In the last post, I talked about protecting your marriage by keeping the door shut to anything that might tempt you to dishonor your marriage covenant. Helping your mate keep the door shut to temptation involves both physical, tangible things that you can do to help establish a positive, godly environment, but it also involves intangible things that you can do to communicate your love for your spouse and reaffirm your commitment to your marriage.
While this is not a comprehensive list, here is what one group of husbands and wives said they needed from their spouses to help them keep the door to temptation shut.
What husbands need their wives to know:
- Pray together often (don’t just pray for each other, be sure to pray with each other).
- Be aware that men are often tempted visually. Check the home environment and think about what might be tempting to your husband (Magazines or catalogs lying around, what’s on TV, websites you frequent, etc.)
- Put the computer in a family room or highly visible location.
- Know how to check the history on computers and do it regularly.
- Use filtering software like SafeEyes.com to add another layer of protection.
- Share all passwords and access to technology (emails, Facebook, smartphones, etc.)
- Know his love language and speak to him with it often (words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch)
- Take the time and make the effort to look pretty for your husband.
- Don’t put down and emasculate your husband in how you talk to him or talk about him to others.
- When you do special things to care for your husband (like cooking a favorite meal, a back rub, etc.)—not because it is expected, but as an expression of love—it keeps his affection focused on you.
- Be a true friend. You husband wants you nearby; even if he’s doing something you don’t want to do.
- Show your husband that you want to protect his heart and mind. (i.e.—gently covering his eyes or turning his attention to you when something inappropriate comes on the TV communicates a desire to lovingly protect him.)
- Be attentive to physical intimacy (for guys this normally
- Let him know you still desire him, no matter how long you’ve been married.
- Be open to the fact that your husband will make mistakes, but it is not because he doesn’t love you.
What wives need their husbands to know:
- Pray together often and encourage your wife to find her own voice of prayer when you pray together as a couple.
- Read the Bible together.
- Know each other’s passwords and share access to all technology. Don’t forget, women can be tempted by things on the internet too—pornography, chat rooms, inappropriate connections through social media, etc.
- Lovingly help your wife to have realistic expectations of herself, of you, and of others (but don’t use unrealistic expectations as an excuse for your own rude or inappropriate behavior!).
- When your wife’s gut tells her a situation is awkward or uncomfortable, encourage her to pay attention to the situation and to talk with you about it.
- Compliment your wife sincerely and often (without expectations of anything in return!)
- Don’t let her run herself down, especially in comparison to others.
- Make time together a priority—date your wife regularly and have real conversations.
- Encourage your wife to have an accountability person of the same sex that she can honestly share with; this will reduce the temptation to share too much and get into “husband-bashing” or “marriage-relationship-bashing” in a larger group.
- You know what attracts your attention in an unwholesome way, so encourage your wife to dress so that other men won’t look at her inappropriately.
- Be sensitive to your wife’s insecurities and help her to sooth them.
- In your words and actions, always let her know she is your priority.
- Most importantly, pay attention to your wife’s emotional state. When a wife’s emotional needs are not being met (regardless of the reason), it can open her up to being vulnerable to temptation.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual spouse whether or not he/she will honor the marriage covenant, but you can help your spouse by creating an environment that will make it easier for both of you.
I will conduct the affairs of my house
with a blameless heart.
I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile.
What does God want from my marriage?
A Weekend Marriage Enrichment Retreat
Friday-Sunday, March 7-9, 2014
Edgewater at the Aquarium Hotel and Conference Center
Limited to 30 couples
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
If you are in the Rutherford/ Davidson/ Wilson County, TN area and are looking for a great marriage small group, A Blessed Promise will meet every Wednesday night in September and October at 7 p.m. at the Smyrna Church of Christ. This class will help couples see their marriage as a wonderful and unique participation in the Kingdom of God. As couples study God’s Word they will see how His love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy are lived and taught within the context of marriage, and how a Christian couple’s marriage can be one of the most powerful witnesses of Christ to those around them. The class will be made up of several discussion-based small groups with people who are either already married or looking toward marriage. (Childcare for all ages will be provided through the Wednesday night Bible class program.)
Top image credit: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_8593927_businessman-pushing-the-door.html'>andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo</a>