Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: We’re supposed to pray for everybody, right? Not according to Judy Starr. She says a married woman shouldn’t necessarily pray for all the men she knows.

Judy Starr: If I am attracted to somebody, of course I care about them spiritually. Therefore I find myself wanting to pray for them, for their salvation, for their goodness, and so forth. But when I do that, all it does is bring them up in my mind every single day and reinforce that growing relationship.

So I advise women to not pray for them, but ask your accountability person to pray for them. Then you’re not constantly reinforcing those thoughts of that person in your mind.

Leslie Basham: It’s Monday, February 6th, and you’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Because today’s topic is more sensitive in nature, you might want to get your younger children busy somewhere away from the radio. And don’t forget, you can always listen later at our website if you want to. Here’s Nancy to introduce our guests.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Over the past several days, we’ve been addressing the very tough but really important issue of women and infidelity. I know that this series of programs has been a huge help, encouragement, conviction, and challenge to many, many of the women who’ve written to share with us that this is an issue in their lives, this is something they have struggled with.

I am so thankful, Judy Starr and Holly Elliff, that you’ve had the courage, the willingness, to come and be with us on Revive Our Hearts and to share out of your own lives, out of your experience, but most importantly from the Word of God, what we need to understand about this whole issue.

Holly Elliff: That’s what I love about God’s Word. It is applicable to every aspect of our lives.

Nancy: So true.

Judy: Even the really, really tough ones.

Nancy: Speaking of really, really tough, Judy, you’ve been honest in sharing some of your story of how you ended up in an emotional attraction to man who wasn’t your husband. You’ve shared with us how you took a pathway out of that situation and were restored in your marriage.

But I want us today to talk with some of our listeners who right now or in the days ahead may find themselves tempted to be drawn into an emotional attachment or even a physical relationship with a man who’s not their husband.

What are you going to do, and what are we going to counsel our listeners to do, when you’re in the middle of that moment of temptation? Judy, get us started.

Judy: Well, the first thing I would say is to reemphasize never, ever underestimate the power of attraction. The Bible tells us to flee. It never tells us to fight sexual temptation or that type of attraction head on, but it tells us to flee.

So, if it’s possible, if you’re in the middle of a conversation with a boss and he winks at you and your heart spikes—end the conversation and get out of there is the very first thing you need to do.

Tied to that is, when you feel attracted to somebody, you of course want to start sharing with them, sharing your feelings about them, and that is taboo. Once you go there, that opens the door to major problems. So never share with them how you feel.

Nancy: You’re saying that with a lot of conviction because you’ve been there.

Judy: I have been there, and I did all the wrong things; and it opened the door to a pit full of snakes.

Nancy: Now, you are giving wise and godly counsel to a woman who may be on the other side of this issue, saying, “Don’t go there. Don’t tell him what you’re thinking. Don’t tell him what you’re feeling. That is a really foolish thing to do at that point.”

Judy: Absolutely! On other hand, if it is a continuing problem, do tell your husband. I can never overemphasize the value of having a “no secrets” policy with your husband, because as soon as you expose those feelings to the light and get them out of your secret fantasy, it’s like jamming a pin into a balloon, and it bursts.

Holly: I know that some of you out there right now are thinking, “I know Judy’s married to a great guy, so it was easy for her to go back to him because he’s a godly man. She made a vow to him, she wanted to keep that vow.”

Some of you are not married to godly men, and some of you are not married to great guys. You’re sitting there thinking, “Does that give me the right to pursue my own happiness and my own excitement and joy, because maybe even the man I am married to has been unfaithful to me? So does it let me off the hook in terms of the vow I’ve made before God?”

I think the answer to that is no, because the vow we made was made before God, in the presence of God, to that man, regardless of the circumstances of my marriage. God’s Word says that God is very serious about us keeping the vows we have made.

Judy: That’s right. It’s not easy, by any means, when you’re in the midst of feeling those temptations; yet we know that what God calls us to do is always right and always for our good.

Nancy: And we can always, by God’s grace, make the right choice, even if it does hurt.

Judy: That’s right; by the power of the Holy Spirit, He gives us the ability.

Nancy: Thank God for His Holy Spirit—thank God for His grace!

Holly: I think, as we become aware of that, we get better at realizing what things are fiery darts from the Enemy, when Satan is simply tempting us to think about another man; and then we can stop short instead of going further down that road, like you talk about in your book. We become women who learn to take those thoughts captive early.

Nancy: Which means no fantasizing. You can’t let your mind go there.

Holly: Right.

Judy: It’s also important to pray for God’s perspective on infidelity in marriage. I’ve found, as soon as I am attracted to somebody, to immediately pray and ask God what He talks about so much in Proverbs, about how infidelity is descending to the chambers of death, and to have His picture on it rather than to let my emotions rule my heart.

Holly: Because the world makes it so attractive . . .

Judy: Absolutely.

