Now, what about you? Are you the one in danger? I keep running into wives with this moral problem. One pastor’s wife got involved with her riding instructor. Another got involved with her boss at work and was actually going to the library at night to meet him. One youth pastor’s wife got helplessly infatuated with the music director and said, “I just can’t break it off.” A middle-aged/empty nester was overtaken by a fire in her heart for a 35-year-old layman in the church they moved away from. Three other pastor’s wives simply left their husbands for other men.
What’s going on here? What ever happened to self-discipline, restraint, and moral conviction? I used to talk to wives about protecting their husbands from sexual sin. Now I need to warn the wives themselves. Are wives deciding that they need to get their fair share of sin and its penalty? Just in case you are the one in danger, here’s some of the advice I’ve added to the Yokemates seminar on protecting yourself from this sin:
Is there a particular man meeting your emotional needs – more than your husband? Is there someone at work, or at church who is feeding your ego and affirming you with warm words? He’s encouraging you and showing care for you as a person? Is there a man who takes time for you, talking about little things? Is there a man who is your best listener? Is there someone you just spend lots of time with? DO you enjoy his company? Is there any man you’d miss sorely if you had to move?
If there is someone meeting these emotional needs WATCH OUT! You are playing with fire. Every woman I’ve counseled in the last five years agreed that an emotional attachment preceded the adultery.
It all starts with an innocent glance, a whispered phrase, a caring pat, a kind gesture, thoughtful word, or gentle hug. A hurried hand squeeze or double-meaning kidding. These are the danger signals. The devil makes them all seem so innocent and warm. But he does not show you the ultimate torment and anguish they yield.
If you’ve got such a relationship
, break it off and run home. Don’t wait another day. Stop going there. Quit the job. Find another person. Move, if you have to. You can’t scoop fire in your lap without getting burned. Emotional adultery gives birth to actual adultery sooner or later.
2. Don’t spend time alone with another man.
Is there one mane you keep wanting to be with? Perhaps the male partner of another couple you hang around with? Is there anyone who tried to arrange to be alone wit you? DO you work in a “one woman office” – just you and your male counterpart? DO you practice music with one particular guy regularly?
Be careful. Sin demands opportunity. This desire is wrong…but if you grant desire no opportunity, you will be safe. We think it’s foolish for my husband to counsel women alone – we either counsel together, or someone is always in the next room. He doesn’t even click the door. I follow the same rule. It seems silly to some – even to some church leaders. But we’re extra careful. We think it’s smart. It’s a law we can live with.
3. Control your thoughts.
I used to think impure were primarily a male problem. It’s not. Sure, women are different – less physical and visual in their fantasies. But the devil has some tailor-made sins for women. They, too, are tempted by impure thoughts.
If you are hooked on soap operas, romance novels, or other forms of “women pornography” watch out. You are tempting yourself. If you are daydreaming of romantic, warm relational experiences with any man other than your husband, stop now. These are not innocent fantasies. They are lust. Sin. “As you think in your heart, so you are.” (Prov. 23:7) Your thoughts will eventually lead to action. So clean up your thought life.
4. Drink from your own spring.
Work on sex at home (Prov. 5:15). If your husband is unresponsive, take your time and keep at it with tenderness and compassion until your sex life takes off. Plan a time to talk about sexual things. Try to find what blocks his interest. Don’t hurry. Consider Christian counseling, and be patient.
Don’t forget your commitment to him “no matter what.” Don’t give up. The problem may not even be sexual – work on all the other areas of your relationship. Focus your thoughts on him, not on other men. Give it time.