Several years ago, as I was teaching United Methodist Pastors in Uganda, some of the pastors asked about family relationships, and especially marriage. I have always felt as though my marriage was the second most important commitment in my life (the first being my commitment to Christ). The questions caused me to begin to systematize my thinking about some specific marriage pointers. Through the ensuing years the list has changed, and I am sure that it will continue to evolve and develop, but here is what my marriage list looks like today. I call it the “steps to affair-proof your marriage.”
· Always follow God’s law. This is almost too obvious. If we do what God says, we will not have problems with fidelity.
· Always keep all of your promises. When a person gets married they promise things like, “keep only unto,” and “cleave only.” If you keep your promises, you will remain faithful.
· Never be alone with a person of the opposite sex in a tempting situation. Let there never be an opportunity for temptation to take root in your life. Avoid everything that has the potential for danger.
· Confess all temptation to your spouse. When you have a tempting encounter, do not let that temptation grow in secret. Share it. Be honest. The temptation will be less when you are not harboring it in private.
· Make yourself unavailable to the opposite sex. Make sure that everyone in your circle of acquaintance and influence is aware that you are completely off-limits. Announce to others and make it clear that you are happily married. Do it often. Remind others- and yourself- that you are not in the market for anyone else.
· Make rules for when you argue with your spouse. There should be limits to your anger and upset. Do not say things that you do not mean. Do not intentionally hurt your spouse. And then, when you have made the rules, be sure to live by them.
- Always put your partner first. Be willing to compromise in conflict. Be the first to apologize in a time of hurt. Advance the needs and desires of your spouse above your own.