What can we learn from the latest sexual scandal?
Another well-known church leader is in the spotlight because of sexual misconduct allegations. While the church leader vehemently denies the accusations, the fact remains that the issues of sexual temptation and scandal are becoming more front and center in spiritual communities. It’s also clear that the picture this paints for nonbelievers isn’t rosy.
While often the only difference between saved people and those who aren’t is the grace of Christ, His followers need to hold themselves to high standards. Regardless of whether the recent allegations are true, the situation points to two lessons that apply to your marriage.
Stay Aware that the Enemy is Always on the Prowl, Looking for Ways to Destroy Your Integrity
Of course, everyone deals with temptation. Threats might be more intense for some than others, based on their weaknesses or past experiences. A fundamental question to ask, however, is how well you’re keeping yourself disconnected from situations that open the door for temptation. If it’s impossible for an opening to emerge, there’s no way the attraction can develop into something regrettable.
Also, the chief Accuser looks for people to deputize in making claims that are malicious, erroneous, and altogether incorrect. If he can discredit your witness, he’s won a major battle. But again, if there’s no ammunition in that weapon, it’s useless.
Remove All Possibility for Misunderstanding
It is nearly impossible to prevent 100 percent of temptation (we’re weak people), and there’s no way to predict who the Enemy might choose to entice to come against your marriage. However, there are steps you can take to defend yourself against these attacks.
Four Ways to Defend Your Marriage Against Sexual Temptation
1. Take Purity Seriously. Purity starts from the inside out. Take an honest inventory of what you’re letting in. Not to sound prudish, but what are you watching, listening to, reading, or sharing in conversation? If topics about sexual things are off limits with anyone but your spouse or a counselor, you’ll never have to worry about what you’ve said.
2. Set Rules for Your Marriage. The media chided Vice President Mike Pence for never allowing himself to be left alone with another woman besides his wife. While this conviction may seem like overkill, it also ensures he never has to deal with speculation about what happened.
3. Don’t Compromise for Anyone. Like the Vice President, once you and your spouse have rules for your marriage, don’t let anyone cause your guard to be let down. Rules are rules, and you need to stick with them.
4. Find Someone to Help Keep You Safe. Finally, ask someone you trust to keep an eye on you and make sure you’re accountable to your vows. Deploy software that sends your website visits directly to a friend. If you’ve struggled with pornography in the past, put a lock on your television that only your spouse knows. (In other words, you have to ask permission to watch certain things on potentially dangerous channels.)
The important thing is to discuss how you as a couple can stay above board in the realm of purity. It is worth taking time to build a plan to protect yourselves from situations that could harm or destroy your marriage.