#108 Forgiveness: What It Is and What It Isn’t (Podcast)

what is forgiveness

So, let’s say that you’ve been wronged…wronged by your spouse, child, close friend or coworker. You thought you could count on them. You thought you could trust them. They let you down. It hurts. The pain runs deep inside you. What makes things worse, you didn’t deserve it. You didn’t deserve the deed. It wasn’t […]

The Danger Zone: Friendships of the Opposite Sex

friends of the opposite sex

A few years ago we hired someone to join the Family First team who was surprised by one my policies: I do not meet with, dine with, or travel with any female alone—even if that means, for example, going to the extra expense of using two cars to go somewhere.

It’s not because my marriage is fragile, but because it’s strong and I want it to remain that way. I’m not immune from temptation so I want to stay completely away from it. It’s a precaution, kind of like when I put my seat belt on each time I get into a car, even though I don’t intend to drive recklessly. It just makes sense.

Some people may say that I am being unrealistic or puritanical, but I have seen and heard of too many marriages that have ended up in crisis and even divorce because a husband has gotten too close to another woman, or a wife has allowed another man to take the place in her heart that belongs only to her husband. It’s one of 7 Risk Factors for Having an Affair.

At the extreme, these unwise relationships end up in full-blown unfaithfulness. This kind of thing usually doesn’t just happen all of a sudden. There are a series of missteps along the way, and the result is among the most devastating marriage crises to face. I’m not at all saying it is impossible to recover from such a breach of trust and commitment, but there will be a lot of heartache and hard work along the road to restoration.

Unfaithfulness is on a continuum, like speeding. There may be a difference between driving at 60 mph and 45 mph in a 30 mph zone, but both are wrong and come with consequences. In the same way, it’s possible to be emotionally unfaithful in a way that will damage your marriage. You may keep back your body but give the other person your heart.

This friendship danger zone is larger than it has ever been. Men and women work alongside each other in the workplace much more. Then there is the whole world of social media where you can connect with old high school friends on Facebook.

We don’t need to get paranoid about it all, and I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t have friends of the opposite sex. I certainly do. But you should be forewarned and forearmed in this area. So let me share three dos and three don’ts for avoiding this potential problem.