It seems every day we hear of another big-name celebrity, politician or pastor that 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:
1. I never meet alone with a woman besides my wife (or mother).
I always take someone along to lunch meetings, and I make sure others are in the office when I meet with women. Also, I never exercise with other women. (If you need explanation, then you’ve never been a guy going to a gym where girls are in workout clothes. Trust me!) I realize this is not popular in these days where men and women are searching for equality in the workplace. Honestly, some women never understand this. I had one woman tell me recently that I “think too highly of myself,” but my family is too important to me not to take this precaution.
2. I try not to conduct very personal or intimate conversations with women.
I am careful not to compliment a woman on her appearance, unless I feel she needs the encouragement and her husband or my wife is in the conversation. If a woman is in tears, I am careful about prolonging the conversation. When emotions are flowing, people get vulnerable. There are women on our staff and in our church equally or more capable than me to deal with these types of conversations.
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