Here are 6 tips that I hope will create an affair-proof marriage.
Work on your Marriage
First of all, let me say that we all fall far short of God’s glory and that none of us can ever be completely above sin and even a great sin at that. There really is no affair-proof marriage because the human heart is highly deceitful and desperately wicked and only God can know it (Jer 17:9). Marriage is a miracle and it takes a great deal of work so it’s not what you can get out of marriage that makes it work but what you can put into one. It’s not a 50/50 deal; it is a self-sacrificial way of life and dying to self and living for the other spouse in a loving, serving, supporting, and praying manner. Love is a verb; it is action-oriented. It’s not what you feel as much as what you do. Anything that has great value usually takes a lot of maintenance and so marriage takes a lot of work. It doesn’t just happen or work like gravity. You must be intentional. My wife and I leave each other “love notes” if we miss one another at home. If I leave home while she’s still in bed or not at home, I leave her a note and tell her where I am at and always end it with “I love you.” Love must involve doing and must include saying (e.g. “I love you”). This type of love takes work!
Bring back the Memories
What about making a date night with the family and watch some old family movies or your wedding DVD (or VCR) and enjoy the memories. Grab some popcorn and plop on the couch. I used to love to pull out our old family photo albums too and just sit around the living room looking and laughing at all the old photos. Some make us cry, some make us laugh, but they all draw us closer together by the string-tightening and strengthening of old memories. At that moment, you’ll be making some future, joyful memories too. It’s also a great way to see just how much God has blessed you with over the years as you look back at what you had to begin with and what you may have now.
Renewal of Vows
This is a very romantic way of telling your spouse that you’d do it all over again because you still love them as you much as you did on your wedding day. It does not need to be a huge, expensive event. It can be a small gathering of your closest family and friends. To have your vows renewed is like reaffirming your commitment to your spouse and declaring to them, “You’d do it all over again if you were given the choice.” You can go all out if you want by sending out invitations to family or friends or just a small circle of people you want to be there to share these precious moments with. God made us with emotions and we come bundled with lots of memories so why not enjoy them?
Second or Third Honeymoons
I still have very fond memories of our honeymoon. My beloved bride is even more beautiful today than on the first date. As I have grown older with her, my love for her has grown stronger. She puts up with me so we know she must be special. I tell people “I married up” and I truly believe that. I’m not just saying that to flatter her. Anyway, the idea of a second honeymoon and to have it at the same bed and breakfast that we went to has crossed my mind more than once. Life just seems to cram so many things into our lives that we don’t ever seem to have the time or the money to do it. What a shame. I should take time, not find the time. A second (or third) honeymoon, exclusively for the two of you, is a great way to strengthen your marriage.
Once a couple is married and they return from their honeymoon, the honeymoon can be over pretty quickly, however it need not be this way. There is no reason you can’t keep dating once you’re married. Maybe you aren’t able to date more than once a week anymore but that’s okay. You can still have a date night, like a Saturday night or whatever night works best for your schedule and family. What was one of your favorite places to date? Why not go there again? Was there a particular place you met? Why not surprise them with a visit to that spot and pack a lunch? Keep stoking the fire by throwing logs on it. What you did to get it hot in the first place, do again. Age should not diminish romance, it should enhance it.
Do not deprive one Another
This is not just an idea of mine. It is in the Bible. Paul writes “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1st Cor 7:5). If you use sex to punish your partner over something they said or did then you are depriving your spouse of what God intended for their good and it could cause a problem of their being tempted to have an affair. It might even begin in an Internet chat room. Paul is clear about this by writing “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife” (1st Cor 7:4). If you deprive one another, you are putting your marriage at a higher risk of infidelity and may be causing your partner to become tempted by someone else. It is always a very bad plan to deprive your partner just because you’re mad at them.
I hope that these tips can help you create an atmosphere of trust and inspire burning hearts that desire to remain faithful to one another until death parts you. Marriages take a lot of dedication and hard work; they are strengthened by looking back at old memories; and by reliving where the couple first fell in love by taking a second (or more) honeymoon; by having a regularly scheduled date night; and by not using sex as a weapon in argument, thereby depriving your partner what is beneficial to them and to the marriage.
Article by Pastor Jack Wellman