When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. James 1:13-16
I used to travel a lot for work. A hundred airline segments per year was not unusual. When I would get to my destination airport, I would typically rent a car. Now, I only occasionally have to take a plane for work. The times that I travel to Atlanta or Fort Lauderdale, I have discovered a faster, more efficient way to get to my meetings. I take the train. Without fail, every time I’ve taken a train, the train got to where it was going (without traffic delays).
Often times, we as standing men are warned about getting into the friend trap. This particular trap usually starts with spending time with another lady who is not your covenant bride. It could be lunch, it could be dinner… it could be an invitation to attend church that is accepted. Purely innocent, non-threatening, non-adulterous beginnings.
In James, he refers to sin that is born from our own lustful desires. It literally drags us and traps us. That is why the “friend trap” is referred to as just that: A Trap. It is nearly impossible to spend repeated time with a nice, well mannered, well intentioned lady and not begin to feel some attraction for her – the drag. Before long, you begin to feel that you would rather be with her then continue to stand for your wife – the trap. At the 2002 Miami Promise Keepers, Crawford Lorits made a statement that has stuck with me to this day: “I have yet to meet a healthy man in a plutonic relationship with a healthy woman that did not, eventually, struggle with attraction to that woman.”
Brothers, when you hear yourself saying, “She is just a friend of mine,” you are in that drag. The next step is the trap. The only thing you can do is to get out of that drag, stop spending time with her and to flee as if your life depends on it.
Just like you affair-proof your marriage, you need to affair-proof your stand. One of the basics of affair-proofing is to refuse to spend time one on one, no matter how innocent or business related, with a woman who is not your covenant bride. You didn’t do it when you were legally married without consequences. You even need to be on guard if you spend time with that individual in a group setting such as business contact or church.
The nice thing about a train is that it usually gets to where it is destined to go. If you are on that train, you ARE going to that destination. It’s not like being in a car where you can change your mind and go a different direction. And that’s great news! Unless that train is heading for destruction. The friend trap is like being on a train that is heading for destruction. If you end up on that train whether or not you intended, you have only one choice: Pull the emergency brake of confession and repentance, and JUMP OFF THAT TRAIN!
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18
Recently, I was in a conversation with a friend’s adult daughter about why I stand, the permanence view of marriage and keeping my wedding vows. She asked, “Well, what if you miss out on something really good?” You know, that is a valid question. What if you miss out on something really good? The truth is, standing involves sacrifice. By definition, you are going to miss out on some things, some might be really good. Praise God, I didn’t hesitate in my answer. My answer to her, and my answer to you is, “I may miss out on something really good. If I obey God, and do what He wants me to do, then I won’t miss out on the BEST.”
Standing Until I See Jesus Face to Face,
Rusty in North Carolina
Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.