I read recently yesterday on the steps a few pastors take to keep themselves from falling into the trap of adultery. A pastor can fail at something and the church still be OK, because failure is part of life. However, if a pastor fails morally in his marriage or the churches finances – he often injures the local body of Christ so severely that in some instances cripple churches for years.
I don’t want to be one of the guys who hurts his wife and church. I love both, especially my wife. So, what measures do I take to keep myself out of temptation’s snare?
1.) My wife has access to all my e-mail and social networking accounts. She has my passwords and if she wanted she could read through all my e-mails etc.
2.) I never go anywhere with a woman, other than my wife, alone. Never. Never Ever. There is no ‘business’ where there isn’t a third party. This is a principle I recommend every man in every line of work abide by. There are some of you out there who think this may be extreme, and give all kinds of excuses for why you can’t abide by this standard. You are kidding yourself. As NIKE used to say: Just Do it.
3.) I never counsel a woman alone privately. I always have another person in our presence, or notify someone else that I am counseling a woman, in which case I leave a windowless door open.
4.) I never give a teenage girl a ride home. If you do fellow youth pastors…you’re stupid, and you better adopt this principle right now.
5.) I don’t initiate hugs with women on a regular basis. When someone is hurting, or in need of encouragement I put my arm around them, or hug them for support sure, but I don’t greet women my age or teenage girls with hugs. I hug senior adult ladies all the time.
Some of these may seem extreme, but I am extremely serious about protecting what I love.