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45 Ways to Affair-proof Your Marriage, Build A Hedge & Guard Your Heart

45 Ways to Affair-proof Your Marriage, Build a Hedge, and Guard Your Heart

A while back I posted Two Types of Adultery You Probably Didn’t Know About and mentioned that I would give some practical tips on how to stay free of adultery and keep your marriage affair-proof. I believe these are great, practical tips to use in your marriage to help you guard your heart against adultery, however, please remember that there are no rules and when the Holy Spirit says “stop, your crossing the line” we need to listen! A great idea would be to sit down with your husband/wife (if they are willing to listen) and talk about implementing some of these “hedges” for your own marriage together. Okay, so let’s get started.

  1. If you are attracted to another person besides your spouse, run. Squash all fluttery feelings immediately by fleeing. Don’t try to stay and resist the temptation, flee. (practical example: You’re in Walmart and run into an old crush or someone you think is cute. Don’t stick around and chat! Firstly, pray and ask God to help you and then find your husband/wife and choose a different isle to shop in.)

  2. Do not talk to your “ex.” Period. If you have to because of child visitation, etc….keep it short and only business.

  3. No alone time with opposite sex. Make sure you are always in a group setting or that there is at least three adults present (children do not work as a third person). No matter what, no exceptions!

  4. Do not share your heart, feelings, or concerns with opposite sex. Limit communication alone with the opposite sex and don’t talk about your personal lives. If you happen to run into a friend of the opposite sex while you are alone, just keep it short, general, and business.

  5. No flirting. Even jokes. Be careful because this can be very subtle.

  6. Do not give special attention to any one person of the opposite sex.

  7. Do not provide inappropriate emotional support. Be very weary of offering advice or trying to “fix” their problems/troubles, even “Christian” advice. This can be a trap. A member of the opposite sex could present their problems to you so that you will react with sympathy and “care” towards them which opens the door for emotional intimacy. Don’t fall for it!

  8. Do not go to places of temptation. This isn’t just bars and you will know which places are not good. For example, there might be a certain diner or business in your town to avoid because the people who work there are a temptation to you or you might just feel a general “yucky” feeling whenever you are around certain people. Pay attention to that. If you have to go to the establishment I advice always making sure your wife/husband go with you. This reduces the temptation drastically! (a great rule of thumb – take your spouse with you!)

  9. Marriage & family trump the job or other circumstance. This might be a hard pill to swallow for some of you but, to put it bluntly, it would be better for you to quit your job and save your marriage and family vs. keeping your job (money) and fall to adultery and lose your marriage & family because of a coworker who is a temptation or snare to you.

  10. Internet, emails, phones, texting, are all “out in the open” so you and your spouse can read each others. If your spouse is able to freely read your texts and emails it sets up a safety and establishes trust. Also, two eyes are better than one and your spouse can let you know if a message looks provocative in case you missed it. Copy an email or text to spouse if it feels off.

  11. If a conversation during a phone call feels yucky (what I mean by “yucky” is that you get the sense that the person on the phone is being flirty, provocative, or just acting “nicer” than is appropriate) go sit next to spouse, put on speaker phone, or let spouse handle it.

  12. No inappropriate shows or TV. Not even one second (and yes…it is worth it to change the channel over a 30-second commercial). Your eyes are the gate to your soul…don’t let the devil in to defile it or leave an opening for sexual sin.

  13. Spouse is priority over relatives and friends. Also, always ask your spouse if it’s okay before someone (relative or otherwise) will be doing an activity in the place of your spouse. (Example: You mother wants to drive you to your doctor’s appointment….ask your spouse first. It’s the honorable thing to do.)

  14. No driving with opposite sex alone.

  15. Do not discuss personal struggles with members of the opposite sex. (marriage, financial or otherwise) Certain situations would be appropriate for this such as discussing financial difficulties with a parent or a counseling session when your spouse is there with you and you both prayed about what you were going to say before hand.

  16. Limit eye contact. Can’t say this enough. There is something about staring at a person’s eyes that can literally be defiling and sexual.

  17. If any sexual sin has taken place, the spouse who sinned should repent to God before engaging in sex with their husband/wife.

  18. Dismiss bad thoughts by praying and thinking of spouse and kids.

  19. Pray before you go out/Pray for your spouse before they go out. You can ask the Lord to protect them from all temptations, evil, and attacks and cancel any assignments of the enemy in Jesus name.
  20. Don’t go out of your way to meet someone and if you are meeting opposite sex bring your spouse along. (For example, your female employee wants you to meet her at the local gas station so you can give her weekly check a little early. It might be a good idea to ask your spouse to come along or wait until the time better suits.)

  21. Be very careful about hugging or touching opposite sex. Physical contact (at any level) can be sexual and I believe you have to listen to the Holy Spirit on this one. Obviously, in most cases a handshake is fine. However, I think it’s wise to avoid hugging the opposite sex (unless it’s maybe your mom). Never by any means hug a member of the opposite sex chest to chest. Instead, a side hug is better but better avoided altogether. Gentle touching is also inappropriate when coming from the opposite sex. If this happens to your spouse and you see it, speak up! (For example, your at a restaurant and Mrs. Baker comes up to your table and gently slides her hands onto your husband’s shoulder as she’s talking to you both. Don’t be fooled by this….it is completely inappropriate. That is the time to speak up and say, “Mrs. Baker, why is your hand on my husband’s shoulder?” They will be shocked…but they will get the point. It’s inappropriate.

