Infidelity Doesn’t Just Happen. It Starts With These 4 Subtle Warnings…

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It was a bright, sunny Sunday morning and church service had just let out. A visiting pastor was showing off his new motorcycle to a large group from the congregation in the church’s parking lot. He rode around in circles, demonstrating its wide range of motion, and revved the engine to show off its power. A young lady in the crowd requested a ride. Without hesitation the young pastor agreed.

She hopped on the passenger seat directly behind him, wrapped her arms around his waist while grabbing firmly. She rested her head against the upper of his back, while it was evident by the look on her face that she was trying her best to maintain her physical composure. The pastor took the young lady around the church’s block, and wasn’t gone more than three minutes. He returned to the large group, and the young lady hopped off.

A few months later it was revealed they had had an affair together.

The pastor opened up about the affair shortly after, disclosing much of it to his closest friends and colleagues. One of the first questions asked was when did he realize the interaction with the young lady was inappropriate. The pastor said that the moment she touched him; that is, the moment the young lady sat down on the motorcycle and wrapped her arms tightly around his waist, he knew he would pursue an affair with her.

A moment of touch ended in devastation for this pastor’s marriage and this young lady’s reputation.

Touch is not in and of itself evil, for as we know, babies need touch to grow and many men and women receive love and affirmation through physical touch, however, if not stewarded well, touch can send unintentional and undesired messages to the opposite sex.

Not all communication is verbal.

Many would argue that they can individually control the messages they are sending to the opposite sex.

Unfortunately, they are wrong.

Though we can take every effort to be intentional with how we create our messages, we cannot control how someone is going to interpret those messages. Just as touch bridged the gap for infidelity to poke its nasty head in the case of the pastor and young lady, there are countless other nonverbal factors that if not stewarded well, have the potential to lead to marital infidelity.

Here are the most important nonverbal communication channels and red flags you should be aware of.

1.) Gaze
We’ve all flirted with the opposite sex at some point or another.

Catching their eyes is sometimes a game. When one looks up at the suspecting gazer, often times they then immediately look down, only to look up again intentionally to let you know they notice you noticing them. Whether sitting across the room or directly in front of them, maintaining consistent eye contact can arouse our emotions, both relational and sexual.

This can be devastating to marriage when eye contact is used to achieve these ends.

When manipulated, consistent eye contact with someone of the opposite sex other than a spouse may encourage an invite to chat. Once the two are together in a conversation, topics may begin innocently, which once again, in and of itself is not immoral, but often times innocent topics lead to discussing topics that typically are reserved for spouses, such as feelings and desires.

This type of conversation is exponentially increased when conversation is taken to social media and private chat conversations that provide a false-sense of security.

As I’ve explored in a previous article, text communication provides a false sense of security; a blanket almost, falsely protecting you from damages to your real-world marriage.
So what can you do? Monitor your eye gaze. This is something I have had to work on simply with my observation tendencies.

I’m a people watcher. Many of you may be as well. Be careful that your people-watching tendencies aren’t misinterpreted. As a married person, you have a responsibility to mind your eyes.

Job made a covenant with his eyes not to look at a woman lustfully. Similarly, as a married man or woman, though it takes time, you can train your eyes to avoid unnecessary eye contact with the opposite sex that may be on the prowl. Eye contact is important when carrying on everyday conversations, but monitor your gaze.

Simply put, avoid giving the opposite sex the kind of looks you only give to your spouse on date night.

2.) Touch
Research has long supported the advantages of touch. Physically, touch can help decrease blood pressure, heart rate and mental stress. Emotionally, touch provides support and encouragement in times of grief, as well as in times of joy. When touch is used improperly or in vain, the individual receiving the touch may interpret it in a manner unintended by the giver.

Leaving your hand on the arm of a colleague or co-worker of the opposite sex for a long period of time during a conversation in your office may communicate emotional or sexual messages that you would never dream of communicating to them intentionally or even verbally.

This may cause you or the person you’re touching to have feelings or desires that are meant exclusively for your spouse. If you’re not the one connecting with the opposite sex through your touch, that certainly does not mean they aren’t connecting with you.

Monitor your touch when talking with the opposite sex. Make mental notes of how often touch accompanies your words. Then, avoid getting into these situations again by all means possible.

