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The Truth About AshleyMadison.com

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I didn’t even know what AshleyMadison.com was until a couple of days ago when I had noticed that 13 people had shared this blog post about it on Facebook. I knew if that many people were interested in it…I guess it must have been ‘something.’ So, I began looking into this website and was honestly appalled by what I was reading and the listings of people in my area on this site!

The website’s famous logo is, “Life is Short, Have an Affair.” Hmm..let that sink in. Over the past couple of days, I have heard news stories, people sharing on Facebook, on Twitter about this ridiculous website. “Females frantically checking this site and adding their husband’s e-mail to see if they are affiliated with this site.” “Spouses buying these programs to see what sites their spouse is on.” Are people really that concerned with their marriage that they have to worry if their spouse is visiting a site like AshleyMadison.com?

The truth about life–about marriage is yes, marriage is hard. Yes, at times, we can feel unappreciated or distant from our spouses. Life gets in the way of marriage. Sometimes, we think that our spouse doesn’t love us anymore because they aren’t the person we married. They don’t show their love. Or maybe, they have even it has came out of their mouths that they don’t love us–or they hate us, or hate our marriage. When our marriage hits a breaking point, some people do give up and get weak. Some people do start looking for attention from the opposite sex because they aren’t getting it from their spouse. Some people do have affairs. The world, the website, is saying that it’s okay to have an affair. It’s all a big secret that won’t get back to your spouse.

The truth of the matter here is that people don’t need a website to find someone to have an affair. The temptation is at work, at the gym, in public, or even in the church. This website might be ”talked about” and flaunted like it’s some solution to fix your life. But, do you really think an affair will fix things in your life? Do you really think that an affair will make things easier? Do you really think you should be finding someone else when you are still committed to a person you vowed for better or worse with?

If you find yourself worried that you spouse is having an affair, maybe you should check your marriage! How can you fix it? Have you prayed about it? Have you talked with someone or did you seek counsel? And if you are that person that is miserable in your marriage and think that “YES!” “And affair is just what I need!” Maybe you need to check yourself.If you think you can seek something better, maybe you should dedicate the effort you put into having an affair, keeping it a secret, deleting texts, deleting phone logs, deleting e-mails…..man! That’s tiring and some work. Put that work into you marriage. Instead of trying to impress the woman who is also married and has a family, buy your wife some flowers and take her to dinner. Instead of sending a dirty picture to the man who is already wearing a wedding ring, try respecting yourself and sending your husband a text message telling him how much you appreciate him and love him and send him a picture of your wedding day!

That’s just my two cents ya’ll…..take it as a grain of salt if you need to, but believe me, it’s true!

Dear God, I pray for marriages! There are temptations on Facebook, on Youtube, on the TV, at our work…Lord help us to see these temptations! Help us to recognize these as a trap from Hell! Lord, restore our marriages! Help us to follow what the Bible says about marriage and apply it to our own marriages. Help us to be cautious of our surroundings. Lord, give us a refreshing mind and a renewing love for our spouses. Help us to remember who we married and why we married them. Help us to set good examples of what a marriage is to our family and children. The world is awful and says that it’s okay to have affairs. Lord, help us not to believe those lies, but to seek Your Truth! In JESUS NAME

Until next time…be encouraged!

Who’s in Your Profile Picture?

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I’ve picked my brain for several days trying to figure out what I wanted to write about. I would start a post and then wouldn’t ‘feel right’ about what I posted. Everything I post, I want God to be a part of it. I know I talk a lot about Social Media and being careful on how you present yourself. What you put on Social Media reflects parts of your life. What are you showing the World?

While my husband and I were going through some of the hardest seasons of our lives, I am sure if people on our social media sites poked around enough, they would see that we were going through hard times. You notice a lot just by song lyrics, single pictures, promiscuous looking pictures, quotes, ect… I know that when I was having trouble with my marriage, I would have pictures of just me and the kids because 1) I wasn’t spending enough time with my spouse. 2) I didn’t want to post pictures of him. (not because I was looking for anything outside of my marriage, but just because I was fed up..) 3) He wasn’t posting things about us, so I wasn’t posting things about us.

