When Being “Discerning” Isn’t, Part 1


One of the things that bothers me most about living in a culture mired in spotlights is the sheer number of forums and opportunities available to say or do something foolish in public. Within that subset of bother, nothing makes me slap my forehead faster than shining the spotlight on Christians who haven’t thought through all the ramifications of their theologies or who make the most appalling statements when a mic is shoved under their nose.

I fully admit that I am one of those people whose mouth runs faster than his brain. Let me talk long enough and the chance that I’ll inadvertently say something that grossly offends someone runs to about 1:1 odds. People who know me only through the blog probably consider me some deep, intellectual introvert with a bit of Old Testament prophet mixed in. In other words, kind of scary. Fact is, I’m a big, motormouth chucklehead who spends most of his time laughing—and sticking my foot in his mouth at some point in the conversation because I don’t know enough to shut up.

That said, I am a much more reflective person than I used to be. I’m not nearly as hard on other people or myself than my former persona of “angry young man destined to change the world singlehandedly.” Which is why the whole issue of discernment in the real world is one that never leaves my thoughts.

We just can’t seem to get discernment right. And if we can’t get discernment right, then nothing else in life will function as it should.

A couple weeks ago, a conversation in the comments of Tim Challies’s blog brought this home. Tim had posted a link to a blog post on another blogger’s site. That blogger argued that Christians should not friend ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends on Facebook. Here’s the reasoning:

I believe that all relationships in my life either support or detract from my marriage, however tacitly, and they stay or go based on that criterion. I believe spouses should have access to each others’ phones and e-mails and should approve of each others’ Facebook friends. I believe privacy with exes, even and perhaps particularly virtual privacy, is dangerous. I’m on the road I chose, and no good will come from revisiting roads not taken.

C.S. Lewis said this:

There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.

Lewis’s rationale can be extrapolated to mean that we can think that there will never be a demon lurking around the next corner or we will think that one will always be awaiting us.

I believe the wisdom of Lewis’s statement applies to all aspects of the Christian life. We may find it easy to believe that money is neither intrinsically good nor evil, but we often find it impossible to think that some other aspects of life also fall into that same gray or neutral area. We want our good and our evil clearly delineated.

Yet life is not always black and white. When Christians automatically flee to those poles, we’ve abandoned discernment for a knee-jerk reaction.

In the case of the anti-ex blogger, her error is found in the automatic dichotomy imposed on human relationships. She believes that every relationship is either helping or hurting her marriage.

Perhaps I’m a serious backslider here, but who frames life that way? Isn’t that automatically assuming that evil lurks behind every corner? Isn’t that falling into a trap of unhealthy concern about everything that might possibly go wrong? Is it impossible for anything, even friending a former flame on Facebook, to be neutral?

My son’s bus driver warned him that he could not read on the bus anymore because some girl was reading, got jostled, and the corner of the book flew up and bruised her eye. So now on the school bus (emphasis on school) it’s a crime to read a book.

That’s where this kind of “anything might go wrong” discernment always leads.

Folks who advocate to live that way always call on the same verses:

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
—1 Corinthians 6:18

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things.
—1 Timothy 6:11a

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
—1 Corinthians 10:14

That’s a lot of fleeing. And when applied rightly in the right situations, it’s a proper response.

However, the problem is that fleeing is but one option, the most drastic one. It’s not the sole option for dealing with life that works for most cases. For a good example of when it’s appropriate to flee, consider this:

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her. But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house…
—Genesis 39:6b-13

Given what a lot of Christians endorse concerning relationships, it was a bad idea for Joseph to even set foot in Potiphar’s house in the first place, given that he was single man in the home of a married woman. But Joseph didn’t flee that situation right away, did he? Somehow, he resisted, as it notes, “day after day.”

Eventually, though, Potiphar’s wife trapped Joseph in a no-win situation, grabbing ahold of his clothing, and offering him the classic proposition again. So he fled.

In other words, the situation was so bad that fleeing finally became the only option.

How Joseph reacted throughout the entirety of his dealings with his master’s wife is how we must rationally apply the “flee model” of dealing with temptation.

In my conversation in the comments over at Tim Challies’s blog, a commenter who advocated the flee model for even the least issue eventually got to the point where he questioned whether youth groups of mixed sexes were a good idea because they don’t allow a good option for fleeing.

