Guard Your Mind, Part 4, Day 24
Special Note: If you and/or your spouse has committed adultery, please seek professional Biblical counseling. I would highly recommend Affaircare, a community dedicated to committed, godly marriages and offering redemptive help after an affair. Today’s post is Part 4 of a series on faithfulness – see parts 1, 2, and 3. This series is not intended for those of you who have been victims of rape (forced sex), abuse, and violence in and/or out of marriage. Please seek professional help!
3 Ways to Guard Your Mind
Karen Scalf Linamen, author of Pillow Talk, writes, “Contrary to belief, adultery doesn’t begin with lipstick on his collar and a hotel matchbook in your purse. Adultery begins in your thoughts and moves on from there.” She shares a story about how a woman allowed herself to dwell on an attraction to another man, which grew into spending time with him, fantasizing about verbalizing feelings to kissing to making love to all those things actually happening.
You may think this would never happen to you, but fantasies have a way of running away from our control.
Fix your mind on God. Start with a daily intimate relationship with God. Impure thoughts hinder your prayers, make you unclean, and lead you to destructive behavior. That’s why you have to ask God to daily search and purify your mind and heart.
Fix your eyes on your husband. I love this thought from Pastor Mark Driscoll – your spouse defines your standard of attraction. My husband is the most attractive man in the world to me, even if he has ‘bad hair days’ or ‘bad breath days’ or ‘forget-to-shower days.’ Daily remind yourself why you’re attracted to your spouse. I appreciate how my husband looks at me and tells me I’m beautiful, often accompanied with a kiss, when another attractive woman walks by, comes across the TV screen, or we see an advertisement. Do this for him also. Love him for who he is, not who you want him to be.
Fall away from distractions. 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, you’re falling into the traps of this world. This not only dishonors God and your husband, but brings shame upon yourself.
- 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?
- 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?
Today’s 30 Minute Challenge (Nov 24th): Guard Your Mind
[15 mins] Fix your mind on God.
- [10 mins] Meditate on an attribute of God’s character such as holiness, love, or purity. Look up a few verses about the word you pick and write them down.
- [5 mins] Pray today’s Bible verse – Philippians 4:8 for your marriage.
[15 mins] Fix your eyes on your husband.
- [10 mins] Read Song of Solomon 5:10-16. How can you meditate on your husband? Make a list of 5 things you find attractive about your husband.
- [5 mins] Sit in your husband’s presence and admire him for 5 minutes. Invite your husband to join you in the process if you wish. This exercise is “even more fun” when you both lie naked on the bed (or take a shower together) and admire each other’s bodies (with a no-touch rule).
5 Minute Marathon
Write out today’s Bible verse – Psalm 139:23-24 – and pray this verse for your marriage.
Lord, search my mind and know my thoughts. Purify my heart and mind from negative thoughts about my husband. Keep my mind and eyes from wandering. I confess I particularly struggle with this kind of thinking [insert your struggle]. Forgive me. Give me new godly thoughts to think. Place a watch over the door of my marriage. Keep me in Your everlasting way. Amen.
Take it a Step Further
Fantasize about your husband. Yes ladies, it’s okay to fantasize about your husbands, not in the sense of wanting him to be something he’s not, but focusing on his positive attributes. In Pillow Talk, Karen gives about a weekly plan for women to use their imaginations to enhance their relationship with their husband.
Monday – Dwell on Fact, Not Fiction
Meditate on truthful observations about marriage like “My marriage is worth fighting for,” or “God is able to bring redemptive healing into our marriage.” Write down 3 accurate, positive statements about the way you look at your spouse, marriage, sexual intimacy, or body image.
Tuesday – Consider the Positive Qualities of the Man You Married
Focus on your man’s positive traits. Karen suggests asking these questions:
- “What were some of the traits that caused me to fall in love with him in the beginning?”
- “What do other people find attractive or positive about my husband?”
- “What are some of the ways God has gifted the man I married?”
