Holy Habit for Marriage #2: Put Sin to Death, Part 1, Day 5
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I really dislike spiders. I wouldn’t say I’m arachnophobic but the little creepy crawlers really get my spine tingling. I remember as a child I would wake up and someone sense there was a spider in the room. I was so frightened, I’d go wake up my mom and have her come kill the thing. Or sometimes I’d pick up the thickest book on my shelf and smash the bug to smithereens.
A few days ago, my brother-in-law shared this funny photo with me.
I laughed. Yes, it’s a bit extreme, but it illustrates my point perfectly. Can you imagine if this is how we reacted to sin? You recognize a sin in your life, panic, and then burn the house of sin down! No, I’m not advocating setting yourself on fire. But we need to burn that sin right out of our hearts, minds, and actions. This is an excellent holy habit for marriage!
2nd Holy Habit for Marriage:
Put sin to death (Part 1)!
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust… ” Colossians 3:5-6
Burn Up Sexual Immorality, Impurity, and Lust:
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like [those] who do not know God…” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (ESV)
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Ephesians 5:3
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Hebrews 13:4 (ESV)
“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16
God is serious. You cannot become holy if you commit sexual immorality, if you’re entangled in impurity and lust. You cannot love, honor, and respect your spouse as you are called to if you are caught in a web of sin.
How to Guard Your Mind:
Remember Holy Habit #1? Think on things of God.
Don’t deceive yourself into thinking that you’re immune. Even Christians fall prey to pre-marital and extra-marital affairs, pornography, and impure sexual fantasies. I like how Relient K puts it in one of their songs,The Only Thing Worse Than Beating a Dead Horse is Betting on One,
“In the back of our minds, our problems seem so small, but they grow on us like gravity and gravity still makes us fall.”
Romans 8:5-6 reiterate this, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
What’s your fantasy life like? What consumes your thoughts during the day? If you’re reading erotic novels, watching porn, delighting in sex-filled dramas, and/or fantasizing about other men (real or imaginary) to name a few things, it’s like betting on a dead horse. You can’t win! You’re falling into the traps of this world, and this not only dishonors God and your husband, but brings shame upon yourself.
1. Be careful what you watch and read. Filter these things through the lens of God’s holiness. Ask yourself: Would I be embarrassed to be caught reading/watching this? Does reading this honor my husband and glorify God?
2. Discipline your mind. Mimi Wilson writes in Holy Habits,
“I broke my day into fifteen-minute segments and used a timer to remind myself to make a note of what I had done and thought during that period. I was appalled by what I thought…A disciplined mind helps us keep our focus on Yahweh.“
If you don’t use a timer, keep a thought journal. Write down your thoughts, emotions, fantasies, dreams, goals, and intentions throughout the day and look back over them in the evening. In what areas do you need to discipline your mind more? What consumes the majority of your thoughts?
3. Confess your sins before God daily. Ask God to reveal to you where your thoughts are straying to impurity. Confess your impurities before the Lord. Ask God to cleanse your thought life.
4. Have an accountability partner. Seek out a godly (preferably older) woman of the faith to mentor you, pray with you, search God’s Word with you, and help keep you on track with your thought life.
How to Guard Your Heart:
Ask yourself these questions:
Am I letting someone else (knowingly or unknowingly) fulfill my emotional needs? [This doesn’t necessarily have to be another man. It could be through another woman, a female friend or relative, or living vicariously through a fictional character.]
Am I allowing myself to become physically/emotionally detached from my husband? [Meaning…you aren’t having sex frequently or at all, you aren’t being vulnerable about your emotions with your spouse, you aren’t letting your spouse fulfill your sexual needs.]
Am I indulging in things/activities that are drawing me away from my husband emotionally? [i.e. erotic novels, pornography, spending time with other men socially without my husband present, alcohol, drugs, overspending, being too busy for sex or to spend quality time together]
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you need to have a heart-to-heart with God, and then apologize and ask for your husband’s forgiveness.
1. Be careful who you spend your time with. Don’t spend time alone with another man. Don’t divulge every detail of your marital troubles or frustrations to a female friend. Talk with your husband about appropriate boundary lines with friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers.
2. Seek emotional fulfillment in your husband. If he isn’t meeting your emotional needs, communicate. Respectfully explain and express your feelings and needs to him.
3. Have sex with your husband frequently. Protect his heart and your own by satisfying your sexual needs on the marriage bed.
Allow God’s fire to burn away the sin in your life and refine you into a mirror image of His holy likeness. I love what John Piper says in a 1987 sermon,
“How can we be sure to experience the fire of God as refining and not consuming? Notice very clearly what the answer cannot be! The answer cannot be: get rid of your own sin. If you got rid of your own sin you would need no refining. Refining is for sinners! You can’t answer the question, How do I qualify to get refined? by saying, Get rid of your sin! That’s what refining does — it starts to burn up your sin? But how then does a sinner qualify to have his sin burned up? If it takes the merciful fire of God to destroy the rebellion of sin what can a man do to have that mercy.
And the answer of the whole Bible is: trust in the purifying mercy God! Or to put it the way Malachi puts it again and again: fear God — which means mainly fear to dishonor him with unbelief. Fear the irreverence of distrust. Fear the impulse to jump out of the refining fire of mercy into the forest fire of judgment because it looks cooler. Trust the goodness of God. Believe that his ways are the ways to infinite joy. Don’t doubt his expertise as a Refiner…
The way to experience the fire of Christ as refining and not consuming is to trust his promise to bring us through the fire to endless joy. Salvation is by grace through faith in the purifying mercy of God… life in the refiner’s fire is a life of trust in the unchanging, purifying love of God.”
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
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In what other ways, can you guard your mind and heart against impurity in your marriage?
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- Posted in: 30 Dates in November ♦ 5 Love Languages ♦ Date Your Spouse ♦ Protecting Your Marriage ♦ Real Marriage ♦ Romance ♦ Sex ♦ Spicing Up the Bedroom
- Tagged: 30 Dates in November, Colossians 3, Discipline, Emotions, Holy Habits A Woman's Guide to Intentional Living, Holy Habits for Marriage, Physical Affection & Attention, Spicing Up Sex, Stay at Home Dates