  22. Don’t counsel members of opposite sex alone. Men counsel men. Women counsel women. Or both husband and wife counsel together. Also, do not pray with a member of the opposite sex holding hands unless spouse is also holding their hand or at least touching you or them.

  23. If you see temptation flee like it is a contagious disease. Don’t play nice or try to half way compromise.

  24. Dress modestly. Don’t invite trouble. You can look attractive to your spouse when you are out in public with clothes on.

  25. Don’t invite forms of physical contact and keep hands to yourself.

  26. Don’t express admiration for physical characteristics & excessively praise the talents of members of the opposite sex. It is inappropriate.

  27. Don’t be friends or hang around anyone spouse is uncomfortable with. There is most-likely a reason they are uncomfortable.

  28. Keep a distance from opposite sex and stay out of their bubble.

  29. If going anywhere, tell your spouse where you are going. This promotes trust. When you return tell spouse what you did. Try to go everywhere together as much as possible. Having your spouse present drastically helps if you are presented with a temptation.

  30. Warn each other when there is a threat. If you are around an individual that you think is “coming on” to your spouse…even in a subtle way, let them know you are concerned. Trust each other’s instincts! You are a team.

  31. Consider your spouse and always keep them in mind. How would they feel about it?

  32. Wear your wedding ring and use it as a reminder. This also sends a message that you are faithful and is symbolic to your spouse of your commitment. It’s important…don’t blow it off. If your wedding ring doesn’t fit, buy a temporary replacement (it doesn’t matter how cheap, just get it on your finger!)

  33. Limit time spent apart from your spouse. Go places together.

  34. Confess sexual temptation to each other right away. If you think you have stumbled, immediately repent to God. This builds trust with your spouse and stops the devil from working. The devil works in darkness, so if you try to hide stuff or not mention it then you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Bring everything into the light as soon as possible.

  35. Include your spouse in conversations if they become awkward.

  36. Realize when you are alone without spouse it can be a danger zone.

37. Guys, don’t try to impress other women with your skills, talents, business, intellect, status, or looks. This is definitely crossing the line into sexual sin because your are attempting to gain the affection or respect of another woman. And I’m also talking about subtile actions too. For example, slightly puffing out your chest or trying to show off how good you are at your job. Get your affection from your wife and her only.

38. Don’t compare. If you compare other women/men to your spouse you are asking for sin. Realize that you’ve never seen that other person at their worst and although they seem nice or look good now, the grass is not greener on the other side. Looks are not everything. Don’t be shallow or a fool! “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30

39. Pray. Without ceasing….for goodness sakes.

40. Don’t make your spouse the butt of jokes. Ever. It’s disrespectful. Ladies, if you want your man to start looking to other women to get respect because he isn’t getting it from you then go ahead and make your husband the butt of jokes. Otherwise, you might want to zip the lip.

41. Spend lot’s of time with Jesus and secondly, family.

42. Establish your own boundaries together as a couple.

43. Make efforts to stay fit and attractive to spouse. It honors them and keeps you healthy and feeling good about yourself (ladies…this especially honors your husband when you make an effort to look nice and stay healthy).

44. Don’t think you are “above” the sin. (pride comes before a fall).

45. The bottom line: Listen to the Holy Spirit and your “gut” feeling. If it feels “icky” don’t do it and don’t “go there.” You can ask the Lord for his wisdom, knowledge, and understanding and to give you the grace and mercy not to agree with the evil.

Also, Here are some red flags that might help you know when a member of the opposite sex is acting inappropriately towards you or is a temptation:

  1. The person who makes off-color remarks.

  2. If the person flatters you (examples: “oh you are so good at _____,” or “wow, that is really cool that you do _____.” or is very respectful to you. (Addressing you as “Mr.” etc.) Guys, be very careful about a woman who flatters you or makes you feel like “the man.” Also, even if a woman simply smiles at you or makes you think she likes you in any way it can be a snare so be very careful not to let that in your heart.

  3. The person disrespects your space and boundaries, even after you have told them not to.

  4. The person starts talking bad about their significant other to you.

  5. Watch out for “big brother/big sister” types. People who are not your real brother or sister but you “grew up together.” These people can slip off the radar because you think of them as a brother or sister but there could be hidden infatuations there that you are not aware of. Also, watch out for friends who try to bring doubts about your relationship with your spouse and don’t entertain their seeds of doubt.

  6. Men, watch out for the “damsel in distress” or women who always need your help with something. They don’t need your help…it’s a trap!

  7. And lastly, be very cautious if you are attracted to their talents, status, personality, or looks. If you think they might cause you to stumble, my best advice is to pray and ask the Lord to help you do the right thing and then FLEE!!!!

I hope this list helps you as you make your marriage journey. Please pray about each tip and customize according to how the Lord instructs you. I truly believe that one of the most important things you can do in your marriage is to pray with your spouse daily and set a guard over your heart. Not only will you be doing it to the honor of the Lord, but also for your own good and for the good of your spouse and children. In Jeremiah 17:9 the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” and in Proverbs 4:23 it says to “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Guarding our hearts is necessary if we want to walk in God’s ways and stay free from evil. Will you make the commitment today?