Avoiding Temptation, Part 6, Day 26
Special Note: If you and/or your spouse has committed adultery, please seek professional Biblical counseling. Visit Affaircare, a community dedicated to committed, godly marriages and offering redemptive help after an affair. Today’s post is Part 6 of a series on faithfulness – see parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. This series is not intended for those of you who have been victims of rape, abuse, and violence in and/or out of marriage. Please seek professional help!
Take Precautions with Social Media
Use AEIOU to remember these precautionary tips for social media relationships (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc).
Avoid the appearance of evil. Don’t do or say anything online that you wouldn’t say/do in front of your spouse. Operate honorably in the online world.
Exercise discretion with purpose of use. Avoid going on social media sites to forget and/or complain about your marital problems. If you have friends/acquaintances who are continually bad-mouthing their husbands or yours or marriage in general, it may be time to speak up or take a step back from the friendship.
Idealizing online relationships is dangerous. What you see online may not be the reality of a person’s life. For example, someone might post on Facebook/Twitter about the fabulous birthday surprise their husband planned but avoid mentioning the argument they had on the way to the event. Don’t compare yourself, your husband, or your marriage to others online.
Offer to include your spouse. Don’t keep secrets from your spouse. My husband and I don’t obsess about what the other one is doing online, but I know I have access to his computer and vice versa and if he asks or I ask, we are comfortable sharing details about what we’re reading/doing and passwords.
Unfriend your exes. There is really no reason for you to be friends with an ex on social media sites, or even guys you may have once been interested in. If you aren’t sure about a potentially sketchy relationship, pray and ask your spouse for advice.
Today’s 30 Minute Challenge (November 26th): LOOKOUT
Use the acronym LOOKOUT to remember how to actively protect your marriage. Practice 1-2 of these today.
L – Love selflessly. Positive thinking can take my sexual experience with my husband from a dud to a dream. If you think I’m not in the mood, you won’t be. If I think you don’t have time for sex, you won’t make time. Put off selfish thinking. Try anyway. I’m not saying force yourself. Transform your thinking. Start by thinking positively about sex and your husband throughout the day. Be willing to try. Try because you want to love your husband.
O – Oppose things/people that disrupt intimacy. Make a list of things you are commonly distracted by in your life and/or marriage. Karen reminds us that “there is no way to avoid those times when stress, children, work, illness, familiarity, boredom – basically life in general! – conjoin to weaken the bond between a husband and wife.”
Sometimes even good things can get in the way of my marriage. Earlier this month, Adam and I took a day for ourselves. We didn’t even go to church. I know *gasp.* Adam and I have been so focused on ‘doing all the right things’ that we had become stressed, distracted, exhausted, and generally ‘not in the mood.’ Instead, we slept in (yes, sleep is God-glorifying), talked, watched an online sermon, made love, and enjoyed each other’s company. It made all the difference in this past week.
Let go of one thing today that disrupts your intimacy.
O – Open up a dialogue.
Establish a specific time to “check in” with your husband. Create a conflict-prevention policy. Daily isn’t always possible, but at least once a week, set aside a distractions-free time to discuss how your marriage is going and how you can grow together in the faith, intimacy, and marriage in general. It doesn’t have to be formal. You can simply be taking a walk around the neighborhood, holding your husband’s hand and looking into his eye, and asking, “How are we really doing?”
K – Kiss and make up.
Misunderstandings, hurt feelings, insensitive remarks or actions… they’re pretty inevitable in any relationship as day-to-day and intimate as the one shared by husband and wife. Occasionally, of course, some really big conflict will thunder like a rolling boulder… but most of the time, it is the long term accumulation of a mother lode of small stuff… that can eventually create a treacherous mountain between even the most tender of lovers.”
Don’t hold onto bitterness and resentment. Sex can be an incredibly healing gift to your husband when you’re both in a heated argument. Let go of the small stuff. Make out. Make up.
O – Organize a list of warning signs. As Karen writes, “what symptoms clue you in to the fact that your relationship is not the priority it should be?” Make a list of emotions/behaviors that disrupt spiritual, emotional, relational, and sexual intimacy with your spouse.
U – Under-gird your marriage with prayer. Pray with/for your spouse. Pray for strength to withstand temptation. Pray for godly marriage. Pray for encouragement when you’re both feeling discouraged. Pray for love when you’re feeling unloving. God wants you to have a healthy, flourishing marriage. Ask Him to show you what it means to be a godly wife.
T – Trump the odds! While there are “no magic marriages” or “perfect-ten relationships,” as Karen says, “any marriage – in order to achieve its potential and become a celebration of intimacy that is God’s gift to husbands and wives – must be teamed with some sacrifice and sweat.” Instead make a conscious effort to practice the principles and tools that shape a godly marriage.
5 Minute Marathon
Write out today’s Bible verse – Matthew 26:41 – and pray this for your marriage. Ask God to show you an area where you may not have been aware of the potential for temptation or a negative impact a relationship is having on your marriage.
God, thank You for sending Your Son to the earth to live as a man, who was tried and tempted as we are. Make me aware of any negative impact a relationship might be having on my marriage. Protect my husband and I from temptation. Help us to exercise caution and wisdom in our relationships and practices with others. Amen.
Take it a Step Further
Consider fasting from social media and/or online activities for 1-4 weeks (starting in December). Of course, this is within reason. I realize some jobs require social media, and connecting with family/friends about holiday plans may require social media. Exercise discretion. Use the time to reflect on the real reason for the season – Jesus Christ. Dedicate the time to growing closer to God, praying, studying His Word, and growing in your marriage.
This post is Day 26 in of the 30 Dates in November Challenge. See related posts – The Most Important Step in Staying Faithful in Marriage, Say Yes to Sex, Zealously Protect Your Marriage, Guard Your Mind, and Staying Accountable.
- Posted in: 30 Dates in November ♦ Change and Growth ♦ Communication Tips & Techniques ♦ Conflict Resolution ♦ Fruits of the Spirit ♦ Intimate Issues ♦ Knowing God ♦ Protecting Your Marriage ♦ Real Marriage ♦ Respect ♦ Sex
- Tagged: 30 Dates in November 2013, Affair-Proof Your Marriage, Faithfulness, Temptation, The Marriage Bed