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One day, in a room filled with young preacher boys, Dr.
Taylor cautioned us about the temptations we would be facing. (Fifteen years after she sat in my office making herself available to the young preacher, while preaching in another state, I spotted that woman and her husband–the same husband whose antics had given her cause to seek my counsel originally–in the congregation.
She justifies making herself available to the minister by statements such as: “You deserve this,” “God wants all of us to be happy, don’t you agree? In sketching perhaps a hundred thousand people over these many years, I’ve found that everyone has a certain beauty and attractiveness about them.
” and “No one ever has to know; I certainly won’t tell.” The thing to keep in mind, pastor, is that this woman making herself so available to you with no strings attached–that’s what she says, although we know better! By focusing on the individual and not comparing them with anyone else, we can see it.
Avoiding “the appearance of evil” is always a good principle (I Thessalonians ). This one has a particular allurement to the minister whose relationship with his wife has grown stale.
This really is the woman the Proverb-writer describes.
In most cases, she thinks clearly enough not to actually try to break up your marriage (although that has happened often enough).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. 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 wonder if she does not pick up on all the vibrations your body is sending out. The problem is you keep being drawn to her and thrown with her (committees, work projects, etc). Pastor Ed Young of Houston’s Second Baptist Church told some of us pastors once that we should not counsel at all.Unless your wife is on your team, nothing about this is good from that moment on. Because proximity fosters intimacy, unless you do something quickly, you are a goner. “All you need is for someone–man, woman, or child–to run out of the office accusing you of something, and your ministry is gone! Pastor Young said when someone says to him following a church service, “I need to talk to you sometime,” he says,”Let’s sit in this pew right now and talk.” It’s in public and it will be done quickly.Before there was a folk singer by that name, James Taylor was a professor of preaching.This veteran teacher of preachers held forth in classrooms at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for many years.–does not look like a Jezebel, painted and padded and bejeweled. She may be the pretty wife of a deacon, the friend of your wife, or a church member who came to you for counsel. She wants to confide in you as to who is doing what with whom in the church. She wants you to (ahem) “feel free to come to me anytime you need to talk to someone.” She wants to be your counselor. You have never fantasized about her or anyone like her. 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. Pastors should almost never become professional counselors.