Sitting at my computer, minding my own business, I saw a pop up advertisement of a woman putting her finger over her lips. The advertisement said, “Life is short. Have an affair.” Then the window had a dropdown box available for me to put in my relationship status. It eventually went away because I didn’t click on anything. I was too busy sitting there with my mouth hung open. All can say is… wow. All I was doing was looking up songs about money!
In my curiosity, I typed the words “Life is Short. Have an Affair.” into Google and I found that this company exists to help people have discrete affairs. It is a dating site and social networking site similar in some ways to Match.com or eHarmony; however, they primarily advertise to people who are already in a relationship. Though they have received a lot of criticism, they are still in existence and advertise typically on late night television (and obviously through pop-ups on computers!). Paying members can initiate contact with others and, though non-paying members cannot initiate contact, they can receive solicitations and respond to them.
So, this is the day and age in which we are living…. My guess is a lot of people will have the same response I did when they first see a pop-up encouraging them to cheat on their spouses (at least, I hope so). The second and third time they see this online dating service advertised they will probably still be shocked and appalled. Then, after seeing the pop-up (or commercial) nine, ten, or eleven times, chances are the sting of the shock will start wearing off. Perhaps after the twentieth commercial, the thirtieth pop-up, and one too many fights with his or her husband or wife over money, in-laws, or lack of intimacy, that dating site may “pop-up” in their minds and seem rather tempting.
The majority of people don’t get married with plans to cheat on their spouses. Most affairs happen in response to difficult life circumstances, loss of connection between spouses, and allowing temptation to linger instead of running from it. When a couple loses their connection and does not put in the effort to restore it, the conditions for an affair become much more favorable. However, regardless of the conditions in the home, affairs are a sign of selfishness.
In our “give me what I want or I’ll bail” American culture, it is hard to keep our minds clear of those voices that tell us, “You’re not happy? Then leave your spouse and start a new, better life.” We see and hear it everywhere – and today, I saw something which told me life was too short to remain faithful to my wedding vows. It told me (in not so many words) to have a little fun and abandon the safe haven of my marriage for a cheap, secretive, exciting affair.
Honestly, the advertisement reminds me of how Satan whispered lies to Eve. He made it sound like disobeying God was no big deal and that it would be pleasing to her. He coaxed her to throw away the gifts God had given her. In the same way, I hear this company seductively whispering, “Life is short. You need to be happy. No one will ever find out. Find someone who will give you a little pleasure on the side because you’re worth it. It’s not bad. What your spouse doesn’t know won’t hurt him or her.” I can’t help but wonder who gave in to temptation and contacted this site only to lose his or her family in the process. Sounds like a rotten trade to me.
In a society that focuses so much energy on pampering self, we have to take extra care to keep our minds from being contaminated with lies that tell us it’s okay to walk away from our families and responsibilities when we’re not happy. This may require turning off the television from time to time. It may require waving goodbye to some specific entertainment that often denigrates traditional marriage and family (and unfortunately, many entertainment programs these days do). And as hard as this may be, we occasionally have to spend less time (or no time) with friends who do not respect our views of covenant marriage who are not concerned with keeping their own minds cleansed and focused on God’s Word (Romans 12:2).
Today’s pop-up was a reminder to me that temptation is everywhere. In fact, it’s a marketed product. We can’t take for granted that we would never give into temptation. Instead, we have to take necessary measures to keep our hearts and minds pure so we can be true to our wedding vows in mind and body.
Where have you seen temptation to cheat on your relationship marketed?