When my husband and I had our big revelation in our marriage over a year ago, I realized how much of my life I shared on social media, and how many pictures I didn’t capture of us! One day, my husband was looking for a picture of himself and asked me…I searched my phone that I had been using for 2 years and found 4 pictures of my husband! This made me sad..

I’m not trying to shoot down people that just have themselves on their profile pictures…that’s okay. You were having a good makeup and hair day or you’ve gained a lot of muscles so you want to post it and brag. That’s okay. All I am saying is..watch what you put on Social Media. What we post on Social Media truly defines us. It’s okay to post all these things from time to time, but be sure to post positive things about your marriage as well. BE SURE TO NEVER POST ANYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA THAT SHOOTS YOUR SPOUSE DOWN OR DEGRADES YOUR SPOUSE….I DON’T CARE HOW BIG A’ PIECE CRAP YOU THINK THEY ARE. CALLING THEM OUT ON FACEBOOK NOT ONLY SHOWS THE WORLD YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS, BUT IT SHOWS YOUR TRUE CHARACTER AS WELL! REMEMBER THAT!

If you are having a hard time in your relationship, don’t make it obvious by posting obvious things on your page that will get the attention of others. Sometimes, like in my case, I didn’t realize until AFTER THE FACT that I was doing it. So, I wanted to write on it..

If you post single pictures- and you are doing it for attention of the opposite sex. You might want to check yourself.

If you post picture of yourself- and you are getting more likes from the opposite sex and one of those likes from the opposite sex isn’t from your spouse. You might want to check yourself.

If you are putting pictures of yourself- without shirt, low cut shirts, bikinis, and making obvious that you have nothing to do with your spouse.. you might want to check yourself.

If you are liking pictures of the opposite sex- and you are in a committed relationship or married…you might want to check yourself.

Maybe your spouse hates taking pictures. Make it a point to WANT to take a picture with them. Just because your marriage is going through a hard time don’t let that define your whole marriage. Make your spouse feel good by posting a picture of your wedding day, a special day or your anniversary! Post a picture of your family or better yet, post a picture of just your spouse. This will make your spouse feel valued and special. If you are having a hard time in your marriage, this doesn’t mean that you need to find a temporary fix with someone else or that you need to start looking for a back-up plan just in case your marriage don’t work out.

Lord, Social Media can be a great place to keep up with friends and family, but it can also be used as a huge marriage trap. It can destroy marriage and us not even be aware of it. Lord, let us have the eyes to see and help us to be on guard. Lord, help us to be smart about the things that we post on Social Media sites. Help us by strengthening our marriage and giving us a refreshment in our marriage.

Until next time….be encouraged.

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A Letter to the Teenage Parent

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To the Teenage Mom,

I know that finding out that you are pregnant can be so scary! How do you tell your parents? How do could you have let this happen? How will you raise the child? I know! I have been there and done that. If I could sit and have a chat with my teenage self after I found out that I was pregnant, I would say– own up to your responsibility, but remember to keep the respect for parents. Be more kind towards parents as they find out and not aggressive, but it does hurt them to see us travel down this road. Even though you think your world is ending, it’s not, it’s just beginning. Just because you are a Teenage Mom, maybe your life isn’t going as planned, but it’s okay to not have the same ending as you planned. Don’t get too caught up in “making things work” with your baby’s daddy if things aren’t going as planned. I used to beat myself up because neither of my oldest two children had their dad…we didn’t have the family I thought at the time we should have. If it doesn’t work with your baby’s father, don’t ever use the baby as a weapon. Never let your child hear you bad mouth their father. Respect them too–even if they aren’t doing right by the baby.  Give them the opportunity to know their father if their father’s are willing.  You can still be young, but be smart and remember that you are a role model for your child. Don’t drop your kids on other people. I know we still want freedom, but remember to be responsible. Don’t worry about what people say about you. They don’t know your situation and the people that talk worse about others are those who are the most miserable. Let your child know how much you love them. I know the “easy” way out may cross your mind, but no decision about your pregnancy is ever easy–the quicker you realize, the better off you will be. I don’t think women should abort their babies just because they don’t want them. If abortion has crossed your mind, be sure to pray about it and think of all the women who would die to be in your shoes right now. A baby isn’t a mistake–you’re not a mistake. Whatever problems you are facing will eventually go away. You will and can be such a great mom! 🙂

