Nobody wakes up one day and says to themselves, “Hmm… I wanna go get an affair today.” It just doesn’t happen like that. Affairs are always the result of a long, gradual process, many times without those involved even being fully aware of the destination they’re being taken to.
What if I pass on to you something that others have passed on to me: one, simple practice – a practice that when continually applied, will keep your marriage secure and keep potential landmines away?
Publicly talk about how much you love your spouse.
All the time.
It’s so simple, and yah – it can get awkward sometimes. I’ve got one guy on my newsfeed who takes this principle a little too far. Weird. You don’t need to do it in a way that needlessly makes those in your social feed feel jealous (or worse, gross)… but you do want to let them know you’re taken… that you’re committed… that you’re seriously not open to another option.
Faithfulness is something we all long for, no matter who you are. We longed for it from our parents, even though we may not have admitted it at the time. We long for it from our employers and our coworkers on the job. And we long for it in our own relationships.
The problem is, we don’t often believe it’s possible.
So we stop trying.
We stop saying the things we used to say when we fell in love.
And instead we start saying the negatives or the whatever’s or the frustrations. And that’s the message that gets heard.
And while we do that… slowly, the vultures outside the home circle the air over our heads a little bit closer. A little bit closer. A little bit closer… Eventually, they’ll be close enough to see that the front door isn’t fully shut, and before long they’ll invite themselves in.
was just poking around over at craigslist – looking for a new pizza stone to help me perfect my store-bought pizza crusts. and then i bumped into this ad:
Uphappily married man looking for an uphappy married woman … to walk on the walking trails of the canal. Open to the friendship being with benefits after getting to know you for awhile.
so sad and so heartbreaking …and so real. i wonder, do our messages on sunday morning address this level of need, and the many like them? do we know that this is the reality for many people we greet at the door each week? do we have structures in place to help our people connect at deep enough levels with each other to help save some marriages? and when all the lights and fog machines are turned off, do our student ministries have the space to pace with this guy’s kids through the mess?
i’ve really been enjoying Michael Hyatt’s blog lately – tons of great content for leaders and it’s super practical! just yesterday he posted a challenge in response to the news of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infidelity. and it made me think of a previous post on why speaking well of your spouse is so important. here’s a few highlights from that post, head there for the rest!
Affirmation wards off the temptation of adultery. When others see you are happily married, they are less likely to proposition you. It’s like a hedge that protects your marriage from would-be predators. You simply stop being a target.
Affirmation provides a model to those you lead. To be a truly effective leader, you must lead yourself, and then you must lead your family. Your marriage is a powerful visual of how you treat the people you value the most. When you speak highly of your spouse, your followers are more likely to trust you. It takes your leadership to another level.
Affirming your spouse in public is an investment that pays big leadership dividends. In a world where fewer and fewer marriages last, it can be a difference-maker.