7 Ways to Affair-Proof Your Ministry

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by gb93433, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    It seems every day we hear of another big name celebrity, politician, or pastor who has fallen into the temptation of lust and had an affair. I think it is dangerous for any leader to assume this could never happen to him or her. Speaking as a man (I can’t speak as a woman), I understand that temptation is very real. When the mind begins to wander in a lustful direction, it is very hard to control. The failure, I believe, comes more in not protecting the heart and mind. I know that I must personally work to protect myself, my wife, my boys, and my church from the scandal and embarrassment of an affair. There are a few rules I have in place that serve to protect my heart:


    The rest of the story is at http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastor...dium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate
     
  2. glfredrick

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    I have long adopted a similar set of rules for my own ministry.

    Best way to affair proof one's ministry is to have a ministry to one's wife and home, which are touched on in the article cited above.

    I can recall about three occaisons in the past 30 years where I have been alone with a woman who was not my wife.

    In one instance, I was doing some sensitive counseling with a particular woman who cornered me after a night meeting of the church. She was not easily dismissed as she poured out her heart in tears. I did all this with church members in the building and an open door, but I just about freaked out when I discovered that we were the last two left in the building. I started calling deacons, my wife, and anyone else I could think of! What was made worse was what she poured out to me -- everyone in a church setting to whom she shared her troubles ended up "abusing here sexually." My word! I could see the HUGE target on my back! We NEVER met like that again and my wife was present for all later counseling. By God's grace, this woman repented and went on to become influential in national missions work including becoming the publisher of a magazine aimed at national missions work.

    The other two cases were secular employment related where I simply had to do what I did or else loose my job for discrimination. No couseling, just riding here and there to do company business.

    Over the years, my wife has come to apprecaite the fact that I REFUSE to be alone with any other woman and we have a most trusting marriage relationship because of that. She understands that I am willing to make her "unhappy" because she MUST sit in on a counseling session that she would rather not participate in than making here even "more unhappy" by what might come of such an encounter if I were accused of some sin by some person who may not be in right mind.

    We teach marriage skills together and this has proven to be a most fruitful ministry!

    Oh, and in case you didn't already discern, yes, I LOVE my bride. I am head over heels over her, more so now than the day we walked the aisle during our marriage ceremony. I "thought" that I loved her then, I know so much more now and love her so much more! She is God's best gift to me apart from Christ who makes this kind of love possible. We've only been married 34 years so far, but I'm sure that one of these days we will get out of the honeymoon phase... Or not... :laugh: :thumbsup:
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    Some good rules there. Especially about thinking of your children and your church. :thumbsup:

    Just one note (speaking as a woman). If you are going to focus most of your visual connection with the husband when counseling couples, there might be some truly wounded women who feel that you aren't listening to them or aren't taking what they have to say seriously. That's how I would feel. That's how I sometimes measure if a man is listening to me - eye contact.
     
  4. glfredrick

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    I agree and that aspect of the article is un-workable in any true counseling endeavor. Body language and placement of one's eyes are critical and women are more apt to pick up on that than men.

    Additionally, I reject the current fad in biblical counseling which seems to make emphatic that the man is the source of all the problems. In over 80% of the couples we've seen in the past 10 years the woman had more issues by far than the man, though he certainly was not lacking issues. Even when the man tried to extend biblical headship (which may or may not be exercised correctly, in love) in many occiasions the woman rejected his efforts causing him to seek elsewhere for fulfillment -- sports, television, other women, party life, etc. Not that any woman can actually fulfill the life of her husband, or even that she must fulfill the life of her husband, she must at least be congnizant that he -- just like she -- has needs and desires them to be met by his spouse.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    Ergo, the need for pre-marital counseling.
     
  6. gb93433

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    Thanks for sharing. Every young person needs to have people like you as examples. I can share many similar things too.

    In one church I pastored it was a few of the ladies who felt slighted because I would not meet with a lady without others present. If I ever went to a lady's home to visit I stayed at the door outside unless someone else was there.

    We must realize that Satan will do anything he can to mislead and deceive people. I have even watched a number of pastors sitting in one room get deceived by one person who lied to them. It caused the fall of a church. It is now up for sale and the church has disbanded.
     
  7. Salty

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    and with todays attitude of same gender relationships, these rules might be considered when giving man-to-man or woman-to-women counseling
     
  8. mont974x4

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    Want to affair proof your marriage? Have a healthy and happy sex life with your spouse.

    1 Cor 7 teaches us that.
     
  9. gb93433

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    How is that measured because what is satisfying to one may not be to another? Another may have an insatiable appetite. What would you tell a couple who is getting married for the first time? It is a proven fact that couples can have an excellent marriage but their sex life is not so great.
     
  10. mont974x4

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    That most certainly is not a proven fact.

    A healthy and happy sex life is one where sex is enjoyed according to God's Word. Selfishness is minimized as common ground is sought. Sex becomes an act that glorifies God and both spouses take pleasure in pleasing the other. In practical terms that looks very different based on the needs and desires of each couple. It takes work, to be sure, but only at first. Intimacy, unity, and selflessness are largely learned in the marriage bed. That is how God designed it.Then, when life's circumstances change and sex is no longer that big of a part of life then marriages may be great without it.
     
  11. glfredrick

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    When couples sit before me with that issue, I often counsel the woman to RAVAGE the man. Never let him have a breath of air. Before he gets to eat insist that he perform in the bedroom. Before he goes to work, make him late. Don't let him rest. Don't let him watch television. Constantly harange him for physical attention (best to send the kids to grandma for a couple days!) She can, of course, handle that much better than any man alive and no man can keep up with a woman who would do that. I've found that when desperate women work the ploy, by the end of the first day or so the man will tell her to stop and then they can get on with figuring out what a healthy marriage looks like. Especially when he has to explain why he was late for work, why he is still hungry, etc. :laugh:
     
  12. plain_n_simple

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    There is only one way to avoid all sin, keep your eyes on Him, follow the Spirit!
     
