“The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.
So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.”
10 days ago, I made a confession to my wife. I told her about a habit of masturbation.
I wish I could say this was the first confession I’ve made to her, but this is my third in three years of marriage. It was one of the worst moments of my entire life. The pain in her heart... That pain that I know nobody but me caused… It’s torture. While she loved me faithfully everyday, I went behind her back to lust in the flesh. What a childish, cowardly act of selfishness.
How could I have been so prone to sin so many times? How could I hurt my family behind their backs time after time being “unfaithful”?
Answer: I was never on guard.
Ever since that confession, I’ve been relentlessly, vigilantly “on my guard” every hour of every day. Jesus doesn’t give me a 40-hour shift to be “on guard”—it is way more than that. It’s a daily, hourly, moment-by-moment devotion. The Enemy strikes at opportune times, so it’s up to me to get out in front of that temptation before the temptation gets out in front of me.
As I write this, I’m at 13 days straight of consecutive victory from masturbation. I know—it doesn’t sound like much, but I’m not after anyone’s approval at this point. (I’ve already let down the only person I actually care about.) I attribute my recent victory to “being on guard” like a sniper in his trench, scoping across No Man’s Land, looking for any sign of movement to pull my trigger and pulverize my enemy, Satan, with the sword of the Spirit.
Every night before we go to bed, I now tell her, “I was faithful to you today, and I’ll be faithful to you tomorrow.” It’s my least favorite part of each day because it’s a reminder of what I’ve done and the pain I’ve caused her… But it’s also something I must do. It’s a reminder to me and to her that I’m battling for her. I’m choosing her.
Daily Battle Order:
How “on guard” are you? Once a day? Only on Sundays? Whenever you feel like it?
What does “being on guard” look like for you? Here’s what it is for me:
spending quality time with Jesus
meditating on Scripture
identifying triggers (bored, angry, tired, lonely, aroused, stressed)
amputating every source of sin
communing with allies
preaching the Gospel to myself