Nothing can destroy a ministry quicker than sin. As a man, I know that there are certain sins that present a bigger challenge than others. To protect ourselves we must allow accountability. (Each of can admit to the big sin that can so easily trip us up) Our greatest accountability partner is the Holy Spirit who leads us to righteousness. (Romans 8:14)We must as Paul said, keep our conscience clear.
“So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”Acts 24:16
Our wives also serve as a great accountability partner. Many disregard this and fall quickly into temptation. Here are some things you should be doing to guard yourself and your ministry.
There should be no secrets between a husband and wife. This includes letting her know your weakness and where you are tempted the most. Some men are too embarrassed (or prideful) to have these conversations. It is hard for women to fully understand the temptations men can face. But knowing more about your personal struggle will help her keep you from the lure of sin. Confess your sins to her.
Do you have a Gmail, Facebook or some other social media account? Does your wife have the passwords and access? She should. There should be nothing to hide from her and she should be allowed to see anything you post and know who you are friends with. Is that a problem for you? Then you may be the one with the problem. I received an email from Tony Miano and I was straightaway impressed with the disclaimer on the bottom which read:
“NOTICE: Due to the nature of my ministry and the vital importance of protecting my marriage, any and all communications with members of the opposite sex are subject to the review and response of my wife.”
Many, who know me, also know my wife has and will read any emails you send me and have at times responded to them. (To the surprise of some no less) I have gone ahead and added Tony’s disclaimer to my FB account. This mutual trust between yourself and your wife will grow your marriage bond and protect you from Satan’s attacks.
If the Internet is a problem for you then tell your wife. If need be get rid of it. At the very least filter it. My Internet is filtered and my wife holds the password. This is important for trust, accountability and faithfulness.
The TV and Movies
Today’s commercial and programs are what use to be considered adult content but are blasted to the whole family. Blasphemy litters the broadcast airs. Keep yourself from this by killing the TV or filtering it. There are products available to do this like Clear Play and TV Guardian. This will protect your mind. I am always hit with many excuses by men in this area. Christ said it would be better to enter heaven with one eye than hell with both. (Mathew 18:9) Why would our television be of greater value?
The Joseph Plan
When Joseph was faced with a compromising situation he ran from it. (Genesis 39:12)Make this your plan as well. Never ride in a car with some of the opposite sex unless they are family or your wife is present or a male counterpart whom provides you with accountability. Never have someone of the opposite sex enter your office at work and allow the door to close. Watch out for situations that place you alone in a condition resembling those mentioned. People may find your actions strange, but it will keep you from temptation and false accusations.
Remember Proverbs 16:18 “Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” It is when you say, “I’ll be just fine” that you fall quickly.
For my single friends you must also be on guard. Consider placing yourself under your pastoral authority as would a wife. We must be diligent to provide accountability in evangelism ministries.