The first thing that came to my mind is 1 Corinthians 10:12- “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” The enemy loves to destroy us and marriage is one of his favorite targets. I want to remain always humbly thankful to and dependent on God for my marriage and not my own wisdom or goodness. With this in mind, I also believe that God has given us wisdom principles for marriage.
1.) There is a good and right jealousy in marriage. In marriage, we should follow God’s example of His being very jealous of us. Dave and I right from the start knew that we wanted to be each other’s only “best friend” of the opposite sex. I won’t discuss intimate issues with any other man and he won’t with any other woman. We stay far away from traps of getting emotionally involved with others. Also, we won’t be alone with other men/women. When Dave needs to meet with women, I am there or someone else is. These are just safeguards as we strive to “put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3) nor make any “opportunity for the flesh” (Gal 5:13).
2.) We choose to stay best friends. We have “dates” still. Usually this means for us to go out for lunch (we love “buy one, get one free” coupons) and then do errands together. We know each others’ wounds and fears and “core lies” and try to speak truth and be kind to each other.
3.) I choose to respect and show respect to Dave. I believe all men struggle with the question: “Am I enough” and know they aren’t. I try to let Dave know that “You are enough for me.” To do this I must continually not try to expect Dave to be God for me (who will provide for all my needs), nor even another woman (who knows how I’m feeling without me having to say much.)
4.) Think and act rightly about sex. I do not know of a husband who strayed from a wife who warmly receives him emotionally and sexually. I am reading a great book, “What’s He Really Thinking” by Paula Rinehart and today I read “Having your support and advocacy is what a man feels most acutely as respect…. (also) sex translates directly into respect.”
A little while ago, I saw Dr. Laura promoting her book “The Care and Feeding of Husbands” and she boiled her suggestions into 3 tips: “Tell him you respect him, tell him you appreciate him, and have sex with him.” I think she is a wise wife.
Hope this is helpful!
*Update* Addundum Added from Cathy:
I do agree that a man’s unfaithfulness is not always the woman’s fault. Some men do have such ego problems and sexual addictions that are not related to his wife’s failure at all. I think of pornography and the control that has on some men who have wonderful wives. In her study, Barbara Mouser talked about men who get power often want more women (think of a former president and many other powerful men) I agree that sometime it is just total sin and evil involved on the man’s part.
You can read my Lady of Wisdom interview with Cathy here.
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