My 47-year-old cousin was brutally murdered some months ago. He was having a barbecue with his family when some armed men barged into his home and murdered him. So I am aware of the brevity of life. The Ashley Madison website acknowledges that life goes by all too quickly, but they fail to inform their adherents that actions have consequences.
The hacking of the Ashley Madison website revealed that there were over 37 million subscribers. Some of those who subscribed to this website have had their lives cut short. As names surfaced of people who had joined this website, marriages began to crumble, people were forced to resign from their positions of leadership, and some committed suicide.
The truth is that life is short—that bit the website got right. And because our days are numbered the book of Proverbs in the Bible calls us to live wisely.
Keeping a secret, telling lies, and being unfaithful to someone is not my idea of wisdom. So here is my response to the shoddy advice of the Ashley Madison website:
1. Hiding your sin is not as easy as it appears: How many lies will a person have to tell to cover up an affair? How much deceit will there be? Imagine trying to remember every lie you have told so that you don’t slip up? That doesn’t sound like fun to me. For the so-called pleasure of having an affair with a strange and exotic person the price is much higher than it might appear.
2. Guilt is a consequence of living deceptively: And then the feelings of guilt that one has to confront—looking at your spouse lying next to you and knowing that you are betraying them. That guilt can at times be overwhelming. There are some people who live a double life and don’t care, but most people have a sense of guilt and shame for living in a duplicitous way.
3. Your actions affect others: Some say, “I can do what I like—if I am okay with it then it is my business.” True, you can do anything you want to. No one can stop you because you are free to make your own choices in life. However, stop to consider that having an affair involves more than one person and the consequences and implications of an affair go far and wide. There is your own spouse, the other person, their spouse, and the children and extended families of the two people having the affair. That selfish moment of indulging in your own gratification can leave a bitter taste in many people’s mouths for a long time.
1. Life is short so take a deep breath and think before you act: Stop and think carefully through the consequences of your action. I am quite certain that people who have an affair never take the time to think about what could happen after the affair. They are thinking of the moment. The flesh is crying out and the only thing on their mind is to satisfy their lust. I believe it is wise to think deeply before a situation arises. If you consider the implications of an affair and in the cold light of day you make a decision never to do anything that will harm you or your family—when the temptation arises the choice is easy because you have already made a cold, calculated decision.
2. Life is short so don’t live with secrets: There is nothing more wonderful than waking up and knowing that your life is whole. I am not saying you wake up and jump out of bed shouting, “I am perfect, and there is nothing wrong with me.” What I am saying, is that you can go to bed at night and then wake up in the morning knowing that there are no secrets, no lies, and no activities that need covering up.
3. Life is short so invest in the people you love: I cannot imagine looking at my husband and knowing that he is working to provide for his family, loving me, and doting on me while I am involved with another person. I love my husband and want to invest in our relationship. Life is short. I do not know how many years I will have with him, but I do know that when he or I breathe our last breath I don’t want any regrets.
My prayer is that you will take the time to commit your relationship to God—to pray and ask Him to protect your marriage. I trust that your desire will be to make wise decisions regarding this most sacred relationship.
If you have failed and betrayed your spouse then I am pleased to remind you that it is not the unforgivable sin. God loves you no matter what you have done. He is always there with outstretched hand to pick you up when you fall.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,