If there are lust lures in your home, go on a search and destroy mission.
Donna would often sneak out of bed to "chat" with a man she met through a singles' web site. The fact that she wasn't single didn't seem to be relevant. When her husband, Larry, caught her typing in the dark at 3:00 A.M., he confronted her. But she quickly logged-off and denied any wrongdoing.
After Donna left for work the next morning, he accessed the messages that she and her cyber-hunk had been sending. He read page after page of sexually explicit suggestions. Larry had no idea his wife even knew such words! When he confronted her with the evidence, she came "clean" and said she'd stop -- but she didn't. She just became more secretive and better at hiding the evidence. Donna risked her marriage for a man she never met, and when Larry caught her again, he divorced her.
Internet pornography is one of the fastest growing web-industries in the world, and it's been the cause of countless affairs and divorces. If Internet access is a problem for anyone in your family, apply the verse in Matthew 5:29: "If your . . . eye causes you to sin, pluck it out." And if your Internet access causes you to sin, plug it out! Keep the computer, but get a filter that blocks all questionable sites and unwanted pop-up ads.
Cable television and movie chanels are another problem area in many homes. Men are visual creatures, and they are naturally attracted to beautiful women wearing . . . nothing. If a man has easy access to adult movies, he'll be tempted to watch them. Even strong Christian men can get caught in the "just one more" trap that ends in divorce. If a husband is comparing his wife to eighteen-year-old hotties in porno movies she will not, literally, measure up. Their marriage will suffer.
X-rated movie channels called out to Jerry, a married Christian man, who watched them in the middle of the night. The more he saw, the more he wanted to see. Eventually, the thoughts of his late-night "dates" with these beautiful willing-to-do-anything women consumed his life.
He lost interest in his middle-aged wife, and when she caught him in his secret sin, he convinced her that it was her fault. She was ashamed to tell any of her friends or talk to their pastor, so she suffered in silence. He persuaded her to watch the movies with him, but it didn't solve their problems because she felt used, unloved, and dirty. He gave her his lust, but not his love.
The fatal venom of pornography poisoned their marriage.
Jayne and Dennis hired a lovely sixteen-year-old babysitter named Linda. But because they didn't have clearly defined boundaries in place, the babysitter is now married to Dennis!
Jayne didn't see the signs because it never occurred to her that her husband could ever be more than a fatherly mentor to "little Linda." After all, he was almost forty and she was just a child; so it must be completely innocent. Wrong
When I invited Jayne, Dennis, and their kids over for dinner, I thought it was odd that they brought their babysitter. Then, when Linda sat next to Dennis, I was a little more concerned. But when I saw him take several bites of food off the babysitter's plate, my "Home-Invasion-Alarm-System" signaled a code red.
I told Jayne about my suspicions, and she said, " Dennis is just being extra nice to Linda because she's depressed about her parents' divorce. We both love her. We think of her as our daughter."
A few months later, Dennis moved out. He married Linda when she turned eighteen, and they now have two children of their own. I bet Linda won't let him drive their babysitter home.
Even if he's innocent, it's his word against hers. My friend Renee always makes sure that she picks up and drops off the babysitter. When she is unable to go, she'll send one of the kids along. Having a third-party ride along is protection for the babysitter and for the husband, because he could be accused of something inappropriate and just the accusations are very damaging.
If you're in a financial position to have a nanny, I recommend an older Mrs. Doubtfire type. But even the actor who played her, Robin Williams, didn't follow that suggestion. He was married to Valerie for ten years, then he divorced his wife and married Marsha, his son's nanny
A foreign exchange student came to live with a woman I met at Bible study The underprivileged girl came with nothing and left with the woman's husband. When you let other people into your home, be very aware that problems like these are distinct possibilities.
We've considered the idea of renting a room to a student, because we have an extra bedroom and we live within walking distance of a college. But we can never agree on a renter. Ron would like a twenty-something/ female/Swedish blonde/massage-therapy student, however I envision a male sun-kissed surfer/weightlifter/police academy cadet who'd help me vacuum. Since we can't agree, I guess we'll keep our safeguards in place.
Just as we are on guard to protect our home from robberies, we want protect our homes from dangerous mental, sexual, and spiritual intrusion too. Your home can be a refuge and a safe haven if you are willing to make this verse your "Power Statement": "But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Josh. 24:15).
Adapted from Avoiding The Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage (Kregel 12/1/04) by Nancy C. Anderson.
Nancy C Anderson is an author and speaker who lives in the O.C. with her husband of 26 years and their teenage son. Nancy and her husband love to teach at couples' retreats and seminars. They recently told the story of their Marriage Makeover on the Montel Williams Show. For more information, or to order her book, go to: www.NancyCAnderson.com.