Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How to maintain purity in marriage

Pornography, magazines with semi clad men and women,  the Internet, novels and the media flaunting sexuality and the perversion thereof - how does one maintain purity in marriage?   Even now accessibility of all of these things is on the rise - and a lot of effort by advertising agencies has "normalised" this type of unhealthy fascination.  It has desensitized our awareness of what is acceptable or not acceptable.

But God's word is always the final voice on everything we face and are tempted with, our environment or society may have changed but he hasn't.  He remains unchanging. He has not changed with the times - or lightened up.  He remains firm and steadfast.

And so should we.  But it's easy to slip into complacency, to tolerance and then acceptance.

Heb 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
We need to be vigilant in protecting our marriages, because no one else will!  And the world would tell us that marriage is disposable!
There are a few things that Sean and I have put into practice to protect our marriage.

Make love frequently
Now I know guys will love this one!  Don't they always.  But it's true.  If you deny your husband intimacy in marriage - the temptation is far worse!  I have heard so many reasons why women don't spend time in intimacy with their husbands.  Be careful.  Don't allow the enemy a foothold in your marriage.  When I am intimate with Sean, he is especially devoted, considerate and loving.  But when we have not been intimate for a while, distractions seem that much harder to ignore.  Don't let distractions steal your husband away from you.  Not tiredness, not "I don't feel like it", not conflict or unforgiveness.  Come together often and joyously.  And if you are cringing at the thought - then pray!  Ask God to restore passion and love for your husband - you'd be amazed at how He answers these types of prayers.
Have access to social networking sites and email
We know each other's passwords for social networking sites and can randomly check in on each other at any time.  Sean has even asked me to scan his Facebook home page for unwholesome images, because there was a time where Facebook allowed all sorts of very dubious spam content.  They seem to have sorted it out for the moment.   If I pick up that there's stuff going around we become especially vigilant.

Cell phones are public
Technology has changed the way we interact with one another - SMS, BBM, apps on phones.  The more transparent we are in this area with each other, the more accountability and protection there is for marriage.  You might initially feel like your privacy is being invaded but surely there should be no secrets or out of bounds areas?(Just a note on the first 2, be careful of snooping.  The intention of these are accountability, to ensure that we protect one another and are protected.  Don't demand access every day, every hour and start to become suspicious.  But establish openness.)


Carefully selected films and media
We avoid any films with S or N.  And we usually keep our films at a 13 Age Restriction.  Again, it limits the options but no DVD is worth the effect it can have on our marriage.  

Honesty
We are very open and honest about our relationship: about the areas that we are struggling in, and relationships with friends and God.  I know that every time I open up to Sean, I have someone who prays for me, who will watch over me and protect me.  The same goes for him.  In the beginning its not always easy to hear about struggles and you have to guard your heart - but it seems the more we confess our weaknesses the less of a stronghold they have over our lives.
Don't read about romance, live it!
I have written extensively on this topic.  Remember your husband needs to be in your thoughts not some mystery man riding on a horse on his cattle farm.  A millionaire whose hair is jet black with dark unreadable eyes ----- need I say more?

No television/movies or computers late at night and alone
Not only does it interfere with sleeping patterns but it makes us more miserable, more likely to have arguments.  It also can lead to temptation, when others are not around.

Stay with family when away from home
If Sean goes away on a business trip, he stays with friends or family - or takes someone with him.  On the few occasions he has travelled alone, he stays at a Bed and Breakfast.  A family run guesthouse, where though he doesn't know the owners, there is more of a family environment. He avoids hotels whenever he can.  He also always asks the guesthouse to remove the television from his room.  Satellite channels and many of our local channels are poison at night!

We do not entertain individuals from the opposite sex if one of us is not at home.
Even really good friends.  Entertaining someone from the opposite sex (even when the children are around) is not good for you or your friend.  When someone arrives unexpectedly at our door, I am still friendly but I tell them straight away that Sean is not home and so I won't be inviting him in.  I used to worry that I would offend but again - what's more important?  It's all about being vigilant and not giving the enemy a foothold.

Avoid regular interactions with a particular person which could lead to something more
It could be another parent of a child in your child's class or weekly sporting events.  Try to build new friendships or spend time with different parents when you go.  Ensure that you chat in a group rather than in two's.

