Last week we talked about how we can protect our marriages through keeping boundaries with opposite sex. (Read the post here)
So many of you shared additional insights in Comments section. You raised a good number of points I hadn’t covered and I thought I’d do a follow-up post and share these additional insights.
(Please note – Since the comments were shared in public, I have assumed that the Authors don’t mind me repeating them in a blog post)
More insights on keeping boundaries with the opposite sex
1. It’s about living above reproach.
As a person, you want to live above reproach (1 Tim:3:2).
When it comes to maintaining a good name and reputation, it’s not about what you know as truth (e.g. “this is my colleague” “she is just a friend”). It’s about what others perceive as truth, what they read in your actions.
Loren Pinilis said “I think it’s not just about protecting your marriage from infidelity – it’s also about protecting your reputation from the possibility of infidelity”
2. Internal boundaries are crucial.
Beth Steffaniak said “I think we need to also have internal boundaries about how much we allow ourselves to “think” of some opposite sex person in our lives. That “space” is reserved for and committed to my husband. ”
I believe that external boundaries are an extension of internal boundaries. When we breach internal boundaries, it’s only a matter of time before it shows in our actions and behavior.
3. Accountability is key
Barb Raveling said “If you’re attracted to someone, let a friend know and have that friend hold you accountable to not even THINKING about that person.”
Secret sin will fester. Nonetheless “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
4. Social Media boundaries
Amy said “…take exceptional care and monitoring of online/texting/technology tangents in your life. Technology allows for hiding, (for) private conversations to take place that would never occur in real life.”
In an article, Focus on the Family say that social media allows for suspension of normal inhibitions, temptation to live in a fantasy world, altered standards of privacy, disregard for manners and appropriate boundaries. To protect your marriage, you got to keep boundaries in social media.
5. Be intentional about exes
On dealing with exes, Fawn Weaver said “I told each one of them; the day I met my husband, our friendship would effectively be over. They would become a part of my past and my husband was the only man I’d bring into my future. I have never regretted that decision…My husband has done the same and doesn’t regret it for even a moment.”
I believe it comes down to cleaving: to letting go and dying to the past and becoming one with the one God gave you.
6. Talk about your spouse – in a positive loving manner.
Caleb said “I think the idea of talking about your spouse is very helpful, as long as you are talking about your spouse in a very positive way.”
Complaining, negative talk, even testy ‘jokes’ directed at your absent spouse might open the very door you are hoping to close.
7. If you travel, talk with your spouse, preferably via phone/Skype
Caleb added “I’d also like to add that if you have to travel without your spouse that you should do everything possible to communicate on a daily basis by phone or skype. This keeps you connected and is better than an email or text.”
8. Pray for your spouse, specifically
TC Avey shared of a season in her life as busy ER nurse “…we set up boundaries and it helped us both to have peace of mind. We began praying each night together and praying specifically for each other. not just “God bless my spouse” but “God please help them with this, this and this….thank you for this, this and this.”
I believe specific prayers yield specific results. The prayers also foster closeness, openness and cover.
9. Think about the consequence of infidelity
Barb Raveling said “if you do ever get attracted to someone of the opposite sex: instead of imagining the first step (how fun it would be to go someplace and visit with them), imagine the last step – ..How would it affect your kids your spouse, your church, the community you live in, your ministry, and the people you’ve discipled?
I believe “big picture thinking” can spur and motivate us to keep proper boundaries. When you understand that life is not all about you, that your actions/inactions have a tremendous effect on others, you are more careful, more determined to live above reproach.
10. It’s about your focus, your heart.
Lori Ferguson said “It comes back to focus – where is your focus? God first – then our spouse.”
It comes back to what you treasure the most. Remember whatever you give your attention to will multiply.
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