It’s a great honor to welcome my dear friend, Melanie Redd, back to the blog today. She’s shared before, and her posts are always full of deep wisdom and real life principles. Today she’s talking about protecting your marriage – something she and I are both fiercely passionate about. Welcome Melanie! You’re one of my very favorite people and it’s a joy to have you here.
I’ve talked to many people who have caused deep hurt by having an extra-marital affair.
They come from all walks of life.
However, I’ve never heard any of these people say that they “set out“ to have an affair, hurt their family, end up in divorce court, or intentionally break the hearts of those that they love.
Most people don’t mean to cause pain by having an affair.
But they don’t just randomly happen. Typically, a series of choices over time will lead to an affair. Most people don’t run into extra-marital affairs.
Rather, they slowly drift into an affair by making one bad decision after another.
And affairs can be avoided – by making careful choices and taking wise steps toward fidelity and faithfulness in marriage.
By putting some wise guidelines into place, couples can enjoy incredible protection in their relationships.
You and I can avoid the heartache and pain of an extra-marital affair.
We can grow old with our spouses enjoying life-long trust and faithfulness.
Here are 10 Ways to Completely Avoid an Affair:
Don’t ever have a meal or go to an event/outing alone with a person of the opposite sex – unless you are blood relatives. There is no reason you need to be alone with a person (who is not your spouse) of the opposite sex for a meal.
If it’s a work thing, try to involve an additional friend. Somehow, adding one person can offer protection for our marriages.
Two: Car Rides
Don’t ride alone in a car with a person of the opposite sex – unless you are blood relatives. If it is possible, invite a third person to ride in the car with you. Even a young child can provide some protection and accountability.
If you find yourself in a tough spot at work, try to discuss the situation with your boss or co-worker in a gracious and honest manner.
Speak the truth in love, but speak the truth as needed.
Your goal is a happy and protected marriage!
Don’t read many sappy novels or watch many sappy love movies.
By reading and watching too much romantic fiction, you will start to believe the grass is much greener somewhere else. You will begin to become discontent with the marriage relationship that you do have.
You’ll start to covet and want what you do not have.
Often, romantic movies and books can become for women what pornography can become for many men.
Women will imagine and dream of some perfect relationship that they do not have. Be careful with these. Read and watch them in limited amounts (or cut them out completely!).
Don’t even flirt a little!
Intentionally treat other men or women with respect and distance. Even casual flirting can lead to trouble. Try to be professional, business-like, and kindly distant with any man or woman who is not your spouse.
Too many affairs happen between good friends and great family friends. Affairs can even happen in within families.
Lines get blurred. People get too comfortable. Big mistakes happen.
Be careful with how you act and react to anyone of the opposite sex.
Don’t have long talks over the phone or online with anyone of the opposite sex who is not a blood relative. One of my counselor friends tells me that one of the main reasons for divorce today is people hooking up through social media or with someone who they meet on the Internet. Watch out online!
Also, be careful with counseling and one-on-one prayer situations. It is best for men to meet with men and women to meet with women if possible.
Pastors and ministerial staff need to be especially cautious when counseling and meeting with church members one-on-one. Keep the doors open. Invite a third person into the session.
Take every precaution to protect your marriage.
If you are tempted to have an affair, talk to a trusted brother or sister of the same gender. Ask this trusted friend to pray for you. Give them the freedom to hold you accountable.
There is something about “admitting” you are tempted that could protect you and prevent you from disaster.Be honest about your marriage with trusted friends. #christianmarriage Click To Tweet
Be honest with the Lord about any temptations you may be having.
Pray over these things and give them to the Lord. God already knows what you are struggling with; talk over these temptations and issues with Him.
Eight: Go on Dates (with your spouse)
Date your own spouse!
Enjoy as much time as you can with your soulmate. Maybe you are being tempted because you aren’t spending enough quality time together.
Nine: Have Sex (with your spouse)
Initiate sex with your own soulmate. If you need love and affection, seek out your own spouse. They will likely love this attention from you.
It’s possible that you are being tempted because you are not enjoying the relationship God has given you.
Ten: Seek Jesus
Fall in love with Jesus as never before.
Press in close to the Lord and spend time with Him.
Open your Bible more.
Turn on Christian music.
Read more inspirational books.
Allow God to fill your empty places.
The truth is this: anyone on any day at any time can give in to temptation.
None of us are exempt from temptation! So, don’t flirt with sin and don’t play with fire!
James 1:13-16 in The Message says:
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.
These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.
A Closing Illustration
We have many curvy, narrow, winding roads in our city.
Anytime you take the “back way” to our church, you have to hug the middle of the road, or you could easily clip the edge of the road.
More than once, we’ve caught the edge of one of these roads and run off a bit. One night, we even busted a tired wide open by clipping the edge of one of these narrow roads.
Our goal in driving is to try to stay as far away from the road’s edge as possible. We hug those yellow dividing lines when we drive on those curvy back roads.
So also in our marriages, we need to stay as far away from “potential” affairs as possible.
We need to hug these ten guidelines!
To completely avoid an affair we stay away from every possible temptation. We put some wise guidelines into place. Then, we press in close to Jesus and stay there. And we really seek to enjoy the marriage that God has given us.
* If you have lived through the pain of betrayal and infidelity, I pray that God will heal and restore your brokenness and your family. He is able to mend broken hearts and broken lives.
* Also, if you are the partner who was unfaithful, there is no condemnation here. My prayer for you and your family would also be complete restoration and healing. I also encourage you to put these “safeguards” into place to protect the future of your marriage relationship.
Melanie is a Christian blogger, Motivational Speaker, Author, and Marketing and Social Media Consultant. She’s married to Randy and mom to two awesome college students. God’s grace never ceases to amaze her. You can find out more about Melanie & her ministry at www.melanieredd.com.