Men: Protect These 7 Women by Watching Yourself

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Many a man of God has sabotaged his own ministry by sexual sin.

They’re all through scripture. We think of the sons of Eli, the high priest. “The sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the Lord” (I Samuel 2:12). “They lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting” (2:22).The Lord had no patience with such antics and put them out of business quickly (4:11).

There is the story of David and Bathsheba (II Samuel chapter 11), which came after David’s struggle to become king had succeeded and life had gotten easy for him. His “ministry” was damaged permanently and his usefulness to God greatly diminished.

Timothy was a young pastor, and therefore needed to be forewarned about this kind of temptation. His mentor, the Apostle Paul, spoke of the time when men in the church–not the world!–would be “treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (II Timothy 3:4-5). He was to “avoid such men as these.”

These are the kind of men, Paul says, “who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses….” (3:6).

Sometimes women are the victims, sometimes they are the victimizers.

Many a pastor has paid the ultimate price for sexual sins.

If temptation would tell the truth, no minister would ever succumb to its enticements. If the allurement to commit adultery would adhere to a “truth in advertising” code, the “full disclosure” would read something like this:

“Subject needs to understand that by crossing this line and entering into a sexual relationship with this person, the minister will be despising His Lord, delighting the enemy, violating his marriage vows, disappointing everyone who ever believed in him from his youth until now, destroying his family, and ending his ministry..”

No one would ever commit adultery if he was required to sign that!

The devil, however, has no intention of ever revealing a list of side effects. Listen to him and you would think to disobey God is the way to fulfillment and happiness.

The sinning minister fools himself into believing all kinds of lies, most of them originating with the one Jesus called “the father of lies” (John 8:44). He convinces himself that “I deserve this, no one will ever know, I can have all the wonderful things in my life and this forbidden fruit also,” and then, there is the clincher–”This feels so good, it can’t be wrong.”

Too late does he find out the truth of the old adage, that sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost far more than you ever intended to pay.

Here are 7 women, young pastor, to watch out for in your ministry.

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About Joe McKeever

Dr. Joe McKeever is a Preacher, Cartoonist, and retired Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans.

  • Vicki

    I don’t mean to sound defensive, and I’m absolutely certain that this is a something that needs to be considered.. However, this article does bring up some concern. I’m concerned that with this “warning” that incredibly innocent acts of kindness and encouragement are going to be read under the category of “red flags.” It could be a batch of cookies or a homemade meal,knowing the likes of the pastor, is a simple act of kindness and that act of kindness toward your wife is just that. These categories generalize so much that almost any act could put any female in danger of being labeled as one of “those” women. It also makes me as a female question any future act out of fear that my intentions will be misinterpreted. I already have to be careful because I’m single and somehow that makes me a little more suspect.

    I guess I ask that you be careful and not take any of these things to an extreme and take every situation on a case-by-case basis. I would hate for good intentions to be read incorrectly causing people to not reach out and pastors and their wives to be more isolated as a result.

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  • Tom Feliciano

    To give this article perspective we should look in scripture. How many times does God warn men about women? I looked and found many. Then I looked for all the warnings God gave women about men. I found none, if any of you know of some I would be very interested in knowing where they are! We are all sinners and we’re all wounded. Knowing how our wounds affect our lives and relationships is the hard part. If you ask God to show you he will and you will not like it (as king David did).

  • PD

    Ladies if you will look under the article on the first page there is a section called “More Stories Similiar to This One”, underneath is an article entitled, “Lust: No Longer Just for Men.” So here you can read an article that deals with both sexes.

  • PastorMason

    I am a firm believer in high-fives and quick side-hugs :)

  • PastorCarla

    Clearly the target audience of this article = ‘men’ pastors. It offers up some great advice and counsel worth sharing. I don’t believe the average pastor intends on being unfaithful. This article exposes the subtle trap the enemy sets to ensnare his victims. I think pride plays a tremendous role here because many pastors believe they are too spiritual to be caught in such traps and believe such counsel is for other people who they have deemed to be weak.

