Tuesday, January 16, 2018
One Secret To Affair-Proofing Your Marriage
It was actually Scripture that got my wheels turning on this subject this morning. So let's start with that. In 1 Corinthians, Paul is writing to the church on some issues concerning Christian marriage. He writes " Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."- 1 Corinthians 7:5
Whether we do it intentionally or just because life gets too busy, not having regular sex with your spouse is an open door for Satan to walk through. The best illustration I've heard on this came from Gary Thomas. I'm going to paraphrase his story from memory because it's been so long that I don't remember which book it came from! Gary is a runner, even dedicated enough to run on vacation. One year he was away from home in a much more humid environment than he was used to and he failed to bring enough water on his run. He became so parched that as he ran by houses and saw a hose out front, he considered going over to take a drink. A while later, he passed a discarded Coke bottle on the road that still contained a small amount of liquid. Even that began to be tempting. Can you imagine how gross that would be? But dehydration can cause your mind to consider things that normally would be unthinkable. When we deprive our spouses from meeting their physical needs in a healthy way within our marriage, even what was unthinkable before may become a temptation.
What do I mean by "regular"? That could vary for each individual couple. If you don't know what your spouse needs to be fulfilled, you should definitely have that conversation and find out. For me, anything less than once a week would be a huge warning light. I understand that sex is more than a physical act, it has a large emotional component (especially for women). If that warning light goes off in your marriage, the time to act is NOW. Find out what the problem is and take steps to fix it. In every failing marriage that I've come across, the couple does not seek help until the "we haven't had sex for MONTHS" stage. That is heartbreaking and so much more difficult to come back from.
Because this topic can be so uncomfortable to talk about in person, there are a few books I can recommend that would be a good starting point if you struggle in this area. Every Woman's/Man's Marriage and Every Woman's/Man's Battle.
Shannon Ethridge writes in a very vulnerable and honest style. She has several books on marriage/sex that may be helpful in restoring your perspective and giving you hope for the days ahead.
Craig Groeschel is known for saying "When your car runs out of gas, you don't go sell it and buy a new one. You put gas in your car."
While my marriage isn't perfect, it has always been a priority for me. I didn't have an example to look to growing up, so it's been "learn as you go". I've been blessed to learn these lessons early. I pray for those of you who took the time to read these thoughts of mine, that I will have given you something to think about and that your marriage would be strengthened because of it.