Available wherever fine
Christian books are sold.



Thinking of having an affair?


(Note: this article is addressed to men. The principles, or course apply to women, you just need to change the pronouns.)

It never ceases to amaze me how common it is for pastors and other church leaders to have affairs. It seems it is a rare week for me when i don't hear of some church leader having an affair. I talk to a staff member the other day who has served four churches. All four of them had a pastor who ended a career with an affair.

Affairs always start innocently. They start with a counseling session, a lunch, a brush of the hands or eyes that linger too long at each other in a meeting.

"It is just a touch, what could that hurt?"

"We are just talking--and out in public and everything."

"It didn't make any sense to take two separate cars."

That is exactly what Andy Stanley suggests you do. (Sorry, I don't remember where I heard him say this.) He talks about one phase in his life when we worked at one building and every Monday he and his secretary had to attend a meeting at another building across town. Every Monday they would get in separate cars, leaving from the same place and going to the same place, at the same time. Sound silly? Andy hasn't had an affair.

I'd recommend you make Andy's advice part of the culture at your church: "I don't get in a car alone with a woman. I don't counsel a woman. I don't share a meal with a woman alone. I don't talk to a woman about anything personal. I am never alone with a women for any reason.

Think this is extreme? Think it can't happen to you? I implore you to take seriously the command that says, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV) It can happen to you. It has gotten far better men that you. I can't happen to you.

I knew of a man once--normal guy. Educated, church goer, responsible citizen, nice guy. His car broke down and he thumbed a ride into the next town, which, as it turns out, was quite a ways. The guy who picked him up offered him some drugs. He had never done drugs. He became curious. this dangerous thought entered his head, "What could one time hurt?"

One time did hurt. he got hooked and his life spun down and out of control. He lost everything. He lost everything because he did not have an adequate respect for the addictive power of that drug.

The drug effect of the appeal of an affair is similar. It appears to me to be almost irresistible once you get sucked in. The key? Don't get sucked in. Don't get started. Don't let yourself be tempted. Follow the Andy Stanley rule: don't get in a car with a woman. Don't talk about anything personal with a woman. Don't share a meal with a woman. Don't every be alone with another woman.

Perhaps you already have. This newsletter goes to 13,500 people. Chances are, someone reading this is already in love with someone who is not your wife. You are thinking, "I know it is wrong and all that, but I could have her!"

I'd invite you to read the story of someone who took that choices.

"Both Dan and I had spent years in what felt like loveless, empty marriages," Marci shares. "Still, I knew it was wrong. It was wrong to fall in love with Dan, but my heart was shut down to my first husband. I remember looking through a family photo album during the time when I knew I was falling in love with Dan and weeping over those family pictures, bitterly torn. I felt like I could not go on anymore if I had to face another 20 years in that hopeless marriage."

Marci left her husband, and Dan left his wife. The two married a short time after their divorces were final and spent the first seven years in remarriage experiencing the agony of the fallout.

"We lost everything," Dan says. "We lost our finances, our families, our children, our homes. Marci's church pastor and friends turned their backs on her. I became very angry and took it out on Marci. Our kids almost drove us apart. It was a terrible, terrible time."

"I wouldn't recommend it to anyone," Marci says. "The guilt was enormous. I thought of suicide all the time. I cried and had nightmares every day for the first seven years of my remarriage. I knew that divorcing my husband for another man was wrong, but I had no idea of the devastation it would cause."

When they strengthened their relationship with God and learned how to open their closed hearts to each other, Dan and Marci's marriage began to get better. God forgave their sins the moment they asked for His precious forgiveness. They were covered by His grace and mercy, but it still took a tremendous amount of time for their hearts to heal. A closed heart keeps God's most precious gift-His love-from flowing through us and into our most important relationships. --The Heart of Remarriage (Dr. Gary Smalley)

I'd invite you to make it a part of the culture at your church: around here. . .

  • We don't share a meal with another woman

  • We don't get in the care with another woman

  • We don't counsel another woman

  • We don't talk about anything personal with another woman.

  • We are never alone with another women ever for any reason.

You will be glad you did. So will your kids, your church, your friends and your God.





To unsubscribe, http://www.joshhunt.com/signup.htm