AUGUST 31

Dousing an Old Flame

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. 1 JOHN 4:18

Before you were married, was there someone else?

If so, you need to realize it's not abnormal for your spouse to feel insecure about an old flame. Even one that went out years ago.

Barbara and I were cleaning up around the house not long ago, and we came across a box of pictures we hadn't opened since early in our marriage. It was just a bunch of loose photographs, mostly from our college years. A good many of the pictures were of me and other girls I'd dated. (I had 16 blind dates in one month!)

I told Barbara, "Let's pitch it." I didn't really want these snapshots handed down for our children to sort through.

There was nothing inappropriate in the pictures; I just wanted Barbara and my children to know that I am a one-woman man. She is all that matters to me. And I don't want any temptation around that could entice me to look back and linger and wonder.

Have you seen or heard from an old flame recently? Been tempted to search the Internet for an old flicker? Do you still have a box of letters or memorabilia from relationships of long ago? There's only enough room in marriage for two.

The best thing to do with an old flame that suddenly reappears is to put it out. And if your spouse struggles with jealousy, the best way to cast out fear in the spirit of the biblical command at the top of this page is to cut off every ounce of oxygen from your mate's insecurities, until he or she feels totally safe in your love. Leave nothing behind to feed the fears or fan the flames of an extramarital affair.

DISCUSS

Do you still wonder about any feelings your spouse may have for an old flame? Have you dealt with yours, as well? Be honest with one another.

PRAY

The God who loves us jealously knows how to help us forsake all others. Ask Him to help both of you guard your relationship from old or new flickers and flames.  

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