An undressed woman’s image lays in the garbage can, among the refuse, at the local gas station. An interested and complimentary man speaks words that he thinks you want to hear. Inside, you are conflicted. Wavering between thoughts of intimacy and love you long for; love you may not be receiving.
Temptation. It shows up at the most vulnerable of moments; a passing thought tests what we truly believe- not just what we know. Our choices reflect and reveal the condition of our hearts. During these moments we are all at risk and vulnerable. More marriages than I like to recount, have been suffering strain and destruction over the last few years. All of these marriages, at one time thriving, have been shattered by choices made in vulnerability. Splintered and broken children are floundering everyday in the wake of their parents’ daily decisions- I was one of them.
As young girls, we role play our wedding ceremonies with the trailing veil and the “You may kiss the bride,” grand finally. Young boys, envision themselves rescuing their maiden and riding off into the sunset as their hero. Little do we know that we will later struggle to remember the promises we’ve made to the one we love. “ I___ take you,___, to be my husband and to have and to hold, from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish until we are separated by death; as God is my witness, I give you my promise.” I believe the guarding of our marriages will require a reliance upon God like never before in history. With pornography readily available in seconds, and individuals on the hunt for intimacy; we must remember our vows, run from temptation, cry out in prayer for complete unity in our marriages, and God’s hedge of protection.
Here are a few things that I have learned this week about myself and my own marriage:
I may vulnerably approach God with questions and listen intently for His loving and grace-filled answers.
Perfect unconditional love cannot fully come from a person, it can only come from God, who willingly pours it into me every morning. Love from those around me is an extra blessing and if it is sparsely given- I am still unconditionally loved! “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” Psalm 143:8
Prayer for my spouse (and children) make a lasting difference- not my two cents or criticism. To avoid sounding like a “resounding gong or a clanging cymbal”, (1 Corinthians 13:1) praying silently in love instead of speaking quickly in heated moments, will create a transformation from the inside out rather than change external behaviors temporarily. Praying will reveal the motives behind my considered words and if my thoughts are from God, the enemy, or my own. Unnecessary conflict can be avoided when I slow down and pray.
My husband and I are one. If I run from him and begin opening myself to temptation, I will ultimately be running from the vows I committed to before God and my professed faith in Jesus.
Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Note what He said; ” I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The temptation and choice of pursuing a seductive woman or a smooth talking man- even in print or on screen- in the end, leads to stolen peace, a killed marriage and family, and a destroyed life. Ultimately, the intimate love we’ll always long for, is generously and completely fulfilled, only by Jesus. This truth is just waiting to be freely believed and received so we may truly have life to the full!
“He is the only one that is never overwhelmed by the depth and length of our need.”
Beth Moore- Praying God’s Word Video