Several weeks after our marriage began, my husband and I decided we needed to set boundaries to keep protect our marriage. We decided when it came to marriage, we should view it circumspectly. Why? Because it is something we cherish. It is something that is special to us. It is something we deem worth fighting for.
My husband and I do a lot of traveling, I mean a lot of traveling. We travel all over America to visit churches and unfortunately I notice many couples not even setting up basic boundaries to protect their marriages.
Several instances remain vivid in my memory. One is when a married man was leaning over and whispering in someone else’s wife’s ear — for several minutes. How did she respond? She leaned in, listened and giggled. Red flags automatically went off in my mind.
Another instance is when I saw a man squeeze and hug another woman super-tight and longer than normal. Both were married to other people. That was over the line.
Why are boundaries important?
We should never, ever trust our flesh. There are many people whom we view as good and upstanding citizens that have fallen into the trap of adultery. They never, ever thought they would be the unfaithful spouse, but now their marriage is in turmoil because they opened themselves up to an opportunity in which they could be unfaithful to their spouse. They let down their guard, or they chose not to keep boundaries in place.
If marriage is paramount over all things, excepting God, then I encourage you to set boundaries for your marriage now. Choose to have a strategic plan to keep your marriage together before temptation strikes and catches you unawares.
What’s the best plan for your marriage?
A Biblical one. My husband and I sat down and discussed why we should make boundaries and which ones we should make according to God’s word. We knew and trusted that God would guide us in our marriage journey, and that God chooses to do that through the Bible. Studying verses concerning marriage, fornication, adultery, husbands, wives, strange and virtuous women gives us an overall view of what it takes to make a marriage work.
Here are the boundaries my husband and I came up with to safeguard our marriage. I hope it will help you think, consider and protect!
Five Boundaries You Need to Protect Your Marriage
- When it is possible, do not allow yourself to be in a room alone with someone of the opposite gender. There are times when this situation is unavoidable, but many times it takes just a little bit of planning to make sure the husband and the wife are staying within this boundary. My husband has to meet with women often since he is a pastor/missionary. If I am unable to visit with him, he takes one of our children or someone in the church. Think of some ways in which you can handle situations discreetly and still keep your marriage top priority.
- Emails, Facebook messages, phone calls etc. to someone of the opposite gender are never secret. We make sure that we keep passwords to everything easily accessible and our history, messages etc. are always kept open. We are also pretty strict about who we “friend” on Facebook since that is an easy place to start up a conversation with someone of the opposite gender. Some couples go as far as having one account that they share, and that is amiable. My husband and I have chosen to have separate accounts because we have many friends who live thousands of miles away from us and enjoy connecting on Facebook. It makes a way where we can still chat with our friends separately. But either way, communication with people of the opposite gender should be open and never secret.
- Keep a reasonable distance from the opposite gender. If I am chatting with another man besides my husband, I make sure there is plenty of distance between us, and we are in a public setting with others around. Though most of my conversations are with women, sometimes I have to discuss a small matter with a man, and I keep it quick, polite and make sure that we are not in each other’s personal space. I appreciate it when I see other women speak to my husband with the same boundaries.
- Keep your eyes on each other. We stay away from well-populated beaches. Why? Because there are too many bodies there to draw our eyes away from each other. We also do not watch movies where women are wearing revealing clothing or men are removing their shirts. We want to focus our eyes on each other’s outward appearances and enjoy one another. We don’t want to give an opportunity for either one of us to focus on someone else’s body. Honestly, I have been ashamed and angered when married women have take pictures of other men, shared the pictures on social media and added the hashtag #eyecandy or #hottie. Other women went to male stripper movies and bragged about it on social media. Still, others talk and dream about other male celebrities. I am sure that makes husbands feel special, loved and desired. No, ladies, it is a shame and a disgrace. Let’s keep our minds and our intimate desires geared towards our husbands and them alone. It’s not just men that commit adultery!
- If you are engaged in a conversation with the opposite gender, keep the doors open for your spouse to jump in. It’s safest if you have to be involved with conversations with people of the opposite gender to include your spouse. Sometimes I say, “Hmmm…that’s a good question, why don’t you ask my husband?”
Shortly after my husband and I were married, my husband and I were in different areas outside a busy section of town and a guy from high school recognized me. He said hello and then gave me a look over. He then proceeded to tell me that I looked “good.” I guess he didn’t notice the ring on my finger, because I was still very young for a married woman. I kindly smiled and mentioned I was here with my husband and pointed him out across the street. He nodded and walked away. On another occasion, I had a childhood friend call me up one day and start talking on the phone. He was married and I was married, but we hadn’t talked in years. I immediately took the phone to the living room and sat down beside my husband so my conversation was public and not hidden. It was simple, discreet and not rude to the other individual, but it was still keeping my marriage priority. Other times, I have seen my husband in a conversation with a woman, and he would wave me over, introduce and involve me in the conversation. Really, we are one flesh, and include each other in almost everything in our lives — especially keeping our marriage safe and protected.
When you promised to stay faithful and true to your spouse, you may not have realized what a dark and dirty world it is out there. I know, I didn’t. But, you have to fight to keep your promise. It’s not as easy as saying “I do” or “I will.” No, you have to make plans, strategies and boundaries. But above all else, you have to have faith and trust in God to help you be the best husband/wife your spouse could have. Consider making boundaries today and protect your marriage — at all costs!