4) The woman who wants to be your best friend.
She wants to confide in you as to who is doing what with whom in the church. She is a gossip.
She wants you to (ahem) “feel free to come to me anytime you need to talk to someone.” She wants to be your counselor.
In order to pull that off, her primary tactic involves a) spending a lot of time around you, perhaps volunteering in the office but more likely volunteering as your personal assistant, b) telling you intimate things about her own life, and c) asking you to unburden yourself with her.
If she cannot worm her way into your life any other way, look for her to befriend your wife and begin showing up in your home on a regular basis. Unless your wife is on your team, nothing about this is good from that moment on.
5) The woman you want.
There she is, the girl of your dreams. Maybe not the most beautiful woman in the world, but all things considered–her looks, her personality, her laughter, her spirituality, and a few other qualities that defy description–she is everything you ever wanted in a woman.
You get all swimmy-headed around her. You wonder if she does not pick up on all the vibrations your body is sending out.
There are a few problems, of course. You’re married and she’s married, for starters. And so you wisely tell yourself this can never be, that regardless of how wonderful she is, she is off-limits to you.
The problem is you keep being drawn to her and thrown with her (committees, work projects, etc). Because proximity fosters intimacy, unless you do something quickly, you are a goner.
In most cases, you cannot tell your wife this. You need a mentor who will be tough with you. If you have none, find yourself one now! Confide in him before you make the mistake of your life.
6) The woman who doesn’t know what she wants.
In most cases, this mixed up lady has come to you for counsel, asking you to tell her what to do. You listen to her whole complex life story.
Nothing about her is your ideal. You have never fantasized about her or anyone like her.
So, how does she become a problem to you? By her repeated visits to your office.
It’s a matter of focus. In sketching perhaps a hundred thousand people over these many years, I’ve found that everyone has a certain beauty and attractiveness about them. By focusing on the individual and not comparing them with anyone else, we can see it. In the seclusion of the counseling room, as she unburdens herself with intimate details of her life, the minister may feel emotionally drawn to her.
The problem then becomes you, pastor, and not her.