To the Teenage Dad,

Teenage Dads get such a bad rep–they really do. I know a lot of men say that they will take care of their babies, and I really think they have good intentions of it, but seriously, if you get a girl pregnant, take care of your responsibilities. I know many men who encourage abortion, don’t ever use the line “I can’t take care of that baby, get an abortion.” Never encourage abortion. I don’t care how hard the situation may seem! If you encourage anything, encourage making an adoption plan! I can think of countless babies that have never met or known their fathers–or they have fathers that want to be a father when it’s convenient for them. Make a vow to yourself and your child that this will not be you. If it doesn’t work out with the baby’s mom, don’t let that keep you from your child. Support your child always, and always know that even after they are 18, they will still need their Daddy. I know it can be easier said than done, but respect your child’s mother and never let that child hear you say a cross word about their mother. If you have to work at McDonald’s–get a job and support that baby! I don’t care if your whole paycheck goes to taking care of that baby! If you get visitation rights, take advantage of them! If you don’t get visitation rights, fight for them! Your child NEEDS you! If you don’t get visitation rights because of “how you are” then realize that it’s not ALL about YOU!  So many men walk around with nice shoes and the latest game systems, but remember it isn’t about you anymore. Respect your baby’s mother’s parents. They are hurt and let down–end the end remember it’s not all about you, even though they may put it like it is. Put your baby first. I know dad’s don’t have all the responsibility of carrying, delivering and caring for the baby, but try to be a part of every bit of it. You can and will be a good father! Don’t accept anything less than being a good father!

Suicide Awareness

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Through my lifetime, I have had a handful of people that I have known to commit suicide. I had known of several people committing suicide while I was growing up and then since I have been an adult, several more people that I’ve known have committed suicide as well.

You turn on the news, you search the internet, and you just get on a social media site and you will see the statistics for suicide. Huffington Post writes

Each year, 34,000 people committ suicide, about twice as many deaths as caused by homicide– abot one death per 15 minutes. By 2030, depression will outpace cancer, stroke, war and accidents as the world’s leading cause of disability and death, according to the World Health Organization.”

How awful is that piece of information? I lost a friend here recently. She was a mother that left behind her children. She was a daughter. I see the sad posts almost everyday that her mother posts about losing her daughter. She admits that she knew nothing was wrong with her daughter. I attended that visitation and it was quite challenging to say the least. Her parents weren’t able to speak at the funeral, but one of her siblings did. Her older brother mentioned that he knew that his sister was suffering a little, but thought it was normal. Her husband had cheated on her a couple months before and ended up leaving her and the children. He said that his sister spend so many hours scrolling through Facebook. He challenged the people who attended the funeral and that had a Facebook account to post at least once a week something positive…something that if someone on the verge of committing suicide was to be reading your post, it would make them change their minds–that it would give them a ray of hope.

I know some of my reader’s don’t believe in God or an enemy, but I do. I have shared the scripture before John 10:10, that we do have an enemy that comes to steal, kill and destroy. But God comes to give us life–so that we may live it more abundantly.

We pass people daily. How many are suffering? How many people are going through something? How many have though about ending their lives because it would “be better?” I have suffered from depression, and sometimes I find myself and think that there is no way out of it. But there is. I make sure to talk to my husband and let him know.

If you or someone you know suffer from depression, talk to someone. Don’t be like me and have several friends on Facebook that have committed suicide and have to read about it in your newsfeed. Everyone is fighting a battle–some may not even allow people to know. Reach out and be kind.

CHALLENGE: In honor of my friend, I challenge my readers to post something often on their social media pages something positive or the suicide hotline number! You might save someone’s life.

Lord God, I pray for those people out there that are hurting. Let us me more aware of the enemies attack’s, especially when the enemy throws up to us that we need to end our own lives. Help us to be courageous and not be scared to reach out to someone if we are hurting and depressed. Lord, I pray that we would be more aware–give us the eyes to see– people that deal with depression! Help us to be aware of the signs! In Jesus’ name!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1 (800) 273-8255

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Cyber Bullying-Parent’s Guide

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I wanted to touch on this subject for parents because whether we realize it or not, cyber bullying is happening all around us. Research shows that many parents don’t even realize that their child is being bullied or is being a bully until it is too late.

