Monday, February 15, 2016

The Habits of Marriage: Guarding Against Temptation

Today we finish our final post for The Habits of Marriage series: Guarding Your Marriage Against Temptation.

I could say so much about this topic—and temptation in itself is very broad. But this week, we’ll get really real.

Let’s talk about sexual temptation in our marriage.

We cannot be passive when it comes to sexual temptation. Pornography is accessible, private (e.g. secret), and free to everyone.

But it cannot and should not be permissible in your marriage.

Porn and shame go hand in hand. They are two sides of one cycle. A man (or woman—because it’s not just men) feels no value, maybe from work, maybe at home, maybe in the bedroom. He or she feels worthless.

Porn—and other sexual temptations—are a fantasy world, a place to escape, where the person not only feels valued and accepted, but also in control.

But I’m convinced, despite the fact that 67% of Christian men and 30% of Christian women confess to looking at porn regularly*, no one actually feels good about it.

And so comes shame.

Shame reinforces what the person already believes about himself or herself—and so we go back to value and worth and identity, etc., which leads to more porn and to more shame, and so on.

How can you guard yourself and your marriage against this cycle?

First, we would say—COMMUNICATE!  Shame lies in secrecy, but there is powerful freedom when you communicate with someone else what’s going on inside of you.

Talk to your spouse—be open and honest. And then seek wise council, someone you trust who can pray for you and help you. (We would love to talk to you! J)

The other thing we would say about this topic is this: to overcome ANY temptation, we’ve got to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.  

Once we tap into the power of the Holy Spirit and begin walking in who we are in Christ, then we experience real freedom.

In Christ, we are covered in righteousness. We are accepted, complete, whole, valuable, etc.  Righteousness shouldn’t be an excuse for sin, but it IS a powerful, new identity that helps us break off shame and guilt.

Our world is full of temptation—especially sexual temptations. Guarding your marriage against temptation means:

- Praying for your spouse and your marriage

- Communicating openly and honestly (Shame lies in secrecy.)

- Staying connected physically

- Believing who you are in Christ

- And letting the Holy Spirit fill you and empower you

No comments: