Marriage is a fragile relationship that requires proactive participation in order for it to grow and thrive. While I've heard it said that couple's should set up boundaries with the opposite s*x, I'm going to be so bold as to say it's required.
When you think of a relationship that involves two fallible people, there are no guarantees that a marriage will thrive simply on good faith, or even trust.
What I share here are more practical tips to avoid falling into the trap of an emotional affair. But it's important to note, prayer and connection to God about your marriage is also a must in order to help avoid finding ourselves down such roads in the first place.
I want to specifically address the boundaries we as wives need to set up for ourselves, to protect our heart, protect the heart of our husbands, honor God, and protect our marriage.
As women, we are built to be relational. Sometimes we make the mistake of believing that if we do not share bedroom intimacy with another man, we are OK. No harm done, right? Nothing wrong with a little flirting or sharing some of my personal struggles with another man, right?
This is a road that leads to destruction. Confiding in another man and becoming emotionally involved with him can be just as dangerous as sharing a bed with him. Fantasizing about being with another man is an affair of the heart and that's where it begins.
"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." Romans 8:5
Ladies, we must take every thought captive, for the glory of God and the protection of our husbands. We must set boundaries within our hearts and our lives to protect our marriage. It's not about trust or lack thereof. It's recognizing we are fallible beings and susceptible to being trapped by temptation. We deceive ourselves when we believe we can "handle it".
Don't allow yourself to remain connected to ex-boyfriends from the past. Don't allow yourself to text and communicate with any men who aren't family, without your husband's full knowledge and ability to see your conversations. If you do not want your husband to find such conversations, this is a red flag for danger.
Do not allow yourself to talk to men personally on the Internet. Avoid chat rooms and the like. As married women, we have no business sharing personal information with other men. It's one thing to talk business. But any time the conversation turns personal, it should be immediately cut off.
This is how we set up boundaries before temptation has a chance to make an appearance. The goal is to avoid it by protecting your heart.
Do not make the mistake of believing you are immune to this issue. That's the mistake I made, early on in my marriage. A story you can read about here.
We have made a covenant and it is vital we do everything in our power to hold fast to it and protect it. Marriage isn't about mere happiness; it's about learning sacrifice and love and ultimately, learning what holiness truly is.
For His Glory,