Some Thoughts About Your Thoughts

Some Thoughts About Your Thoughts

I’ve been pon­der­ing this post for a cou­ple of weeks now, try­ing to fig­ure out how I want to tackle it.

I recently wrote about sav­ing your mar­riage from an axe mur­derer, specif­i­cally talk­ing about how to pro­tect our mar­riages. I had sev­eral very thought­ful com­ments, which I thought would best be served answer­ing in its own post.

First, Laura gave a good and wise exhor­ta­tion about extend­ing grace to peo­ple who have fallen into the sin of adul­tery. She expresses her­self this way:

 Don’t judge those who have. I have seen numer­ous times that those who so vehe­mently spoke in judge­ment against those who have fallen, have ended up falling into almost the exact same sin, years later. Remem­ber, “there but the grace of God go I”. 

She is right that we all are sus­cep­ti­ble to sin of all kinds. I guess that was sort of the point of my arti­cle. We need to be proac­tive to pro­tect it. But while we are doing that, we need to remem­ber that it isn’t we who are able to save us from our­selves. It’s God alone who gives us the strength to resist temp­ta­tion. Keep our eyes on Christ while we are nur­tur­ing our hus­bands. Thanks, Laura, for your gen­tle reminder. I do pray that I didn’t come across as sound­ing judg­men­tal about peo­ple who have fallen into this. I will say that those who find them­selves ensnared in this par­tic­u­lar sin need to repent and stop doing it. It’s not judg­men­tal to say that, even to them.

She added:

When peo­ple think that they would never do the same thing or fall in this way, it is pride.


A cou­ple of the ladies who responded sug­gested that social media is the prob­lem. While it may give peo­ple more access to more peo­ple, I am pretty sure that stalk­ing, adul­tery, and temp­ta­tions to these things have been around nearly as long as peo­ple have. Even in Jesus’s time, adul­tery and sex­ual sin existed. We can’t run from the human heart. It stems from fallen man, not Face­book. We can only cocoon our­selves so much. Even­tu­ally, we have to go to the gro­cery store, where temp­ta­tion might slap us in the face in the check­out line.

Christine’s response really touched my heart. Thank you, Chris­tine, for shar­ing your heart. I pray that the Lord con­tin­ues to restore your mar­riage and grow you and your hus­band ever so much closer together as you grow closer to Him. It is a HARD road liv­ing the Chris­t­ian life. Respect, love, honor, sub­mis­sion. It goes against every­thing inside of us, doesn’t it? As wives, we are more closely watch­ing and see­ing the sin­ful atti­tudes of our hus­bands at their weak­est moments. And to be sure, they have a front row seat with ours! I won­der how any mar­riage sur­vives through it all. But, God is good. He is in the busi­ness of restora­tion, renew­ing, for­giv­ing, and giv­ing us hope.  As hard as it may be liv­ing the Chris­t­ian life, I think it would be a thou­sand times harder with­out Christ. Yes, we are con­victed, have to repent and FORGIVE peo­ple who hurt us. But, what a gift. Stor­ing up bit­ter­ness cer­tainly can’t be a bet­ter pill to swallow.

And then Lynn had a thought­ful response, which I really want to spend some time discussing.

I believe she either mis­un­der­stood what I was say­ing, or she was attribut­ing to me what per­haps other peo­ple have said.

If women and men can­not inter­act as friends, we miss what strength and grace may be offered to each other.
I have seen women so very over­pro­tec­tive of their hus­bands, that they become crit­i­cal, and catty, towards other women. They devolve into treat­ing their hus­bands like chil­dren, or per­haps as if they would have no self-control if left alone for a moment with the oppo­site sex or view a woman who doesn’t yet real­ize the impor­tance of dress­ing mod­estly. This leads me to ques­tion their level of self-control, trust in their hus­band, and sta­bil­ity in their marriage.

I hope I didn’t com­mu­ni­cate that women and men can­not inter­act as friends. And, it isn’t proper for Chris­t­ian women to be crit­i­cal or catty towards other women, espe­cially their sis­ters in the Lord. And, please, ladies, don’t treat your hus­bands like chil­dren. Gra­cious, I hope I didn’t con­vey *that* mes­sage. You are right that some women haven’t learned the impor­tance of dress­ing mod­estly. Some never will. We do need to treat them with grace and patience. And love. Come along­side them and try to min­is­ter to them in a way that makes them feel loved as they, and we, are sanc­ti­fied in the Lord through the work of the Holy Spirit. But, that doesn’t mean that hubby should go on lunch dates with them, or have coun­sel­ing ses­sions alone with them. It just isn’t wise. And we are also to avoid the appear­ance of evil.

