Avoiding Adultery: My Rule

Once there was a couple divorcing just as my family was joining a church.  The husband had been a church leader and spiritual mentor to several but had recently thrown away his religion and his pregnant wife for an adulterous relationship with a fun-loving floozy.  The church was abuzz and aghast with this horrendous news.  While a small group of church members was discussing the circumstances, one woman turned to her husband to issue the proper warning:  “If you ever do that to me,” she said wagging her finger, “you will be a grease spot on the driveway.”  Point taken.

Meanwhile, I have a rule to avoid such turmoil:  Never spend time alone with any unrelated male.

Billy Graham had the same rule (insert “wife” instead of “husband”), and plenty of other Christians have gotten on board as well.  On its face, the rule seems overly restrictive.  “So really,” you say, “I can’t catch a ride with a male friend? Have lunch with a college buddy? Put in overtime with a co-worker on an urgent project?”  Yep, yep, and yep.

I adopted the rule because I know myself.  I know who I’ve been (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), how far I’ve come, and how much I want to remain on the good side of this sex thing.  Prior to my marriage, I never sustained a relationship with a guy in the same town longer than four months.  I had boyfriends for longer, but those were distance relationships, and I channeled Stephen Stills’ Love the One You’re With whenever the mood struck.  Knowing my own sinful ways, I do not want to go there again.  And the surest way to avoid a crash is not to get in the car.

Of course, plenty of people don’t have the same history.  They couldn’t fathom ever desiring anyone but their spouse.  But believe it or not, there isn’t a huge leap between eating appetizers with the guy from the next work cubicle to digging around in a king-sized bed to retrieve your black thong while he puts his trousers back on.  There are certainly steps.  But the world is littered with people who swore that they would never cheat on their spouse, but could monogram a scarlet A right on their front shirt pocket.  How did they get there?

Here’s one thought of how:  Getting to know people can be interesting, relaxing, and fun.   Imagine sitting across the restaurant table with a male co-worker for a harmless lunch.  I’m getting (1) his full attention; (2) a meal I didn’t have to cook; and (3) no window into his messy house, his irritating habits, or his less-than-sane extended family.  Remember how you felt that way when dating your husband?

Meanwhile, the man I adore, to whom I pledged my undying love, is (1) watching football while I corral rambunctious kids to the dinner table; (2) adding salsa to my carefully seasoned dish; and (3) dropping his dirty socks on the living room floor, burping, and explaining that we are bringing coleslaw to the family reunion this summer…again.

Whether we wish to admit it, 98% of us are capable of adultery.  If all the pieces fall into place, we are sitting ducks for the adultery bullet that Satan is all too willing to fire.  If King David, whose psalms demonstrate an unbelievable intimacy with God, succumbed, are we absolutely sure that we aren’t possible victims of our own blind arrogance?

Anything worthwhile is worth protecting.  Don’t go looking for trouble.  Make some rules.  Stick to them.  Be true to your man, and to the Man Upstairs.

“Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.”

Hebrews 13:4 NLT

7 thoughts on “Avoiding Adultery: My Rule

  1. Anonymous

    Excellent! Excellent!! EXCELLENT!!! We have this same rule, and work with teenagers and try to “preach” this to them as well. You touched on a phrase we heard from our pastor once. “If you think you are incapable of falling into sexual sin, you are godlier than David, stronger than Samson, and wiser than Solomon.”

    I discovered your blog from the link today from To Love Honor and Vacuum, and have enjoyed your articles. Subscribing now! =)

    ~Kellie

  2. J

    Thanks, Kellie! I LOVE that line about “godlier than David, stronger than Samson, and wiser than Solomon.” I’m so glad you’re teaching this to teens. We need to prepare people early to be faithful in marriage.

  3. Tillie

    My husband is military and often has to go out of town more-or-less alone with a younger (married) female subordinate. He has been overseas (and propositioned!) several times. But when he can follow “the rule,” he does. He is careful to tell the truth on even the smallest stuff so that I know I can trust him on the biggest issues. But as I tell my sons: if you’re hiding something (other than a present of some sort, 🙂 you shouldn’t be doing it! I am really enjoying your blog and plan to pass it on to other Christian ladies who will enjoy the light hearted tone you put into your writing. Thanks!

  4. J

    Thanks, Tillie! Also, thanks to your husband and your family for serving our country. It’s because of men like your husband that we continue to celebrate Independence Day!

  5. uk Fred

    So true, J, so true.

    I have been very fortunate in that the opportunity has never presented itself to me unless I was feeling particulartly close to my DW and any time I was feeling distant or shut out, no opportunity arose.

    I believe that God never tempts us beyond what we are capable of withstanding.

    At work, I work with a male and a female. Fridays only the female and I are in the office, but the office is open and there is little likelihood of our being undisturbed for more than about 15 minutes. We also have fairly tough targets to meet in terms of work to be completed which helps both of us concentrate on what we ought, rather than any ‘funny business’, but I can see the need to increase the business in the office so that the other guy can be full time like me.

  6. Sheila

    Absolutely true, J! The problem I have is that at my job (speaking) I’m often in a car alone with a guy, and there’s really nothing I can do about it! So I just take my cell phone along and text my husband at the same time, and then I make sure that I’m always thinking about him.

    When I’m at home it’s not a problem, it’s just at work that it becomes an issue. And he has the same problem (he’s often alone with female colleagues, and there’s no real way around it). So we both just keep the lines of communication open and text each other constantly.

    Thanks for linking this one up to Wifey Wednesday! It’s perfect for today.

  7. J

    Thanks for coming by, uk Fred & Sheila! Frankly, I think awareness is half the battle. If you’re on guard that close contact with a member of the opposite sex can ignite feelings which could jeopardize your marriage, you’re way ahead of the game. A lot of people in affairs pay no attention and suddenly BOOM! there they are. The Bible says to guard our hearts; I think that’s a great command for marriage too.

    The Wifey Wednesday post was wonderful.

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