Life Is Short. Love Your Spouse.

As the Ashley Madison leak continues playing out in the media, we’re reminded so clearly about the lies of sin. The Ashley Madison Company, a cheating site that is (sadly) very successful, has the following motto: “Life is short. Have an affair.” The lies don’t come much more blatantly than this.

But why are so many falling for it? Why is it that Ashley Madison can boast of over 37 million users—with professing Christians among them? It’s because sin is just that enticing. And just that deceptive. To have sex with someone who is not your spouse can seem so exhilarating, especially if one’s marriage has become dull and boring. Sin clouds our vision, distorts our perception of reality, and if we haven’t fed our souls on specific truths to chase away the lies, one day we may find ourselves buying into the very lie we once thought was unthinkable.

What, then, are some strategies we can use, while we’re in our right minds, to combat such temptations? How can we fight to believe the truth rather than lies, not only today, but next year and 20 years from now?

Think in terms of two categories: guarding your marriage and cultivating the garden of your marriage. Defensive strategies (guarding) fend off the negative and deceptive claims of sin, and offensive strategies (gardening) pursue what is right and true.

Guard Your Marriage

1. Read God’s warnings. Sexual immorality is listed among the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19–21.)

2. Be guarded in your relationships with members of the opposite sex. An older and godly mentor of mine shared an insight with me once that I have not forgotten. He commented on the role humor can play in extramarital attachments. Not that we can’t have a good sense of humor. But we should be wary of excessive joking and teasing with members of the opposite sex. It can become dangerous.

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Ben Reaoch
Ben Reaoch is the pastor of Three Rivers Grace Church in downtown Pittsburgh, PA, and is the author of Women, Slaves, and the Gender Debate (P&R, 2012).

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