If that’s where we are in the Christian Church today, then we’ve lost the battle. We might as well barricade ourselves in our rooms alone. When our first instinct is to flee at the slightest temptation, then we are no longer practicing discernment. Instead, we have become slaves of finding a demon lurking around every corner.

Here’s the verse that mature Christians apply in most cases of temptation:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
—James 4:7

And this:

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
—Ephesians 6:11

Real Christians in a real world must navigate through gray. It’s why the Holy Spirit was put inside us. He’s our guide to dealing with issues that are unclear or those that have yet to descend to flight. He’s also the one who gave Joseph the will to say no day after day until it got so bad that fleeing became the only option.

In the case of friending ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends on Facebook, no blanket “helping my marriage or harming it” dichotomy exists in the real world.

Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well

Single man + "married" woman = flee?

Both you and the Holy Spirit know which exes it would be okay to friend and which it wouldn’t. Listen to what the Lord shows you about your own weakness and be mature about it.

And let’s also be mature and acknowledge that in a world of two sexes attracted to each other, we’re going to have to employ some other method than resorting to fleeing at the least attraction.

As an older married man, I want to speak honestly to younger men and those who have never been married but anticipate it some day: There will be times when you are attracted to women who are not your wife. Those women may even be the wives of your friends. You may attend a party with a lot of other couples, and before you walked into that party, you and your wife had some major fight about something stupid. When that other woman at the party lends you an ear, there might be a spark of attraction in that moment.

Discernment acknowledges forthrightly that such situations will arise. Discernment also acknowledges that flight is not always an option unless you want to be a complete idiot with no friends who makes his wife constantly suspicious of his seemingly unbridled lust.

The wise person must employ some other means of dealing with these kinds of situations. That’s real discernment. And it’s real Christian maturity too.

In my next post, I’ll talk about another discernment issue that even the most learned Christians fumble.

24 thoughts on “When Being “Discerning” Isn’t, Part 1

  1. ian

    Superb post, helped me a lot to realise the stupidity of some of the extreme male/female relationship rules I hear thrown around (don’t even get in an elevator alone with another woman??? I’ve heard that one!).

    • Ian,

      Those people who concern themselves with whether you got into an elevator alone with a woman are busybodies. Period. They’re the ones who are sinning, not you.

      Two things Christians can do that will change the world:
      1. Stop worrying about what other people think of how they live
      2. Stop concerning themselves with everyone else’s problems and start addressing their own

      If we all do that, then the “Ooh, you were in an elevator alone with a woman” garbage goes away.

      • ian

        It amuses me to wonder what the people who set these rules actually think will happen on a short trip in an elevator. They must have serious problems to imagine that it could lead to an irresistible temptation!

  2. Jeremy


    I appreciate your honesty here especially to young men. I wish older Christian men would open up like this to younger men more often it would save us a lot of headaches. I agree with you that healthy discernment is needed in our pluralistic society. We are surrounded with strong temptations and pulls but we can’t be running around like mad men screaming and hiding from everything that tickles us the wrong way.

    Yet the other factor in many of these occcasions is having a healthy godly marriage. This alone will help us in many ways. However, there is never perfection. There will be those fights right before the party and that attractive friend of our wife that always gives a warm hug and says the right thing. Some of the fleeing may be from the thoughts that come and entertaining them and not from the person themselves. Many times the source of temptation isn’t the opposite sex but something in us that we have to address. Using the paradigm some use that you mention above–they would have to flee from themselves.

    Jeremy Kelly

    • Jeremy,

      You’re right: It’s what is wrong in us that matters.

      If someone of the opposite sex is nothing to look at yet has a soothing voice when you need to hear a soothing voice (but aren’t receiving that), it’s amazing what that will awaken in you.

      Yes, there are folks who are randy beasts all the time. I’m not talking about them. I’m addressing the majority of people who are walking around with a emotional hole in them that can be filled inappropriately by another person given the right alignment of circumstances. You have to develop appropriate means for dealing with those times. Fleeing may be one of those options, but it can’t be the only one.

      How much we linger on the need another may be able to fill in us is also an issue. I don’t think there’s a man alive who can see a pretty woman and not think, Nice. We’re biologically wired to do that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

      Where it does go wrong is when we fan that ember into a flame, then into a roaring fire, and on and on.

      I also refer you to my post “ Leer and Foaming in Las Wendy’s.”

