Apparently, there are a lot of nervous people walking the streets these days. News broke this week that Ashley Madison, an online agency that links people up for illicit extramarital affairs, had its website hacked, and some other website now gives the public access to all the email addresses of those who were connected to the agency.
Someone asked me what I thought of that, and the best I could come up with was the words of the apostle Paul to the churches of the region of Galatia: “You reap what you sow.”
If you are or have ever been married, you know that the relationship takes effort, and needs to be built into on an ongoing basis if it is to thrive and grow. Often, those who resort to affairs are in marriages where that effort is not happening through the efforts of one, or both parties. An affair seems to be the easy way to get the affection, or even the friendship, that should come from building up a marriage.
Those who might be “outed” by this very public website hacking do well to be concerned; it’s one thing to be worried about the availability of one’s personal information, but it’s another thing to be worried about where that personal information has been found. We do reap what we sow.
Even if your email address is not to be found in connection with Ashley Madison, this can be a lesson for you and me, too, and an encouragement to have an honest conversation with our spouse, if we have one, about how the relationship can be strengthened.
Reaping what you sow isn’t really intended to be a negative thing – for if the sowing we do builds our marriages, we will reap stronger marriages and healthier families and, therefore, a stronger society!
“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith” (Galatians 6.7-10, NLT).