1. Be discreet with affections. Emotional attachment belongs to one’s spouse. Emotional adultery occurs when you give thoughts, feelings or affection that rightfully belongs to your wife to another woman. It could be socially, at work or by email/internet. Jesus sets a high standard when he says: “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt 5:28. The looking includes the mind’s eye!
2. Consider consequences of sexual sin. “For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.” Proverbs 6:26. Sexual sin is sin against your own body, which can have health and spiritual consequences.
3. Repel advances of seductive people. “Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths.” Proverbs 7:25. Seductive people have unmet needs and often have demonic attachments due to past problems. Sexual involvement is spiritual involvement. If the person has a demon, is that something you want to share?
4. Redirect your steps away from temptation. “Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give honour to others, and your years to the cruel one.” Proverbs 5:8 & 9. Close any powerful seductive doors. Flee temptation. Don’t mess around in tempting situations just to see how strong you are.
5. Rekindle romance in your marriage. “Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets?” Proverbs 5:15 & 16. You cannot afford to ignore problems. Invest quality time. Really talk. Spend time together on a regular date night, walking together or other situations where you just get a chance to communicate.
6. Set predetermined boundaries on all relationships with the opposite sex. Decide in advance what your boundaries are. Humour can go too far. Work arrangements can be inappropriate.
7. Seek personal inner wholeness. Do you or your spouse need help to deal with baggage in your lives from the past? As men, we need to succeed at work and at home. Failure or problems in either situation will affect the other situation. Past damaging relationships with parents or socially need to be dealt with and not transferred onto one’s wife.
8. Meet each other’s needs. According to Willard Harley, these are the top 5 needs for women and men. Note how few of them are similar! Thinking that the needs of your spouse are the same as yours could be disastrous.
- Honesty and openness
- Financial commitment
- Family commitment
- Sexual fulfillment
- Recreational companionship
- An attractive wife
- Domestic support
- Admiration and affection
9. Communicate using your wife’s love language. If you don’t know what the five love languages are or which ones apply to your wife and children, then effective communication is always going to be hard work. Get the book “The Five Love Languages” describing them: quality time, gift giving, acts of service, physical touch and words of affirmation.