Thou Shalt Not Befriend Thy Neighbor's Husband (Or Should You?)

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At one time, your cell phone probably had the names and numbers of an array of friends from the opposite sex. But now you're married. Is it appropriate to maintain close friendships with people of the other gender? In this post, Sarah Markley speaks from personal experience about how a friendship can turn into an affair, offering practical advice on how to protect your marriage. Sarah is a wife, mom, and writer. She writes frequently at her own blog and is a contributor at (in)courage, A Deeper Story, and The Art of Simple.


Do you know someone who, or have you, had a friendship with someone from the opposite sex that turned into something more—whether physical or emotional? What happened?
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Describe the nature of any opposite sex friendships that you currently have. Is your spouse aware and approving of those friendships? If you don't have any, is that an intentional choice?
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Sarah warned that when things in an opposite-sex friendship become secretive, it's time to start having questions. Are there things in your friendships that you wouldn't want your spouse to see? What are they?
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Think about your marriage. Are there things you feel are lacking in your relationship with your spouse that you are tempted to try to find in an opposite-sex friendship? What are those things? Have you spoken with your spouse about them?
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While not formulaic, Sarah noted that staying faithful in marriage involves a long road of good choices and walking close to each other. What are you doing to actively foster growth in your marriage?
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There is no hard and fast rule on having friendships with members of the opposite sex. Some find it best to avoid them altogether, others see value in them. Regardless of your stance, Sarah provided helpful insight into how to recognize if a friendship going too far. Keep things in the open, be intentional about maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse, and trust the Lord who is working in your husband or wife.