The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Dangerous attractions?

God creates us for healthy relationships

What should a man or woman do if they feel highly attracted to a person of the opposite sex other than their spouse? How should married people behave toward people of the opposite sex?

People will experience attractions. We are sexual beings. What we do with these feelings matters. God calls us to view each other as beings created in God's image — not as objects of conquest for self-gratification or as props for our self-esteem.

When such attractions occur we need to create and maintain an appropriate distance to minimize temptations. We also need to confide in a trusted counselor, pastor or wise friend with whom we can be honest. Bringing our feelings into the open drains them of much of their power to control us so that we remain faithful to our commitments.

A husband and wife need not, should not, isolate themselves. But it's not healthy for marriages if either partner spends time and emotions excessively on another party. In a healthy marriage, love grows and deepens in a way that strengthens us to share life with an intimacy appropriate to other relationships.

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March issue

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