If you are married to a pastor or Christian leader, in the wake of yet another renown pastor, Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) stepping down from ministry because of his adultery, it makes you think seriously about your own marriage, and “will this happen to us?”
Adultery usually starts long before any physical touch with someone you are not married to. It often begins with a dissatisfaction in one’s marriage, which leads one to being vulnerable. Then we are open to inappropriate desiring and lusting after someone else. Beware too, that if your husband is in public ministry, there will be women who will find him desirable and attractive and, who may, or maybe not intentionally, make themselves “available” to him.
As a pastor’s wife, I believe that there is much we can do to help protect our marriages, emotionally, physically and spiritually, so that our husband, and/or we, will not fall into adultery. But how can we affair-proof our marriages?
Here are a few things I have found helpful to strengthen and maintain a strong marriage. These are good for all marriages, but particularly for those in public ministry. (Not in any particular order except the first one!)
- Maintain a close relationship in Christ. Study and meditate on the Word of God, be a praying woman, and love the Lord with all your heart mind, and strength.
- Be a godly woman. Act godly in all circumstances.
- Make yourself attractive – inside and out!
- Be strong in your theology, listen to your husband’s preaching. Discuss theological issues. If your theology differs from his, be open to be challenged and read around the subject, particularly, to understand his view. Be careful to never undermine his ministry by openly disagreeing with him.
- Lose those extra pounds. Dress well and how your husband likes.
- Be submissive to your husband as to the Lord.
- Be a good example of a loving Christian marriage, so HAVE a loving Christian marriage!
- Be publicly physical with your husband. Look like you are “together”. This can only flow out of a close marriage that happens in private.
- Encourage your husband. Be his No. 1 fan.
- Be a visible helpmeet to your husband. At conferences, when he is tied up talking to people, ask him if he would like a cup of tea or if he would like you to get him something to eat, or he may need you to photocopy his notes. He may ask you to pray or talk to the girls or women. Be ready and helpful.
- Be gracious about the time your husband has to spend time away from you and the family. Go with him if possible and/or appropriate.
- Thank God for his calling. Pray for him and his ministry.
- Raise the children to appreciate the ministry of their father and to love him.
- Practice an open door policy. Be hospitable so that your husband can invite women he must see into your home.
- Help him by being interested in his ministry and be his confidante and best friend.
- Help him to hold to the rule “never be alone with a woman” and the same applies to you, “never be alone with a man”.
I hope you have found these things helpful, I have. I am sure there are other things we could be doing too, but the abiding thing is to (a) have a strong faith yourself and (b) build a strong marriage together.