 Abstain from all appear­ance of evil. 1 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 5:22

But that doesn’t mean we treat them like chil­dren. As to the sit­u­a­tion with the woman who said she wanted to inter­view him, how long must a woman “dis­cuss” it with a man before she actu­ally sets up an appoint­ment to do so? She was flirt­ing with him, heap­ing all man­ners of com­pli­ments on him, stroking his ego. My hus­band was gra­cious to her, say­ing that if she wanted to do an inter­view, they could set it up, but that they needed to stop chat­ting back and forth through email. He was polite, didn’t accuse her of any­thing. I wasn’t throw­ing a fit, nag­ging, etc. Glad for the oppor­tu­nity to clar­ify that, and I appre­ci­ate that you are not being pugnacious.

And then this:

To act as if we can­not inter­act alone with any man…including rel­a­tives, because surely there will be an affair, seems a lit­tle extreme to me.

I see you are respond­ing to another com­menter with this state­ment. I tend to think that this would be extreme for our fam­ily, but each fam­ily must stand and fall before God alone. I don’t know her fam­ily sit­u­a­tion, their his­tory, or the per­sonal heartaches they have faced in their lives, so I can’t really say that it is wrong to hold those views in their home. Per­haps for most peo­ple, this would be putting the hedge a bit far out there, but maybe not for them. Please know that this is not what I am advo­cat­ing at all.

My point is that we need to be proac­tive in pro­tect­ing and strength­en­ing our mar­riages. We can’t just set it on the back burner and hope that the sim­mer­ing pot doesn’t get burned. It stinks, makes a big mess, and is really hard to clean up. We have a respon­si­bil­ity to actively nur­ture our mar­riages, pro­tect­ing them from all sorts of evil that would seek to destroy a godly marriage.

Be sober, be vig­i­lant; because your adver­sary the devil walks about like a roar­ing lion, seek­ing whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8

It’s not a game. It isn’t child’s play.

I pray that this post serves to clar­ify any ques­tions raised in the com­ments. And I pray that your mar­riages will be strength­ened as you draw closer to God and to your hus­bands. Thank you for join­ing in the dis­cus­sion. I appre­ci­ate the thought­ful com­ments, con­cerns, ques­tions. Bless­ings to you!

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  1. Wow, Tonya, as ever you have been very elo­quent, I admire how thought­fully you write, and I am truly sur­prised that any­one could mis­con­strue your words, I always feel inspired to be a bet­ter per­son when I read your thoughts.….and we have already dis­cussed my spir­i­tu­al­ity, so to affect a per­son such as I so pro­foundly must mean you’re doing some­thing right. Love you, and your inspi­ra­tion xx

  2. I love how you responded. My hus­band works with A LOT of women. How­ever, he and one of the other few men, are mak­ing sure they have walls around their mar­riages. Both my hus­band and this male coworker will not get rides to or from home/work with another female alone. They also decline every year to do the “Secret Santa” thing at work, because chances are.…..they will get a female name (there are lit­er­ally MAYBE 6 total men in the entire com­pany). It’s not that they are afraid of falling into sin, it’s sim­ply that they want to respect and honor their mar­riages and not open a door for the enemy. At a pre­vi­ous job, my hus­band declined to have lunch with his boss on his birth­day. It was “sup­posed” to be a group lunch for my hubby with all the super­vi­sors (he was one of the super­vi­sors and it would have been a mix of men and women). Some­how, every­one else was too busy to go to the lunch, but this one female boss tried to encour­age my hubby to go any­way. He declined and hon­estly told her that it was noth­ing against her, but he won’t go places with women alone, not even in pub­lic restraunts. This in turn, caused her to start ask­ing about his faith, and he referred her to me, and some women lead­ers in our church. As a result, she started going to church (not ours, but she did visit it). We don’t know where she is now spir­i­tu­ally as he left that job to work for a min­istry. But the point is.…..he could have gone on the lunch date, but he wanted to honor our mar­riage and as a result, his boss started going to church. We can say a lot in terms of our Chris­tian­ity, but it’s the actions that speak louder than words. :) I give the same respect to my hus­band. Men don’t come in my home if he’s not home (we even had cable TV installed on a week­end to ensure my hubby would be home.…..not his orders, just some­thing I do out of honor to him). If I want to update pas­tors in our church on our fam­ily (our youngest is often ill dur­ing the win­ter and we miss a lot of church, which causes them to call and see if our son is strug­gling, so to save them the has­sle, I send emails to keep them updated), I cc my hubby to the emails as well. It not only gives respect to my hubby, but also to the pas­tors and their wives. Again, it’s not a mat­ter of dis­trust. It’s a mat­ter of respect­ing an hon­or­ing not only my own mar­riage, but the mar­riages of my fel­low sis­ters and broth­ers in the Lord. <3

  3. I love this :). Lord, give me a heart to always be able to respond, that is hon­or­ing to your, as dis­played in this post.

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