Rodney and I have been involved in marriage ministry now for over thirty years. We felt God call us to this ministry early in our marriage and have counseled, written, taught and lead retreats and conferences on marriage. One of the most painful parts of this ministry is walking through the heartbreak of an affair. Sin. Betrayal. Brokenness. Gut-wrenching pain.
We have walked this road with way too many couples and each time we ask: how did this happen? What could we do to teach or lead couples to never ever go down this path of pain and devastation? After years of ministering through the pain of an affair, we believe in taking strong measures. Your marriage and family are worth your protection.Your marriage and family are worth protecting from the pain of an affair. Click To Tweet
4 Ways to Protect Your Marriage From an Affair
- The best defense is a good offense. Be proactive to sure you have a strong marriage. Make the time, invest in the relationship. God’s plan for marriage is unity and intimacy. We are to be one and that requires work. Our marriages are designed by God to represent the Gospel to the world. Your marriage has the opportunity every day to show the love, grace, forgiveness, dying to self, giving, and servant spirit of the Gospel. In neglecting your marriage, you are neglecting the Gospel.
- Get over yourself. At the root of sin is selfishness. When you make this life or your marriage about you, you will sin. Pride, lies, “I deserve this”, “my needs aren’t being met” — the “I” statements go on and on. The truth is we deserve nothing but Christ has given us everything. Learn to daily die to yourself and then you will begin to live.
- Guard your life. Don’t be complacent about guarding your life and protecting your purity. You are weaker than you think. People don’t start out thinking they are going to wreck their lives and the lives of others by having an affair. Take extreme measures. It really does matter that much. This is where you will think we are a little off but trust me on this. It won’t hurt you to be extreme. Your marriage and family are worth it.
- Don’t have intimate friendships with people of the opposite sex. General friendships are fine but not the kind of friendships where you share feelings, dreams, or intimate issues. Issues of the heart. Keep those conversations for same sex friends.
- Do not have “friendly” ongoing chats with people of the opposite sex through social media.
- Don’t reconnect with old girlfriends/boyfriends from the past. Put the past where it belongs – in the past.
- Make sure you have people in your life who will ask you the hard questions about your marriage and how you are guarding your purity in your marriage.
- If you ever have “feelings” for someone of the opposite sex, set up safeguards to not be around that person. Change your life patterns to avoid them. Change jobs. Do whatever it takes to guard yourself.
- If you are tempted and feel you cannot resist, immediately get help. Get help before the affair. Let it be a life and death warning for you much like you would if you felt the symptoms of a heart attack. Run for help immediately.
- Pray with your spouse regularly. One of the most intimate things you can do to protect your marriage is to pray together. Praying together will draw your hearts closer to God and closer to each other. Make it a regular practice. Pray together that God would protect and guard your marriage. Pray that your marriage would point people to Christ.
If you could talk to the countless couples that we have walked through this process with, they would say that they would give anything to unwind the clock and go back to that first friendly encounter and reset the events that happened after. They would have taken extreme measures because they are living the pain of the results of an affair.
If you read this blog and are married, go do something special for your spouse tonight.
I just sent Rodney a text to let him know how much I love him.