Devotional: Honor Your Wife Even When She’s Not Around – Bounce Your Eyes, Mind, and Heart

Devotional: Honor Your Wife Even When She’s Not Around – Bounce Your Eyes, Mind, and Heart

Last weekend while family was in town we meandered down to Balboa Island for a day of enjoying sunny SoCal tourism. Balboa Island is near Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and Costa Mesa, all nestled in famed Orange County California.

“The OC”, as it is referred to by tourists, is essentially the materialism and plastic-boobies capital of the universe. While strolling, driving, or boating in Orange County, you can view or purchase million-dollar yachts, swanky Ferraris / Rolls Royces, expensive clothing / jewelry, and purchase all the plastic surgery your heart, body, chin, cheeks, chest, and tummy could possibly afford.

While I was strolling in the quaint beach-town promenade holding my wife’s hand, I thought about how even the most well-intentioned man is a soldier storming a land mine field of the best stereotypical model bodies money can buy. As I am everyday when I leave the house, I was reminded of the importance of “bouncing my eyes”. This  tried-and-true technique for protecting your mind and honoring your wife is taught by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker in Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time (The Every Man Series)

Bounce Your Eyes – “Every Man’s Battle”

“Bouncing your eyes” is an incredibly simple, but difficult action. Men are designed to appreciate the beauty of woman. Period. However, we are also called to not lust after or demean women in our minds or hearts. Married men are called to complete fidelity, even with the mind and heart. In case you have not hear of this fantastic tactic, I am going to teach this to you now. Are you ready for it?… It’s a doozy. Get a pen and paper ready to ake notes.

When your eyes are drawn to a woman as she catwalks, jogs, marches, or struts by… LOOK AWAY.Immediately “bounce your eyes” like a  ball off Roger Federer’s tennis racket. Whew… that was hard, right?

This action is as simple as it gets… use the tiny muscles in your eyeballs, to pivot your eyes away from the visual candy. In practice, it involves surrendering  the lustful desires that infect your relationships with God and your wife to the Holy Spirit.

It is definitely “easier” to bounce my eyes while I am proudly holding my wife’s hand. Let’s be honest, for many men, the fear of “getting caught” is more motivating than the pain and rejection your wife feels as you betray her and commit mental adultery. It can be decidedly more difficult when we are not together. However, that is potentially when it matters the most, because it shows how much you really believe in how lust undermines your marriage and belief Christ’s teachings. In those moments, you show your true condition of heart and real submission to the Holy Spirit

Bounce Your Mind – Think About Your Wife & Christ

Ok… now away from the obvious of looking away from women that are in no way as sexy as my honey. While in Balboa, as I was bouncing my eyes and focusing both on how incredibly hot my wife is and how much I desire to honor her with my thoughts… I also thought about what it would mean to bounce my mind and heart.

Satan has this AMAZING super-power of trying to pervert the God-given gift of memory to HIS advantage. He sits on your shoulder and reminds you of mistakes from your past or images in your memory, and encourages you dwell on and indulge them. This does not honor your Christ or your wife.

Bouncing your mind goes far beyond sexual imagery; it involves submitting any thought that does honor your wife to Christ. Allow me to lay some scripture on you now:

Philippians 4:4-9 – 4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

In these moments, pause and focus on God. Submit your mind and thoughts to Christ, by praying quietly or aloud… “Father, I submit my thoughts to you right now. By the power of the Holy Spirit and the name of Jesus, help me focus on your beauty and be thankful for my lovely wife. I desire to honor you and my wife with my mind by focusing on Holy thoughts, Christ’s life, and your beauty.” Pray that for as long as it takes.

You’ll be surprised how hard it is to think horrible thoughts while praying and focusing on Christ’s love and sacrifice

Bounce Your Heart – Embody the Fruits of the Spirit

I also thought about what it would look like to “bounce my heart”.  You know those glaringly selfish moments in your marriage where your condition of heart is more focused on dislike, frustration, aggression, stress, impatience, anxiety, harshness, intolerance, indecency, indulgence, greed, pride, self-denial, etc. You get the point. How could my marriage and relationship with Christ and wife change if I desperately and actively try to submit my heart to the Holy Spirit in these moments?

The Bible has a crystal clear answer to this conundrum in good ole’ Galatians 5:22-23. In “bouncing our hearts”, we should focus on the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

Just as I bounce my eyes away from a woman, I can bounce my heart away from “self” by praying, focusing, and meditating on Christ’s nature. In doing this, I choose to trust God’s promises and submit my heart to Christ, which helps me lift up my mind and wife as holy and blameless before the Creator of the Universe. As I pursue this, I invite the Holy Spirit to shine through me, and only then can the fruits of the Spirit be aligned with and radiate from my humanity.

Scriptural References

Galatians 5: 22-24 … 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

Philippians 4: 4-94Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you struggle with bouncing your eyes, mind, or heart?
  2. Do you need to ask forgiveness from Christ and/or your wife for anything on this topic?
  3. Do you think practicing these “tactics” could improve your relationships with God and/or your wife?
  4. What is keeping you from doing these things? Who can keep you accountable?

Try these “tactics” and let us know about your experiences.

  1. California Boy Tommy says:

    Excellent reminders of how we tend to let heart mind and eyes wander in our daily walk! “Satan,get the heck off my shoulder now”. Thank you Lord for my wonderful wife of almost 38 years!

    CalBoy

  2. Thomas Jefferson says:

    When I am not writing important American documents, I read blogs. I read this post today, and it reminded me that we have to have all of ourselves submitted to Christ. This seems to be easy, but it is terribly difficult in a society that is constantly bombarding its people with the thought that independence and success go hand-in-hand. For example, you are viewed as weak and unsuccessful if you are not able to obtain the independence to get a big house, a car, a dog, a wife/husband, and juggle fifty hobbies while being the life of the party. Lecrae says it well by saying that people who live for a house, a job, a car, a dog, etc. did not live at all. To live is Christ. We have to depend on him to help with our thought lives which direct everything we do in our actions.

  3. Steve says:

    Correction – 4 readers ! Blessings my brother, in Christ, s.

  4. Mindie G says:

    5!! I would like to get notified again! I enjoy reading this too! I will send you an email reminder! 🙂 Thank you for sharing this and being obedient to Christ’s higher calling. It totally applies to women too. We may not struggle with lusting after other men as much as men do over women, but it still happens.

  5. Michael Won says:

    I completely agree. I want to live this way until the day I die.

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