These past couple of days, my husband has been out of town for work. We have a pipe leaking in the basement and we’ve put it off for months, but now that we’re selling the house, we need to fix it. One of the brothers from church offered to come over and look at the problem. He’s been over three days in a row, an hour here and hour there, wherever he can fit it in, but I feel like I need to be on hand if he needs anything. I have seven children and they’re all at home all the time, but this experience has taught me how easily one can form attachments to kind people. I wonder if it’s harder for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to withstand temptation, because the people are generally trying hard to live good lives, they’re good people. They try to be helpful and kind and giving. I remember going to the Missionary Training Center twenty years ago and feeling amazed that every elder in there was so attractive! I learned it was the visible light of the Spirit that made them so, and learned to lock my heart and love the Lord, not mistake the vessels that carry it for His love that I was feeling.
In his book, Drawing Heaven into Your Marriage, Dr. H. Wallace Goddard, teaches the progression of infidelity in marriage. It starts with innocent behaviors and then there is a connection that grows and claims part of one’s heart. This leads to flirting which is followed by a relationship deemed “special” by one or the other involved in
this new affiliation. The individual will try to see the other person. Excuses follow close after, and lies are then formed to cover the time or money that is spent on this new person. These new behaviors displace the spouse who is then the focus of fault finding and not good enough when held up to the loveliness of the new person. The flirting then becomes physical, maybe a kiss or a squeeze and sexual relations follow.
I’m a busy homeschooling mother and haven’t held a paying job in almost two decades. There is no worry for me whatever about temptations from outside sources, which is a huge comfort to me. After the brother from the ward came over, I started thinking about different parts of our conversation. It’s instructive to watch the adversary work. I’m not attracted or interested in this brother whatsoever, but I identified the beginning steps of progression. These are innocent behaviors, he’s called to make sure I’m home when he’s available, he’s called again because he forgot his tools, I texted to tell him I found them and put them on my husband’s desk. My husband is home tonight, and while I feel completely at ease with things the way they are, I can discern where Satan would lead me to a wide veering road ahead.
Interestingly, another brother from a neighboring ward came over to fix the electrical problem in our front rooms and he was probably 60 and wanted to make sure my husband would be there before he came over. The kids’ presence was a decent
backup, but he preferred my spouse. I loved that even though he could be my father, he took this precaution.
Being best friends is the best way to enjoy marriage. Putting safeguards in place to ensure temptation is minimal testifies of one’s love and honor for their spouse.