Reaching The Online Generation

An Initiative of CityTeam Ministries

Four Ways I Avoid Online Affairs

Posted on | August 11, 2008 |

My father-in-law, a pastor, asked:

“You hear all the time about people starting online relationships that result in offline marriages and affairs. With all the online chatting and counseling you do, how do you protect yourself?”

Every follower of Christ should ask this question. Here is what I do:

Covenant Eyes

If you are on the internet at all, you should use a service like Covenant Eyes. Covenant Eyes costs about $8 USD per month. After you install their program on your computer, Covenant Eyes emails a bi-weekly report of all your internet activity to your accountability partners. Covenant Eyes isn’t a blocker or a filter, it just reports.

My wife gets all my Covenant Eyes reports. Whenever I click on a link that takes me somewhere unexpected, I pick up the phone and call her. I want her to hear things from me, not from Covenant Eyes!

$8 isn’t too much to pay to guard my heart!

Talk About The Family

I tell everyone online that I’m married. I talk about my wife and my kids. Where possible, I use pictures of my wife and me in my profile. I even have pictures of my kids online. I talk about date night and tell funny stories about the kids.

This cuts out 90% of the unwanted advances and online flirting. I’m not available and never pretend to be. In my experience, if you make your family ‘real’ to people online, it creates a barrier that few are willing to cross.

Wife Participation

I have a ’spidey-sense’ (READ: Holy Spirit) about online intimacy. When someone opening up - if they are a woman - I immediately invite my wife into the conversation. I will say, “You know, my wife has gone through something like that. Do you mind if I share your story with her? Maybe she could read your blog and send you an email.” No one has ever turned down this request. If they did, I would take it as a red flag and back out of the situation as fast as possible. Bringing your wife into the conversation is a huge shield for your integrity.

HALT

I learned an awesome acronym while reading about someone’s struggle with alcoholism. They used HALT to identify their vulnerability to their addiction:

H = Hungry

A= Angry

L = Lonely

T = Tired

If you are any of the above, you are susceptible to sin of any kind. Combinations of these vulnerabilities are more deadly. Do your best to fill these needs. Avoid tempting situations at all times - especially when you experience one or more of the HALT indicators.

Affairs never result in anything good. Ever. They are not worth your time. They will destroy you. Take the time to protect yourself and your family from online affairs.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Four Ways I Avoid Online Affairs”

  1. Luke
    August 11th, 2008 @ 1:38 pm

    I’m glad Covenant Eyes has proven to be a helpful tool for you. If you would be interested in becoming an affiliate for Covenant Eyes, we would love to talk to you. It’s one way we help to financially support the ministries that use our software. Email me some time if you are interested.

    I’d love to hear more about your ministry too.

    Blessings,
    Luke Gilkerson
    Internet Community Manager
    Covenant Eyes

  2. Ernest 'Turbo' Murry
    August 11th, 2008 @ 4:39 pm

    Thanks for the great suggestions! Because of issues I’ve had with online integrity, here’s what I’ve done:

    1) My computer is in a public location facing toward the door. Anyone who enters the room can instantly see what I’m doing

    2) I signed up with a service called OpenDNS (http://www.opendns.com/) which automatically blocks access to websites of temptation.

    3) I removed all computers from the house. It’s amazing how much more productive my wife and I are now that our access is limited to a unpleasant environment (work). (we do have the special situation of working for my dad, so doing personal stuff at work after hours isn’t an issue)

    Turbo =)

  3. Kelli
    August 12th, 2008 @ 8:34 am

    Great Insight! God bless

  4. · Four More Ways to Avoid Online Affairs
    August 25th, 2008 @ 11:53 am

    [...] posted this article which gives four great ways to help prevent online affairs. He talks about being accountable to [...]

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    Who is God?' was one of the top three sentences googled in 2007, according to Google Zeitgeist. According to Alexa, the top two religious websites are Muslim, with BibleGateway coming in at a close third. The Online Generation is spiritual. They are seeking. And the church is the last place they would go to find spiritual fulfillment. This site is dedicated to those walking with The Online Generation and living lives of obedience to all the commands of Jesus Christ.
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