“I do not expect that we will ever have serious problems in our marriage.”
It’s one of the statements in the premarital counseling questioner that I have couples respond to. Most of the time, one person will disagree and the partner will agree. I am ALWAYS fascinated to hear the reasonings of their answers. I then follow-up with a simple question:
What is your definition of “serious problems”?
The majority of responses: adultery/affairs.
It’s in that moment in their first appointment where they learn a powerful thing about adultery: Yes it’s a problem. But you have to see much deeper. It’s the fruit/result of deeper problems. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t take adultery lightly…and I never will. But we have too many couples that are taking the issue of adultery and labeling it as a symptom of a bad marriage instead of the fruit of a struggling one.
I have a thing for apples…specifically Honey Crisp Apples. I swear, every time I eat one, I feel like I’m drinking down a glass of cider at the same time. Thus the marvel of eating a Honey Crisp Apple. I don’t know how you cannot believe in God after eating one.
But a perfect apple doesn’t just happen. It’s the fruit that…
…grew from a bloom…
…which grew from a branch…
…which grows from a trunk…
…which grew from a seed…
…which grew from the soil…
…which needed sunlight and water…
…which probably needed tending by someone watching over it.
Fruit doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of a process designed to lead to what you experience.
You don’t fall into an affair. It’s the result (the fruit) of a process designed to lead you into a destructive experience. If there’s any take-away from today’s blog it’s this:
Infidelity is carried out in the mind and heart much longer before you see the fruit of it carried out with your body.
Proverbs 4:23 says,
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
In Hebraic thought, the heart was the seat of intellect and will. We, in our western culture, picked the heart as the seat of emotion. So when we read this scripture, it challenges us to guard our mind and will. Why? Because our thinking/will determines the course of our life…specifically, today, our married life.
When the mind begins to conceive ideas about people not our spouse…
…when our mind begins to fantasize about scenarios with other people
…when we compare our marriage journey to someone else’s journey.
…when we get fixated on being discontent
…when we disconnect our thoughts from our spouse
…we set the course of our lives in a direction that can result in fruit you never dreamed you’d be partaking from.
Simply said: If you want to protect the life of your marriage, you need to guard your mind. And that happens by following through with simple, intentional, biblically practical actions. Pray with AND for each other. Keep healthy communication flowing. Don’t stop dating/pursuing each other. Keep your sex consistent. Fight fair. Foster a light heart and laughter.
None of us are exempt from temptation. But if you’re waiting for the fruit to come to change your mind about your marriage being susceptible to “serious problems”, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
You want to guard against the fruit of an affair? Get rid of the seeds of it.
And it starts with guarding your mind simply, biblically, and intentionally.
Thanks for letting me ramble…