By Carlos Santiago
My surgery was relatively minor—so I was surprised by the number of medical personnel in the room and the complexity of the equipment. Was someone expecting me to bite it in the near future?
A successful surgery takes careful planning, execution, a sterile environment, and good follow-up care—but even then, post-operative complications are real. Among the potential culprits: an infection.
When the doctors were done with me, they explained how a single wayward bacteria could feed on my body and wreak havoc, and how crucial clean bandages would be to keep any hint of them away from my wound.
The Apostle Paul may not have known about bacteria, but he understood how easy it is for sexual sin to fester, consume, and eventually cripple … or worse. He warned against even a whisper of sexual immorality (Ephesians 5:3).
Most of us are a lot more careful about our outward actions than our inward thoughts. But Jesus said, “… everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
Some Christians bring a p*rn habit into their marriages, believing that thoughts can be compartmentalized without any effect on their relationships. Others don’t think twice about watching sexually-charged reality television shows or movies. Yet each image, each storyline, is like rubbing bacteria into an open wound.
I’ve learned there are certain mainstream shows I can’t allow myself to watch, certain channels I can’t allow myself to have on my cable lineup, certain magazine racks I won’t look at in an airport shop. A single image or scene can easily infect my mind.
That kind of impurity would waste my time teaching me what someone else finds pleasurable rather than my wife. It would imprint my brain with images of someone else’s body. It would reduce my sexuality to a single, physical dimension.
It would be easy to wind up wanting the fantasy more than my own breathtaking reality.
Be willing to put in place whatever barriers it takes to ensure your marriage stays protected from infection.
The good stuff: But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. (Ephesians 5:3)
Action points: Establish barriers to protect your marriage:
- Internet safety measures
- An accountability partner or group
- A house clean of questionable magazines and romance novels
- Standards, set beforehand, of what kind of media you will not consume (see Psalm 101:3 and Philippians 4:8-9)
- Establish boundaries about time with the opposite sex—and keep intimate topics with the opposite sex off limits unless your spouse is present
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