Saturday, October 17, 2015

Honoring Marital Vows with Complete Fidelity

Keeping our marriage vows with complete fidelity forever

In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" it says, "God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.  They should honor marital vows with complete fidelity."

In the world today, there is a misconception that infidelity involves only sex outside of marriage, but being completely faithful to one's spouse, requires more than not committing adultery.  When we get married, we are completely giving ourselves to our spouse.  We love our spouse and God with "All our heart, might, mind, and strength"(D&C 4:2).  Our spouse is the only other besides God who we are commanded to love with all our heart.

Every day on the news, you hear about the indiscretions of athletes, celebrities, and politicians. Television makes infidelity seem like an everyday occurrence.  Surprisingly, according to research done by the National Marriage Project (2009), 21 percent of married men and 14 percent of married women in 2000 report ever being unfaithful to their spouse.  Yes, this sounds terrible, however this number has not increased over the past 20 years.

There are four general types of infidelity: fantasy, visual, romantic, and sexual.  Fantasy Fidelity is having an emotional affair with someone who has no knowledge about what is happening, or someone who is anonymous, (like on a social network or chat room).  Let's say John and Emily are married.  John frequently fantasizes about one of his co-workers, a woman and what it would be like to run away with her and have a life together.  Would John ever act on this fantasy?  Maybe, maybe not, but because he is imagining what life would be like with another person, he is not being faithful to his wife.  It is important to remember, "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he"(Proverbs 23:7). The line can seem blurred, but this infidelity is all about emotions.  If we find ourselves putting more effort into another relationship, then we need to stop and think about how this is affecting our marriage.  

The second infidelity is visual, and is one of the most common types in our world today.  Pornography involves the common practice of self-stimulation while viewing pornography.  In Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus has warned that we should not look upon anyone lustfully.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught: "Pornography impairs one's ability to enjoy a normal emotional, romantic, and spiritual relationship with a person of the opposite sex.  It erodes the moral barriers that stand against inappropriate, abnormal, or illegal behavior.  As conscience is desensitized, patrons of pornography are let to act out what they have witnessed, regardless of its effects on their life and the lives of others."

Romantic infidelity happens when an individual becomes emotionally involved with a specific person other than his or her spouse.  It can be described as a "second life" and can be a result of trying to escape the monotony of everyday life.  Satan tries to convince us that our life is boring and we need to escape our dull routines and relationships.  Those who are unfaithful, however will over time become disappointed since everyday life will catch up to us eventually.

The final type of infidelity is sexual infidelity.  This occurs when a person engages in sexual acts outside of marriage with or without emotional attachment.  It's important to understand that infidelity is very subtle and does not begin with adultery.  It begins with thoughts and attitudes.

There are many ways to avoid infidelity.  Here are just a few:

-Be loyal to your spouse
-Put your spouse first
-Control your thoughts
-Be on guard. Have boundaries and draw the line with others of the opposite sex.

When we have appropriate boundaries, are loyal, control our thoughts, and put our spouse first, our marriage will unlikely be hurt by infidelity.


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