Q: I'm having an affair with a woman I met at the gym six months ago, and as long as we're happy, what's wrong with it? My wife and I have kind of drifted apart, and I'm not sure our marriage is going to last anyway. So what's the big deal?
A: The "big deal," as you put it, is simply that you're going against God's clear command forbidding adultery — and eventually it will catch up with you. One of the Ten Commandments bluntly states, "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14).
Why did God say this? Is it because he doesn't want us to be happy or enjoy life? No, not at all. God knows us far better than we know ourselves, and he also knows what's best for us. He gave marriage to us for our happiness and security. And this is what happens when we commit ourselves to our spouse and learn to put him or her first instead of ourselves.
The Bible says, "Love is patient, love is kind.... It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:4,7).
But when we ignore God's plan and are concerned only for ourselves, eventually we end up in heartache and insecurity. Right now, you think you've found happiness — and for a time, it may seem true. But this relationship will never bring you the security and lasting happiness you seek.
Even if you married this person, in the back of your mind you'll always wonder: Can she be trusted?
Don't continue on this road. Instead, turn to God in repentance and faith, and commit your life and your marriage to Jesus Christ. Then end this relationship, and instead ask God to help you become the kind of husband he wants you to be.
Q: Are we just hopelessly old-fashioned, like our niece says? She just moved in with her boyfriend, and now she wants to bring him along when her family comes for Christmas. We've told her that she's welcome, but not to bring the boyfriend. We don't have a spare bedroom for him, and we refuse to approve of the way they're living. — Mrs. K.R.
A: No, you're not just being old-fashioned, but you are facing a dilemma that's unfortunately become increasingly common today. As our society drifts further and further from the moral and spiritual values it once held, many no longer live according to the standards God has given us in the Bible.
You have every right, therefore, to uphold the moral standards you believe, even if your niece doesn't agree with them. You also have every right to decide who will be a guest in your home. I know some families might disagree and would take a different path in a situation like this, but don't compromise your own convictions. If you did, your niece might conclude that your moral values aren't as strong as she thought they were.
At the same time, assure your niece of your love for her and your concern for her future. As you have the opportunity, explain to her that you aren't just being old-fashioned. Instead, you know — both by experience and by God's word — that the kind of relationship she has with her boyfriend seldom lasts but often brings heartache and insecurity.
Above all, urge her to turn to Jesus Christ and discover his perfect plan for her life. God made us, and he knows what is best for us. Jesus' promise is true: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Pwy., Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM; or visit the web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn.: http://www.billygraham.org.