How to Talk to Your Spouse About Temptations You Face
Cultivate a Deeper Connection by Keeping the Lines of Communication Open
by J.M. Troppello
Temptation can derail your marriage. It can lead to you or your spouse getting ensnared by pornography, turning to an outside source for emotional support, or adultery. Whether you’ve been married for fifty years or three months, the devil can use temptation to disrupt your marriage and hinder emotional and spiritual growth in your life.
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (I Cor. 10:13, NKJV)
I love how this verse says that God “will also make the way of escape.” I’ve seen God make that way of escape in my life. Sometimes, I took that way of escape. Other times, I followed my flesh and did something I wasn’t supposed to do. Consider the following ways that you can work with your spouse to handle temptations you face each day.
1. Vulnerability with Each Other
A key factor in effectively handling temptation in your marriage is to be completely vulnerable with your spouse. This may be easy for some and more difficult for others. This July, my husband and I will be married for 18 years. Our level of vulnerability now is significantly higher than when we first got married. That’s normal. Your life together will grow and develop as you continue to be open and share together whatever is in your heart.
Lay aside the fear of rejection—trust God—and share any temptations you have with your spouse in open communication. Ask your spouse to share their temptations with you. Just set some rules beforehand that you will remain calm and stay open to actually hearing each other.
2. Study the Bible Together
If you haven’t been reading and studying the Bible together, you need to do this. My husband and I still need work in this area. We do our devotional time separately due to our work schedules. However, our time studying God’s Word together is not always consistent. I’m preaching to myself here too.
Studying and applying God’s Word to your life (individually) and as a couple can be an integral part of effectively handling temptation. Maybe one of you has issues with pornography, spending too much money, hiding things from your spouse, or cultivating an emotional connection to another person. You could have other temptations. However, once you’ve openly communicated them to each other (in step 1), you can read about those issues in God’s Word. Hopefully, identifying God’s perspective on those issues can help you both overcome those temptations.
3. Pray with Your Spouse
Prayer is so powerful. It can move mountains. Prayer is the gateway between God and His children.
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:16-18, NKJV)
Verse 16 says that “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” However, don’t forget to read the first part of this verse. “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” Okay, so maybe you haven’t yet sinned through your temptations. However, it’s still important to pray together and pray for your spouse—so that you can have the strength—through the power of the Holy Spirit, to overcome those temptations when they come.
4. Ask for Help When Needed
Openly communicate with your spouse about the temptations you face. However, sometimes, you may need additional help. Confide in a trusted friend, family member, or church leader to help you overcome those temptations. Again, there need to be rules implemented if you take this step.
You both need to know if you want to confide in someone else. Don’t speak to someone without first talking to your spouse about it. Only speak to someone of the same sex. For example, your husband should only speak to a male. A wife should only speak to a woman. You should never confide intimate details or communicate intimately with someone of a different sex—that could lead to even more temptation and could spell disaster for your marriage. Seek God’s counsel if you think you should confide in someone else.
Cultivate a Deeper Relationship with Your Spouse
I remember reading something in one of the books by Dr. Gary Smalley. I don’t remember which book it was from. However, it truly resonated with me for a long time. He wrote, “Your mate is not your enemy.” That has helped so much through the years—especially when I was in the midst of an argument with my husband.
Vulnerability with each other
Study the Bible together
Pray with your spouse
Ask for help when needed
Use these four steps to help you cultivate a deeper relationship with your spouse.
Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.
About the Author
J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
Connect with the author on Twitter. You can find her on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Clouthub.
Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel.