Marriage is a wonderful thing. Sadly, there are far too many marriages where one or both of the partners are harboring secrets concerning the opposite sex. It may not be an affair, but it is a relationship or an attraction that is not healthy and is harming the marriage.
How can you keep those things from happening? First, obviously, it has to start with your heart. You must be committed fully to the Lord and to your marriage vows.
But there are other steps you can take to help insure openness in the relationship. Here are some steps I take to help keep any temptation from rearing its ugly head.
1. I never ride in a car alone with any woman other than Leah or a member of my family. No matter the distance, I will not be in a car alone with another woman. It’s just not a good idea.
2. Lunch (or any other meal) with a member of the opposite sex is not an option. If I must meet a female at a restaurant (or other similar location), Leah knows about it and can call or text at any time. (By the way, in all the years of our marriage, I think this has only happened once.)
3. When a woman comes to my office for counseling there are several steps I take. First, I do my best to schedule it where I will not be alone at the building. Second, our secretary has every right to come and check to see if I “just happen” to need a new stapler! Also, I take notes after the session to describe just what was discussed. These are private and hidden, and are only “in case” something would be said. Also, if at all possible, the door to the hallway remains open. That is not always an option, but I try to make it so.
4. Leah can call, email, or text me as many times in a day as she wishes. Of course, I love hearing from her, but this also insures that she knows just where I am.
5. I do my best to tell Leah where I will be if I am going out of the office. As a preacher, of course, there are times when my schedule changes and I have to go somewhere unplanned on a moment’s notice. Thankfully, that is not often. Other than that, though, I try to let Leah know where I’ll be throughout the day.
6. Leah if free to read my Facebook, Twitter, email, and texts at any time. Since there’s nothing to hide, I have no problem with her asking to read my emails or look at my Facebook page. (And since she won’t join Facebook, it’s the only way she gets to keep up with all those cute baby pictures all the time!)
Some of these may sound extreme, but they are worth it. While it starts with the heart and mind, I feel it is wise to put in steps such as these as well to avoid anything from developing. I’d rather head off a temptation before it ever begins than have to try to fight it off after it has started to grow.
What are some steps you take?