When I first got married I was under the mistaken notion that I would never feel attracted to anyone other than my husband. I was, after all, deeply in love and thought that “love was all I needed” to fight back any desires, urges or attractions to others.
This made me a prime target for disillusionment when the messiness of marriage began to mess with my mind and emotions.
The main reason for this was because I had, over time, let bitterness develop toward my husband.
[bctt tweet=”There’s nothing that lowers your attraction and desire for your mate more than resentment and insecurity. #attraction #guardmarriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
With every argument my husband and I had, I felt more and more rejected and misunderstood. But the moment some good-looking guy flirted with me, my unforgiving heart caved under the pressure—desiring him more than my hubby.
Now I say that like I was a victim, and I most certainly was not! I made a very conscious choice with where I let my mind go and linger. Thankfully I never had an affair, but according to Jesus I had an affair of the heart—which is just as bad in His book.
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. —Mt. 5:28
The cold-hard reality is that as long as we have a pulse, we will be tempted to look and sometimes lust after others in our lives. For some, this feels like an unfair reality or task—to remain faithful to the one you married.
That’s where I’m picking up in my series today with a look at one defining and destructive moment in the life of King David, as well as what we can learn from it …
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, ‘She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. —2 Samuel 11:1-4a
3 Key Ways to Avoid Lust and Remain Faithful to Your Mate
1. Don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position or place.
This is exactly what David did when he opted out of his usual kingly responsibilities. He must’ve grown bored and missed the challenges and risks of battle. I bet he was also hungry for a conquest of sorts.
My vulnerability was due to the anger I had let grow against my husband.
[bctt tweet=”I needed and did intervene by dealing with the source of my vulnerability—my angry heart. #dealwithsource #marriagematters” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
I worked on …
- Forgiving my husband.
- Learning to communicate better and more often with my mate.
- Pursuing a deeper walk with the Lord by confessing and repenting of my sinful choices.
That last one was what really began to bring healing to the horrible situation that David knowingly walked into in his life.
What about you?
For example …
- If you’re prone to a wandering eye, then don’t go to bars where people dress provocatively or are on the prowl for their next hook up.
- It might mean not driving by that bar altogether.
- Maybe it means finding a good replacement for your desire—like doing something you enjoy with your mate, especially when you feel tempted.
Get the idea?
2. Guard your eyes and, ultimately, your mind.
Surely David knew that there might be a chance to see a woman bathing on her rooftop from his vantage point. But even if he hadn’t seen these kinds of sights in the past, he could have averted his eyes, left the rooftop, prayed to resist, and/or gone and found one of his many wives to have sex with. He had ample ways to deal with the desire that had knocked on the door of his heart.
But instead he chose to keep his gaze fixated on Bathsheba’s body and his sexual urges.
As for me, I choose to guard my mind by not letting it linger on any tempting moment or person. I nip my thoughts in the bud before they can turn into lustful desires. I keep my heart free from bitterness, which also increases my attraction to my husband. Finally, I indulge my desires where God longs for me to deepen them, with and for my mate alone.
What about you?
The Bible tells us that we can prevent lustful desires or snuff them out altogether by pursuing and obeying God. See 2 Timothy 2:22, Galatians 5:16.
Maybe that’s where you need to start—focusing your desire for passion on igniting your passion for God.
The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. —1 Cor. 6:13b
This means …
[bctt tweet=”God created us to desire HIM above all, even though our bodies often go looking for a poor substitute. 1 Cor. 6:13 #godlydesires” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
3. Put people in your life who hold you accountable, rather than enable you.
Since David was the king, he turned to people who would quickly bring him his every desire—even the illicit ones.
But what if David had gone to Nathan the prophet and asked him to hold him accountable?
What a different outcome we would’ve seen!
As far as my story, I began to seek the help of accountability and prayer partners in the early days of my marriage. I did this without knowing the support and guidance it would provide me in this vulnerable area of my life. Looking back on it now, I see just how much God continually uses my partners to stabilize my heart and protect me from further sins in this regard.
What about you?
- Find a godly, same-gender friend who can hold you accountable by asking you tough questions and praying for your purity. Be sure to offer him/her the same level of support. But don’t choose someone, like David did, who won’t push back or tell you the truth. Big mistake! HUGE!
- Maybe your problem has more to do with viewing porn than looking lustfully at actual people in your life. If so, consider signing up for Covenant Eyes or Accountable2you.
- Ask your mate to hold you accountable. Yes, I know that’s scary for many of you, but this is one of those areas where “transparency” is always the best policy.
I’ve provided a “Prayer for a Pure and Devoted Heart” in marriage below. If you struggle with attractions to others, then commit to pray this prayer for at least 30 days or more, and I think you’ll begin to see a huge difference in your heart and marriage. (Click and download at “…” from Dropbox).
Be sure to join me next week when I’ll be continuing this series with a look at “The Unfair Task to Remember Who Your Real Enemy is in Marriage.” To read other posts in this series click here.
What have you done to combat this temptation in your life and marriage?
What are some other problems and wounds that make people vulnerable to this temptation?
Click on the link to read my latest devotion at devotableapp – Suffering Alone? Never!
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Mondays, Tea and Word Tuesday,Tell His Story, Linkup, Break Through Homeschooling Linkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Grace Moments Linkup, Tune in Thursday, Moments of Hope, Grace and Truth, Faith and Friends, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
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