      • Jeremy

        Thank you Dan,

        I appreciate that post on Wendy’s experience. What are some words of advice you would give when we find ourselves in those situations. For instance, I work in an environment where attractive women of all ages come in all day and as you mention it only gets worse with warmer weather.

        I find that it is easy to deal with at the beginning of the day but as the day carries on it’s over whelming at times. What advice would you give to safeguard us against fanning the flame?

        • Jeremy,

          I have some very forthright answers, so I hope you understand that I’m not aiming this just at you.

          1. If you are single, stop putting off marriage. The greatest injustice we do to young people in our churches is to force them to put off marriage for years and decades while expecting them to stay sexually pure. As Paul said, it is better to marry than burn. This is just common sense, yet how easily we hem and haw about it as a way to justify the stupid way our culture and society work. We need a MASSIVE overhaul of how we view marriage. We force kids to wait to finish college, to wait to get a good job and get established, and it just does not work. Christians should be leading on this, yet we continue to buy into the broken system that only leads to unlawful sex.

          2. If you are married, have lots of sex with your spouse. Lots. And don’t be ashamed to have an active married sex life that encourages trying new things to please each other! Nothing kills the desire to look elsewhere than an active, enjoyable, creative sex life with one’s spouse.

          3. Here’s the hard one: Just grow up. Sometimes we just have to tell ourselves we’re not going to do that bad thing anymore. We have to value God’s ideal more than our own satisfaction. That’s maturity. Learn to love what God loves more than anything else.

          4. Don’t be afraid to appreciate beauty for beauty’s sake. Recognizing the beauty in others of the opposite sex is NOT the same as lusting after them. This quotation has been butchered and misattributed a million times over, but it applies: You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from nesting in your hair. My recognizing that a woman is beautiful is not the same as desiring to sleep with her. We break Jesus’ admonition against mental adultery when we go far beyond simply recognizing a beautiful woman and into imagining all the sexual things we will do with her (if she is not our spouse). Those are two dramatically different things. John White wrote that lust is like playing the piano by taking a sledgehammer to the strings. Played the right way, the instrument’s sound is wonderful. Played with a sledgehammer on the strings, it’s all wrong. Recognizing the beauty in another is not wrong, while trying to bed that beautiful person through an unacceptable means (even mentally) is. Wisdom is knowing the difference. (I will add that one reason I think that we fail in this regard is due to the LACK of beauty or the LACK of understanding of beauty in our lives, not because of too much.) I will add that I’m sure Adam had his socks knocked off when he first saw Eve, yet somehow he was enraptured of her without the sin of lust. We need to keep that in mind.

          • Jeremy

            Thank you for your thoughts Dan they are very helpful and forthright. Once again we need more language like this in the Church.


  3. Hi Dan,
    I love your blog and have read it off and on for a while now. This is my first time commenting and I hope to be coherent with a few thoughts from a woman’s point of view. First, I think that it is a bad idea for married people to maintain voluntary social contact with ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. Keyword: voluntary. The reasoning: many of us (myself and my husband included) have had sexual relationships with other people prior to marriage. Here is another example of God’s superior wisdom: if we had both been virgins prior to marriage, perhaps we would not have this problem. It’s true that we can’t avoid social situations. Prior to those events, we should pray…lead us not into temptation. Those situations that we can avoid, we should. Why invite temptation into your own backyard.

    Second, I love your honesty about a married man being attracted to a woman who is not his wife. The problem is, married women are also attracted to men who are not their husband. Maybe I’m speaking for myself, but let’s just say that I’m not disappointed when I go grocery shopping to find that the local handsome firemen are also shopping! 🙂 That’s just the way we’re wired, right? Unfortunately, Jesus would say that we are guilty of adultery and we must repent.

    This brings me to my final point. In your Comment, you said, “I don’t think there’s a man alive who can see a pretty woman and not think, Nice. We’re biologically wired to do that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.” However, that comment almost seems to be giving permission to have a lustful heart. If we cut some slack to heterosexual men and women because they “are biologically wired to do that”, then why don’t we cut the same slack to homosexuals? I’ve known many gay people and without exception, they knew from childhood that they were attracted to the same sex. Instead of using the biologically wired argument, why don’t we say, “I do this because I am sinful. This is the sin I struggle with. Help me, Jesus.” Our problem is not just our sinful nature, but also in thinking that we can overcome it alone. We can’t. But with God all things are possible.

