Daily Devotional for Wednesday March 18, 2009
(1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5)
I know from the emails I received in the past few days after announcing this topic, there are many people dreading this message today. There are no accidents or coincidences with God. If you work, you MUST read these words today. If you are currently involved in an office romance, this is God speaking directly to YOU! If you are not involved in an office romance, it is still a word you need to read since most office romances are not planned, they evolve. There are so many facets of this issue that I could probably write on this one topic for a solid week. However, today I want to try and highlight this trap of satan and help you get out of the fantasies you may currently be harboring and help bring you back to reality before you destroy your life and those around you.
Office romances is an issue that touches EVERYONE who is out working. We love to hammer Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt for leaving his wife and hooking up with Angelina Jolie on the set of a movie, but that is no different than Tim in shipping who is married, hooking up with Julie in accounting! When you talk about office romances, most people immediately think of the older married male boss who is having an affair with his much younger secretary. While that may be the classic office romance, office romances encompass all romantic relationships that are born at work between men and women (now of course men and men and women and women) who are married or single. They happen in offices of all kinds, whether it be a sales firm, a group of dentists, the headquarters for a trucking company, your local McDonald's, or yes, even the office at your church!
How these office romances begin is actually very easy to understand. You are working 40, 50, sometimes more hours a week with this person. You share a common bond in that you are both working for the same organization. It is safe to say that you communicate on a mutual level with this person more than anyone else in your life, including your spouse, family, and friends. When you factor in the amount of time you spend with this person, the common bond you share in working with the same organization, and extensive quality communication, you have ALL the ingredients for a professional relationship turning personal and even intimate no matter who you are or how honorable your intentions may be.
So you can see immediately, even someone who has no plans, goals, or desires for anything romantic to happen at work, all of the key elements exist for a romantic relationship to begin. When you factor in the reality there are many people who ARE looking for relationships at work, whether it is an extra-marital affair, a causal relationship for sex, or even someone who is looking for a spouse, it is no wonder why office romances have always been and always will be a huge issue that anyone who works needs to be aware of and guard against at all times.
One of the issues I have seen over nearly 2 decades of ministry is the huge influx of women in the workforce since the mid '60s. Most offices that used to be dominated by men, are now filled with as many women as men, and having women equally represented in the workforce has only increased the opportunity and availability for these office romances to flourish. I am not advocating women don't work, since in this day we live where the roles of men and women have become so confused, with the breakdown of such a high percentage of marriages and families, most women have no choice but to work. It is simply a fact that with the incredible surge of women in the workplace over the past 40 years, this whole issue of office romances has become even more pronounced.
By far the biggest problem in dealing with this issue and the most destructive to so many lives is the married man or woman getting involved with someone at work. We have already seen how easy it can happen. A married person may spend 1 hour or less a day with their spouse, yet 6-10 hours a day with the person they work with. They may actually have 30 minutes or less of meaningful conversation with their spouse a day, yet engage in quality conversation for hours a day with the person at work. The goals of many husbands and wives are not clear, often even at odds with each other, yet there is the common goal of the organization with the person they work with.
*READ THE PREVIOUS PARAGRAPH AGAIN! READ IT SLOWLY. CAN YOU SEE HOW EASY IT IS FOR SOMEONE WHO IS MARRIED TO FALL INTO THIS TRAP WITH SOMEONE THEY WORK WITH?
I haven't even addressed things like the person they work with is younger and more attractive. At home all they do is fight over the things most husbands and wives fight about but they find a sympathetic ear from the person they work with. You and your spouse don't have as much sex as you used to and you begin to fantasize about being with the person you work with. Your spouse doesn't really understand you but the person you work with always understands you perfectly. All of these issues come into play in forming this fantasy in your mind involving the person you work with. *The trap is it is a fantasy and NOT reality!
Of course, the nightmare begins when you start to turn your fantasy with the person you work with into reality. It begins with lunches, dinners, all due to business of course. Often it includes out of town business trips. Your mind begins to work overtime in trying to create ways to spend time with this person you work with, in trying to please that person, in trying to impress that person. Pretty soon all of your heart and emotions are focused on the person at work and you neglect your spouse even more than before, cutting them off from the meaningful love and nurturing every relationship must always have. Ending up in bed with the person you work with is simply the physical act that occurs long after your heart and mind has been with that other person for a long time.
WHAT I HAVE JUST DESCRIBED FOR YOU IS A TRAP FOR MEN AND WOMEN EQUALLY!!! SATAN DOESN'T DISCRIMINATE WHEN IT COMES TO DESTROYING LIVES THROUGH OFFICE ROMANCES!!!
Like in all adulterous affairs, NOBODY wins and everyone gets destroyed. Sin NEVER brings blessings, only destruction. These office romances that take off end up destroying marriages, families, careers, and many lives. They are a trap from satan himself. We have to work, we have to work with other people, so everyone has to be aware of how easy falling into one of these office romances really is. They become a natural byproduct from working every day with other people and developing a bond thru all the hours, all the communication, and all the battles people in every organization have to fight together. YOU CAN NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN, NEVER!
I love you and care about you so much. Obviously the most destructive office romances involve people who are already married. That doesn't automatically make office romances between singles the best idea. As a matter of fact, most companies have policies AGAINST employees dating. It is simply not a healthy situation, but due to the factors I have shared with you, is something that will always occur. Many people meet their spouse thru their employment. The key is to treat it like any other relationship. Keep it centered on Christ and build a spiritual foundation to your relationship. What you do at work, having sex together, is NOT a solid foundation for any relationship, only your faith in Christ is!
Let me talk to anyone today who is married and involved in an office romance. STOP IT NOW BEFORE YOU DO ANY MORE DAMAGE TO YOUR LIFE AND THOSE AROUND YOU! Satan has LIED to you! This is NOT going to work out, this is not perfect like you have fantasized. How can sin ever be perfect? You need to RUN like Joseph from Potiphar's wife! Even if it means your job. Is your job worth your marriage? You have fallen for satan's trap and God is coming to you today to help you get out now before you do any more destruction. CUT IT OFF....REPENT....and GO BACK TO YOUR SPOUSE WHO YOU MADE VOWS TO BEFORE GOD FOR A LIFE TOGETHER!
I'll be praying for you today. Know that you ALWAYS need to be on guard. Satan is roaming around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. That someone is you! Men, when the new 20-something girl in the short skirt from accounts receivable starts telling you how good you look, how lucky your wife is, how she hopes some day she can find someone like you, DON'T BELIEVE HER!!! Put your ego in the closet with your coat, not your brain! Women, when the married executive in the nice suits who always smells good starts to tell you how hot you are, how lucky your boyfriend is, making excuses to have business lunches with you, starts to buy you little presents, how he can help your career, DON'T BELIEVE HIM!!! After he sleeps with you he'll act like he never even met you!
Please let this message today be a wake-up call. It is so easy to get lured into these office romances. You are there to work, to earn a living, to provide for your family, not to turn into a prepubescent teen discovering their hormones for the first time! If you put as much time, energy, and emotion into your spouse as you do the person you work with, you will be shocked how great your marriage will be and how you won't even consider getting involved with someone you work with. Start romancing your wife or husband. Spend TIME with them. COMMUNICATE with them. You don't need to fantasize about your spouse, they are the one God gave you to enjoy your life with. Enjoy your marriage!
May the Lord give you His wisdom as He guards you from the enemy who wants to destroy you. Nothing can turn your life upside down and destroy you quicker than an office romance!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller