Sunday, July 18, 2010

Digital Infidelity

by Rev. James Wong
She was in the toilet for a long time with the door closely shut. Something was amiss. He heard her speaking softly on her phone. When he questioned her later she became very defensive and overtly protective over her phone. She was constantly on the phone and texting repeatedly but always away from the view of her husband. But when her husband suddenly came from the back and snatched away her phone, she went berserk and then pleaded to have her phone back because the memory on her phone would betray her secret relationship. Yes, she was having a secret boy friend.

Many men and women keep secret relationships today. In the digital world, it is so easy to make friends around the office, neighborhood and also around the globe through chat rooms and dating sites and other channels. We can become unfaithful without appearing unfaithful.

John (not his real name) was on the computer and when his wife walked near him he fumbled and switch off his computer by the main switch. This raised the suspicion of his wife. She didn't raise the alarm but she went on a quiet investigation spree. When John was not aware, she looked at the call records in his phone and also read the text messages he received and sent. To her horror, she found that many of those messages contain sexual overtones written to a lady. She searched his computer and read his emails and found that her husband exchanged very intimate bedroom information with a number of women and there was this proposed meeting coming up. She confronted her husband but he insisted that those communications was just for fun ‘play play only.’ But no woman in her right mind would believe in such impropriety and lies.

The modern technology of communication has given us new avenues of connecting with other people with the same sex or opposite sex. Even healthy marriages is not immune to the temptation of being unfaithful to one’s spouse digitally. Physically, there might not be any intimacy but emotionally an improper relationship might be brewing when there is intimate communication and feelings involved in the friendship that warrants secrecy. ‘Sexting’ (sending nude pictures of oneself) to another person is common and the web-cam can be used to see each other in nude, an activity our spouse will never approve of. Men and women live with secret lies, hiding from their spouses.

How do you know whether you are becoming unfaithful to your spouse? When you need to hide your phone or your online activities from your spouse. Jesus says that as far as adultery is concerned in a marriage, “looking at a woman lustfully” is already committing the sin of adultery (Matthew 5:27-28). This is the reason the Bible says in Hebrews 13:44 (MSG) “Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.” You can be digitally unfaithful to your spouse.

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