Proverbs 5: 15, "Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well."
We have been married for almost 13 years now. Experts in the field we are not, but one thing is for sure we are not immune to the fact that so many marriages are falling apart all around us. This is one of the reasons that we have decided to try to safeguard and protect our own marriage by setting certain standards that we will not compromise on. We believe that these are just some of the things that have helped protect our marriage from the temptation of "drinking water from another cistern".
1. We never go anywhere alone with the opposite sex. If at all possible we never ride alone with the opposite sex. We never have meals alone with the opposite sex. Keith is a pastor and he will not meet alone during a counseling session with a female (unless their 70 or older!!). You get our point. Depending on circumstances this may be more difficult for some than it is for a stay at home mom, but with prayer and creativity we all can make a point to never compromise in this area.
2. We limit our conversations with the opposite sex. This is where discernment comes in. When the opposite sex begins to talk with you about their spouse, a big red flag is being raised and we should lovingly guide the conversation to something else or bring it to a close. We never share intimate details of our lives with the opposite sex. The conversations are kind and courteous, but mostly brief. If the opposite sex needs counsel or encouragement then we can guide them toward our spouse or another individual that we feel can help meet their needs. This includes e-mails, texting, and phone conversations.
3. We guard our eyes with the opposite sex. In our day and time, this is almost an impossibity. But, there are some things that we can do. We can turn the television during commercials while watching our favorite college football team play. We can turn our head when walking by Victoria Secret in the mall. We can fasten our eyes on the register instead of the magazines at the grocery store. For us, we have had to choose to limit time spent with friends because of the seductive way that we feel they dress. It is uncomfortable for both the husband and the wife. Men are strongly tempted in this area. We as women need to help them out by dressing appropriately.
4. We guard our hearts with the opposite sex. So much time is spent away from the home and in the workplace in our culture. Many hours at work and little hours at home. We find ourselves spending as much or more time with people outside of our family than we do with our family. We would be naive to think that the enemy would never use this as opportunity to tempt us with an attraction for another woman or man. This is where the first 3 things will help protect, but we must also remember that prayer will give us strength to overcome. If someone other than our spouse begins to consume our mind then we must cry out to God to take those thoughts away and we must replace those thoughts with the one with whom we are married. Begin to put effort and energy into nourishing the relationship with your spouse. This will defeat the enemy's tactics and Christ will overcome.
We that are married have been blessed and privileged to display the gospel of the Lord Jesus in our marriage. May we drink from our own cup. And may we tell those who seem to want to take ours away, "Drink from your own cup, please!" "This cup is mine!"
Blessings on your marriage today! Keith and Nichole