Dear Male Ministry Friends Who Have Cheated or Who are Flirting With Cheating,
How are you?
That’s not what I hear.
Which is why I’m writing today. I’m writing today because I’ve just heard of another one of you who is getting a divorce because you had an affair. This makes about 6 of you in the past year, which makes me very sad and very angry.
Guys…what is your problem?!?
Don’t answer. I really don’t want to hear your sad story of how your “Mommy was overbearing” or your “Daddy worked too much” or how you “married too young” and that you and your wife just became “two different people.” Honestly, if another one of you says to me “if you just knew how hard she was to live with” or “she wasn’t meeting my needs anymore” or “we haven’t been happy in years and I finally realized that God just wants me to be happy” my head is going to explode.
And…just in case you wondered my opinion of that last statement…God cares more about your character than your happiness. He’d rather you just keep your vows…thank you very much!
The reason so many of you are nuking your marriages and traumatizing your kids’ lives (and don’t believe the psycho-babble about your kids not being phased by divorce because your divorce is going to be the most traumatic thing your kids experience until one of you dies) and innocence is simply: sin.
You opened the door to sin, welcomed it in, started hanging out with it late at night because you couldn’t sleep, spent long weekends together, took business trips together, went to movies together, chatted on Facebook, texted each other throughout the day because you couldn’t stop thinking about each other, started living together, and–before you knew it–you and sin were having an intimate relationship.
Sin moved in and now–ironically–you’re moving out…or will be if you don’t stop it.
And by “it” I mean “sin.”
You found out the hard way, that when we allow sin to visit us anytime it wants, we end up setting up visitation rights just so we can see our kids every once in a while.
Was it worth it?
Of course it wasn’t.
It never is.
I’m rambling, so let me get to the point with each of you.
To my male ministry friends who have cheated on your wives I say, “Repent.”
Don’t just move on “counting your losses,” because–until you admit that what you did was sin–you’re lying to yourself, lying to God, and living a delusion that is ripe to repeat itself.
If you slept with someone to whom you weren’t married, you sinned against the Lord, against your wife, against your kids, against the woman with whom you committed adultery, and against your church and you must repent and seek forgiveness from all of them.
God’s grace and forgiveness are real. Embrace them and–if it’s not too late–you may one day embrace your wife again. I’ve seen it happen when there has been true repentance.
To my male ministry friends who are flirting with cheating on their wives I have a little more to say…and let me do so in an orderly fashion as not to get too wordy.
1) You made marriage vows. Keep them. You promised God you would be faithful to your wife. Be faithful. You promised your wife you’d be faithful to her. Be faithful.
2) If you are flirting with another woman with whom you’re not married, you are flirting with death.
3) Find a strong Christian man and enter into an honest and truth-filled accountability relationship with that man asap.
4) If you are looking at pornography on the internet, you need to stop…now and put purity software or a purity filter on your computer asap. Try Integrity Online, Family Fellowship Online, or Covenant Eyes.
5) Facebook provides many good things but can also lead to many bad things. You’re not stupid. You know the difference. Don’t friend your ex-girlfriends or any other women for whom you may have–or develop–impure feelings.
6) Put your home computer in a public area so that your wife and kids can always see what’s on the screen. Use your laptop in a public area for the same reasons.
7) Marriage takes work, so…go to work on your marriage.
8 ) Your kids need you to be a good and godly man. Your church needs you to be who you claim to be while in the pulpit.
9) If you need marriage counseling, humble yourself and go to marriage counseling.
10) How’s your relationship with the Lord? Are you spending any time with Him?
11) It’s time to start dating your wife again.
12) There’s no replacement for expressed love.
13) Learn your wife’s love language and start speaking it.
14) You’re delusional if you think your sins won’t find you out.
15) You’re not an animal. You can control yourself, so…if you’re doing something you should not be doing…stop!
Ministry friends, I’m writing this letter for several reasons.
I’m writing this letter because I’m sick of hearing about my ministry friends who are getting divorces because they cheated on their spouses. My heart can bear no more.
I’m writing this letter because I needed to read it too. I’ve been married to Rhonda for almost 20 years and have had times where I’ve opened the door to sin and spent too much time with it. I’ve done things for which I’ve had to repent, but I praise God that I’ve been faithful to my wife and have never violated my marriage vows–even so, just like you, I’m tempted regularly and need to keep my guard up and I need you to hold me accountable.
I’m writing this letter because I care about you and your ministry.
I’m writing this letter because I don’t ever want to have to write a letter like this again.