Why Pastors Have Affairs (3 of 3)

At the end of the day I believe there is absolutely no valid excuse to have an affair. It doesn’t matter how bad the marriage is, how messed up your past is, or how bad your spouse treats you! Period. Because at the end of our life we all stand before all-mighty God and give an account for how WE lived and treated those around us, NO MATTER HOW they treated us! It reminds me of when God came to Adam and said, “Why did you eat of the tree I told you not to eat?” and Adam said, “Eve did it …” ha ha! Basically he was saying, “It wasn’t my fault God, it was her fault.” But that is not how it works, Eve didn’t sit on him and force the fruit down his throat, Adam ate of his own accord. We are accountability for what we do, say and think.

People feel that if they are treated badly, then they can also treat badly. I can’t tell you the number of people I have counseled after an affair and they say something like, “but he wasn’t there for me …” or “she didn’t meet my physical needs …” or some other ‘reason’ for their poor actions. Do we honestly think that is going to make a difference when we stand before God? Like He is going to say, “Oh in that case yes, totally cool you stepped out on the marriage, I didn’t realize she did that … well that explains it … its all good.” No, no no! We are responsible for what WE do not matter what anyone else does to us!

NOW on the other hand, those excuses do give us a little look into the WHOLE story and maybe a glimpse into HOW it got to the point of an affair. It doesn’t justify it or excuse it, but might help explain it. Make sense?

Why Pastors Have Affairs (2 of 3)

1)      Stay Close to Jesus.
To me this is the biggest and most critical thing in keeping yourself from an affair. Live as close to the one who is Holy! And this seems strange that I’d say this writing about “Pastors” but even we pastors can stray away from Jesus. Weird I know, but we can get so busy doing the work of the Lord and forget the LORD of the work. Your relationship with Jesus is the #1 most important thing in living a holy life!
2)      Work On Your Marriage
I speak on this all the time … but a good marriage takes work, so work hard on it. It doesn’t happen just because you walked an isle and said some, “I dos and I wills and I promise” it takes so much more than that. Do it! I highly recommend couples read at least a book a year on marriage, attend a marriage series at church or seminar or do a marriage retreat once a year. Anything you can do for “continuing education” on the subject of marriage!
3)      Work On Yourself
Spirit, soul and body! Take time for yourself. Make sure you are not wearing yourself out! Make sure you are getting rest, exercising, reading, taking time off, journaling, etc. Not only that, but if you have issues, which you do, work through them with a counselor, or close wise friend.
4)      Protect Yourself
You know what your boundaries are, come on! If you find someone at your work attractive you can’t go to lunch with them every day! Come on, you are smarter than that! “Oh but we work together!” So, why don’t you go to lunch with the weird ugly person? Be smart. Don’t put yourself in situations that could compromise all that you believe! Know and understand that we are ALL susceptible to the lures of an affair, and people who feel they are not, are MOST vulnerable! The Bible says that “pride comes before a fall.” Be humble, smart and make wise decisions!
5)      Have Real Accountability Partners
Having REAL accountability partners! Not suedo-accountability partners! Have people of the same sex that you are completely honest and vulnerable with about your every struggle, temptation, fear, dream, passion, etc.
6)      Don’t Look at Porn
I realize this one falls under “protect yourself” and “live close to Jesus” but I felt it needed to be a stand-alone. I truly believe Porn is poison. It is addictive. It is something most men struggle with, and all men are tempted with on a regular basis. The bottom line is that men are visual, and they want to see women naked. Again, it’s important to “protect yourself” however you need to keep you from looking at Porn. I use X3watch.com, I am sure there are others out there.

To Be Continued ... It's About You

Why Pastors Have Affairs (1 of 3)

I have been in ministry for 22 years and each year I hear reports of pastors having extramarital affairs. And over the last few years it’s been pastors I know personally, and some would be considered close friends. I just received a call the other day that another friend I’ve known for the last 10 years has fallen.
It breaks my heart each time I hear of another pastor falling into sexual sin. It’s disconcerting, sad, frustrating, disheartening, scary, confusing, disappointing and hurtful. I am not even sure all the emotions it raises in me … but primarily one of great sadness. And not only for the one who had the affair, but for all those affected; the people he pastored, the city he pastored in, his family, and of course the person he had the affair with. So many people affected in these scenarios. In recent years my family was affected by a good friend, who is (was) a pastor, who had an affair. It is absolutely devastating for everyone involved!  
To answer the QUESTION, “Why Do Pastors Have Affairs?” I would say that the simple answer is that Pastors have affairs for the very same reason any person has an affair. Pastors are no different than anyone else in the world, though they are viewed as someone who should be living a higher life. And frankly I do believe that this is something that should be considered by anyone looking to become a minister; can you live holy and be above approach? I understand this, for I am a pastor. Although people shouldn’t look at pastors any different than they do anyone else, but they do. It comes with the job. It’s called, “living in a glass house.”
Let’s unpack this a little here, shall we!
Reasons Pastors (people) Have Affairs
1)      The Marriage Relationship is Broken.
Every relationship has its issues, but if something in the relationship is broken there should be continuous effort given, by both parties, to resolve the issue.
2)      They are broken.
Every human being is broken on some level and capable of the greatest of evil. Just like in a relationship we should seek to resolve issues with each other, we also ought to resolve our own issues that reside deep within.
3)      Their spouse is broken.
Same as above.
4)      Opportunity.
This one surprises many people, because they will typically say, “I would never have an affair!” And that is just an ignorant statement that we’ve all made, even those who have had affairs have made that statement. We are all capable of having an affair, especially if given the right circumstances; opportunity. No one is exempt! We all must guard ourselves.
5)      Selfish & Immoral
Some people are just selfish and immoral and have affairs because they want to have affairs and have no moral compass keeping them from such activity. They do it because they want to do it. Most likely you cannot help these people, unless you can help them see that they are wrong.   
To Be Continued … Ways to Protect Yourself from Having an Affair