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I had a friend recently share with my about her daughter being cyber bullied for months and she had absolutely no clue about it. She found out because her daughter had left her phone in the car and her mom heard it continuously vibrating. She picked up her daughter’s phone only to see so many texts and Facebook notifications that were saying awful things about her daughter. Some of the Facebook messages were so harsh, that she felt that she needed to call in to work and go get her daughter immediately. After getting the other girl’s parents involved, to my friend’s surprise, they knew nothing about it either. One of the girl’s was even a teacher’s daughter and her mother taught at the high school and she still had no clue her daughter was being a bully right under her nose!

I think that bullying is awful. I was somewhat bullied in school and this was before social media and text messaging! In my post from yesterday, I talked apps that your child may have on their phone and some listed are used for cyber bullying as well.
So, how can parents know if their child is being cyber bullied or being a cyber bully? How can we ensure that our child will not be a bully?
Have a relationship with your child- So many parents these days have no clue what their children are doing because they are letting technology be the babysitter! You may say, “Well, my child doesn’t want to hang out with me!” Or, “I don’t have money to spend on my child to take them to do anything!” Find a way to gain a steady relationship with your children. Make time to have conversations with them DAILY. Know what is going on in their lives. As they get older, yes, they will go through phases, but be there for them!
Monitor your child’s technology devices- Some parents may not agree with this and think that that is “their private stuff.” Children do need privacy, I agree with that. That is why our bathroom and their bedroom’s have doors. When it comes to a world in the palm of their hands, then it becomes my business! I do check my children’s phones. I am not saying that I am a stalker and check it daily, but I do check it. As a matter of fact, I have settings on their phones to let me know what apps they are downloading from the app store. I don’t sit there and read their texts word for word, but I glance through it. Know what your child is doing on these technology devices!!
Have limits for your child- This goes back to letting your child’s babysitter be the technology devices and television. I am not saying all phones and televisions are bad, but they can be. If we just allow our children to come home, get on their phones or in the television and have very little or no communication with the rest of the family, then we are giving our children too much freedom! Set time limits for your children. Consider a “technology free” day and do something outside! I am not saying that you should take away the deviced, but have time limits. It’s not healthy allowing your children to stay on their phones and in the television 90% of the time they are home.
Talk to you children about bullying- It is always a good idea to teach your children young about bullying. I’d say when they start stealing all the toys and not sharing when they are 2 years old is a good time. But, really, it’s never too early to start teaching your children about being a bully. Let them know how it can really hurt someone. If you are talking to your teenager about bullying, let them know that sometimes people even commit suicide because they are bullied so much. We also encourage our children to stick up for those that are being bullied, and if they don’t feel like they can stick up for the child, then they need to tell someone. Encourage your child.
Teach your child to serve- I will be doing a blog post at a later date on teaching children how to serve and be there for others. It is good to teach your child to hold the door for someone with their hands full. It is good to teach your child to be polite and respect others around them. It is important to teach your child about other children with disabilities and how hard it is for them. Teach your child to be polite!
These are just some of the things that I suggest. If you see any changes in your child, investigate it and question them about it. They may or may not be being bullied. But that goes back to you having a good, steady relationship with your child. Don’t be scared to ask them questions. And don’t be scared to upset your child! You are the parent and the authority and they need to know what authority is for when we get to the real world!
Lord, we know it’s difficult being a parent, but it’s not impossible. Help us and show us how to be a better parents as we go! Help those that are being bullied. And whatever is being done behind our backs, may it be brought to light so that we may be aware of it. Help us to teach our children how to be kind, courteous children to others. Help us to teach them what it means to serve others.
Until next time…be encouraged!

Communication is Key in Marriage

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I have talked to several of my “Married Mama Friends,” and they all have admitted that in their marriages, communication has been an issue–even after 15+ years! You would think that after so years of marriage, you would know your spouse well enough and they would know you enough to know what to say and what not to say to each other. So, if we know our spouses to well and we should have already mastered the communication skills, why do we take offense to what our spouses say? Why do we get angry and it causes arguments? Why don’t we listen to one another? Why are our communication skills so poor?

