The last three weeks, I’ve taken the time to talk about building a wall around your marriage to keep out Satan’s attacks on your marital covenant, the biblical response to sexual temptation, and the steps that lead to an affair.
This topic has come about primarily because a good friend of mine is going through the total destruction of her marriage due to the adulterous actions of her husband. This came from a man I would have never suspected was capable of such a thing. However, I believe that given the right combination of circumstances and a lack of intentionality in preventing adultery, sexual temptation can creep up and take just about anyone hostage. We must be as innocent as doves and as shrewd as snakes regarding this issue (Matthew 10:16).
So what if you’re already there? What if you are already in a compromised situation with someone outside your marriage?
I have discussed here my sexually promiscuous past before my marriage. In effect, that was adultery too because I was having sexual contact with someone other than my husband. God desired for me to focus all of my sexual energy on the spouse that He would provide for me. I’ve done a lot of thinking since then about what would have prevented me from getting trapped in sexual temptation. I have a list of things that would have helped me never arrive at that point. However, I am less certain what someone could have said at that time to pull me out. The one direct challenge I received, I rebuffed like a volleyball and then stopped talking to that person.
So what can I say to you either? What words can get us to wake up and understand that things can be different?
I think the words are What if. When you are in the midst of sexual sin, you don’t see how you can go without and you don’t want to. You also don’t want to feel the horrendous guilt or hurt others in the process. So you feel stuck.
Here’s what someone might have said to me then, and it could have made a real difference:
What if you could have the pleasure you experience without the guilt?
What if you could have this experience within a secure, committed relationship?
What if you knew that you would be able to stop yourself before going too far?
What if you could feel pure again?
In a similar vein, if you are in a compromised sexual position with someone other than your spouse, you need to ask some important what if questions:
What if you could have all these feelings of romance and desire for the spouse you already covenanted with?
What if you knew your relationship with God and your spouse could be restored?
What if you knew the other person you’re falling in love with would be okay without you?
Time after time, couples have survived infidelity. These are not hypothetical what-ifs. They can happen. In fact, I suggest you follow Marriage Life Ministries and My Beloved Is Mine blogs to see stories from people who not only survived but thrived after adultery. AffairCare also offers resources for renewing a marriage after infidelity.
And I assure you that making that other person into an adultery partner is not doing him or her any favors: You are hurting their reputation, their family, their future, and their relationship with God. Step away and let them find an appropriate mate for life.
If you don’t believe that God can redeem your marital relationship, I pray that you will reconsider. I believe in every fiber of my being that’s exactly what God wills to do. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'” And Psalm 37:3-6 says, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”
Read The Gospel in the Bedroom for more on God’s desire for your marital intimacy.
Stop and ask yourself What if? What if this affair doesn’t work out? What if things could be better in my marriage if I would give it my all? What if the way that seems right to me isn’t the way I should go? (“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12) What if my marriage could not just survive, but thrive?
I also highly recommend that you check out the powerful post and the video presented by the Mission:Husband blog: ‘Til Death Do Us Part.
11 thoughts on “When You’re Sexually Sinning”
J having followed your posts for some time now I can hear through your words the pain you are in. Kuddos to you for channeling that pain to help others. Yet I wonder what would happen to our marriages if we truly,truly feared the LORD as we should. Meaning GOD gives us a spouse to love and grow together as one flesh. To sharpen each other and to deny ourselves for the other,but what does that truly look like. Most marriages start out giving ourselves completely to a practical stranger and things are usually pretty hot,holy and adventurous. Fast forward 10-15 years and look at most marriage beds and I’m sure you would find minimum effort being practiced in our marriages and definitely our beds. So to practical strangers we give our all then as time goes by withholding begins on both sides and complacency begins on both sides and with tears in my eyes I imagine GOD looks at our minimum effort to the spouse he gave you to love,his child just as the spouse is his child and groans that both spouses give there all at work,kids,church,friends,family but the 2nd most important relationship that you will have to give an account for your spouse gets the leftovers. J the enemy has been attacking marriages since the first marriage existed and we take our marriages and the fear of the LORD so lightly that truly saddens me to know that we have answer for how we love our spouse yet we take it so lightly. Adultery,infidelity,immorality can be avoided as you have pointed out but most affairs are from one spouse trying to get their cup filled by someone other than GOD.We all must to our work heartily as to the LORD that includes our spouses and our marriage beds. So keep giving us HOT,HOLY &HUMOROUS advice as the LORD reveals to you and hopefully as his people realize that we are to be GOD fearing people that spouses realize that GOD gives us Christians a child of his to love and EMPTY ourselves loving them as he did on the CROSS in our place. Blessings J.
J, great post. I’m new to your Hot, Holy and Humous advice and thank you for putting this information out there for all to see and learn from. May I also ask that you send me an email to Sam@atmyspherescents.com. I’d like to send you a product sample. The spirit of the product is aligned with beliefs and marital attributes in your blog. Thanks! Keep blogging!
Thank you J, we are humbly honored by your mention today.
We weep with you over the fire your friend is just beginning to walk through. Her wayward husband will eventually figure out that he’s destroying an excellent thing, and exchanging it for a not-even-mediocre thing… they always do. Whether they admit it OR NOT, they almost always figure it out in the dark of night, when the voices are all screaming in their heads. He’s in a fantasy bubble, and as soon as real life pops that bubble, he’s in for a bad ride.