    • CD,

      Thanks for commenting and for being a reader!

      As to your comment about exes, each person needs to deal with this issue before God. Some of those past relationships may be harmful and some may not. If that relationship was sexual, I’m sure it only makes the issue more difficult. Still, I will not make a blanket statement here. Given how many prostitutes ended up in the early Church, I’m sure encounters with past “customers” occurred. The two simply could not use flight as their only answer to the problem of now being in the same church together. I’m sure that occurs in today’s churches too, given how many people have had sex before marriage. “Run away” cannot be our only option.

      As to your second point, having had women in the past give me the beatdown for assuming to speak for them, I try to avoid that now. 😉 That said, you’re right in that women are sexual beings too and have the same struggles. However, in general, it is an order of magnitude larger issue for men.

      As to your last point, see my #4 point to Jeremy elsewhere in these comments. A healthy appreciation for beauty, even beauty in the opposite sex, does not necessarily equal lust. Sadly, some churches and denominations have taught the opposite, and we have been suffering for their broken understanding ever since. And concerning the argument that biological wiring encourages the homosexuality argument, then read what I have written in many other places on this blog about sex and the created order. Natural biological desires imparted by God and biological desires warped by sin are NOT the same thing. To synthesize the two is Hegelian, and sadly, all too common.

      • Your comments are always thoughtful. Since I wasn’t around in the early church :-), I can’t presume to know how things were. Today, however, we have a choice. Just because you and your ex attend the same church (or have another social function in common) does not mean that it is wise to voluntarily seek out other opportunities for interaction between the two of you. If friending your ex on Facebook is more important than taking into account your spouse’s feelings, or your ex’s spouse’s feelings, then that’s a problem. During the past two years, I watched a family friend throw away a 45-year marriage to reconnect with his high school sweetheart. They reconnected at their 50th reunion, exchanged emails, because you know what was the big deal, they were both married. Long story short, he left his wife, she left her 3rd husband so they could move in together. It didn’t last. Now in his golden years, he is without his family. I think that often times we kid ourselves when we say “What’s the harm?”. My original comment still stands: Why invite temptation into your backyard? If you can’t avoid it, bring it to the Lord. Pray for strength, and pray that anything you do will be for God’s glory.

        Regarding appreciating beauty: I agree with you to a point. However, my husband and my male friends have told me that it doesn’t take long for an admiring glance to become a second or third glance until you’re having lustful thoughts. Is it a sin to admire beauty? No. It is a sin however, to knowingly disregard another’s feelings for your own pleasure. If I’m on a dinner date with my husband, and he notices me admiring the waiter (or I notice him admiring the waitress), is that a sin? Is doing it when they aren’t around OK? I don’t see how doing this edifies either one of us. At what point do we stop and become accountable for exerting self-control?

        Regarding homosexuality: let me be clear, I do not condone homosexuality…any more than I condone a man leaving his wife for his mistress. If I remember correctly, both offenses were punishable by death in the Old Testament. Clearly God takes sexual immorality seriously…and He doesn’t play favorites between heterosexuals and homosexuals. Christians do, however. I’m not implying that you do this, but too often I have encountered straight Christians telling their Christian brothers and sisters who struggle with homosexuality, “You’re living a lifestyle choice. With God’s help, you can overcome it.” If that’s true for gays, why isn’t it true for straights? I believe that lusting is a choice. Lust, perversion, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are, to use your words, natural biological desires warped by sin. They also stem from the sinful desires in our heart. We were made to love, not lust.

        • CD,

          I don’t have an ex at my church. I do have an ex who is a regular reader and commenter on this blog. I’m glad she remains a Facebook friend and a reader. There’s nothing there beyond that and never will be. That said, there are exes that I have who would not be good for me to reconnect with. Again, no blanket statement here. I trust that God is faithful to provide me the wisdom to know the difference between good, neutral, and bad.

