After fifteen years, I have begun to see my ex-girlfriend again. We are now both married. For the last three years she has been going to my mother’s house and taking gifts…. A year ago we saw each other in church. We greeted one another, and I met her husband and son….

Last month she called me, and… we then met in a coffee shop, where she confided that she still misses me and wants to see me more often. But that doesn’t seem right to me. She has even offered to give gifts to me…. According to her, she is suffering greatly as a result of the way her husband treats her, and they have other marital problems…. I don’t know what to do anymore. She calls me every day on my cell phone while I’m at work.

Dear Friend,

We commend you for listening to your conscience. You are right to be concerned. Your ex-girlfriend may truly be suffering, and it may be that she is the type who chooses not to control her emotions. Or it may be that she has made a conscious decision to break up your marriage so she can have you for herself. In either case, she is extremely dangerous to you.

We recommend that you tell your wife immediately that your ex-girlfriend is going through a difficult time and needs someone to talk to. Tell your wife that you don’t think it is appropriate for you to be counseling the woman, so you want her to call your ex-girlfriend and offer moral support. If you know your wife is not emotionally mature enough to handle the situation, then go to the pastor of your church and ask him or her to intervene and offer counseling. You don’t need to reveal any details, but just that you are uncomfortable serving as a counselor for her. Pass the problem over to someone else, and block the woman’s number on your phone. Avoid her completely and, if possible, always take your wife with you when you visit your mother.

In some cases the motives of another person may be unclear. But this woman’s motives are extremely clear, and you need to act quickly before anything else happens. It is very likely that you will anger her by refusing to be drawn into her secret alliance with you. Her anger will confirm that her motives have not been honorable.

It is wrong to assume that all churchgoers are perfect people. Some go because they are searching for answers to life’s questions. Others attend because it is a social activity. Still others go because it is a tradition or habit. Therefore, the church is not full of saints; it is full of sinners. Some have been transformed by their decision to follow Christ and to obey the Scriptures, while others attend for years and never make that decision. So it is not safe to ever trust the character or motives of a person just because they go to church.

We wish you the best,