(Re-post from 2011)
Some months back, I received a phone from the wife of an officer in a very large department. She was at her wits end struggling to hold on to her marriage. The enemy had quietly snuck in unnoticed, and had begun unraveling the very fibers which had been woven together at the altar years before.
A pulled thread here, a tattered, unmended corner there, and before she knew it, her husband had bought into the lie that the pattern was more appealing on the other side of the tapestry, so-to-speak.
With so many years invested into her marriage, this wife has decided to continue to work the loom – to stand for her marriage. However, the enemy keeps whispering thoughts of hatred, betrayal, and unforgiveness into her heart. The damage is irreparable, or is it? I believe this marriage can be saved through the grace of God. Yet, many more just like it will tragically end in divorce all because we’ve lowered our borders and allowed the enemy to cross over. Somehow, our cover is no longer up.
Let me say this with all earnestness and love I can muster…guard yourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually; keep your marital bed pure; and above-all, blanket your marriage with prayer.
So how do we do these things in a world so saturated with sex and a “do what feels good” attitude? Let me first say, it’s not easy. Temptations lurk around every corner. But here are a few guidelines I have found helpful – many that come straight from God’s word.
- Never place yourself in a situation with a person of the opposite sex to whom you are not married. Now I realize that many cops have partners of the opposite gender, and with that, you don’t have much choice. However, if at all possible in any and all other instances, steer clear of one-on-one interactions.
- Limit your time in front of mindless television shows and movies that glorify and promote promiscuous lifestyles. They are not God-approved, nor helpful to you as the audience. Junk in equals junk out.
- Never fall into the trap of “sharing” your marital issues with a co-worker, neighbor, friend, etc. Your issues should be ”shared” with your spouse and/or a trusted, Christian counselor or clergy. I’ve seen many marriages fall into affairs when one spouse begins seeking consolation from a "good listener".
- Be careful what you expose yourself to on the Internet. Men…if the computer becomes a stumbling block to you, then throw it away! Pornography is degrading, detestable, and wholly unpleasing to God. Ladies, Facebook friends and pen pals through chat rooms are not real. They may be real people, but if they begin pulling you away from your spouse, then they are number one enemies.
- Happy hour is not your friend. It is only a place to mingle with folks who are desperately unhappy. Believe me when I say, I’ve seen it!
- Do not entertain thoughts of someone of the opposite sex. It may seem harmless to you, but it will soon begin to undermine your marriage.
- Ladies, watch what you wear. I see countless grown women trying to dress like their teenage daughters. C’mon. You can be stylish and attractive without sending the wrong message.
- Cover your marriage in prayer.
- Pray for your spouse daily.
- Pray for God’s wisdom and for Him to show you how to please your spouse and support him or her.
- Protect and carve out date nights with your spouse.
- Make sure to keep those romantic flames alive.
- Remember to serve God and put Him first.
- Finally, guys want respect and women want love. If you can remember to meet each others needs in these ways then God will bless you, and your marriage will thrive!
Whew! I know this was an exhaustive and toe-stomping blog, but the enemy is on the prowl and ready to devour our marriages. We need to blanket them with God’s love and direction. So let me ask you, is your marriage undercover?
So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate. (Matt. 19:6 NIV)