What are some “do’s” and “don’ts” in avoiding sexual temptations?
- Do keep visual reminders of your marriage contract. Always wear your wedding ring when in public. Keep pictures of your spouse in your wallet, as a desktop screensaver, or in your workspace. Frame your marriage certificate, and hang it on a prominent wall. Remember the contract you made before God, your parents, friends, church, and nation to be faithful to your partner. When you placed that ring on your mate’s finger, you promised your heart, affections, loyalty, and faithfulness “until death do you part.”
- Do not be overconfident (1 Corinthians 10:12). Recognize your weak points. One study showed that a person is vulnerable after a major let-down or a major success. Those who are depressed or are having marital trouble can easily fall into illicit relationships.
- Do avoid flirty people. If a flirtatious woman is in the break room, go outside to drink your coffee. If a man tries to flirt with you at a ball game, find another seat. A wise man sees evil coming and avoids it (Proverbs 22:3).
- Do not send mixed messages to those around you. Avoid prolonged stares and any joking that might be construed as flirting.
- Do be on guard when out of your normal routine (1 Peter 5:8). Business trips, vacations, a new job, new membership at a gym or on a sports team, and similar changes are times of vulnerability. When away overnight, call home and talk to your spouse and children at least every night—and if you feel tempted, call home immediately. Take their pictures and put them in your hotel room. Do not hang out in the lobby or bar. Block out the TV sex channels—or just leave it off altogether (as there are sexual images on most channels).
- Do not let friendships cross the line. Never do anything when your mate is absent that you would not do in his/her presence. Most affairs begin by “just being friends.” One study showed that friends are those most likely to become adulterous companions (followed by coworkers). If things are heading toward adultery, it is important to put some emotional distance between you and this person . . . right now! Whatever you do, do not express your feelings to him/her. It is also important to keep the right kind of friends. Those who tell you dirty stories or flirt with you are not your friends. Avoid them! This is not because you are better than them but because you recognize your weaknesses.
- Do be aware of the power immodest dress has over you and others. Do not pick up the magazine; do not click on the web link; sit with your back toward an indecently dressed female in a restaurant or at the office. Do not wear a garment that sends a message you do not want to be received.
- Do not let a person of the opposite sex confide in you about marriage problems.
- Do take drastic action if a line has been crossed: quit a hobby/sport, change jobs, break a friendship, change congregations, move to a new city. Completely avoid the place you see this person.
When you reach your silver and then golden anniversaries, you will be glad you kept your vows.
“Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? . . . Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul” Proverbs 6:27–32
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