To maintain a healthy marriage we must be alert and guard our relationship against harmful outside influences that seek to destroy us. These influences come in many forms. One is time management. Not only must we carefully manage our work schedules so that we are not spending an extreme amount of time unnecessarily away from our home and family, but we also must be careful to manage our time spent in the home. Are we isolating ourselves being wrapped up in the Internet or watching too much TV? These things may not be considered harmful in small amounts, including the occasional overtime needed at our job, however we need to be mindful of how much time is being spent on outside priorities.
Another outside influence we must be on guard against is unhealthy relationships. These can be with the same or opposite sex. Our “best” friends may not have our best interest at heart. Maybe, even though well-meaning, they speak negatively against our spouse. This is not something we need to be hearing. Our hearts could easily be turned away from loving our spouse if we let negative comments turn over in our minds so that we start to believe them ourselves. Also, a relationship with the opposite sex may start out innocently enough, but can turn quickly if we are not on guard. Confiding in someone should be done with the utmost caution.
We must be sure to never speak against our spouse to the outside world. Unless of course there is some danger that we need help in dealing with such as an abusive relationship. Otherwise, we need not air our dirty laundry, or our spouse’s, for all to hear.
The last outside influence we must watch out for are parasites – anything that latches onto us and drains the life out of our marriage. These come in the form of addictions, such as gambling, drugs, and pornography. These will all destroy our marriage.
1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”
So in order to protect our marriage from outside predators, we must guard our hearts, eyes, and ears. Proverbs 14:1 “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands”.
CHALLENGE: Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that’s stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.