Okay ladies, I hope you took the time yesterday to truly examine your heart and your relationships. I hope that the questions helped you to do that… now for any of you who in this process of examination realized that they were indeedtoo emotionally connected to someone who was not their husband, or was someone else’s husband (even if you have not let that person know about your feelings, however if you have let them know and they reciprocate those feelings, then you are involved in an emotional affair), or if you have allowed someone to get emotionally connected to you, just to feed your ego, when you have no intentions of ever reciprocating these emotions… then today we will discuss what to do now.
What to do if you have realized that you have crossed the line of emotional integrity:
First, ask God for forgiveness. An emotional affair may not be as big a deal as a physical affair in the world’s eyes, but all sin is equal in God’s eyes. As you are praying for forgiveness, also ask God to reveal whether you should confess your sin to your spouse. As terrifying as this thought may be, don’t let fear convince you that keeping it secret is the best thing for your marriage.
If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
1 John 1:9
Next, pray for God’s divine protection, not just over your body, but over your heart, mind, and mouth as well. …but make sure this [other] person doesn’t become the focus of your prayers.
O LORD, I call upon You; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to You! May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice deeds of wickedness With men who do iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies.
Third, avoid any unnecessary contact with this person. In the same way that you might have gone out of your way to cross this person’s path, now go out of your way to stay out of his path… Remember actions speak louder words. When you refuse to remain in the presence of temptation, it loses its hold on you.
Rise up! Consecrate the people and say,
‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow,
for thus the LORD, the God of Israel, has said,
“There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel.
You cannot stand before your enemies
until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.”
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and makenoprovision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Finally, seek a trusted friend or counselor to hold you accountable through this season of temptation. If you know you are going to have to answer to someone else- whether it is your husband, a friend, or a counselor- about your thoughts, words, and actions, you’ll try harder to limit them to things you wouldn’t be embarrassed to admit. Getting real and honest with yourself and with someone who can keep you from falling into the pit of compromise is the best lifeline available.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another,
and pray for one another so that you may be healed.
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
My experience has been that if you starve your desire to be emotionally intimate with a man, it eventually dies. The more you control your appetite for forbidden fruit, the more dignity and satisfaction you will feel about yourself and your ability to be a woman of sexual and emotional integrity.
Let us remember that emotional arousal and attachment is the red light.
Now I want to address those who might have already ran the red light. I want to address those who are in an emotional affair and might even be so far as to be addicted to emotional affairs. I understand that if you are here most likely it is because here you have found some kind of balm for your pain. Maybe you are married to an abusive husband, whether that abuse is emotional, verbal, or physical, and you have used this emotional affair as an escape from your reality. Please know that this is not going to get you any where. It is only going to cause you greater hurt in the end.
Shannon shares that rather than running to the Ultimate Healer for relief from our emotional wounds, women often make idols of relationships- worshiping a man instead of God. We begin submitting to a man’s and our own unholy desires rather than submitting to God’s desires for our holiness and purity, thus becoming a slave to our passions. When we peel back the layers of this issue, we can see the core problem: doubt that God can truly satisfy our innermost needs.
I’ve known many women who have journeyed to this depth of desperation, hoping to find something to fill the void in their hearts, only to discover that the pit was far deeper, darker, and more lonely than they could have imagined. I’m one of those women, but after many years of focusing my attentions and affections on my first love (Jesus Christ) and my second love (my husband), my life is a testimony to God’s changing grace. In His lavish love, God’s arm of mercy reaches further than we could ever fall.
Ladies, let me assure you that God’s way is the best way. Do not let the enemy or the world or the greatness of your pain lead you down the path of destruction. There is grace and mercy and hope in Christ. Do not doubt the grace of God. Do not doubt His ability to meet your every need, to meet you where you are at. Do not doubt His ability to heal your heart and to heal your marriage. Don’t run to band-aids and ointments that only treat the symptoms and mask the cause. Get to the heart of the matter, go for the root, and trust God.
Now if you are still doubting that God can meet your needs… Shannon has a challenge for you. So here’s your challenge for today… some more questions to ponder:
*Have I really invested much time getting to know God personally and intimately?
*Do I read the Bible searching for clues as to God’s character and plan for my life?
*Have I given God as many chances as I have given other men? fantasy? Internet chat room?
*Have I ever made the choice to pray or to dance to worship music or to go for a walk with God instead of picking up the phone to call a guy when I’m lonely?
*Are there moments spent alone (masturbating, fantasizing, reading or looking at inappropriate materials, and so on) that I ignore God’s presence in an attempt to satisfy myself?
*Do I believe God can satisfy every single need I have?
*Am I willing to test this belief by letting go of all things, people, and thoughts that I use to medicate my pain, fear, lonliness, and becoming totally dependent upon God?
[If during the course of this challenge you have realized that you have ran past the red light of emotional attachment and affairs and realize that you are in fact addicted to emotional connections and romantic affairs having realized as you examined your life and actions that you were no longer concerned about who got hurt, but was only concerned about having your own hurts covered and eased, then please seek help atwww.everywomansbattle.com. Your addiction is real. You are caught in the cycle of seeking relief for your pain in a way that causes more pain thus leading you to seek relief from that pain causing more pain... etc. You don't have to suffer in silence. ]