Holly: . . . and seem that I would be much happier out of this present relationship and in the other one.

Nancy: What about praying for that man?

Judy: I have found that if I am attracted to someone, of course I care about them spiritually. Therefore I find myself wanting to pray for them, for their salvation, for their goodness, and so forth; but when I do that, all it does is bring them up in my mind every single day and reinforce that growing relationship.

So I advise women to not pray for them, but ask your accountability person to pray for them. Then you’re not constantly reinforcing those thoughts of that person in your mind.

Nancy: Conversely, if you want to repair and rebuild strength in your marriage, your husband is the one you need to be praying for, because it will bring about that bond and oneness in that relationship.

Holly: Praying for him and with him—praying as a couple together.

Nancy: So, Judy, you’re sitting in a situation—you’re in the office; the spark is there; the fireworks are starting to go off—what do you do, just real quickly here?

Judy: The next thing I do is resist the devil. God tells us in James to resist the devil and he’ll flee from you, so I say out loud, “Satan, I resist you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” And God really tends to rule my emotions when I do that.

I also immediately tell my husband, if I sense this is an ongoing problem, so that it’s out in the open. He can pray for me. He can protect me. He’s aware of what’s going on.

I also tell my accountability partner, which is Holly, so that she’s aware, and she will ask me difficult questions, because sometimes our husbands don’t ask us the difficult questions.

I also immediately replace any thoughts that come up, as Holly talked about taking those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.

Lastly, as we’ve mentioned, I do whatever it takes. If it looks like this situation is going to develop into infidelity and I just can’t handle this, I need to move away—leave the job, move my children to different schools so I’m not interacting with some parent—whatever it takes for that situation so that I remain holy and godly.

Holly: Because what is at stake is the honor and the name of Christ.

Nancy: Well, I am confident that this series has been a huge help and a challenge to a lot of our listeners.

I hope that you will write and share with us how God has used this series in your life. Tell us how we can pray for you. We’d love to do that.

I want to close this series by reading a passage that Judy actually referred to a few moments ago from James chapter 4. Wherever you are in this progression of dealing with temptation, dealing with sin, here’s what God’s Word has to say, beginning in verse 6 of James 4.

“But he [God] gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep.” I think he’s talking there about being broken over your sin.

“Let your laughter . . .” You’ve been toying with enticements, you’ve been enjoying flirting with that wrong attraction. “Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (verses 6-10). Oh, my friend, God has grace for you, more grace, however much grace you need, abundant grace, plenteous grace, stores of grace, more than enough grace for you.

Lord, we have found Your grace to be so real, so abundant, just what we need, and more when we need it. You never let us get into a situation where we’re tempted beyond what we can bear, but with the temptation You provide a way of escape.

And Lord, I just believe that this program and this series has been the life preserver that You have thrown out to some of our listeners. It’s a way of escape.

I pray right now that that listener, that woman who’s flirting with disaster right now—in an emotional affair, perhaps, or her heart is being drawn away, maybe it’s full-blown physical adultery—Lord, whatever the situation, I pray that she would humble herself.

I pray that she would be honest with You, committed to be honest with her mate; that she would receive Your grace; that she would resist the devil; that she would submit herself to You and draw near to You; that she would cleanse her hands and purify her heart. And Lord, as she mourns and weeps and grieves over her sin, I pray that You would restore to her the real, true joy of obedience.

Thank You, Lord, that even at this moment You are restoring and redeeming broken lives. By faith we want to thank You for the marriages that will be claimed, for the children and grandchildren that will be able to reap blessing and have a godly legacy as a result of some women this day who’ve been willing to say, “Yes, Lord; whatever it takes, by Your grace, I purpose in my heart to be true to You, true to my husband, and to glorify You with my life.” I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Leslie Basham: Maybe it seems like Nancy Leigh DeMoss was specifically praying for you just now. Maybe you’re looking for a way of escape from a particular temptation. We encourage you to connect with other women in your church and develop the type of accountability relationships we heard about today from Judy Starr, our guest, along with Holly Elliff.

Would you consider studying this topic more deeply? Everybody faces temptation, and everyone needs to learn to rely on God more and more in this area.

Judy Starr has written a book and study guide that will help you learn why faithfulness is a better choice than adultery. It will also help you learn how to say no to temptation. You can order The Enticement of the Forbidden by Judy Starr when you visit our website, www.ReviveOurHearts.com. If you’d rather call, the number is 1-800-569-5959.

Like Nancy said, maybe this program represents a way of escape for the number of women who need biblical counsel in their relationships. Thank you if you’ve prayed for and donated to Revive Our Hearts. You’ve helped make this particular way of escape possible. Without you we won’t be on the air.

Would you think about helping us in this way? Come to www.ReviveOurHearts.com and go deeper with us.

If there’s any word that seems foreign to a busy woman today, it’s quiet. But you can have a quiet heart. Nancy will tell us about that tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture English Standard Version.

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