I have a friend named Michael.

He’s a friend to my husband, Chris, and me. We met Michael 16 years ago before he got married to our dear friend, Ali. Even though many interstate highways and state lines have separated our families over the years, we’ve remained friends.

Michael and I have a unique friendship. When our paths cross, we typically pick on each other kind of like a brother and sister might do. In fact, Michael feels like the little brother I never had. I give him a big ole bear hug when I see him and often tell him I love him and his bald self.

While I would never in a million years think that anything would happen between Michael and me, I’m still guarded in the things I say to him. I love him to pieces. He’s a great man of God, a wonderful husband and devoted father. But I’m still aware that guidelines have to be placed in my relationship with him.

All of us will have relationships with the opposite sex. I have male friends, and I communicate with my male friends. But, just because that’s the case, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be wise about my interactions with them.

Here are a few guidelines that I live by when communicating with men:

  1. I never share with another man what I haven’t already shared with my husband. I did this once years ago and realized that I opened my heart to a man that wasn’t my husband. DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
  1. When communicating via email or text, I have a purpose. Rarely do I send a text saying, “Just thinking about you and praying for you today.” Although that’s nice to hear, it sends the wrong message especially if there is an attraction.
  2. I almost always mention my husband when I’m talking with another man. It shows we are united front. And I try to build up my husband to the other man to show where my allegiance lies.
  3. When I find myself thinking a man is attractive, I tell my husband. Yep, sure do. We both know that there will be people who cross our paths in life that we will find attractive. We’re married, not blind.
  4. I never spend time alone with a man. Period. No lunch dates, no private meetings, no sitting on my sofa with a male neighbor. Nothing.

Whether you agree with me or not about guidelines in relationships with the opposite sex, you should at least heed my “warning”. You never know what you are capable of when placed in the right circumstances. So be smart in your relationships outside your marriage. My husband and I have ministered to more couples than we can remember about infidelity. And you wanna know how many of the men and women thought they would cheat on their spouse?

None. Notta. Zero. Not a single, solitary person ever said, “Yep, around year three of our marriage I figured I’d go ahead sleep with another person and subsequently break the heart of my spouse, my God, and my children.”

Almost all of extramarital relationships stem from friendships that stepped over boundaries. So when I warn you about the dangers of infidelity, you’d do well to listen. I’m not boasting, I’m sharing what I’ve seen and what I continue to see every single day as I watch my inbox fill up with emails from broken-hearted men and women because they’ve been cheated on. I’m not planning to commit adultery.

I’m planning not to.

What about you?