          About beauty, I think we all need to work to a point where we’re a whole lot less serious about ourselves. It bothers me that we Christians erect these systems of judgments that are more law than grace, more self-flagellation than living by the Spirit. I can’t imagine spending my whole day worrying about whether I’m sinning or not. On the other hand, should we sin more so that grace may abound? Obviously not. But when we have a more holistic view of sin and grace, I think the distinctions we are always fighting start to become less important. At that point, sin becomes less entangling. It’s a bit like learning to distinguish the sound of the flapping of a butterfly’s wings amid a rock concert. Once we know what we’re listening for, the concert noise seems to fade away, to become less of a distraction. To that point, the constant self-assessment of whether I’m sinning or not falls away amid the question of what God might be saying to me right now.

          I have written extensively that if the Church had treated homosexuals better and done a better job reaching out to them, we wouldn’t be at such polar opposites right now, and they would not be on the Christian “Most Wanted Criminal” list and us on theirs. This is not to excuse the sin of homosexuality but to ask the Church how we got so far away from the Gospel that we totally bungled our relationship to the lost, homosexual or not. We spend so much time concerned with someone else’s house and then give ourselves a pass. We find the speck in our neighbors eye but cannot see the log in our own. I know I better darned well have my house in order before I go off criticizing someone else, particularly a lost person who does not have what I do.

          Each person on this planet has some sort of sin that proves more stubborn than another. Homosexuality is a stubborn one for some, pride for others, and self-pity for others again. “And such were some of you” is the hope that Christ affords us, that we are not destined to be conformed to our besetting sin but to Christ Himself. People who embrace that reality know new life. It’s that simple.

          • “We spend so much time concerned with someone else’s house and then give ourselves a pass. We find the speck in our neighbors eye but cannot see the log in our own.” Amen! However, a certain amount of self-examination is serious business. Despite my comments, I am not a Bible-thumping fundie, and yes, I do have a sense of humor. My husband once told me that I needed to get a gay boyfriend for the evening if I wanted to go see Steely Dan in concert. 🙂 That’s how we are at our house. BTW: the “you” in my comment was not to “you” personally. I should have used “one”. My apologies. All I’m trying to say, is that we would be wise to heed the Scripture you quoted. It’s not solely about whether we should be friends with our exes. It’s about not intentionally looking for trouble or putting ourselves in compromising situations where we can hurt ourselves or those we love. Because eventually, trouble finds us all. And yes, that is a blanket statement. That’s all I’m saying. Peace.

  4. TonyP.


    Another well thought out post. Kudos.

    I am new around here, but I have been burdened (Baptist for prodded by God 🙂 ?) to pray for you and yours as I have been poring through the archives. Is there something specific I can pray for you?

    Grace and Peace


  5. Dan,
    I want to apologize for my long winded comments. This post struck a chord with me. As my oldest son is rapidly approaching the teen years, I want to teach him to love and respect his sisters in Christ. I know that there are natural biological desires…having been a teen once myself. But sadly, I did not respect myself or others when I was younger. So if I seem rabid about avoiding temptation, it’s not you. It’s me. I love your blog! BTW: God is good. My husband and I will be celebrating 20 years next June.

  6. Headless Unicorn Guy

    In my conversation in the comments over at Tim Challies’s blog, a commenter who advocated the flee model for even the least issue eventually got to the point where he questioned whether youth groups of mixed sexes were a good idea because they don’t allow a good option for fleeing.

    Isn’t that how the locked harem and the burqa started?

    If that’s where we are in the Christian Church today, then we’ve lost the battle. We might as well barricade ourselves in our rooms alone. When our first instinct is to flee at the slightest temptation, then we are no longer practicing discernment. Instead, we have become slaves of finding a demon lurking around every corner.

    My writing partner tells me about somebody he knew who was so far into “Discernment Ministry” that if a light bulb burned out, instead of changing the bulb, he’d get out his Bible and start loudly Rebuking the Demon of Burned Out Lightbulbs.

    And just last week, my sister-in-law “discerned” that my current bout of depression was caused by a demon in a picture I bought at a furry con in January. (She started talking about a “Spiritual Warfare Expert” she knew who could see dead people. I don’t know if this was the same “holy man” she knew who after the 2008 elections got the direct word from God that “Now My Judgement on this nation begins.” Never mind you’d think demons would have something better to do than piggyback on somebody’s digital print.)

    I know why the picture caused it, no demons needed; the circumstances around my acquisition of the piece and research on the subject matter and provenance triggered some real bad memories from my past, causing me to relive the breakup with my only girlfriend at full emotional intensity.