  13. gb93433

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    Not all marriages are without surprises. If you read more books on marriage and spend time in medical books you will find it is proven fact. Some people are not able to please the other even in a way they or the other would like. It has nothing to with selflessness. The happiness of a marriage is more about accepting the other. Couples that have been married a long time will tell you that they have learned to accept one another. I know from experience. I have been married to the same lady for 30 years ( soon to be 31).
     
  14. Oldtimer

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    Lord willing, we will celebrate our 46th anniversary in a few months.
     
  15. gb93433

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    Good for you. Finally someone has gotten beyond the nonsense that has been so prevalent among those who teach that if the man just loved his wife then she would easily respond properly. The older I get the more nonsense I have heard and do not wonder if they read their Bible. They do not. The Bible is so clear about the responsibility of both people in the marriage. I have heard teachers say that when a man loves a woman she cannot help but respond. There is so much baloney in that. That kind of statement gets the woman off the hook and absolves her of any responsibility.

    We need to ring that bell loud and clear. People must accept responsibility for their own actions.

    One of the things I have tried to teach my daughter is to think about what someone else would like and it may not be what she would appreciate.

    My wife does not think about tools. I think about how tools would make my job easier and each time when I use a tool she bought me I think about her. It makes me smile and think about how great she is. When I come home I find myself thinking about her because I used a tool she gave me. It reminds me of the time she gave it to me. When we were dating I was shocked when she gave me that expensive tool. That was 33 years ago. That tool is very expensive today and hard to find. Very few own the same tool. Now it makes me feel great to own a great tool that few own and it was given to me by my wife.

    Years ago my wife did not realize that when I asked her to go to a place of business with me that I was wanting to enjoy the trip to and from the place with her. I wanted her to be with me. When I ask her to go with me she knows what I am thinking and we have a great time. Sometimes I stop so she can get some ice cream or something else she likes. It gives me the opportunity to surprise her.

    She is different than me in that would simply go by herself. She had assumed I could do it by myself as though it were just a task.

    I will never forget the time I was working on a job and a woman showed up with a dozen roses. She gave them to her boyfriend because it was his birthday. Once she left he asked me about what he should do with them. He was unable to appreciate her gift because it did not mean the same thing to him as it did her.

    Over the years as I have listened to couples talk the one things I have heard is that they learned to accept one another. I believe that more and more the longer I live.
     
  16. gb93433

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    That is truly a gift from God. Everyone needs to hear that and especially see your example.

    I grew up in a "hell on earth" family but my grandparents were a great source of comfort and encouragement because they had a great marriage. When I was in college we were discussing about what we wanted in a spouse. I named someone just like my grandmother. My grandmother was a hard worker and helped my grandfather on the farm. She worked alongside him. They truly lived life together. My grandfather would often tell everyone at the table, "Behind every successful man is a successful wife." They had experienced tough times, changes, and success together.

    I prayed for a wife like my grandmother. I got one as close as one could get. My wife is the same height, has much the same temperament and many of the same qualities, she also has the same Birthday just 50 years apart. My wife and grandmother were close. How is that for answered prayer?
     
    #16 gb93433, Jan 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2012
  17. glfredrick

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    We have to be careful to assess the issues, and we can most assuredly count on the fact that some very basic-level sins are in action, such as the most basic of all Christian commandments -- love one another. If we cannot do this in the bounds of marriage then how can we do it with others with whom we are not intimate with at that level?

    And, in some (perhaps even many) cases there is a deficient leadership structure coming out of the "head" in that he has no clue how to be a priest in his home, how to "love" his wife as Christ loved the church, or even how to respect the helpmate that his wife is, created that way by God. But in other cases -- and I've probably seen far too many -- the woman is off the rails with emotional issues, lack of cognizant reality, envy, greed, selfishness, etc., and the worst of all, usurping the role of "head" in that the "husband" is in actuality treated just like one of the kids with "mom" trying to tone down his testosterone drive and get him to "obey," all of which lead to further strife.

    God gave women a gift in that they seem more naturally inclined to rear children than men (and we can take that in an unhealthy way as well as a God-given healthy way!) but when that same "mom-ness" extends to also "raising her husband" then she has gone to far and forgotten that she is in fact a "wife" and not always a "mom."

    There are, of course, a lot more dimensions to all of this. I'm just shooting off a couple of thoughts about the issue here. A good guide is what Peter wrote -- husbands are to love their wives and wives are to respect their husbands. Some who have studied this issue (myself at a rudimentary level) have noticed that men's natural language is "respect" and women's is "love." The problem comes when a man speaks "respect language" to his bride and his bride speaks "love language" to her husband. In a lot of cases they speak right past each other because they don't hear well what has been said -- or why it has been said!
     
  18. gb93433

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    I would disagree some in that our children when they get older need to realize that rules and structure are in place. They must learn to respect the authority. I cannot think of any case where a boy did not challenge his dad and dad needed to take stern action and/ or words. A pastor friend of mine has a weekend conference for men and boys to be around real men. He told some of us that he realized that many boys have never been corrected with a stern voice. I am sure you know the percentage of those in prison who have never had a male influence in their life.


    Two books come to my mind, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerichs and The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary D. Chapman.

    A friend of mine who is a lawyer told me that he quit doing divorces even before he was a Christian because he saw so many marriages that he felt could be saved if they were willing but the vast majority of couples were not willing. He told me that during that time he had only one case where he felt it was hopeless.
     

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