An Affair-Proof Marriage
Duane Vander Klok
Affection, intimacy, fulfillment – everyone wants to experience these in life. Single or married, young or old, you have an inner longing to be close to someone. This would not be a problem except our society has been flooded with false information about intimacy and sex. People have come to believe that God is a prude, so they neglect His advice and end up in adultery.
God is not trying to keep something good from you. He’s trying to get something good to you. He’s looking out for your best interests so you can enjoy an intimate relationship with your spouse. Be wise, and take steps now to build an affair-proof marriage.
WHAT CAUSES AFFAIRS?
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:14 that adultery is a trap. The reason a trap works is because it takes its victims by surprise. People fall into the trap of adultery when they don’t recognize and address the unmet needs of their spouse or when there is unresolved conflict in their marriage. Unfulfilled or unrealistic expectations and self-image problems can also make people vulnerable to an affair.
You can avoid the trap satan has set by applying the truth of God’s Word. Here are some important steps to affair-proof your marriage:
1. Commit to God’s Standard
Proverbs 5:15 makes God’s standard very clear when it says, “Be faithful to your own wife and give your love to her alone.” Sex is not an unmentionable subject with God. He created us giving the sexual relationship to His people as a gift.
Sex in marriage is holy and right. But it is only holy and right within the confines of marriage. Satan’s lie says, “We love each other so it’s okay to have sex.” That’s not what God says. His standard is that sex is for you and your spouse to enjoy after you are married, not before marriage and not outside marriage.
2. Consider The Consequences.
Think of the consequences you will face if you are unfaithful to your spouse. Proverbs 6:32 says, “The one who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul.” Proverbs 6:26 says, “A prostitute will bring a man to poverty, and an adulteress may cost him his very life.”
God does not want you to have sex outside the safety of marriage. Beyond the obvious potential of sexually transmitted disease and unplanned pregnancy, adultery will hurt your spouse and your children. And it will tear you up on the inside, destroying your very soul.
3. Maintain Your Marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:3 says, “A man should fulfill his duty as a husband and a woman should fulfill her duty as a wife, and each should satisfy the other’s needs.” When the emotional and sexual needs of our spouse are not being met, it is easier for them to be attracted to someone else who will meet them.
The Bible tells men in 1 Peter 3:7 to “live with your wife according to knowledge.” Literally it means you should find out what her needs are and meet them. This is written to men, but the same is true for women.
Most husbands and wives don’t have a clue as to what their spouse needs. Basically, men are looking for sexual fulfillment, a recreational companion, an attractive spouse, domestic support and honor.
Women, on the other hand, need non-sexual affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support and family commitment. Love each other on purpose and choose to do your part to meet your spouse’s needs.
4. Manage Your Mind.
Affairs always start in the mind. James 1:14-15 says, “Temptation is the pull of man’s own evil thoughts and wishes. These thoughts lead to evil actions and afterwards the death penalty from God.” Your own thoughts have the potential to set you on a destructive path. When you repeatedly follow that path in your mind and actions, a habit of sinful actions is set in motion in your life.
Isaiah 55:7 says, “Let the wicked man forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: Let him return to the Lord.” People often think something is wicked only if they do it, but notice it says that both the ways and the thoughts must be forsaken. Keep your thoughts pure and your actions will also be pure.
If you allow yourself to fantasize about someone, the next thing you know, you will become emotionally involved with them. That type of an emotional relationship can easily escalate to physical involvement. Pretty soon you are head over heels in an adulterous relationship and are rationalizing the affair.
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: Who can know it?” You may think and say things like: “I just married the wrong person; If only my spouse met my needs I wouldn’t need someone else; Just one more time; God will forgive me, He wants me happy; This is my spiritual spouse.” These are all just rationalizations, and each one puts you deeper and deeper into the pit.
5. Keep Relationships Right.
It’s your responsibility to keep your relationships right. Here’s how:
– WATCH who you associate with. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “bad company corrupts good character.”
– NEVER listen to a member of the opposite sex’s marriage problems.
– BEWARE of “electricity” with anyone other than your spouse. Ephesians 5:3 says, “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality.”
– STAY AWAY from anyone who flirts.
– AVOID inappropriate touch or hugs.
– MINIMIZE the opportunities to be drawn away from your spouse. Malachi 2:15 says, “Guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with your wife.”
– Finally, REALIZE that most affairs happen between friends; DON’T put yourself where you will be tempted.
You will be assured of a stronger marriage when you and your partner both walk closely with the Lord. As you appreciate that your marriage is a covenant made before God and welcome Him into your relationship – putting Him first in everything – you can have an affair-proof marriage!
HOPE FOR RESTORATION
If you have fallen into the trap of adultery, there is hope for restoration. Here are four steps to help you find your way back to sexual purity:
1. Acknowledge Sin. What you keep hidden in darkness cannot be healed. Confess the relationship as sin (see Psalm 51:1-4) and turn away from it. Pre-marital and extra-marital sex are unacceptable to God as are homosexuality and pornography. Repent and forsake the sin, and you will find God’s mercy.
2. End the Relationship NOW. Your natural tendency will be to say, “I’ll end the relationship tomorrow.” Tomorrow never comes. The Bible says in Psalm 95:7-8, “Today, if you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart.” It will not get easier if you wait. Today is the day of freedom. You MUST end the relationship NOW.
3. Avoid ALL Contact with that person from now on. Change jobs, hang up on phone calls, get an unlisted number. Do whatever it takes! 2 Timothy 2: 22 says, “Turn your back on lustful desires and give your positive attention to goodness, integrity, love, and peace…” You must make a complete break – anything else will not be successful.
4. Rebuild Trust. Proverbs 31:11 says, “The heart of her husband safely trusts in her.” The foundation of marriage is trust. You must begin to live in a trustworthy manner. Purpose to demonstrate love and take time to build a good foundation for trust.
Your marriage will be restored as you commit yourself to God’s will and consistently choose to invest your time and affection in your spouse.