Your friend needs to decide whether she is going to fight for her marriage, or let him walk away. And once she decides, she shouldn’t be wishy-washy about it. The bottom line for her is that HE is choosing this sin, not she. She is not at fault, nor will she have to give an account to the Lord for HIS actions.
I will say this though… adultery is rarely as simple as he/she decided to go out and get some on the side. If she has been guilty of things that could have SWAYED his decision to do this, then she needs to repent, make things right with the Lord, and WALK ON in Christ. But again, I reiterate that this decision to sin in adultery is COMPLETELY ON HIS SHOULDERS.
Knowing from our personal experience that healing after adultery IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE, I of course would be counciling your friend to fight for her marriage, in her prayer closet. But she ultimately is the one who needs to make that decision.
I intend to keep praying for this man… that his fantasy bubble would come crashing in on the rocks VERY quickly, and he would pop his head up and say “What the heck am I doing????”
Jesus said we would know what’s going on by watching the signs around us. Looking at the ugly PC (“politically correct”) climate in what used to be my beloved America, I believe we are truly in the final stretch of time before Jesus makes his triumphant return.
People, when the King of Kings cracks the sky and makes his appearance, do we really want to be caught in adultery by Him?
Thank you J for posting this blog. Our marriage is another one of the success stories…I was the one who committed adultery and though it was difficult, we have an even better marriage now than before…God’s grace and mercy, as well as my hubby’s. One of the concepts that helped us tremendously was the information on “limerance.” We learned this from Joe Beam (marriagehelper.com) and it made sense out of so many things I went through. Joe posted the following video for counselors and ministry leaders and I highly recommend it! Thanks, Karise
“Ever try to help a married person who is “madly in love” with someone else? We’ve had great success, so we developed a free video and worksheet for church leaders and counselors. Watch online or download for a staff meeting.
I’m sometimes reluctant to post comments with products mentioned by a commenter, but I’m familiar with Joe Beam and his programs and would recommend them as well. He has an amazing story of getting divorced and then winning his wife back and remarrying her, and now he has turned his life into ministry for marriages. Thanks for telling your own story, Karise!
Another great piece J. You continue to speak to marriages and especially to married women on what to do in order to keep the fire of their marriages burning.
Adultery in NOT excusable in any circumstance but I never cease to get amazed by the number of married women that push their men firmly into the hands of other women.
Hi, I don’t know where to ask you questions, J, so I’m just going to leave one as a comment on here. What do you think about bridal boudoir photography? It seems to be really popular right now, and half of me thinks it’s really cute and a fun thing to do for my future husband (I’m getting married in December), and the other half of me thinks, I’m not always going to look like this, and I might rather not have photographs that show my “better” body as we grow old together. Also, there’s the issue of the photographer seeing me in that state. Eek.
There’s a wide range of boudoir photography, from an artistic black-and-white photo with a peek of the shoulder and a sexy grin to a come-get-me pic of a naked derriere or breasts. Part of it depends on what we’re talking about here.
This wasn’t popular when I was getting married, so I’m a little unclear (even after some research) if this is something presented AFTER the wedding. Such sexualized pictures should not be thrown at a guy until he can have some of the goodies you’re tempting him with–after the vows are said. But as a wedding gift, this might be fun for a couple.
Remember a few things when taking pics: (1) You’d better have a GREAT plan for keeping them private. You don’t want your in-laws helping you move one day and suddenly they come upon the boudoir photo of you in your hubby’s nightstand. (2) The photo is a teaser of the real thing. The poses are fun, but it’s the action that matters.
Speaking of which, your hubby will still love your body even as it changes with age if your sexual relationship is a good one. Looking at a boudoir photo of yourself later in life would probably be no different than looking at a clothed photo; sure, you’ll both look younger in those early photos, but with age and experience you have a deeper appreciation for one another.
And yeah, I wouldn’t pose sans clothing with a photographer I didn’t know. I’d probably set up a self-timer on my camera or find a close same-gender friend to take shots for me. That said, I know that photographers can be very professional about it.
Congrats and best wishes!
My marriage survived adultery. I was the offender. My marriage was rocky at the time – we were both struggling with mental illness. I was manic and therefore severely compromised, and he was depressed and therefore he was distancing himself from me. It was followed by a few years of heartbreak, accusations, guilt, intense anger, and many, many tears. Four years later….we’re incredibly happy. We worked hard to fix our marriage, we put all of ourselves into it – we both are stable on medication, which has helped a lot. And so, things are better now than they ever have been. We have learned the fullness, strength, and reality of love through all of our struggles, which included more than just the adultery. But it’s a road I wish I had never taken. It’s the worst possible thing you can do, it causes more pain than is conceivable. Sometimes he will still struggle with thoughts of it, or I will struggle with feelings of guilt. The most important thing I could say to someone who is going down that road is to run the other way as quickly as you can, and don’t look back! Cease all contact, take every thought captive and refuse to even entertain thoughts of the other person. It’s NOT WORTH the pain and heartache it will cause! And to someone who is dealing with the aftermath – there is a lot of grieving that will happen, and it’s unavoidable. But work to give it to God, deny Satan the ability to control you with thoughts of the past – again, take every thought captive, and let God heal both your hearts and your marriage. Healing is possible! It will take a lot of time, but it’s worth it to stay together and work things out.
Thanks for taking the time to tell your story in hopes of helping someone else. How wonderful that you and your hubby found your way! Blessings.
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