Nobody in their right mind would plan to drive a car off a cliff. But most of us know people, who have crashed through the guardrails, and whose marriages have been dashed on the rocks below, by infidelity. Sadly, this magnitude of betrayal often results in divorce. There, I said it. The word we swear is “not an option” and “not in our vocabulary”: Divorce. We think that by denying its existence, it will never happen to us. Who would have thought that a playful comment by a co-worker or an acquaintance could bloom into full scale adultery? How could an occasional look at pornography possibly damage our marriage? How could a dinner meeting with a client of the opposite sex possibly hurt anyone? It happens more often than we’d like to admit. “It will never happen to me”, we say. Because we think we are the exception. The bible says, “If any man thinks he stands, take heed, lest he fall”.
King Solomon posed a very direct question in Proverbs 6. “Can a man take fire into his lap and not be burned?” Obviously, the answer is NO. But to someone who is blinded by sin and enflamed by lust, the answers are not so clear. When we flirt with sin, we delude ourselves into believing we can control it, and that we can stop any time. What we don’t admit is that the point-of-no-return is long before we take fire into our lap, not afterwards. Then we act so surprised when our sin blindsides us. Flirting seems so innocent. A child playing with matches does not intend to burn down the house, but destroys it nonetheless. Solomon laments of the man who gives himself to the immoral woman: all who were slain by her were “strong” men.
Marriage is the most important relationship we have with another human being, and it must be protected. When we are tempted to stray, the bible tells us to take every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Rather than ignore the dangers to our marriages, we must protect against them and to make no provision for the flesh. How do we do that? By continually investing and reinvesting ourselves into our spouse. The bible says that we reap what we sow. Think Garden of Eden.
Plant good seeds – What do you want your marriage to be? Be intentional in what you are planting. If we want to reap love, joy, peace, and patience, then those are the seeds we need to sow. If selfishness, vanity, and greed are what we plant, that’s the crop we will reap.
Water them in good – Healthy crops need to be watered regularly. And healthy husbands and wives need to be immersed in the water of the word. The bible teaches us how. Grow and learn together. Keep it fresh. Keep it clean. And keep it coming.
Pull weeds – The devil wants to destroy our marriage by deception. He doesn’t show up in red leotards and pitchfork. He whispers “little lies” that appear as harmless as a weed sprout. “Your husband loves his work more than you.” or “Your wife isn’t as sexual as other women”. Be ruthless pulling out weeds as soon as they sprout. If we don’t, they’ll put down a tap root and require major excavation to extract.
Tend and protect from pests – Pay attention. Healthy gardens don’t grow without tending and neither do healthy marriages. If something is eating at you, don’t ignore it, talk about it with your spouse. If he or she does something that bugs you, learn to address it in a way that attacks the problem, not your spouse.
Add Miracle-Gro – Walk with the Lord together. Encourage one another to enjoy some quiet time with the Lord and your bible. Pray together. Remind one another that the Lord is in control and put your trust in Him together for the needs of your family. Be active in your local church, growing and serving others. The Lord will bless your marriage and make you thrive!
Enjoy the fruit!
Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you always;
and always be enraptured with her love. Prov 5:18-19