This past week at Polishing the Pulpit, I heard countless lessons directed toward women that focused on affair-proofing our marriages. While I would love to think that Christian women are going to have great marriages, that isn’t always the case. We are all imperfect human beings, and that translates into our marriages more times than we’d like. Today’s post is filled with a couple of ideas to help you, a woman wanting a godly marriage, to attain that dream. But why is it called “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” The main thing that the women covering this topic at PTP emphasized was that married men and women cannot just be friends with members of the opposite sex. Is it possible to have friends of the opposite sex who are friends with both you and your spouse? Yes. But it should never be the case that you are closer friends with a man than your husband is, and vice versa. Our society is all about sex and lust and ungodliness, and we must do everything in our power to keep the world from getting into our marriages! Here are a few tips:
1: Don’t compare your husband to anyone (2 Corinthians 10:12). Too many times, I have been around women who really like to talk negatively about their husband. Really, though,t here is absolutely no reason to ever say, “I wish my husband ____”. We’re setting ourselves up for unhappy, discontented marriages whenever we compare our husbands to other women’s husbands or to other men in general. Our husbands are just that: ours. He has quirks. He has flaws. But he’s yours, and so there’s no reason to ever wish for something more. And there’s definitely no reason to EVER vocalize those wishes, especially to a member of the opposite sex—or even your mom! Respect your husband enough to love him for all that he is, and the parts that are harder to love, just keep them to yourself. Along those same lines…
2: Don’t talk about a man’s wife with him. Would you like for your husband to talk about the things he doesn’t particularly love about you? Would you like him to do that with another woman? Then absolutely DON’T let a man talk about his wife to you! We must protect the sisters and marriages around us! When we put ourselves in that position, we’re setting ourselves up to start an emotional connection with someone besides our husband, and that’s not ok. Be careful the words you use with members of the opposite sex, and be careful the words you let them use.
3: Don’t be alone with a man who isn’t your husband. It sounds extreme, but if that’s what it takes to protect your marriage, you should institute this philosophy into your life. We know that the marriage bed is to be honorable (Hebrews 13:4). If we are allowing ourselves alone time with men who aren’t our husbands, we’re inching closer and closer to temptation and sin. If you must be alone with another man, make sure your husband knows every detail of that encounter. And don’t let that philosophy stop with physical encounters. If another man is texting you, be sure your husband knows. If another man is writing you on Facebook, be sure your husband knows. It is so easy to flirt via text and Facebook messages. Be sure to affair-proof your marriage by stopping all forms of communication that could cross the line. Even the friendliest, seemingly harmless relationships can lead to something more!
4: Guard your heart from lust (Matthew 5:28). We live in a Magic Mike, 50 Shades of Gray, Man-Crush Monday society. We are naive if we think that men are the only ones struggling with lust! I know plenty of married Christian women who talked distastefully about celebrities and their ‘hot bodies’. What if you met that celebrity in real life? How would that go? If you’ve been lusting over them, I would guess not well. Don’t plant that seed! If you find a celebrity that you find yourself fantasizing over, stop watching anything they’re involved in! If you find yourself wishing your husband were more like a certain famous man, quit reading/watching anything remotely associated with them! For whatever reason, we think that if it’s a celebrity, it’s ok to lust after them! It isn’t! We are to guard our hearts and keep them pure, even from people we have never and will never meet!
5: Turn off the music. Most people, when they’re in a relationship, have a ‘song’. My husband and I have quite a few songs that are near and dear to my heart. The problem is, I’ve had ‘songs’ with some of my past boyfriends, and I suspect that maybe you have, too. If you find yourself listening to those same songs and traveling back in your mind to the emotions and feelings associated with said songs, it’s time to cut the music off! Music can be a powerful thing in our lives, and if we’re not careful, it can damage our relationships. What’s an iTunes purging in relation to a healthy, happy marriage? What’s switching the radio station in relation to only thinking about your spouse when you’re alone in the car? Don’t let certain songs or artists keep your heart and mind attached to an individual that you have no need of being associated with ever again. And let me say that again: you should probably never be associated with them again! You can wish the best for them and hope to be with them in heaven one day, but guard your heart from them and keep your distance. No earthly relationship is worth jeopardizing your soul!
One of my favorite things that sister Rose Crayton said on this topic was this: “You can have an emotional affair long before having a physical affair. Be sure that the only man who meets your emotional needs is your husband, because he’s supposed to be the only one who does.”
If you find yourself really ‘connecting’ with a member of the opposite sex who is not your husband, cut that friendship off. After all, the principle about cutting off a hand that could cause you to stumble is applicable in this scenario, too (Mark 9:43). And if you find it easy to connect with other men, try to focus more attention on connecting with your husband. Talk with him, cuddle with him, go out with him when he’s doing something you don’t particularly enjoy — do whatever it takes to keep your marriage thriving. And, at the very least, do all within your power to keep your marriage from crumbling at the hands of another man.