I believe that the biggest reasons for poor communication are having distractions, reacting too quickly, not communicating enough, and not respecting one another while communicating. Here are several ideas and tips on how to better communicate with your spouse.

Take away any distractions- I know that as soon as we hit date night, I have been guilty of picking up my phone and texting whoever back, looking on Facebook or turning on the radio when the conversation goes dull. Have you ever been there? What about children? Have they ever interrupted an important conversation that you and your spouse was having? Think about a conversation that you and your spouse have had in the past where a distraction came up and it made communicating with them turn bad.

  • Have a technology-free date night. Leave the cell phones, iPads, laptops in the other room at home while you are communicating with your spouse. There is nothing more annoying than trying to communicate with someone while they are on their phones. You are unsure if they are hearing you. Do you continue to talk or wait until they are done scrolling? It shows complete disrespect to people that you are communicating with when you are stuck on your technology! Put it down, make eye contact and make up your mind that you will not have any distractions from Facebook or text messages while trying to communicate with your spouse!
  • Teach your children not to interrupt your conversations. My nearly grown children STILL try to interrupt while my husband and I are talking..and they know better! Instead of cutting your spouse off, cut your children off (unless they are bleeding or need you!) and let them know that you are talking. If it’s a very important conversation, get away from the kids! Go outside, in the bedroom, so they can’t distract you. And if they need you in another room…teach them to knock!

Don’t go to your spouse when you are extremely mad or upset- Often times, I will get so frustrated at different things and react way too quickly. When the problem is “fresh” then we tend to be meaner when we are trying to communicate. When we are angry, we don’t communicate, we yell, we fuss, we fight! I read somewhere where if you have a problem with someone, wait 24 hours, if you still have an issue with them after the 24 hours have passed, then talk to them…if not then it wasn’t a big deal to begin with. I don’t know if I would go that extreme, because I know some people, the more you hold it in, the madder you get..or you withdraw from your spouse. That’s not good either. You know yourself and if you react to quickly or if you hold it in, it becomes worse. Find a happy medium. If you are a praying person, pray before you talk to your spouse if you think that it can turn into an argument.

Communicate daily- With some couples, their schedules are different, their spouses are out of town, their spouses are deployed..so it makes communicating harder! But, there is always a way to communicate with your spouse daily! I know when I usually talk about technology, it’s that we spend too much time on it..but if you don’t have a lot of opportunities to communicate with your spouse, make a point to text with them during the day, an e-mail. If you and your spouse are at a point in your marriage and you don’t know what to say to them, let them know you are thinking of them, mention a happy time in your marriage, if you have children, let them know something that they have done recently. Make a point to say something POSITIVE to your spouse EVERYDAY even in the midst of an argument or even if you are separated. Positive words can be just what makes a marriage turn around.

Respect your spouse- I have been guilty of when my spouse is trying to tell me something that has bothered them, I will instantly get offended and fire back at him! If your spouse is coming to you and trying to communicate with you, whether it be general communication or actually needing to talk to you, respect them. Try not to take offense so easily. Listen to their words, because they could be hurt and lacking communication skills themselves. Not during this conversation, but at a later time, express how they hurt or offended you during that argument and how they can change how they approach you.

I believe that Satan knows how to use communication as a weapon in marriage. He uses it in every single marriage. He might serve it differently in different marriages, but he wants us to have issues on communicate. Satan does not want us to communicate, but fight. Satan wants to see us taking offense to our spouse. Remember that if you are having issues with communication in your marriage, that flesh and blood (your spouse) is not your enemy!

When you and your spouse realize you are on the same team instead of on separate sides, your marriage will become stronger!

Lord, I pray for communication in all marriages because I know all marriages have had struggles with it. Lord, help us not to take offense to what our spouses have to say, but rather see it as they are hurting and not knowing how to communicate it to us. Help us to recognize distractions in our marriage and learn to lose those distractions during communication time with our spouse. Help us to make more time to communicate to say. I pray that when we communicate that what we are trying to say will not be disturbed and come out wrong to our spouse. Help strengthen our marriage and our communication skills! Thank you, Lord, for the marriage you have blessed us with!

Until next time….be encouraged!!

