How to Be “Affair Proof”

Orginally published on Tuesday, June 09, 2009 at 7:38 AM
by Todd Rhoades

In light of recent news, I thought Vince Antonucci's advice of boundaries is great for those of us who want to remain 'affair proof'. (I would hope that would be most all of us!) Here are Vince's admonitions:

1. Love God. I mean really love Him, stay close to Him.

2. Fear God. Be afraid of the consequences of sin and of God Himself.

3. