union in a higher regard than any other relationship apart from your own walk with Him. According to Eph. 5 Paul teaches that God views marriage in the same way that He sees Himself and the Church.
For those who are married, be mindful of how you are around another woman's husband. It's easy to fall into the trap of coveting when we're discontent in our own marriage. And when we are discontent in our own marriages, it can lead us down a path that we'd say we'll never travel. It happened to me and you can read more about that here. I challenge us all, married and single women alike, to come alongside those that we know who are married and pray for them. Encourage them, and fight for their marriage by being part of the solution and not the problem.
“Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” - Heb. 13:4 (Emphasis Added)