A Warning to all those in Christian service

The Atlanta Journal recently carried an article that demands reading by all of us in Christian service.  I went over this article in one of our classes in the training center and I want to give you the link to read the entire article.  Many men and women have fallen prey to Satan’s devices by not watching out for their relationship with the opposite sex.

The Bible tells us how Abraham was a covering for his wife (Genesis 20:16).  She was his protection from other women.  I think that it is worth noting that this article was not written by a Bible thumping preacher but my a secular newspaper.  Please read the article:

NOTE TO SELF: LOOK FOR WARNING SIGNS

• You start comparing your “office spouse” to your real spouse.

• You call your office spouse “Sweetie” or “Honey.”

• You go to the movies or to a bar after work with your office spouse.

• You hide details of the relationship from your real spouse.

• You look over your shoulder when you talk to your office spouse.

Cubicle couples
Some colleagues forge workplace relationships that may resemble marriage


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/31/06 Clara DeLay has the perfect spouse.Russell is patient, kind and a great lunch date. Together for 20 years, they talk about kids, office squabbles and life after retirement.

But every weekday at about 5 p.m., the two part ways until they punch the clock again.

They aren’t really husband and wife. Just “office spouses.”

A survey of about 700 workers, released this year by Vault, a media and career research company, has found one in three employees has one.

As men and women spend longer days at the office side by side, they are more likely to bond with the opposite sex. Men and women work on the same projects. They root for each other. They watch each other’s back. And over time, some get close.

Very close. The vast majority of office spouses aren’t romantic, or at least don’t start off that way. But a pseudo-wife or pseudo-husband at work is not your typical colleague. Office spouses don’t just talk shop — they also talk about family woes, bills, and other personal business. They will gladly help make copies, but they will also bring you a cup of coffee just the way you like it — two creamers and an Equal packet.

Some experts say office spouses make people happier on the job and may help them land a promotion. But while many say workplace bonds are natural in today’s coed work environment, some experts believe we are getting too cozy with our cube-mates.

“A lot of office environments are competitive and it’s nice to have somebody rowing the boat with you instead of having someone row the boat in the other direction,” said Tony Jurich, professor of marriage and family therapy at Kansas State University. “But pretty soon, it can be ‘Baby’ and ‘Sweetie’ and you are telling your office spouse about how you love to walk barefoot in the park in the morning dew and you start pushing the boundaries.”

The relationships almost never start in a sexual manner, experts say, but through a bonding experience like staying late together to nail a business proposal. And they typically involve two people who highly respect each other’s work.

“We become attached to someone’s brain and when you love the way someone thinks, you form a connection,” said Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire, a company that holds career fairs across the country.

Jurich said men and women are often drawn to each other because they believe they can complement each other in their jobs — maybe she’s a better writer but he is more creative with ideas. They can also connect over similar experiences in the office.

Laura Waterman of Forest Park misses her ex-office spouse, a relationship that ended when she left her administrative job at a prison.

“He made my job more pleasant,” she said. “He would help me with questions about work, and he would always make sure I was comfortable — he would check to see if I needed anything to eat.”

Noticing she often seemed cold in the office, her former office spouse gave her one of his old jackets she could keep at her desk. She’s single at her new office job, and a bit more lonely.

‘No-sex affairs’Still, office spouses are risky business, some experts say. A constant work buddy of the opposite sex can spark rumors at the office — and jealousy at home.Still, office spouses are risky business, some experts say. A constant work buddy of the opposite sex can spark rumors at the office — and jealousy at home.Going to a movie with an office spouse or BlackBerrying your pal at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep suggests the office spouse relationship has crossed the line into an inappropriate level of intimacy, according to Johnson.Still, office spouses are risky business, some experts say. A constant work buddy of the opposite sex can spark rumors at the office — and jealousy at home.Going to a movie with an office spouse or BlackBerrying your pal at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep suggests the office spouse relationship has crossed the line into an inappropriate level of intimacy, according to Johnson.And if the work wife/hubby relationship goes sour, it can be awkward to sit next to him or her. Or worse, you have a needy office spouse clinging to your cubicle, craving attention.Still, office spouses are risky business, some experts say. A constant work buddy of the opposite sex can spark rumors at the office — and jealousy at home.Going to a movie with an office spouse or BlackBerrying your pal at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep suggests the office spouse relationship has crossed the line into an inappropriate level of intimacy, according to Johnson.And if the work wife/hubby relationship goes sour, it can be awkward to sit next to him or her. Or worse, you have a needy office spouse clinging to your cubicle, craving attention.Instead of looking forward to seeing your office spouse, you end up dreading it.Still, office spouses are risky business, some experts say. A constant work buddy of the opposite sex can spark rumors at the office — and jealousy at home.Going to a movie with an office spouse or BlackBerrying your pal at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep suggests the office spouse relationship has crossed the line into an inappropriate level of intimacy, according to Johnson.And if the work wife/hubby relationship goes sour, it can be awkward to sit next to him or her. Or worse, you have a needy office spouse clinging to your cubicle, craving attention.Instead of looking forward to seeing your office spouse, you end up dreading it.Francie Dalton, a workplace behavioral expert who lives outside of Baltimore, believes work is for work, and emotional bonding with a colleague should be eschewed.

