It seems easy to slip up. Really easy. Maybe you won’t start a conversation that leads to a secret date and then an affair, but the Bible teaches that even if you so much as look at another woman with lust, you’ve committed adultery. I don’t want to slip up. I am scared of slipping up for fear that I will ruin the best thing He’s ever given me (and when you’ve waited on God and your dream comes along, you know it’s the best thing and you never take it for granted). I am also scared that I will place a wedge in between Him and I, and I can’t handle that distance, I can’t do life without Him as close as possible to me.
When I was single, I would see a beautiful girl and my mind would – in the span of just a handful of seconds – create this warm, witty, wonderful conversation that I’d have with her. Now that I’m in a relationship, I don’t let my mind go there. And I have to be really careful when someone new who I could be attracted to comes into my life.
The feelings of attraction are not sinful at all, but feeding them is. And our nature is to feed them, to see where things could possibly go. We do this by intentionally making eye contact, by holding their gaze, by making them laugh, by flirting, by a gentle touch on the arm, by physical closeness.
All of this seems so innocent, but if you’re in a relationship, you are playing with the fire of unfaithfulness and in time I figure that you will get burned. I don’t know, but that is what I am thinking, based on other real-life stories I’ve heard.
So, in these situations I have found that something must be done got to cut off your mind at the legs, so that it is not able to run with potentially sinful thoughts. And that something is actually pretty easy, but it feels like a bummer when you do it because it kills all possibility. Which is exactly what you know you want, but goes against the nature of the flesh – which craves attention and personal interest and sexual tension. I am all about my girlfriend, and I couldn’t feel more strongly about her. But I also don’t trust the sinful bent within me. So, I have learned that when you meet a hot girl, you should – as soon as possible – casually mention that you are in a relationship. That is it.
About nine months into our relationship, I went to a work-related conference out of state and a hot girl started talking to me around our banquet room table. And I realized that I was enjoying her attention. And I remembered how John Eldredge writes in “Wild at Heart” that due to intrinsic insecurities that guys have, we look to girls to validate us – to make us feel like men. We deeply desire their attention, and their affections, and the affirmation that they give. Donald Miller, in “Searching for God Knows What,” similarly speaks about how we no longer listen to God tell us who we are, we look to and need others to tell us who we are (and thereby give us worth).
I don’t want to live like that, and we are not called to live like that, and I knew that a decision was laid before me. I could talk with her and subconsciously allow my mind (and maybe her mind, which by the way would dishonor her and lead her on) run wild with thoughts of romantic possibilities, or I could cut off my mind at the legs and make it clear that I wasn’t looking, that I wasn’t interested, that I was taken, and that I was all about the relationship I was in.
So, as soon as an opportunity arose to say something like, “My girlfriend and I….” I grabbed it. And I could somehow feel in the air that she was let down (not because I am this super attractive guy who makes all the single ladies swoon – that is far from the truth). And she didn’t really talk to me the rest of the conference, even in passing. But I was thankful. Because I did the right thing. I felt lighter, I felt cleaner, and doing the right thing kept that wedge from coming in between God and me, and that is worth everything.