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10 Building Blocks for a Happy Family (Jim Burns, Ph.D.)


Are You "Flirting" with Disaster?

By Jim Burns

CBN.comIn times gone by, cars were “built to last”. We kept our vehicles anywhere from seven to ten years after purchasing them. We prided ourselves on keeping them clean and well maintained. And when a part did wear out, it was replaced in order to prolong the life of the automobile.

Then, in the late 1980s, a revolution of sorts took the auto industry by storm. Leasing, once a financial tool used only by large companies, became a popular alternative to purchasing a new car. Whereas a purchase requires a total commitment from the buyer, the lease arrangement has considerably fewer strings attached. Leases typically run from two to three years, while a purchase may take as many as six years to complete. And while the owner is responsible for all car maintenance, the lessee is usually accountable for next to none of his – the dealer provides the upkeep during the two to three year lease term.

Now, you might be asking yourself why I’m writing an article about leasing cars. Actually, I'm really not writing about cars at all, but rather about keeping flirtatious advances from ruining your marriage. What’s the connection? Well, I’m afraid that the popular mindset of marriage in our culture is more like a “leasing” a car and less like “purchasing” one. Couples used to commit to each “till death do us part,” nowadays the attitude is more like, “till something better (younger, prettier, or wealthier) comes along”.

It has often been said that the best thing you can do for your kids is to love your spouse. I happen to agree. A quality marriage is perhaps the optimum factor for rearing secure children. (Ask anyone you know who grew up in a home where the parents were too “child-focused” and you’ll know what I’m talking about.) This may sound a bit selfish, but if you don’t put that “Mom-and-Dad” time into your marriage, your relationship will suffer... and so will your kids. This means that sometimes you’re going to have to put your spouse’s needs in front of your children’s. Believe me, your kids won’t mind – in the long run, of course.

If you’re sensing a distance growing between you and your spouse, you need to do two things: first, start building a bridge between the gap, and second, don’t look to someone else to meet needs your spouse isn’t meeting for you right now. If you’re married and you find yourself flirting with a member of the opposite sex, you’re headed for trouble. It might seem fun and a bit flattering at the time, but ultimately it can only lead to disaster. I’m not suggesting you avoid all contact with co-workers, friends, or other associates of the opposite sex. What I am saying is that by flirting, you may be sabotaging your marriage – without even realizing it.

Here's some practical advice—both for men and women (and especially if you find yourself dealing with the temptation of flirtation):

  • Gentlemen, get with a couple of guys from church and talk openly and honestly about potential “distractions” that might be keeping you from opening up to your wives.
  • Ladies, get with a couple of trustworthy girlfriends and talk to them about your “distractions” also.

Loving your spouse is of primary importance in developing the kind of spiritual foundation your children want and really need.

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