Some women may think I’m insecure because I don’t hold eye contact very long, but I don’t trust my sinful nature. I’ve seen what has happened to others, and I know it could happen to me.
Third, extinguish chemical reactions that have already begun. If a friendship with the opposite sex meets needs that only your mate should be meeting, end it quickly. To stop a chemical, emotional reaction, one of the elements must be removed. It may be a painful loss at first, but it isn’t nearly as painful as temptation that has given birth to sin.
Years ago, Ruth Senter wrote an incredibly candid article about her friendship with a Christian man she met in a graduate school class. Her struggle and godly response to this temptation were graphically etched in a letter that ended the relationship: “Friendship is always going somewhere unless it’s dead,” she wrote. “You and I both know where ours is going. When a relationship threatens the stability of commitments we’ve made to the people we value the most, it can no longer be.”
Fourth, beware of isolation in your marriage. One strategy of the enemy is to isolate you from your spouse, especially by tempting you to keep secrets from your mate. Barbara and I both realize the danger of isolation to our marriage. We work hard at bringing things out into the open and discussing them.
Finally, never stop courting your mate. One of the most liberating thoughts I’ve ever had in my marriage relationship is that I will never stop competing for Barbara’s love. As a result of that commitment, I stay much more creative in how I communicate with her emotionally and sexually.
I am well aware that if I start taking her for granted, someone else could walk into her life and catch her at a weak point. My constant goal is to strengthen her and let her know that she is still the woman I decided to carry off to the castle in 1972.
Many people who commit adultery express surprise that it happened; they talk as if they were carried along by an irresistible emotional force of nature. But remember that nobody falls off a cliff if they’re standing 40 feet away. Instead, they inch closer and closer to the abyss until they find themselves in danger.
You need to make your marriage relationship such a priority that you don’t come anywhere near the edge.
Taken from familylife.com by Dennis Rainey. Copyright © 2006 FamilyLife. All rights reserved. Used by permission.