By the grace and power of God, I have been married and faithful to my beautiful, funny and very smart wife for fifteen years. By his grace and power, I plan to remain married and faithful to her until death separates us. Now, please hear me. I don’t say this with pride, overconfidence, self-sufficiency or sitting in the judgment seat; I know I can fall and fail like so many others have. But, I say it with humility and gratitude to God. I think I have some compelling reasons why I have not had and don’t plan to have a “jump off.”
1. I made a covenant/commitment to love and honor my wife. When I said I do before God and those 300 witnesses, I meant what I said. I promised to love, honor, cherish and to forsake all others. To have a “jump off” would dishonor Tonia, break the covenant I made, and render my vows as empty words.
2. God has allowed me, over the years, to build a good reputation and to have a modicum of positive influence. To have a “jump off” would topple and ruin, in a minute, all that God has allowed me to build over a long period of time. It’s just not worth disappointing so many people and losing my voice of influence.
3. I enjoy living and keeping all my body parts. A twitter friend of mine (David Turner) said, ‘A “jump off will get you “jumped on.”‘ Lol! So, there are some physically compelling reasons for me not to have a “jump off.”
4. I have three beautiful children, who look up to their father and think that he is some sort of hero to them. I really try to live up to their expectations, but I know I fall short often. But, in this area, I don’t want to have to sit them down, take off the cape, and try to explain to them why my actions were less than heroic, why I hurt their mother in such a deep way, and why I broke their trust. That’s a conversation I would prefer not to have with them.
5. It is just too physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially draining to keep up with lies I’m supposed to tell, two or three sets of places I’m supposed to be, gifts I’m supposed to buy, lines I’m supposed to have down, and important dates I’m supposed to remember. I’m just becoming proficient in all of this with Tonia. To try and do this for more than one, I’m just not that good, and neither do I want to be.
6. For me to have a “jump off” would sully the sacredness of marriage and break the heart of my heavenly Father. I still believe that marriage is a sacred and holy relationship designed by God, and I want mine to be a true and clear picture of Christ’s relationship to the church. As for breaking the heart of my heavenly Father, I am trying to do that less and less.
It is time for us to take the energy and creativity we put into maintaining “jump offs” and redirect and reposition it toward working on, protecting and saving our marriages.
What are some other compelling reasons to remain faithful to your spouse? What practical things would you suggest or do you have in place to guard yourself from having an affair or committing adultery?
BTW, if you see me doing something, saying something, writing something or relating to someone in a way that is deemed inappropriate, you have the freedom to check me.
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