I received word yesterday that a good friend of mine has been fired from ministry because of moral failue. He had an extra martial affair with another staff person at the church he serves. This kind of news make me extremely sad and angry all at the same time… I love this guy and will still do everything I can to help him, but it ticks me off because one more leader has been derailed by sexual misconduct.
To the men reading this in particular… we have GOT to set protective boundaries in our lives to protect ourselves from this kind of crap! I know women struggle with it too, but it seems more guys get hit with this than women. And guys in ministry? You can’t lead people to follow Jesus with your pants at your ankles… period!
Now I am not writing this from a position of moral superiority or surety… I am human like the next guy… busted, broken, anbd tempted like every man since Adam. And because of this my daily prayer is GOD KEEP ME PURE! But I do more than pray… I have set up the following protective boundaries in my life to protect myself:
- I do not meet alone with a woman other than Jen (my wife) – anywhere – ever! There is always someone else in the office, or with me out in public. No exceptions!
- I do not counsel women by themselves. I don’t counsel very many people anyway, but those that I do are men or couples. There are great women on my staff that can meet with women – they don’t need to see me, they need to see someone who can help them!
- I do not travel alone with a woman – by car, bus, plane, train, or automobile…
- I don’t travel alone. If Jen can’t make the trip, rooming with another man who is also following Jesus helps keep me accountable and avoids “road” temptation.
- I often call ahead and have the hotel block Pay Per View movies in my room to avoid the temptation of pornography. If they can’t do that I have asked them to remove the TV completely!
- My wife has total access to my computer at all times… to keep me accountable as to what I am seeing on the internet.
- When I even think that flirtation is happening my direction I TAKE EXTREME MEASURES. That means I will run (literally) away, or, barring that – I will intentionally be very rude. Nothing stops a flirtatious situation like a rude retort: “You know what? I am not interested… and you should buzz off.” Fellas – when did we get the idea that being rude was worse than sexual infidelity? I’ll take rude any day!
My father was a man who fell victim to sexual impurity time and again and I have sworn that it won’t happen to my family. Having said that, I face each day knowing that I am only one bad decision away… it just won’t be today! And my heart goes out to my friend whose whole life is upside down because of a libido-driven decision(s). There is hope. There is redemption. Grace is still available… but first comes repentence.
Fellas… God help us.