You may have heard in recent news about the Ashley Madison hack. Ashley Madison is an online dating site created specifically with the intent for married individuals to find a partner to have an affair with. Their slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” This is clearly a despicable company. It turns out others felt so too, and they had hacked into their system and collected the information of subscribers. Now, the hackers are threatening to release the data of the users unless the website is taken offline.
This website has definitely done damage to families and marriages. But we must realize that until Jesus returns, sin will continue to exist. If this website were taken down, another would soon go up in its place. The company is deplorable, but we also must realize that a large portion of the entire internet is full of horrible sins.
Removing the easily accessible option of an online-generated affair is not the answer to protecting your marriage. Adultery happened in biblical times – long before the Internet! The internet has become a new way that a relationship outside of marriage can start, so we should inform ourselves about how to address online connectivity in marriage. These are necessary conversation starters every married couple should have in modern times:
– How can I keep you accountable as a sister/brother in Christ without becoming obsessive and hovering over you?
– How can we better foster trust in light of the age of smart phones and constant wifi?
– What can we do to protect ourselves from the temptation of pornography?
In these conversations, we must remember to practice grace with one another. Remember all will be tempted. Do not shame your spouse for temptations. Internet ads can be uncontrollable. People may flirt with your spouse inappropriately. Make sure you understand the difference of something that happens to your spouse and your spouse participating in sin. Talk to each other about the boundaries that you would like to set.
As mentioned before, sexual sins were around far before the Internet. The Bible message still rings true, even if there are new methods of getting into the home. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4). Also, remember that one of the best ways to guard yourselves against temptation of sexual sin is to continue to stay sexually active with one another. “Do not deprive one another [of sexual relations], except perhaps for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:5).
Do not feel threatened by the Internet! Instead, be empowered by scripture that your marriage would rely on God, rather than turn to the ways of the world.
If your marriage is currently suffering as a result of an affair, pornography or any other marital issues, please seek free counseling from one of our NAME counseling centers. Also at our upcoming conference, IMC 20, there will be workshops offered about overcoming adultery, breaking the habit of pornography and how to address media mis-use in your marriage. Learn more about the conference and register here.