Sexual temptation is one of the enemy’s most effective schemes. Everyone struggles with it. Whether you are married or not, sexual temptation can creep up on you when you least expect it. Sadly, many married people are succumbing to pornography usage or even affairs. For others, the thought of an affair is never too far from their mind. So, Francis Chan has written an open letter to anyone who is considering it.
““Lord, please kill me before I cheat on my wife.” This is a prayer that I prayed many times when I was first married,” Chan writes at Desiring God. “I’m not saying that it was mature or biblical, but it gives you a glimpse into my mind. I did not ever want to bring shame to the church, and I knew that this potential for evil was in me.”
Chan highlights the Biblical instruction to “flee” temptation and to literally run away from the things that will lead you astray. “Run away from temptation, and run towards righteousness,” declares Chan.
Francis recalls how a pastor friend of his committed adultery, and even thought about killing himself when he got found out. “Of course, taking his own life in the aftermath of adultery would only be multiplying the sin,” he writes. “But I was struck by the misery he felt. He seriously thought it would be better to be dead than to have done this and to live with the consequences! His misery was both a wake-up call and a warning to me. Fear can be a great grace.”
Chan’s advice? Be constantly vigilant. Never think you are stronger than you are.
“I live each day with severe caution. I rarely counsel women, and never alone. I won’t go anywhere with a woman alone,” he writes. “In 23 years, I have never even been in a car alone with another woman (aside from relatives). It has felt silly at times to inconveniently tell women they had to drive separately even though we are going to the same location, but I believe it’s been worth it.”
Chan also says that he and his wife are completely open with each other about who they are contacting. “My wife has access to all of my email accounts, phone records, and I don’t have a Facebook profile. There are no secrets between us,” he writes.
But above all, Chan argues that we need more of Jesus in our lives.
“A few months ago, I told a friend that I didn’t want to have any sin in my life because I am enjoying such close fellowship with Jesus. That was a new experience for me,” he writes. “Fear, discipline, and mission are all biblical motivations — and have all helped me in my pursuit of holiness. But now that I have been enjoying deeper connection with Jesus, I feel like I’ve missed out.”