3.) Time Spent in Private Text Communication
Text communication provides a false sense of security; a blanket almost, falsely protecting you from damages to your real-world marriage. Time communicates; it can communicate desire, both through emotions and sexual topics.

Consistent text communication with the opposite sex says, “I really enjoy talking with you.” This then is either innocently interpreted or dangerously misinterpreted. It may not take long to begin discussing topics that should only be discussed with your spouse.

You may be able to avoid connecting with someone through text when talking about feelings and desires, but the individual on the other end of that conversation, whether single or married, may not be able to control whether they do or not.

Avoid private text conversations with the opposite sex at all costs. Don’t even go there. Communication like this is a slippery slope. It is very hard to monitor your subtle emotional messages when sending and receiving private texts. It is equally hard to avoid temptation when in the middle of these consistent conversations. When you spend time talking with someone through text privately, it is easy to send mixed signals, whether emotional or sexual.

4.) Your Heart
Finally, check the status of your heart. Yes, that’s right. I’ve heard the argument too often that, “My spouse and I do what’s best for us.” No, with the nature of the human heart, you are evidently doing what’s best for you. Selfishness is why marriages fail, and why divorces often follow that failure.

Consider it a red flag if you are or want to be married, but don’t find it necessary to monitor some or all of your interactions with the opposite sex.

Have an honest conversation with yourself. Check your heart. Whether you are knowingly not monitoring your nonverbal communication with the opposite sex or whether you’re naïve, you are responsible for the words and messages you are sending.

The nonverbal behaviors we receive and send also have the ability to snare the heart and soul of another.

We’ve been wired by our Creator for both verbal and nonverbal communication with others, including the opposite sex. However, as we live in a fallen world, that communication with others cannot be done effectively or appropriately without strategy and intentionality.

To respect your spouse fully, means to respect them with your words, with your actions, face to face and online, until death do you part.

**This article appeared originally on RelevantMagazine.com.
 
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To respect your spouse fully, means to respect them with your words, with your actions, face to face and online, until death do you part.
This is a vital challenge.....although it shouldn't be.

For whatever reason, respect may be flawed and lacking.

The only solution less self, more Jesus
 
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1.) Gaze
Simply put, avoid giving the opposite sex the kind of looks you only give to your spouse on date night.
Amen!

There is even more that could be added to this. As in hugging. Many Christians are huggers by nature. Nothing wrong with that. It can communicate what words can only hint at. A great love for the person. I'm a hugger by nature, and that is most often to Brothers & Sisters in Christ Jesus in the Church setting. This is done mostly in greeting someone I know, but also when sharing an emotional moment of joy, or pain. I don't have to know them for me to hug them for the lattter reason. Because as was communicated it can show how one feels, especially when words fail one.

However, I have come to find that at times the Spirit will move me not to hug a certain person. To be honest I just don't know if its because the Holy Spirit is telling me that they won't be receptive or that it would be taken wrongly/be inappropriate. Some people are just not like me, meaning huggers which is fine, but one, even when doing it only the occasional time, should take care that its not a hint of something else. So, being aware/following of the promptings of the Holy Spirit in this and you won't go wrong.

3.) Time Spent in Private Text Communication
A way to ensure this doesn't happen is to include a chaperon in your conversations. Meaning including another Brother or Sister in Christ Jesus to the conversation. That is one of the great things about the PM here at Talk Jesus. Makes it easy to include as many as you like, and the ability to add others as the conversation progresses.

In some respects this is probably the most difficult one of them all. We all know David's story with Bathsheba, and so know what this verse from the Psalms is poignant to what is discussed here concerning the heart. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.". Humanity cries are more in the light of this partial quote that fits the world without Christ "The heart wants, what the heart wants..." Yet, as believers if we are to do as Scripture says we should do, and keep our focus where it should be then there would be no room in our hearts for the other things. Difficult to do, but in our Lord God all things are possible. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Thanks for sharing this article brother. Reminders are even necessary for the believers that see themselves in walking in the Spirit, for the Adversary will use any means available to him to try to bring us down.

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
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And even if your hugging, cheek kissing, and kind looks are all sincerely platonic, you have to keep in mind how others react to it. If they look at you more longingly afterwords, you need to keep them from sinning in thought as well due to your actions. Bathsheba didnt need to be sunbathing in the nude where someone might see her.
 

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