I have been married for almost forty years. I love being married to my best friend and cannot imagine ever sharing my life with any one other person than the wonderful man God placed in my life. I love him more now than I ever have.
Over the years, I have watched marriages fall apart. Sadly, some of our Christian friends have had failed marriages. I can assure you that most of these couples never believed on their wedding day that they could ever have amorous feelings towards any other person than the person standing at the altar with them. Let me assure you that putting a ring on someone's finger does not ensure a lifetime of love and harmony. Truth is that temptation comes to the doorstep of many couples—something they would never have imagined could happen in their relationship when they stood saying those vows to each other before God and their friends.
Let me tell you some of the signs to look for in a shaky marriage
- you take every opportunity to see this person and look forward to meeting them
- you will reorganize your schedule to spend time with this person, even at the cost of your family
- you start finding everything wrong with your spouse
- you look for reasons to be away from your spouse
- your emotional attachment to your spouse is dwindling
- your desire to be physically intimate with your spouse is all but gone
If you identify with these signs then your marriage is in trouble. You may want to go ahead with your choices anyway, but I suspect you know that saving your marriage is far more important. So what do you do if you identified these signs in your life?
1. STOP RIGHT NOW. I read a touching story many years ago that has stuck with me throughout my life. A woman was catching her train into work and a man on the train nodded (a type of greeting) at her. This happened for a few weeks and then they began to smile at each other. You can imagine how the story continues. Eventually they were deeply and emotionally involved with each other. Recognizing some of the tell tale signs of a marriage in trouble she decided to tell her husband about this emotional attachment. He listened to her very carefully. Then he took her hand and gave her a solid piece of advice. He said: "Change trains." In other words, cut this relationship off right now.
My dear Christian friend, please hear me. This other person may make you feel special, wanted, and accepted, but if you continue this path your marriage will be harmed and perhaps even destroyed. It is simply not worth it. How many people have an affair, marry that person and then live with deep regret? Do something right now.
2. BECOME ACCOUNTABLE AND GET HELP. Don't choose someone who has had an affair and will endorse what you are doing. See someone who will be committed to helping you to regain focus on your covenant relationship. Find someone you can trust—someone who loves God deeply and is committed to you and your spouse. Make yourself accountable to them and ensure that they hold you accountable. I can only say that in the end you will be so grateful that you committed to your marriage. It will be worth it!
3. RENEW YOUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR MARRIAGE. Your spouse may not make you feel like this other person does, but you have probably not invested into your marriage for a while. Start telling your spouse everyday that you love them. You may not feel that you do. Marriage must be based on more than feelings. Your marriage must have a solid foundation, a commitment to God being at the center of your lives, a commitment to make your spouse the most important person in your life. Tell them you love them even if you don't feel it. Do this for 28 days and watch how your love will begin to renew. I have heard of many couples who testify to this fact.
Remember you are human. Put safeguards in your marriage. Paul and I have always ensure that our marriage is sacred. There is a place in my heart that no other human being has access to and there is a place in Paul's heart that only I can access. We are incredibly accountable to each other at every level. Some might think this is a lack of trust. No! We love each other, we love our children, we adore our grandchildren and we do not want anyone, anywhere to harm our marriage. We are both fiercely committed to protecting our marriage.
I know this blog is specific and targeted. I hope those who have a healthy marriage will read this and put safety measures in their marriages. I trust that those in the midst of an affair will take stock. And for those who are just beginning to feel the tug of temptation, this blog was for you from God.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,