Tonight, compliment your husband on one of his positive attributes.
Wednesday- Ponder Improvements in Increments
Spend 15 minutes today pondering a scenario that is an incremental improvement in your reality. Karen warns us to watch out for the gap between fantasy and reality. For example, if your husband is the quiet type, fantasizing about him baring his soul for two hours over a steak dinner isn’t realistic. Shoot for realistic improvements like “four word answers” instead of two and “six seconds of eye contact.” Picture yourself in the moment. Karen suggests asking yourself these questions:
- “What kinds of questions might you ask that would encourage such a response?“
- “If you touched his arm or face gently as you spoke, would it help you get his attention?”
- “What place or timing would be most conducive?”
- “Is there a time of day when your husband is at his most relaxed and therefore more likely to open up verbally?”
Act out the scenario several times in your mind, each time picturing what you would say and do, how you communicate with your tone and body language, and even your appearance, and when and where you would be. Pray that God would reveal to you an opportunity to act on your fantasy with your husband in real life.
Thursday (Day 4) – Meditate on Role Models
Do you know an older godly married couple who’s “doing marriage right?” When I think about a godly marriage, I picture my grandparents. I picture my grandma’s gentle spirit toward my grandpa. I want to be like that with my husband.
Pick an attribute you want to work on and ask God to place a “role model” in your life to help teach you how to live out this attribute. Perhaps it will be your grandparents, in-laws, a couple from church, your accountability partners, or your next door neighbors. Ask God to open your eyes to good marriages around you. Meditate on the attributes you would like to emulate.
Friday (Day 5) – Visualize Better Patterns for Yourself
Where are you struggling in your marriage? Today focus on picturing your thoughts, words, actions, and attitudes to make positive changes in your marriage. Karen gives a few examples:
- Does your husband complain that you never initiate sexual intimacy? Picture a few scenarios where you bring out your inner tigress.
- Do you greet your husband at the door by dumping the kids or work on him? Visualize alternatives to help smooth your husband’s transition time. Use Day 5 for inspiration if needed.
- Do you tend to stuff your emotions and give your husband the cold shoulder? Visualize scenarios where you can confidently, calmly, and respectfully share your emotions with your husband in a safe, productive, loving way.
Still don’t know what to think about? Refer back to Day 20’s Take it a Step Further Challenge and ask these questions of your husband or call to mind his answers.
Saturday (Day 6) – Reminisce about the Past
“Find photos that kindle warm memories for you,” Karen writes. Look through your wedding album. Read an old love letter or birthday card from your husband. Remember a favorite date you had with your husband. Visualize the joy and contentment. What can you learn from your memory and apply to your current situation?
Sunday (Day 7) – Remember Your Husband in Prayer
Spend time in prayer today for your husband. Pick a few verses characterizing godly traits you’d like the Holy Spirit to cultivate in your husband’s heart. Pray these verses over your husband. Finally, Karen (and I) encourage you to “submit your imagination to the Lord [and] ask Him to guide you in using the power of your thoughts to build up your husband and your marriage.”
Share with Us
How do you guard your mind from wandering unfaithfully? How do you positively, and in a God-honoring manner, fantasize about your husband? What techniques or tips would you share with us?
This post is Day 24 in of the 30 Dates in November Challenge. Today’s post included revised parts of Think on Things of God and Put Sin to Death. See related posts – The Most Important Step in Staying Faithful in Marriage, Say Yes to Sex, and Zealously Protect Your Marriage.
- Posted in: 30 Dates in November ♦ Change and Growth ♦ Communication Tips & Techniques ♦ Conflict Resolution ♦ Encouragement ♦ Fruits of the Spirit ♦ Intimate Issues ♦ Knowing God ♦ Real Marriage ♦ Sex ♦ Spicing Up the Bedroom
- Tagged: 30 Dates in November 2013, Affair-Proof Your Marriage, Attraction, Discipline, Faithfulness, Pillow Talk, Spicing Up Sex, The Marriage Bed, Thoughts