1. Invest time and energy into your marriage–study marriage, take the quizzes, learn to KNOW your mate. Whatever you put your time, money and energy into becomes more important to you, so make your marriage priority #1 by investing in your spouse, learning how to be a better husband or wife, and learning about how to be intimate. And no I don’t just mean sex! Learn how to have a close association with and detailed knowledge with deep understanding of your spouse! Please click here to take the: Love Kindlers Questionnaire. Love Extinguishers Questionnaire. Myers-Briggs Personality Test. Love Languages Assessment.
2. Know yourself and your own weaknesses–guard yourself by setting boundaries around yourself. You can use the questionnaires in #1 to also learn a lot about yourself! You can learn your natural personality weaknesses, the things that kindle love in your heart, the think that mean “I love you” to you, and things that put out the flame–so purposely set protective barriers around yourself to prevent you from crossing the line. Reach the agreement with your spouse to have a M.U.U. policy–Mutual United Understanding. Don’t look to get kindlers met from anyone other than your spouse. If you have a weakness for admiration or flirting, what boundaries would you set to keep yourself safe?
3. Protect yourself at work–because the workplace is a prime place for infidelity. You spend long hours with other people, doing things together (work projects), looking professional, so you automatically have a lot in common with anyone at work. They understand you and you understand them. Add in the employee admiring the supervisor…and just a touch of flirting or sexual tension…and it is a recipe for temptation. Establish rules from the beginning to protect your marriage! No lunches alone with members of the opposite sex, no private work emailing, no long “business rides” together, and NO sharing motel rooms on business trips!
4. Set boundaries online–share with your spouse full access and passwords to all your email accounts, facebook/twitter/myspace pages, chats and forums. Think of it this way–what’s on the internet can be found if someone is clever enough, so would you say that out loud to your spouse’s face? If not, then don’t say it behind their back and hide it either. Join groups together that are pro-marriage. Do activities online together, such as playing games together, and partner with your spouse only. Have a set time for how long and when you’ll be online–reach M.U.U. with your spouse about your online life.
5. When a “friend” shares their discontent at home and is attracted to you, remember–you can’t rescue them. In that instance, if you were truly being a friend to them, you would direct them to go to their spouse and talk directly to their spouse, you might offer to be a facilitator during the talk, or you might recommend a pastor or counselor to help them through their rough period. BUT a true friend does not listen to a married person gossip or speak ill of their spouse! If your friend is telling you how desperately they want to leave their spouse and there is attraction between the two of you–that’s not a “friendship”! That’s an emotional affair!
6. When an old flame resurfaces, diligently remember your vow and turn TOWARD your spouse. An old flame has the fantasy advantage of you remembering all the positive things about the person–the good times and smiles–and pretty much forgetting the negative things that caused you to leave in the first place. If you were very young, it was infatuation not mature love, and fate didn’t “tear you apart.” The old flame has never had to face bills, diapers, and illness with you either! So don’t let your imagination run away with you–you CAN make the deliberate decision to honor your commitment and turn to your spouse and choose to LOVE them!
7. Transparency at home–if you do have issues at home, talk to your spouse about them honestly and work through them, don’t turn to someone else. In Matthew 18:15-17 we’re told:
Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
It’s very clear here. If your spouse does something to offend or hurt you, we’re told to go speak to him/her directly and speak to them alone. If they hear you–yay, you’ve gained a closer relationship with your spouse. If they won’t hear you, we are not told to go to two or three more people, gripe and whine about it, but avoid bringing it up to your spouse! No, it’s clear we are to determine in our hearts to keep working until we work it out with our spouse! If your spouse is abusive or hurting you–you absolutely get yourself to safety, but you don’t turn to another–at work or at school–and get your emotional needs or Love Kindlers from someone else. Your vow is that you will forsake all others.