In a recent article by Dennis Rainey from Family Life, wrote:
- You’ve got a need you feel your mate isn’t meeting—a need for attention, approval, or affection.
- You find it easier to unwind with someone other than your spouse by dissecting the day’s difficulties over lunch, coffee, a ride home…or through email correspondence on the internet.
- You begin to talk about problems you’re having with your spouse.
- You rationalize the “rightness” of this relationship by saying that surely it must be God’s will to talk openly and honestly with a fellow Christian.
- You look forward to being with this person.
- You wonder what you’d do if you didn’t have this friend to talk with.
- You hide the relationship from your spouse.
Some of these bullet points may be obvious, some not so obvious. So what can a married, ministry leader do?
1. Protect yourself and your spouse by being confident, open and honest with each other, no matter the emotional discomfort.
2. Keep healthy boundaries with opposite sex co-workers, lay leaders and church members.
3. Do not use relationships for your own personal and emotional gratification.
4. Be aware how you are connecting with someone emotionally, with their face, their eyes and your heart.
5. When you see yourself drifting towards an inappropriate connection, reach out to God for help and turn towards your spouse to meet your need for connection.
6. Seek support from accountability partners and seek professional help when needed.