Dress carefully
I ask my husband to check my clothes, I don't want to be a distraction to others (thereby defiling their marriage beds) and also not to attract any unnecessary attention.  I don't always get it right, I sometimes make bad choices but I have learnt to protect my marriage and other's marriages, by ensuring that I select my clothes carefully.
Read the Word and Pray together
We're really bad at this.  We start off well and then we get busy with our own things.  Yet time and time again, when we do this we marvel at how much of a difference it makes in our marriage! And answered prayers! I sometimes want to smack myself silly as to why we let this one slip so frequently but we keep trying and trust that we will grow into it! I cannot emphasise this one enough!

Resolve unresolved issues 
These can cause barriers and act as a catalyst for temptation.  You might feel like your husband doesn't understand you, and yet the guy at work just seems to say the right things at the right time.  Conflict and unresolved issues not only cause stress, but it prevents intimacy and open communication.  Talk it out, if you can't - get help.  But deal with the issue at hand.

I hope some of these ideas will help you too, maybe some of these need to be put into practice.  What have you found works in your marriage ?

Linking up with Unveiled Life, Wise Woman Link up,  Women Living WellRaising Homemakers

16 comments:

  1. really enjoyed this post Mel - you've established some really wise ground rules. I identify quite a bit, especially the 'need to be in the Word and praying together more' bit! Let's keep that one in our prayers for each other, hey?

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    1. Good idea! Will definitely pray for both of us:)

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  2. This is an excellent post! Such good advice here. Thank you for posting this. Hopping over from A Wise Woman. Blessings from Zagreb: A Little R & R (www.littlerandr.org)

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  3. Great post! DH has been very open with me since college about the day to day struggles of keeping his mind pure, and being female I think it's easy for us to just not realize how difficult it can be for them! When we were first married I censored all of our magazines for him and finally it go to the point where we just stopped renewing them b/c it was such a pain and the articles weren't all that great anyway. I'm amazed at how few people talk about this stuff. I tried explaining to my mom why our magazines were all cut up (only slightly awkward when you come from a hush hush household) and she thought we were weird and totally crazy. It needs to be talked about more. Women just don't understand how sensitive a man's mind is to visual stimulation.

    All you points were well made and something we should all keep in mind! I could write a book just in agreement with each one.

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    1. You should write a book, like you said,there's not enough out there! We don't do magazines at home but we like to get a weekend newspaper. Of course there is always "THAT" page and so I go through the paper and cut out the stuff that is no good, for my husband's sake and my boys!

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  4. Great post Mel - marriages are so under attack...we need to be so vigilent and so open with our spouses. And yes never stop praying... well done on being courageous and writing about these things - I pray many will read this.

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    1. thanks Shelley, I think most people don't like to talk about it because they don't know what people will think. In fact some of these things we do, our family think are pretty odd, but oh well what can I say - odd but happily married!

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  5. Excellent posting, Melanie! Love reading through it.

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  6. fantastic post and Thanks for sharing this info. It's very helpful.
    B&B in Jaipur

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  7. This advice is so paranoid.

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    1. By definition the word paranoid means (adjective: paranoid [ˈpærə.nɔɪd]) is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion.

      I don't believe that unfaithfulness, addiction to pornography or struggles in marriage are ever to be taken lightly. In fact with the divorce statistics, porn addiction statistics and marital issues ravaging society at the moment, I think this type of advice is very necessary to ensure that one doesn't have to be paranoid but rather informed, vigilant and accountable.

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  8. If it takes treating one's husband like a wayward teenager by basically stalking him in order to maintain integrity in the marriage, that strikes me as pitiable.

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    1. I appreciate your thoughts on this Christine. I know it may seem extreme but so is pornography and so is divorce.

      An example of this type of thinking is when one is overweight you often have to go to weight control lessons/diet groups etc - you get weighed, you get told how to eat, you might even get stars when you lose weight. All because you need to learn to rethink the way you do things that could be destructive to your body. Its about changing bad habits and replacing them with good ones.

      Some of these are not things that we even consciously think about all the time because it has become second nature to us. However for many young Christians who have no role models except society,television, or the next explicit novel, this is just some tools to help them. You would be amazed at what a difference transparency, accountability and openness has a on a marriage.

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  9. Great post, i like that it comes from a married woman, seems like their are still women with common sense in this world. Tx Mel

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    1. Thanks glad to know someone thinks I have common sense:) I think many would think I am conservative, but I am OK with that. I am comfortable in my own skin.

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