Thursday, October 21, 2010

Co-ed Ministry

Today I want to talk about something commonly accepted in church today, but something that should not be.  It will mostly be an opinion piece as the Scriptures do not say anything specific on the matter, but I believe that Scripture and church history back up my points.  Today I want to talk about married men and women ministering with members of the opposite sex other than their spouses.  I truly believe that husbands and wives work best serving side by side and that serving with members of the opposite sex other than your spouse can lead to adultery.  While on the subject, I also want to talk about close friendships between men and women where they spend time alone with each other and away from their spouses.  This has also led to adultery. 

Serving together for the Lord brings a closeness not shared with everyone else in your life. You see the work of God together, experience the same emotions, pray together, and grow to have the same heart as one another.  This special closeness can be and many times has been confused with romantic feelings not sanctioned by God.  These romantic feelings cause them to cross more and more lines and spend more and more time together and eventually can very well grow into adultery.  How many times have we heard of pastors or other leaders in church having affairs with their secretaries or other women they minister with? The fact that it happens at all is tragic, the fact that it happens as often as it does is a disgrace. 

Many of you  think you are above falling in such a way.  Many of you make the mistake of Peter in thinking you are above sin.  That is the most dangerous place to be.  We are not told to fight sexual immorality.  We not told to sort of avoid sexual immorality.  We are told to flee from it.

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body,  but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18 NKJV
That is how important it is to be pure.  We are not to fight it or even face it, but to run for our lives from it.  Anything else is jeopardizing your walk with God.  Anything else can lead to you falling.  Don't ever put yourself in a position to be in danger of falling into sexual immorality.  Sexual immorality leads to more and more sin to cover it up.  We will have to pick on David again today for an example of this.

David was on the roof one day where he saw Bathsheba bathing.  She was beautiful to behold, and he beheld her.  That is how sexual immorality starts.  It starts with a little seed.  For David, it was probably thinking how beautiful she was .  He did not know who she was, so he inquired about her and subsequently called for her and when she came he slept with her.  After their affair, she was pregnant and David did all he could to cover it up by getting her husband to sleep with her.  When that cover-up was failing, David had the husband killed.

I can guarantee that when David went to the roof that evening, he had no plan, intention, or idea that the seed planted that evening would lead to murder.  Sexual sin is like that.  Sexual sin begins as a little seed that we allow inside ourselves and once there it puts out roots more invasive than any weed you can think it.  It becomes something in our lives that is nearly impossible to remove except by the power of God.  We are warned so much about sexual immorality because it so bad.  It is a sin we commit against our own body and a sin that remains in our body that leads to worse and worse actions as that seed grows.  May we never put ourselves in a position to even be faced with that seed.  May we never even begin to entertain a thought of sexual immorality.  David was called a man after God's own heart and he was called that by God.  David did not even know that woman and so had no emotional and personal connection before he had her called to him.  How much more do we need to be careful in not allowing us to become entangled in relationships that can lead to sin.  If a man after God's own heart can go after a woman he did not even know now much more can we fall into sin with a person we have a close relationship with?  

This same rule applies to situations involving friendships involving members of the opposite sex.  These cases are even more dangerous because you already have that relationship established.  A married man or woman should never be in a situation when they are alone with an unrelated member of the opposite sex.  We must protect ourselves from the possibility of failure.  We must flee from the chance of sexual immorality.  

So how do we avoid these situations?  The easiest and best way is to serve with your spouse.  I can think of no better way to enhance your relationship with your husband or wife than to serve God with him or her.  It would add a whole new dimension to your relationship and it is a sure way to avoid any situation than can turn sinful.  If you are a single person, then do not serve with a married man or woman unless their spouse is serving also.  If you do find yourself in the same ministry, never ever ever never ever be alone with him or her.  I can not emphasize that enough.  If you have to minister to someone of the opposite sex (and even here it should be avoided if at all possible), never do so alone or out of clear view of others.  If you are a counselor, I am sure I do not have to tell you that when you counsel someone of the opposite sex that you do so with another person in the room or at the very least in a room with glass walls or windows so you are always in full view of others.  

Adultery is almost never intended in the beginning and many who fell are people who you would never think it be possible.  Many believed they were strong enough as to not fall.  May we never be so prideful.  David, who was a man after God's own heart, fell into adultery.  So can any of us.  We must flee from the very chance of sexual immorality.  We must never allow ourselves to be in the position to allow that seed of lust to enter our hearts and minds.  God warns us time and again regarding sexual immorality and that is for good reason.  If it is so important to God, it should be to us as well.  Serve with your spouse and serve with a clean heart.  You will be on a road of building an even deeper relationship instead of on a road that can tear it apart.  
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.  1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 NKJV

1 comment:

  1. Many, sadly and tragically, who served the Lord have fallen into adultery. A sobering reminder to always be vigilant. Flee sexual immorality indeed!