Whether you’re married or not, whether your marriage is good or not, imagine this. You’re looking at the person who decided to give up their heart, some dreams, their body, their years, and their singleness because they committed to enter a lifelong, exclusive partnership of selfless love with you. You’re about to tell them you’ve put all of that and so much more on the line because someone kept flirting with you at work, or because you didn’t think they listened, or because you felt like they lost their passion in the bedroom. Now is the best time to do whatever it takes to protect your marriage.
No one wants to end up part of that conversation, but too many of us will. Maybe we’ll neglect our spouse’s desires. Maybe we’ll enjoy time alone with someone else. Maybe we’ll let porn, work, or ministry get in the way of our marriage. If a marriage counselor recommended any of these for a healthier relationship, they’d lose our business. Let’s kick adulterously bad advice to the curb and replace it with the good stuff! Here are four ways to protect your marriage from adultery today.
1. Radically reduce risks. Risk is for extreme sports, retirement funds, and business ventures—not marriage fidelity. It’s great to take risks together like moving to a new place or going on God adventures. But don’t risk your relationship. Instead, stoke the fire of your faith. Never talk badly about your spouse to other people. Ever. Surround yourself with strong marriages. Avoid risky situations with the opposite sex. Is it really that important to go somewhere alone with the opposite sex? Don’t ever be alone with the wrong people.
2. Water your lawn. If the grass is greener on the other side, then water your own lawn. Discover your spouse’s love languages and pour into them with passionate service. Do dishes. Go to counseling. Work out. Listen. Part with that pair of sweatpants. Get alone together, spiritual together, and naked together. Make your spouse the most important human being in your life. Put your spouse in front of kids, work, money, things, hobbies, and yes, your own mother! Love your spouse like Christ loves the Church.
3. Understand the devastation of adultery. No matter what romance novels and television love-triangles say about it, adultery devastates lives. It hurts the two people involved as well as their kids, their families, their friends, their co-workers, the people who look up to them, their businesses, their ministries, and the future of their marriages. That’s the short list. It’s ugly and never worth it. Google this: How many affairs turn into marriage?
4. Know God’s Good News. Even when we are unfaithful, God is faithful. Like Pastor Craig says, adultery may be grounds for divorce, but it’s also grounds for forgiveness. Christ died for all sin. If you have experienced adultery, healing is possible. Look to Christ, find strength to forgive, seek counseling, regain trust, and do the hard—but unbelievably powerful—work of restoration.