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  • Cathy

    Why is it the assumption that the pastor is “male”?

    • David

      It is not an assumption. It is the typical scenario.

    • PastorMason

      It is not Cathy. The first word of the article’s title is “Men.” This article’s target audience is pastors who are men.

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  • maggie

    Joe, now let’s hear about the 7 men to watch out for

    • http://www.facebook.com/phemus Patrick Vincent Richard Hemus

      It’s called all of them haha :)

    • gelo

      I’d love to read an article on that by a woman – also one on the types of pastors to watch out for.
      Whilst I think the majority of pastors are fine this would be helpful to make sure we never end up in the minority who arent

  • Nancy

    Good advice . . . but it would be nice if the language didn’t always assume the pastor is male. I think it pleases God when we make room for diverse interpretations in the non-essentials.

  • basketball jones

    You left out one “other woman” and that is the “online woman”- internet pornography is many of these “women to avoid” rolled into one…

  • Bev Murrill

    I appreciate the fact that you’ve finished this article making the fact that it’s entirely possible that the issues raised here may come from the leader rather than all these women that the guy needs to look out for. I’ve been in senior church leadership for three decades and I’ve seen that it’s just as possible for a woman to sin as a man… obviously. But it does get pretty wearing that most of the warning comes, not to the woman about her pastor, but to the pastor about the women.

    In my experience, and also in most of the articles that are featured on people who have fallen, that the pastor has been a predator, or at least, the initiator. Abuse of power is a tough one for some women to grasp and many women fall prey to it. For that matter, it also happens when a woman is the leader and she may have a vulnerable man around her.

    Either way, the extrapolation of the wearying constant talk about women being the temptress who could bring the leader down, is seen in many nations where the woman has been raped but is stoned to death for adultery. In the story of the adulteress that Jesus deals so kindly with… those men never even brought the offending man out.

    It’s too easy to make the woman the problem… the issue is our hearts. Maybe you could rewrite this article and make it ‘the person you need to look out for.’

    • Nancy

      Well put, Bev, thanks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/janice.yeager Janice Davis Yeager

      My thoughts exactly, Bev! Thank you for your kind reminder to the author.

    • Female Pastor-In-Training

      Thank you, Bev, Janice, Nancy, Maggie, and Cathy. I was called into the ministry in 2007, by God Himself, who didn’t ask anyone’s permission to call a woman, and am blessed to be serving in a pretty consevative denomination, Cumberland Presbyterian, who began ordaining women in 1896 (Galations 3:28). I was rather disappointed in this article, and while I know they are from the denomination I left thirty years ago, I would not have expected this to be so biased against women here in 2012. Yes, women can tempt, but equally, men can tempt, all can be tempted, and we ALL sin and fall short of the glory of God. And, sorry, there are times when a pastor, male or female, has to trust Jesus to protect, and give an appropriate hug. We just have to use common sense and very much avoid the appearance of sin, while not being unapproachable. And, yes, if someone really needs some really heavy counseling, bu all means refer him/her to someone with not only less opportunity for accusations to fly, but who is better able to deal with those kinds of things. In the meantime, keep your door open, have your spouse or elder or deacon of the appropriate gender sit in, or sit on the pew in public view. I am very happily married to a Christ-loving man, who supports my ministry and education in every way, and while I would never do anything to dishonor him, I won’t be completely untouchable to anyone who needs it. And, one more thing, the little disclaimers that say that pastors (male) can be victimizers, too, are inadequate.

      • David

        i think you have completely missed the point in a very good article. Sorry.

      • DaughterInChrist

        I agree with David. This is a male perspective and this article was written specifically for men. Not everything has to be written in unisex form in order for the concept to be understood. Should a female writer/pastor post something in their perspective about men, I would not automatically assume they’re leaving male pastors out due to sexism. Not everything is a battle between the sexes.

    • gelo

      Good points Bev.
      And yes – it gets wearing even for some guys.

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