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Here’s a fact. Satan does not want you to be happily married. He doesn’t want you and your spouse living for God and showing others the way. Instead, he wants to lure you into marriage destroying temptations.
Temptation is Everywhere
The Bible frequently addresses temptation and how to deal with it. Today’s verse is found in Galatians 5:16.
Galatians 5:16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. NLT
In this verse, Paul is reminding the Galatians that they need to crush the sinful nature by letting the Holy Spirit be the guiding force in their daily lives. He was talking about the temptations that were not only around these early Christians but are also found surrounding us today.
A temptation is defined as “a desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise, “ or “a thing or course of action that attracts or tempts someone.” The Bible warns us to stay away from temptations that can pull us away from God. When you are married, there are plenty of temptations to fall into that will wreck your marriage and your life.
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Galatians 5:16 gives us two commands:
- Present yourself to God.
The verse says, Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. In other words, the more time you spend with God, the less time you spend in tempting situations. Live in a spirit of worship every day, knowing that the structure given to our lives by the bible is the source of our freedom. A marriage structured in God’s way creates freedom for us that the world cannot understand. Living the guidelines of the Bible gives us a full, abundant life and marriage.
- Don’t present yourself to temptation
Our sinful nature craves evil. When we succumb to temptation, sin pulls us away from God, and that comes with a load of unwanted consequences. Don’t let one of them be the end of your marriage. Avoid the effects of sin that bind you and take away your freedom.
Watch out for Marriage Destroying Temptations
Here are three temptations that, if you fall into them, can destroy a marriage. Pay careful attention to avoid these in your life. You can remember them by thinking about AAA. Triple-A comes to rescue you when your car dies, and these three words can be the cause if your marriage is dying too.
Of course, the first thing most people think of when you talk about temptation in a marriage is the temptation to fall into an affair. Unfortunately, lustful thoughts don’t just disappear when we get married. Just because we have a sexual partner doesn’t mean we automatically stop noticing or thinking about the opposite sex. This fact is true even if you have a healthy physical relationship with your spouse. The prevalence of pornography use and adultery by married people shows that quite clearly. And to state the obvious, it isn’t just men who have this issue within marriage.
Another dangerous temptation to avoid is anything that can become an addiction. These addictions could include alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, and even things like food or sex. Addiction can be especially rough on a marriage. While the addicted spouse heads down a road of self-destruction, their spouses end up feeling helpless as they watch it all happen from the sidelines. Often the offender will lie to their spouse to try and hide what’s going on, and that betrayal makes them angry.
The third temptation that affects marriages is the temptation to sin when angry. Anger is a difficult emotion to keep under control, but the Bible instructs us that we are not to sin when we are angry. When we get mad and mistreat our spouses, it can cause unhappiness and anxiety to affect them. Angry outbursts destroy the trust needed for a healthy marriage and can lead to divorce.
How to Deal with Temptation
- Recognize potential marriage destroying temptations. Stay away from things that you know you have a weakness for, and from anything the Bible forbids.
- Remove yourself from temptation. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to fall into sin. Get out of there! If something is tempting you, run, don’t just walk, away.
- When you face temptation, find someone that you can talk honestly with. It can be your spouse or an accountability partner.
- Pray for strength and picture yourself walking away from that temptation by the power of God.
- Think of the long-term consequences. Ask yourself, “Is it worth losing _____ just to do ______?”
- Distract yourself. Find something else to do that you enjoy to keep you from thinking about the temptation you are facing.
So, even though it is not always easy to do, give your life and marriage entirely over to God’s plan. Keep yourself in the Word and worship, and you will be able to say no to marriage destroying temptations that you encounter.
Do you struggle with temptation, especially a desire to have an affair? If you know you need more help in this area, here are some books that may help.
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