    (Fortunately, my will names someone else as executor of my intellectual property, after one much talked about case in the fandom. Several years ago, a small-press cartoonist who drew under the pen name “Sir William Blackfox” died, after which his aunt/heir burned all her nephew’s life’s work because she could “FEEL the Demonic in it”, including getting lawyers and suing to force owners of his art to give it back to her for “cleansing” in the fireplace.)

  7. Connie Reagan

    This is one of the best posts you have ever made.I wanted to stand up and cheer.

    To some of the commenters: The Bible says whatsoever is not of faith is sin. If to you, you cannot be facebook friends with an ex, then don’t be facebook friends with an ex. Bud do NOT go beyond “what is written” and try to dictate to all that a rule that is wise for YOU must also apply to all equally.
    I think that at some point Christians do need to grow up and treat people of the opposite sex as people and not potential stumbling blocks.
    We can be wise and not foolish, setting personal boundaries for ourselves, but those boundaries are not going to look the same for every person or for every friendship.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      To some of the commenters: The Bible says whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

      Which in my experience leads to an ever-shrinking circle of what is “faith” and an ever-increasing definition of “sin”. Until everything except Prayer, Bible Study, and in-your-face Witnessing is Forbidden, and all that is not forbidden is Absolutely Compulsory.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          I know where it leads because I’ve been there.

          Back in the Seventies, I got mixed up in one of those Aberrant Christian Fellowships (Evangelical theology but control-freak “cult” behavior) that were going around in the Era of Hal Lindsay. (I think this had to do with the “Shepherding Movement” as well as Late Great Planet Earth, but I’m not familiar with the history or timing of the former.)

          Bad scene. The only thing I could compare it to at the time was Orwell’s 1984. Now I’d compare it to the Taliban.

          A friend of mine in the Eighties defined Fascism as “government by control freaks”, and how you could have “Fascism of the Left” as well as “Fascism of the Right”; it was the control-freak attitude of those in charge that mattered.

    • Connie,

      I have always liked this advice:

      “Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.”
      — Susanna Wesley (Letter, June 8, 1725)

      She gets it.

  8. Michelle

    Is Tim Challies writing this post to be a law-giver or is he just giving good sound advice to other married people? I haven’t read his post so I don’t know but there is nothing wrong with laying out good advice to married people, after all there is an awful lot of divorce out there.
    I don’t think that seeing an ex in a social situation by happenstance or being in the elevator with an attractive person is the same as being friends with an ex on facebook or some other social site. I can’t control who I see in public and I haven’t had a relationship with random people I might be in a 3 minute elevator ride with. However I do have control over who sees my personal business on facebook.
    Here is my opinion on that, my facebook page is private, it’s my private space, much like my car or my home, it’s not a place that I just run into someone. I wouldn’t invite an ex into my home or my car so I wouldn’t invite them into my facebook page to see what I say from day to day and look at my pictures etc. and I wouldn’t want to be in the position of seeing what they do from day to day either. That is too much personal contact with someone you had some sort of romantic physical contact with in your past.
    In my marriage we don’t friend exes, it’s in my opinion setting yourself up for a huge temptation. Most people don’t set out to have an affair, one little thing leads to another and the next thing you know it’s out of control. And yes it can happen to Christians too. All Satan needs is a chink in your armor.
    I do have male friends on my facebook as my husband has female friends on facebook but outside of that we don’t have close friends of the opposite sex. We had a situation where a friends wife was emailing my husband about her husband and some of their problems, she was looking to my husband for solace behind her husbands back, mind you we were all Christians. I put a stop to it and offered her my email and some advice, my husband would forward me her emails and I would answer for him, needless to say she didn’t want to talk to me, she wanted to talk to my husband.
    Something you men might need to consider is this (and I am not saying all women) but most women get mixed signals when you are friendly with them and it doesn’t matter if they are married or not and single Christian women are the worst because they want a husband real bad and they want a godly one. I have dealt with these kinds of women many times over the past 20 years because my husband is very outgoing and attractive and now has learned he has to be less outgoing where women are concerned. So maybe it’s not such bad advice for married people to have some boundaries where exes and personal spaces are concerned. Marriage is hard enough as it is without adding exes into the mix and I understand that’s different if you have children with an ex you have to have contact with them for the child and that is a whole different situation. Just wanted to give my opinion but by all means each person needs to decide what is right for them but remember if you are married your spouse should be okay with who your facebook friends are.

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