“Love is cursed by monogamy…”
Kanye West, No church in the wild
“I enjoy sex as much as Joe Namath, only I do it with one girl.” Roger Staubach (best quarterback ever. Period)
Sex sells. News about sex sells. News about leaders’ sexuality sells even more. Jimmy Swaggart. Bill Clinton. Eddie Long. While everyone, regardless of position, is tempted, leaders that fall negatively impact the cause of Christ to a greater degree. If you are a leader, you have a big target on your back. Let’s look at six factors that contribute to the decision to go outside God’s ideal for our sexuality.
1. Selfish. “I did not think about consequences” is a common response of unfaithful leaders. We are by nature selfish. We tend to look out for our best interests. Even people with low self- esteem, when they look at a group picture that includes them, who do you think they look for first? Sometimes, even when we present the topic of sexuality in churches, we present the benefits of celibacy only, which can be selfish in itself. As Chuck Colson says, “we never sin alone”. It always affects others.
2. Fantasies. They are stronger than you think. It’s a slippery slope. While not every fantasy results in infidelity, you would be hard pressed to find infidelity that was not preceded by fantasy. One of my favorite Martin Luther quotes was “You can’t avoid birds flying over your head, but you can avoid them making a nest in it”. I say go a step further. Shoot ‘em birds. Even if they can’t make a nest, they can still poop on you, and that’s never fun!
3. Bored/lack of clear purpose. King David is the most prominent biblical example. Many leaders deal with the following reality: Periods of high stress and busyness, followed by periods of doing NOTHING. It’s no surprise to know that the day that people watch more porn is on Sunday. Many Christians, go to church, and then go home and watch porn. I often tell leaders to avoid both ditches that leave you muddy and stranded:
Read an article on porn addiction here:
4. Risk taking. Many leaders are type A personalities. They thrive under pressure and enjoy challenges. When life is lived searching for the next thrill, it can lead to places you don’t want to go. Another issue in this same area, is the adulation and admiration leaders get when performing well at their job. A CEO, an owner of a company, a teacher, a clergy person, are usually good at what they do. That elicits admiration from followers, employees, members, that admire the “persona,” but not the person. Remember, contentment is not a destination.
5. Social media. Infidelity used to be a male problem, more than a woman’s. That is changing.
Ian Kerner, a sex counselor writes: “Another big factor in the rise in female infidelity is the Internet. Sexual infidelity often starts with emotional infidelity, and digital technologies offer an abundance of opportunity for emotional (and thrilling) connections: The return of an ex, a workplace flirtation, a Facebook friendship that becomes more than “just friends.” Women are extremely susceptible to “emotional infidelity,” which starts as friendship, often with colleagues or seemingly harmless online relationships, and slowly progresses to something more. A gradual blurring of the lines between friendship and deeper intimacy draws even happily partnered people into relationships they never saw coming.” http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/07/female-infidelity-its-different-from-the-guys/
6. Pride and low self-esteem. The combination is explosive. Many leaders have unresolved issues from the past that affect the way they see themselves, almost craving affection and attention. These two elements put together, can derail the best leader. In conversations with leaders I hear comments like:
*That will never happen to me.
*I don’t need to tell anyone but Jesus when I am tempted
*I don’t know how that person could do that
We are by nature sinful, broken, and less than ideal. Recognizing your weakness and surrounding yourself with an accountability partner goes a long way.
Here is one of the most practical books I have read on this subject:
Avoiding the Slippery Slope to Moral Failure
“Sex education may be a good idea in the schools, but I don’t believe the kids should be given homework” Bill Cosby