Sitting in a waiting room, I rummaged through stacks of magazines to pass the time. A magazine for families, I thought as I picked up a popular title. That ought to be safe.
Thumbing through the pages, I went directly to the "Family Matters" column to see what the culture was teaching these days. The title? "Why You can Love Your Husband and Brad Pitt Too." I turned back to the cover to make sure I had not inadvertently picked up Cosmopolitan or The National Inquirer. Nope it was a magazine for families - targeted at wives and mothers.
This is some of what the author had to say.
Last spring I found myself applying a pretty shade of pink lipstick before heading off to the nursery to buy annuals. Why the fuss? I hoped to run into the handsome gentleman who worked there....According to experts, married crushes are natural and common. As long as you don't let them develop into full blown fantasies or consider acting upon them, these minor attractions can actually help you appreciate your spouse more...Infatuations offer a safe break from the marital routine. Everyday life is a bit humdrum, making it hard to maintain a passionate connection all the time...
Well friends, there is another expert on marriage who was not quoted in this article and his option is juxtaposition to this one. His name is Jesus. This is what He has to say about infatuation with the delivery boy, flirting with the man at the nursery, or cattily toying with a coworker in the next cubicle.
Your have heard it said, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:27).
Looking at another man with a flirtatious eye is such a serious offense that Jesus went on to say, "If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away." (Matthew 5:28).
Now, don't worry, I'm not going to tell you to pluck out your eye if you do have a crush on the buff young man who bags your produce at the grocery store, but I am telling you that you might need to shop elsewhere. I am saying that if you find yourself adding a bit of lip gloss before heading to the post office where the cute blond with the steel blue eyes always greets you like you've made his day, you need to forget the gloss and go to another post office. And that man in the next cubicle who always showers you with compliments and makes your heart skip a beat? I think Jesus is saying to pluck it out, change cubicles, or even more drastic -- change jobs.
Perhaps you think I've gone just a bit too far. I imagine the folks listening to Jesus' advice about running from temptation thought so too. The truth is, I've never heard of an affair that did not begin with a toying glance or flirtatious "innocent" bantering. Every sin begins with a thought and every spiritual battle is won or lost at the threshold of the mind.
Let's face it, women long to feel beautiful. After being married for a few years and having a baby or two, we begin to wonder if we are still pretty or sexually appealing. Then a man comes along who pays us a compliment and our hearts skip a beat. That is natural. However, if that compliment or attention leads to infatuation, returning for more, or a "crush" as the article implies, Jesus tells us to turn and run in the opposite direction...press the delete button...and avoid reply. "Flee sexual immorality" (I Corinthians 6:18). This is serious -- pluck it out.
It is interesting that when Satan tempted Eve in the garden, the first step to her downfall was her eyes. "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye...." (Genesis 3:6). It all began with the eyes...what she looked at. I wonder what would have happened if she had chosen to look away.
The article ultimately had very little to do with Brad Pitt or Mel Gibson, but had more to say about men we come in contact with every day. Honestly, had it been Brad or Mel, I might have had a chuckle. But this article was encouraging women to play with fire. The author went on to say...
Whether you have a soft spot for Mel Gibson or Mel the mailman, make sure your husband knows that a crush doesn't change the way you feel about him. We all want to know that we are number one in our spouse's life. As for me, I told my husband about the man at the nursery. 'Going to see your boyfriend?' he teased as I headed out the door to buy mulch. Later I assured him that while Garden Guy knew the best cure for aphids; he could never melt my heart.
After reading that, I tried to imagine my husband, Steve, saying to me, "Honey, I want to tell you that I have a crush on the check-out girl at Home Depot, but I still love you the best." I get a queasy feeling just thinking about such a conversation. And yet, this is what the "family magazine" was suggesting for women of the new millennium. No wonder the divorce rate in this country is 50% and rising.
I am so thankful we do not have to depend on such publications to give us the keys to a happy, fulfilling life with the man of our dreams. We have God's Word. He's the expert and here's what He has to say:
"Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23).
Sharon Jaynes is popular speaker at women's events and author of ten books including Becoming the Woman of His Dreams – Seven Qualities Every Man Longs For. To find out more about Sharon's speaking ministry, or to order Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, visit www.sharonjaynes.com.