The idea is to check up on him to be sure he is not cheating or doing anything inappropriate. That sounds reasonable, right? You just want to be sure that he is not sinning against you.
********(I am assuming that you are only dating godly men who are strong Christians who are seeking Jesus above everything/everyone else. PLEASE do not date unbelievers or worldly men.)
I am going to share some of my thoughts. I am not God. I am not the Holy Spirit. I am not infallible. But let’s talk about this topic together!
IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP
Men NEED respect, trust, admiration and cooperation with their God-given leadership from their women.
If you cannot or will not respect your man right now, and you aren’t even married yet, either learn to respect him in a genuine way or please do not stay with him. Keep in mind that even godly men are human and will sin. Sometimes the real problem is our unrealistic expectations of our men (Here I am not talking about cheating, just normal expectations that we have that may not be reasonable). Sometimes our expectations need to be adjusted and sometimes we need a deeper understanding of how different men are from us so that we can relate better to them.
Resentment and bitterness destroy relationships.
SPYING AND RESPECT
There is just something intrinsic to spying on someone that smacks of disrespect to me. There is an obvious complete lack of trust in that situation. And there is probably HUGE FEAR and insecurity on a woman’s part as well if she is spying on her man. Possibly even idolatry. I have seen women make their man’s sinless thought life an idol – and they spend all their time and energy trying to keep him from ever sinning in his thoughts. Problem is – we can’t control other people’s thoughts. Sometimes, we can’t even keep ourselves from sinful thoughts!
When I am talking about spying – I am talking about going behind his back, snooping on him, getting into his accounts without his knowledge, trying to dig up dirt on him, etc. If you are actually following him around town, showing up at work to check on him, driving by his house a lot to check if he is there – that is not healthy!!!!! Please talk to a godly mentor or pastor.
What can be gained from spying?
- you may find out difficult truths you didn’t want to know – that is possible
- you may discover he is cheating
- you may find nothing but end up addicted to spying just to “be sure” to make you feel more secure in the relationship
- he may find out you have been spying and resent you or decide to break off the relationship – his trust in you would probably be destroyed
This is not a solid foundation upon which to build any relationship much less a potential marriage, in my view.
IF YOU ARE SUSPICIOUS
Now, if your man is acting really weird, and there are things that don’t add up – I believe there are times when it is necessary to respectfully, humbly, gently DIRECTLY ask him some difficult questions and confront him. BUT PLEASE PRAY FIRST! A LOT!!!!!!!
If you believe he is lying, you don’t have to keep trusting him. If he is acting very secretive and you are concerned about a relationship he has at work or something and you are in a committed relationship, it is ok to softly, respectfully, calmly, gently say, “It would mean a lot to me if you did not spend much time with Jan (or whomever), please.” Then, probably best to smile and drop the subject.
If he is a godly guy – and he wants to marry you in the future – I would expect that he would be willing to drop contact with other women. If he will not – please understand that is how he will be once you get married, too. You cannot change him. You can make requests of him. You can ask for what you want and need. But only God can change his heart. You can’t control him. You can’t make his decisions for him.
A RELATIONSHIP WITHOUT SPYING
I do believe that couples, especially married couples or couples planning to enter marriage, shouldn’t keep secrets from one another. To me, it is ideal if everyone is an open book and has accountability. I like the idea of husbands and wives both having access to all the bank accounts, the email accounts, the FB accounts, the text records, etc.
I am a total open book to my husband. I always copy him if I must email another man. I tell him about any conversations I had with other men. I hide nothing. He has access to my email and FB and everything. I have access to his accounts, too.
Guess how often I look at his accounts?
Some I have NEVER looked at. Some I have looked at maybe twice ever. He has always been faithful to me and has never given me reason not to trust him with his coworkers or people online. That makes it very easy for me! But I have also always been very trusting of him in this area – even before when I was controlling about some things, I was never controlling about stuff like this. I always trusted him and felt safe with him.
It is entirely possible to have an intimate relationship with a godly man without constantly verifying that he is being faithful.
