Serious About Those Vows
From: House to House/Heart to Heart
What are some “do’s” and “don’ts” about avoiding sexual temptations?
- Do keep visual reminders of your marriage contract. Always wear your wedding ring when in public. Keep pictures of your spouse in your wallet, as a desktop screensaver, or in your workspace. Frame your marriage certificate and keep on a prominent wall. Remember the contract you made with God, your parents, friends, church, and nation to be faithful to your partner. When you placed that ring on your mate’s finger, you promised your heart, affections, loyalty, and faithfulness “until death do you part.”
- Don’t be overconfident (1 Corinthians 10:12). Recognize your weak points. One study showed that one is vulnerable after a major led-down, or a major success. Those who are depressed or are having marital trouble can easily fall into illicit relationships.
- Do avoid flirty people. If a flirtatious woman is in the break room, go outside to drink your coffee. If a man tries to flirt with you at a ballgame, find another seat. A wise person sees evil coming, and avoids it (Proverbs 22:3).
- Don’t send mixed messages to those around you. Avoid prolonged stares, lingering touches, and any joking that might be construed as flirting.
- Do be on guard when out of your normal routine (1 Peter 5:8). Business trips, vacations, a new job, new membership at a gym or sports team, and similar changes are times of vulnerability. When away overnight, call home and talk to your spouse and children at least every night–and if you feel tempted, call home immediately. Take their pictures and put them in your motel room. Don’t hang out in the lobby or bar. Block out the TV sex channels–or just leave it off altogether (there are sexual images on most channels).
- Don’t let friendships cross the line. Never do anything when your mate is absent that you would not do in his/her presence. Most affairs begin by “just being friends.” One study shows that “friends” are those most likely to be adulterous companions (followed by “co-workers”). If things are heading toward adultery, it is important to put some emotional distance between you and this person … right now! Whatever you do, don’t express your feelings to him/her. It is also important to keep the right kind of friends. those who tell you dirty stories or flirt with you are not really your friends. Avoid them! This is not because you are too good for them but because you are not good enough for them.
- Do be aware of the power immodest dress has on you and others. Don’t pick up the magazine; don’t click on the web link; sit with your back toward an indecently dressed female in a restaurant or at the office. Don’t wear a garment that sends a message you don’t want received.
- Don’t let a person of the opposite sex confide in you about marriage problems.
- Do take drastic action if a line has been crossed: quit a hobby/sport, change jobs, break a friendship, change congregations, move to a new city (completely avoid the place you see this person).
When you reach your silver and then golden anniversaries, you’ll be glad you kept your vows.
“Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? …whoso committeth adultery … lacketh understanding, he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul” (Proverbs 6:27, 33).
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