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Friday, July 16 2010
Here are six things you can do to affair-proof your marriage. It is best if the two of you sit down together and make this commitment, but even if you don't discuss it with your spouse, you need to unilaterally take these to steps to defend your castle.
1. Make your relationship with God your number one priority.
Mark 12:30 (NIV)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Our pastor when Donna Kay and I were married once talked about his primary motivation for being faithful to his wife: "It's not just that I love my wife and would never want to be untrue to her," he said. "More important, I would not want to disappoint my Lord."
2. Honor marriage as the highest and most sacred human relationship.
Hebrews 13:4 (The Message) 
Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.
Remember that marriage is the quintessential human relationship. If you have been blessed with marriage, you have received the greatest gift that God can give you apart from salvation. Maybe your marriage is not so great right now. Maybe you feel like if it's a gift from God, He must have picked it up at Big Lots.  Listen. If your marriage is not knocking your socks off right now, don't blame God. And don't blame His gift of marriage. If there are problems with your marriage, you messed it up. Admit it and ask God to restore it, making it all He intended it to be.
3. Recognize your spouse as God's gift to you.
Genesis 2:22 (NIV) 
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Don't ever entertain the idea that you married the wrong person. God is sovereign and even blesses our wrong decisions if we submit ourselves to Him. The moment you said, "I do," you entered into a God' ordained covenant with that person. He or she instantly, miraculously, supernaturally, divinely became exactly the right person for you. God let you choose, then He validated your choice.
I'm talking about the marriage you are in now. Don't try to rewrite history. don't try to undo past mistakes. The man or woman you are married to now is yours for the rest of your life. You had better start appreciating that person as God's gift to you-a gift you obviously don't deserve if you ever think about throwing it away-but a gift of God nevertheless.
4. Keep your marriage vows.
Malachi 2:14-15 (TEV) 
. . . You promised before God that you would be faithful to her. . . . So make sure that none of you breaks his promise to his wife.
In our society, marriage vows have become less than binding, to say the least. Our vows have become little more than a sweet sentiment to include in a ceremony. Our society sees a wedding as simply a public confession of romantic feelings rather than a time of commitment of two people to each other for life. 
They tell me that more than half of marriages end in divorce. That's a lot of people saying "I do" when all they really mean is "I might."
Let me propose a radical idea to you. What if we took our vows seriously? What if we meant them literally? What if they were really the binding, unalterable commitment they sound like? What if we did not have the option of getting out of them? What if once you said, "I do, for better or worse, as long as we both shall live," then you had no choice but to stay in that marriage for better or worse as long you both shall live? Keep your marriage vows.
5. Invest yourself heavily in your marriage.
Luke 12:34 (NIV)
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jesus was talking about storing up treasures in heaven, but the principle is true of anything in life: wherever you invest yourself, that is what is going to be important to you.
Invest your time, your money, your energy and your attention in your marriage relationship. The more you invest in your marriage, the more precious it will become to you.
Make your marriage your vocation, your avocation, your hobby, your past time. 
Communicate with your spouse. Have special date nights. Find things the two of you enjoy doing together and do them. Laugh, love, live.
Investing doesn't mean always doing something, going somewhere, spending money. Some of the best times are home alone, talking, holding hands, or just being together.
6. Guard your body, your mind, your heart and your spirit. 
Matthew 5:28 (TEV) 
Anyone who looks at a woman and wants to possess her is guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart.
Affairs don't usually start with the physical adultery. Long before that ever occurs, there is usually the spiritual adultery, the mental adultery, or the emotional adultery. That's why you must guard not only your body, but also your mind, your heart and your spirit.
Draw boundaries boldly. Draw them far from the edge of danger. Agree on the boundaries and abide by the boundaries.
Watch yourself. Are you spending time with someone else of the opposite sex on a consistent basis? Be warned. I'm not telling you to watch each other, though you may need to point out dangers you see from time to time. I'm telling you to watch yourself. Be aware of what you are thinking and feeling and of time your are spending. Then fix it.
I'm not saying you and your spouse must isolate yourselves from all other people. On the contrary, gather around yourselves other Christian couples who will pray for you, mentor you and hold you accountable. And you do the same for them. Sunday School classes and small groups at church are some of the best ways to do that. Do it together.
Posted by: David Williams AT 09:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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As minister of education at Tallowood Baptist Church, Houston, I led our staff to subscribe to the teaching helps for our adult teachers for more than a dozen years. They were choice and very popular among our Sunday School leadership in weekly preparation. Every week David's materials were fresh, on target with lesson topics, and easily applicable for teachers and learners. I heartily recommend these materials for exploring and teaching the Word of God. Tallowood continues to use the materials on a regular basis.
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This makes Bible study exciting!
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Daily Prep is a good reminder of the upcoming lesson as well as a useful tool for encouraging a daily study time.  I have enjoyed using the Teacher's Toolbox for years.  It is a valuable resource.  Many of the useful ideas in lesson presentation are ways to allow learners to discover for themselves the truths in God's Word.
Russ Pounds
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First Baptist Church
Grand Prairie, TX

Daily Prep has gotten me into the Word.
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We canceled our subscription once.  The next month my teachers revolted, demanding, "Where is my Toolbox?"  Needless to say, we immediately reinstated our subscription.
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I thoroughly enjoy the fresh approach to lessons in the Toolbox.  The creative ideas engage the student in the learning activities as they discover truths from Scripture.  Thank you for sharing your creativity with those of us who are not gifted in that way.
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Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

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