Prayer is a much more powerful tool than spying in my book! And building a strong relationship based on mutual trust, love and respect is much more powerful than spying, too! I think!
Here is the thing –
A woman’s spying does not prevent her man from cheating on her.
Her spying on him and/or trying to control him, may actually repel him.
If he really wants to, he will cheat and she can’t stop him.
Sometimes spying can actually tempt a man to cheat just because he already feels so disrespected and like he has “nothing to lose.”
Spying would be a red flag for a godly guy that this relationship would be unwise for him.
There is inherent risk in romantic relationships.
You can get hurt. Actually, I guarantee you that you will be hurt in some way in a relationship. Loving someone is not about avoiding pain. Relationship means vulnerability. Jesus never did anything wrong to us, but look at the pain He suffered to be able to be in relationship with us.
Grace, mercy and forgiveness will be needed in large doses on both sides of any relationship! But if you have the power of God’s Spirit – you will be ok because He will be with you even if the worst case scenario happens. Be observant, but you don’t have to be obsessive. God can and will use even the most awful situations for His ultimate glory and your ultimate good.
So, use common sense. Be aware of anything weird. But for the most part, accept things at face value with your man unless he has given you major reason not to.
Sometimes I believe we need to let go of our insecurities. If we are clinging to anything for our security but Christ, we may be dealing with an idol. If we are looking to a man, a relationship, marriage, a diamond ring, a wedding or something to feel secure, accepted and loved – those are idols. If having those things is more important to me than Christ – I am in HUGE trouble!
I personally had an idol of self – of being in control. I thought I controlled WAY MORE than I really do and that God didn’t control that much. I was REALLY WRONG! I have learned that trying to have control is an illusion. We do NOT have control over much at all. The more we think we are in control, the more damage we do to our relationships with Christ first and with others. When I try to have control, I forfeit intimacy on every level.
Guys can be too controlling, too. If a guy is stalking you, threatening you, trying to isolate you from your family and friends, tells you that you are always 100% responsible for any problems in the relationship, demands constant texts and checks on your whereabouts many times each day – talk to your parents or teacher or boss or trusted pastor, maybe even the police, depending on the severity of the situation. If you are in danger, do not try to handle this on your own!! I want you to be safe!!
THAT IS MY TAKE… I am not infallible. The floor is totally open for discussion. What do you think, ladies? Is this a struggle for you? If so, why? What insecurities fuel your desire to check up on a guy you are with? Let’s talk about this!
IF HE HAS ACTUALLY BEEN UNFAITHFUL (Again, if you are dating a godly man who is putting Jesus first – this will hopefully not be the case!)
- I do understand a woman’s concerns if her man has been addicted to porn or used porn in the past or especially if he has physically cheated on her in the past.
- I also realize that a man would need to rebuild and re-establish trust and be an open book and completely accountable in such a situation, preferably with a godly male mentor to hold him accountable.
- I would STRONGLY suggest that if your man has been unfaithful to you or has a major porn addiction, that you respectfully, calmly, kindly ask if the two of you can look into godly counseling together. Then wait for him to think about it. Don’t pressure him.
If you are not married – you do not have to stay with him. If he cheated on you and you can’t trust him – you are not in a covenant together, so you are free to leave. Jesus does command us to forgive men their sins against us so that God will forgive us. But you do not have to trust him until he earns back your trust, if that is possible. I believe that you will have to make a decision – do you want justice against him, or do you want intimacy/relationship? You can’t have both.
Scripture tells us as believers not to associate with a man who calls himself a believer who is sexually immoral. That is difficult in our culture, for sure! I would not consider staying unless I saw SERIOUS repentance and willingness to be accountable and MAJOR changes in behavior over a significant period of time and we had very intense, godly counseling with a pastor/godly Christian counseling MAN who deals with this kind of thing often.
If you want to be with him, you will need to be on his team. If he has broken your trust, you must both work to re-establish trust. If you cannot trust him and don’t want to trust him, do not stay. You must be willing to rebuild trust and respect for this to work.