A few months ago the Lord put it on my heart to write about affairs. It had been awhile since I last blogged and I wondered why I had felt this topic so strongly tugging at me. I wish I had written it then, when prompted, so it didn’t seem like such a reactionary post with the Ashley Madison Hack and the Josh Duggar scandal. But with these stories breaking I know that it needs to be written. It is not only with the Duggars that I have seen it. We have family that have been through it, friends, and people that we know. I have been amazed, even in the last year, at how common it really is.
So let me start with this. No one is immune. If you believe to be, please change your thought process now because that is a scary road you are on, my friend. Satan wants to take you down where you least expect it and is waiting to catch you at the slightest mistake. I have seen the most loving, God-fearing families brought down by this sin. It can happen to anyone.
So if it can happen to anyone, what do we do? In short, be prepared. Set down rules for yourself and discuss with your spouse how you will combat having an affair and how you will stay far away from all temptation. Not sure what this looks like? Here are some examples:
- Try to avoid alone time with someone of the opposite sex. This may seem difficult with work situations sometimes, but make it happen if at all possible.
- When you around others, talk about your family. Make sure everyone knows how much you love them, especially your love for your spouse.
- Talk about your family, but not about your marriage issues. Do not complain about your spouse to anyone, especially someone of a different gender. If you are struggling in your marriage, find godly counsel.
- Have accountability. People you trust and can turn to when you are tempted.
- Be open with your spouse. Talk about the people you come in contact with openly. If you feel the need to hide any information from them about someone you have been around then something is wrong.
- If you feel someone is interested in you, get away quickly. Do not let that grow into any more feelings for them or you. This may take extreme steps, but it is worth it for your marriage.
- Stay away from pornography. This is not just hardcore porn online or in a magazine. It can look like a romance novel or a TV show. Do not let your mind wander and your lust grow. Every sexual desire you have should be pointed at your spouse.
- Stay in control of yourself. Keep yourself sober and of sound mind. Stay away from drugs completely. Drive yourself if you know you might need to leave a place you are being tempted at or drive with others so to make sure you are not leaving with someone you shouldn’t be. Know your weaknesses and be a step ahead.
- Work on the sexual aspect of your marriage. If both spouses are having their needs met in the marital bed, they will be less likely to seek to have those needs met elsewhere.
- Pray and seek the Lord. When we are connected with our Father, it is easier to stay away from temptations around us. When we allow Him to live through us, our eyes are more open to ways we could fall and we are led by His Spirit in the decisions we make. And pray constantly, but especially when temptation may be near. Pray with your spouse to keep temptations far away.
***Please note: These are all tips to help, but there is absolutely no excuse for having an affair. For example: If one spouse is withholding sex from another this is wrong, but it does not give the other spouse reason to look for another. Proverbs 6:32- He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.
Hebrews 13:4- Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
What else can you come up with? How can you stay faithful to your spouse? A quick search will show you that adultery and marital faithfulness is spoken of a great deal throughout the Bible. If this were not an issue you would experience either personally or through someone you know, I don’t think the Lord would have pushed it so much. It is ever present in our world, so be sure to be ready to fight against it for your own marriage and pray for those around you that their marriages would be protected as well.
I’ll leave you with this from God’s word. Heed the warning and seek to keep your marriage safe. It is worth it!
My son, keep your father’s commandment,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
to preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life.
Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished.
People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house.
He who commits adultery lacks sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
For jealousy makes a man furious,
and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
He will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts.