Trisha and I have spent more time apart this summer than we have at any time since our separation five and a half years ago. I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t brought up questions and concerns and conversations. I’ve been free from pornography for almost six years. It no longer has a grip on my heart. But neither of us are stupid either. I’m one choice away from compromising my integrity; my relationship with God; my marriage; my boys. I know that. A lot of people travel. So I thought it would be helpful to share with you some of the things we think through when we’re apart. (If you’re not married yet, most of these principles will apply as well.)
-Recognize I’m in a Battle
There is a battle for my heart. There is a battle for my mind. The Apostle Paul in the New Testament says that, “Satan prowls like a lion, seeking someone to devour.” For so many years, I took this for granted. Purity will not be easy…I will have to fight for it. When Trisha is gone, or when I’m traveling, I am conscious of the battle I’m in. I pray about it. I read Scriptures about it. Knowing you’re in a battle is half the fight.
-Guard my eyes and my heart
I’m pretty selective about the TV shows I watch and the movies I watch anyway. I am very conscious of this when Trisha and I are apart. I’m not trying to be all legalistic or old fogey…but the purity of my heart and the intimacy of my marriage is much more important to me than a TV show or movie. I know that the Enemy can use things I see to trip me up…so I dial up my awareness and my standard when Trisha and I are apart.
-Pray a powerful prayer
One of my favorite Scriptures is a prayer that David prayed, that I pray at least once per day when Trisha and I are in different places. The prayer I pray is, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” When I’m willing to pray this prayer, and truly mean it, I’m allowing God into all of my heart.
Trying not to lust doesn’t work. Trying not to look at pornography doesn’t work. Trying not to do something you know you shouldn’t do never gives you the results you want.
Engage in the battle.
Choose to guard your mind.
Allow God into the darker parts of your heart.
Purity is possible!
How do you pursue purity when you’re away from your spouse?