Still, office spouses are risky business, some experts say. A constant work buddy of the opposite sex can spark rumors at the office — and jealousy at home.Going to a movie with an office spouse or BlackBerrying your pal at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep suggests the office spouse relationship has crossed the line into an inappropriate level of intimacy, according to Johnson.And if the work wife/hubby relationship goes sour, it can be awkward to sit next to him or her. Or worse, you have a needy office spouse clinging to your cubicle, craving attention.Instead of looking forward to seeing your office spouse, you end up dreading it.Francie Dalton, a workplace behavioral expert who lives outside of Baltimore, believes work is for work, and emotional bonding with a colleague should be eschewed.”Office spouses — this is not smart no matter how you slice it,” said Dalton. “If you are married, it creates a closeness that should only belong in marriage.”

Dalton said she understands employees need to vent, but employees should find off-campus venues like professional organizations to let off some steam.

“When I vent, I am whiny and emotional and not the things I want my future subordinates or future superiors to see,” she said.

Office spouse relationships — even when functional — often run the risk of getting too intimate.

Workers may not even realize they are getting too chummy with their office pal, experts say — the way the character Pam is clueless in the hit TV show “The Office.” Sure, the engaged Pam may just be figuring out she has the hots for Jim, but we’ve seen it brewing over many whispered phone conversations and office pranks.

And even when there’s no sex, office spouses can still be intimate and emotionally attached to each other. Some relationship experts even call these relationships “no-sex affairs.”

“Sometimes office spouses get intimate and it may not involve sex, but you have the two talking about things they wouldn’t even tell their spouse at home or spending a lot of time outside the office talking and they have crossed the line,” Jurich said. Jurich also said even the use of “office spouse” is dangerous in an office setting because the non-spouses might get jealous and it could lead to backbiting and rumors.

DeLay’s office spouse, Russell Douglas of Lithonia, said not everyone understands their relationship.

“Everyone doesn’t understand a man and woman can be good friends,” Douglas said. “They don’t believe you can be that close and nothing sexual is going on. It’s like they think there has to be something to it.”

But he highly values his relationship with DeLay of Stone Mountain, whom he considers a “close friend.”

He said he enjoys getting the “female perspective” on things, including relationships, and a lot of times they simply listen to each other.

“We are not always looking for a solution, but we just want to bounce it off someone and sometimes we are looking for an objective opinion because we might be too close to the situation.”

Positive connectionBut if you fail to keep boundaries or use common sense with your real wife or husband, trouble could be brewing.But if you fail to keep boundaries or use common sense with your real wife or husband, trouble could be brewing.”I don’t know any wife in the world who would like her husband coming home going on and on about how brilliant and fabulous his female co-worker is,” Johnson said.But if you fail to keep boundaries or use common sense with your real wife or husband, trouble could be brewing.”I don’t know any wife in the world who would like her husband coming home going on and on about how brilliant and fabulous his female co-worker is,” Johnson said.But for many, a happy office marriage makes the daily grind more of a pleasure.But if you fail to keep boundaries or use common sense with your real wife or husband, trouble could be brewing.”I don’t know any wife in the world who would like her husband coming home going on and on about how brilliant and fabulous his female co-worker is,” Johnson said.But for many, a happy office marriage makes the daily grind more of a pleasure.For DeLay, her office spouse has made her long career with the government more enriching. She said there’s never been any hint of crossing the line, and that is a key reason of why it’s been an enduring and positive relationship.But if you fail to keep boundaries or use common sense with your real wife or husband, trouble could be brewing.”I don’t know any wife in the world who would like her husband coming home going on and on about how brilliant and fabulous his female co-worker is,” Johnson said.But for many, a happy office marriage makes the daily grind more of a pleasure.For DeLay, her office spouse has made her long career with the government more enriching. She said there’s never been any hint of crossing the line, and that is a key reason of why it’s been an enduring and positive relationship.”I’ve had some major disappointments at work that I would not have survived were it not for the ear, shoulder and calming presence of my office spouse,” she said.

But if you fail to keep boundaries or use common sense with your real wife or husband, trouble could be brewing.”I don’t know any wife in the world who would like her husband coming home going on and on about how brilliant and fabulous his female co-worker is,” Johnson said.But for many, a happy office marriage makes the daily grind more of a pleasure.For DeLay, her office spouse has made her long career with the government more enriching. She said there’s never been any hint of crossing the line, and that is a key reason of why it’s been an enduring and positive relationship.”I’ve had some major disappointments at work that I would not have survived were it not for the ear, shoulder and calming presence of my office spouse,” she said.She can’t imagine working without him nearby. And she probably won’t.

“To be honest, when he told me he was going to retire in a couple years,” she said, “I thought, if he’s leaving, I am leaving too.”

Click here to see the actual article on the Atlanta Journal web site.

You will be asked to answer about 4 questions to get free access to the paper.

By the way don’t miss the comments that others have made about this very important subject at the end of the article.

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