Mark 10 Nine


Are you happily married and looking for tips on maintaining a God-honoring marriage? This weekly devotional will give you encouragement for your marriage.

How to Avoid Temptation and Stay Focused On Your Marriage

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15

During the 1900s, a scientist is reported to have done an experiment using frogs. The premise is that if you were to put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it would immediately jump out. However, if you put the frog in a pot of room temperature water and slowly turn the heat up, the frog would complacently allow himself to be boiled.

I’m not sure where the myth originated or if there was ever actually a study, but after doing some frog research, I found this old tale to be untrue. Let me add that no frogs were harmed (or even touched) in the preparation of this devotional.

The frog story got me thinking about sin. While frogs may not necessarily sit in a pot of tepid water and wait for the boil, the comparison to sin is striking.

It seems as if many families have an imaginary pot of water that the enemy tries to get us in. We are so comfortable in the water that as the heat of temptation is turned up, we don’t even notice. Soon, that little thought develops into a full-blown sin. James talks about it when he says that we are dragged away by our evil desires.

Have you ever looked at a family torn apart by unfaithfulness or divorce and wondered how it happened? They seemed so happy. You thought they were both serving the Lord. How could they be facing this? The standard issue among people who give in to sin is that they give into temptation. It all starts there.

Pastor Ben Stuart says, “What you think about is what you will care about, and what you care about is what you will chase.”

Sit with that statement for a minute.

What are you thinking about? Where does your mind wander in times of boredom, excitement, or loneliness?

If you want a marriage that honors Christ, you need to have a mind that is fixated on your spouse and your marriage. If you are having trouble thinking loving thoughts about your spouse, ask the Lord to help you see the good in them.

When you spend time with the Lord, take a few minutes and write five things you appreciate about your spouse. You could put it in a journal or the notes section of your phone and refer back to it often.

“What you think about is what you will care about, and what you care about is what you will chase.” 

Stop chasing the things of the world. It is time to stop trying to get all of your pleasure from your job or what your co-workers think of you. You have a holy job in your home as a spouse or a parent.

Generations will be impacted by the decisions you are making today. When you are tempted to look at inappropriate things online or send that text to a person you know you shouldn’t be talking with, think about what the other side of that sin will feel like. Think about the look on your spouse’s face when they find out what you have been hiding. Think about the disappointment when you see your adult children making the same decisions.

We will all be tempted. Ask the Lord to give you the strength to recognize the temptations of the enemy and the courage to partner with your spouse to change your thought life so God can change your marriage.

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers.  Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. Proverbs 4:14-15

God bless,

 

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