If I ever had an affair it would have disastrous consequences. It would have a negative impact on my wife, friends, family, our church and me. The ripple effect would go way beyond those I’ve mentioned.
In a one-month period this year, I heard of two churches, that I knew personally, that were hit by this tragic situation. One was a pastor who had an affair and one was a pastor’s wife who had an affair. When I hung up the phone after speaking to them about the situation, I wrestled with the implications of these situations. The thoughts and concerns lingered with me and have popped into my mind often over the last few months.
While our society is filled with sexual messages that make affairs commonplace and even to be romantic;a possible solution to problems that couples may encounter. Every man and woman needs to have reminders of the high value of sexual purity; especially pastors. Every leader needs to recognize that no one is without vulnerabilities.
Randy Alcorn, wrote a book entitled, The Purity Principle: God's Safeguards for Life's Dangerous Trails. In one of the chapters he wrote a list of thoughts and reminders about the importance ofsexual purity that he carries with him, especially when he travels. He focuses on the consequences of giving into temptation.
People often get caught up in passion, focus on pleasure for the moment and don’t consider the pain that can and usually will follow.
I borrowed some of Randy Alcorn’s thoughts and wrote my own list. I take this with me. I look at it often.
“If I gave into sexual temptation…”
1. I would hurt the reputation of my Lord.
2. Cause incalculable hurt to Holly, my wife and best friend and jeopardize Holly's respect and trust.
3. Permanently injure my credibility with my children, Jordan and Paris.
4. Bring great shame to my family.
5. Inflict hurt and deep disappointment on my church and friends, especially those I've led to Christ and discipled.
6. Bring an irretrievable loss of years of witnessing to relatives and friends.
7. Bring pleasure to Satan, God's enemy.
8. Possibly give me a sexually transmitted disease, posing a risk to Holly.
9. Lose my self-respect, discredit my name, and invoke lifelong regret upon myself.
10. Injure or discourage the hearts of my friends who are pastors.
What safe guards do you have that would be helpful for us to know about?