13. My two safeguards

13. My two safeguards

One of the main temptations for male leadership is sexual sin. Many great, influential leaders with great marriage lost their position of influence and families because of one mistake in this area. Unlike money issue, sexual sin is very difficult to recover from, though not impossible. Often they did not get into that trouble because they planned to do it but because they didn’t plan “not” to. Many didn’t have a “safeguard” that will protect them long before the temptation becomes real.

I’ve always wanted to make it clear to our church group but I didn’t feel it was necessary since I was mainly working with youth. But now that I interact a lot more with female adults in ministries, I feel the need to make it clear and official so no one is wondering about my intention.

My first safeguard is not eating with or counselling members of opposite sex one-to-one. According to one pastor, he realized that most of members whom he counselled who got into an affair said it all began with one innocent priviate meal with someone of opposite sex, whether it’s church member or co-worker. Many leaders say having this safeguard alone will prevent most of unnecessary dangers in this area. If I’m stuck in an unavoidable situation to eat with an opposite sex alone, it will happen under my wife’s knowledge.

Second safeguard is not travelling with members of opposite sex alone. At this stage of my ministry, it often involves driving people around. I try my best to drop people off so I’m not left with an opposite sex alone. Even if it happens, usually the next drop off is very close.

I believe these two safeguards will eliminate most of possible dangerous situations for me. There is nothing inherentily wrong or sinful about eating with or driving the opposite sex alone. These situations are not a temptation to me. These are simply my own version of “safeguards” to avoid any potential danger. But this is based on biblical advice. One clear biblical mandate regarding sexual sin is to “flee”. In other words, “stay as far as you can”. Once you meddle with it thinking you are “too smart” or “too disciplined” to make any mistake, you are doomed to fail.

Remember, the strongest man (Samson), the godliest man (David), the wisest man (Solomon) in the history all failed in the area of sexual sin. These safeguards might sound extreme but I don’t consider it extreme. Even if it is, having an extreme caution in order to prevent extreme consequences is not a bad idea.