To the Person on the Verge and/or is Having an Affair

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To the person who is/or on the verge of having an affair-

I wanted to take a moment to address the men and women who are out there that are in the middle of an affair, or are flirting with the idea of having an affair. I am not making this post to judge people, but I think when we are in the middle of things, we aren’t seeing clearly. When temptation is thrown at us, we don’t always look at what the long- term looks like, but we are looking at the ‘now’ and what ‘now’ feels like and how ‘now’ makes us feel.

If you are a person who is flirting with the idea of having an affair with someone who is married or maybe you are in the middle of having an affair, please stop. I ask you to stop because YOU ARE A PERSON WITH VALUE! A person with value will not have to wait for their ”person of their dreams” to leave their spouse just to be with them. Do you know what your title is when you are having an affair with a married person? You are the SIDE PERSON! Side people do not have value or see value in themselves. If you are reading this, you are a person with value! You are more than ”a side person!” If you have thought, “but they love me so much.” No, because if they loved you, they would also see value in you and treat you with value. If you have to hide a relationship, it’s not worth having. “They are going to leave their spouse.” Umm, but they haven’t yet. They are still going home to them..I don’t care how crappy they say their home life is. They are still going to home to THAT person..not YOU! You have more value than that! Own it! If you are in a relationship or flirting with the idea of having an affair with someone who is already married, just do yourself a favor and DROP IT! Seriously. There are plenty of men and women out there who would be glad to be seen in public with you, receive text messages from you without having to worry about being caught, go on actual dates! Do yourself a favor and see value in yourself. You are more than a side person, side chick, or home wrecker! SEE VALUE!

If you are flirting with the idea of having an affair or in the middle of an affair, do yourself, your wife and children a favor and BREAK THAT CRAP OFF! I don’t care what your marriage looks like or how much of a piece of crap your spouse is. Having an affair is not the answer…never is! Maybe you are thinking, “My spouse and I are getting divorced anyway.” But, you haven’t yet. You are still married. So, respect it and own your marriage. “My spouse will never find out.” This is the hugest lie people tell themselves. People talk, people find out, and they will find out! Believe that! “My spouse doesn’t love me anyway.” If they didn’t love you, maybe they feel the same about you. Maybe they don’t feel like you value them or love them either. Maybe instead of putting all of your effort in hiding a relationship or working hard to impress someone other than your spouse, put work towards your spouse instead. Have you ever heard the quote, “If the grass is  greener on the other side, water your own grass!” This is true! Most married people have no intentions on leaving their spouses, but they want something different. It doesn’t mean they don’t love their spouse, because something in them still cares and loves their spouse. Maybe you are thinking that sounds like you.

Think about people that you will hurt along with way of having an affair. Wives, husbands, children, and family are drug into your affair. Affairs hurt other people along the way. Affairs embarrass people along the way. The people doing the affair is not meaning to hurt others, but they aren’t thinking while it’s going on.

Affairs don’t solve marriage issues. Many men and women get lonely during their marriages and think that they will just have a short affair until their marriage gets back on track. Affairs don’t solve marriage problems, they make them worse.

Affairs make people feel like they have value. People that participate in affairs usually do not see value in themselves or in their marriage so they are tempted with other people that make them have temporary value in themselves, but they aren’t thinking about the long term.

Have you ever read the story about Adam and Eve and Satan gives them the ‘forbidden’ fruit? It looked so good to Adam and Eve, so they ate it! They sinned against God. This is the same situation. Satan can dress things up so nicely that make you feel good about yourself, but in the end, they are just a road to destruction.

Having an affair will not help you, your spouse, your children, your family, or even the other person that is involved in the affair. If your marriage sucks so bad, then get out of it before getting involved with someone else. If you are the ”other person” then see value in yourself. When people are caught in affairs, they aren’t seen as people with value. Having an affair will kill your reputation. Think about it.

Lord, I pray for all the people around the world who are tempted EVERYDAY by people they pass and work with. I pray that they recognize these temptations and they see that they are not good. Lord, if we are seeking people who are married to give us attention, Lord, I pray that we stop right now and see value in ourselves. Lord, help us to see the value in ourselves! Help us to see that we are made from You and that You don’t make junk! Help us to realize that having an affair might seem good and pleasing while it’s going on, but show us the big picture and that it will end in destruction. Lord, give us wisdom!

Until next time…be encouraged!