When My husband Dan started a secular job over forty years ago, his boss took him aside and whispered the names of women in the office he could have sexually. Dan walked away and kept his eyes, his hands, and his mind on the work he was hired to do. Never before had the in-your-face wickedness of the world so threatened our marriage. When the office Christmas party invitation arrived on Dan's desk, he was told "Spouses not invited."
"I don't go to parties without my wife." Dan explained to his co-workers and to me.
The next Christmas we attended the dinner/dance/drink and were happy to see that this time a few others ignored the "No Spouses Invited" rule and brought their mates.
When we take a stand for marriage, others join us. Won't you?
Sexual misconduct can be blatant and it can be subtle.
A wink of an eye.
A lingering touch.
A flirtatious glance.
A conversation too personal for anyone but your spouse.
Protecting yourself and your marriage from the damage of sexual misconduct requires setting guidelines for your life and living by them.
"1. Avoid all actual sins whether outward or in thought life. This is where the real battle is fought, as Paul wrote: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry” (1 Cor. 10:13-14). Run from it, reveal your struggle to an accountability partner, put barriers in the way, restructure your life pattern, work in larger groups, or whatever necessary. Repent every time you fail and receive forgiveness. No excuses. Don’t ever tell yourself: This little sin really doesn’t matter.
2. Do everything you can in public. Take away the enhanced temptation of private space wherever possible. Hire a carpenter to put windows in church classrooms and office doors. Meet outside or over video chat if that helps. Make your own choices about this. Don’t merely follow what others do.
3. Observe personal space. Approach others with a measure of wise caution and watch for cues about what is comfortable for them. Everyone is different. Adjust as necessary. It doesn’t really matter what is comfortable for you.
4. Kindly and assertively tell others what you want and do not want.
5. If you are married, follow the cautions and reservations your spouse expresses about your relationships without hesitation or reservation. Whatever your loved one says goes, even if you do not understand it. You probably won’t.
6. Respect the holy life patterns of others. Some do not wish to eat out together in twosomes, travel together, or minister together. You and I have no access to the inward history and life of others. It is their prerogative to make those decisions. Love your brothers and sisters by following their wishes without complaint. The expansion of the kingdom of God will not be slowed by wise and holy living.
7. Never let down your guard. Be prepared for temptations to come your way from both non-churched and churched people, both men and women. There is no genuinely safe space on earth. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12)."
Sexual sin seems to make headlines daily. A few weak moments can destroy your marriage, your family, your ministry, your career, your finances, your children, your children's respect, your children's marriages. etc. etc. etc.
The cost too high, the pain too deep, the damage irreplaceable.
Dan and I set boundaries for our marriage and we live by them.
"Marriage should be honored by all,
and the marriage bed kept pure,
for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)Bring splashes of serenity to your marriage by never giving a glance to or thought of another person other than your spouse. Take that stand today. Please. For the glory of God and the honor of your marriage!