No one stores valuable treasures in open unsafe places. Instead, they are stored in secure environments – away from thieves and perilous conditions.
I guess that’s just common sense seeing that someone paid a high price for the treasure and want to enjoy it for a long time.
photo: oh paris (creative commons)
Treasuring our marriage
Nonetheless and out of naivety, ignorance or independent/prideful spirit, some of us leave our highest treasure – our marriage - out in the open. Exposed to strange elements, vulnerable, unguarded, unsafe.
This happens when some of us decide we want to have our cake and eat it – have a strong secure marriage but keep our “freedoms” when it comes to relating to the opposite sex.
Border-less marriage is an oxymoron.
When I walked down the aisle and took my vows, Tommy became my #1 man, after God. All my opposite sex relationships would now bow to the relationship I have with Tommy.
Some people find the idea (of keeping boundaries with the opposite sex) backward, legalistic and constricting.
But consider this: You can have all sorts of security devices installed in your home but until/unless you lock your front door, those devices remain useless.
In other words, all the trust and love in the world won’t help you if you don’t take care of the basics.
Thinking that “love is enough“, that “we trust each other and can never be unfaithful“, that “a little flirting with the girls or boys is harmless” is an open door.
Marriage does not have an easy lane
A great marriage comes from great discipline. It comes from doing the small “silly” things (like establishing boundaries with the opposite sex). It comes from doing the uncomfortable, the counter-cultural and counter-flesh.
You’ve probably heard me share this quote by Jim Rohn: You can’t drift to the top of a mountain.
If you want marital success, you’ve got to loose easy living and put on some mountain climbing gear. You must protect that which matters to you.
Some things to consider when it comes to keeping boundaries with the opposite sex
- You are not as strong as you think you are.
- Temptation and sin often feel harmless at the beginning.
- All of us have common sense but it can be dulled by lack of use.
- Even the best car will careen off the road if the driver takes his/her hands off the wheel.
Personally, I have found the following thoughts helpful when it comes to keeping boundaries with the opposite sex.
1. Don’t go out alone with a person of the opposite sex or give them rides if you are alone in the car.
2. Talk about your spouse often when talking with others. Michael Hyatt calls it the best adultery repellent.
3. Involve your spouse – Keep each other in the loop e.g. cc him/her email messages, talk about your day mentioning who you talked with, share passwords e.t.c
4. Don’t flirt with anyone other than your spouse.
5. Cultivate same couple friendships.
6. Don’t counsel someone of the opposite sex alone. Bring your spouse along or refer the person or do couple to couple counseling. If you must counsel or hold meetings with them, keep the office door open or talk in large open spaces, within sight of others.
7. If you see/feel temptation, F.L.E.E. Don’t try to rationalize or play nice. Run.
Always remember that wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be. If you are constantly working on your relationship, you will want to keep it safe. Invest in your relationship. Holly Smith has a great article on that here.
Question – Do you believe keeping boundaries with the opposite sex is important? Other practical tips you can share?
Check out the follow-up post Protect you Marriage: More Insights on Keeping Boundaries with the Opposite Sex