I recently officiated a wedding. Part of my wedding message was about God’s design that marriage be a permanent covenant, not merely a part-time gig to try out until you get unhappy or something else comes along.
At the reception a gentleman who attended the wedding was talking to my wife and me and thanked me for including that part in my message. He commented that many people seem to think marriage is something you stick with while it is convenient then bail when the going gets tough. He said in the decades he and his wife and had been married there was a time when they thought they weren’t going to make it. My wife and I looked at each other and I said, “We had a time like that, too.” To which this gentleman replied, “Most couples go through something like that, I think.”
And it’s true. Any long-term relationship will have rough patches (some rougher than others). There will be times when we want to call it quits. But marriages can survive even the tough times – if we’re smart about it. And nothing is stupider or more difficult to overcome than an extra-marital affair.
Before you start accusing me of bashing men, research shows that infidelity is not limited to men. The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy released some startling numbers.
Percent of men who admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had 57%
Percentage of women who admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had 54%
This is a problem that both men and women need to get a hold of. So over the next few months I’ll be sharing some practical tips on how we can actively work to prevent affairs in our marriages.
So, the #1 tip to preventing affairs – Make a decision and commit to the idea that you will never have an affair. No circumstance can justify infidelity, so simply decide that an affair is never an option, no matter what happens in the marriage. The Bible indicates that there is something powerful in putting our minds to something.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:1-5)
I have friends who are hard-core road bikers.
They tell me that the racer’s vision is HIGHLY important to the direction of the bike. Where your vision goes your bike will start to move in that direction. Where our brains our bodies will follow. If we take the Apostle seriously then we need to keep “our minds on things that are above.” Decide that infidelity is not an option in your life. Stay tuned throughout the series as we cover more tips for preventing affairs.
For additional reading, see A Celebration of Sex: A Guide to Enjoying God’s Gift of Sexual Intimacy by Dr. Douglas Rosenau – don’t worry, it’s a Christian book 😉Follow @chrislinzey
– Preventing Extramarital Affairs – Part 2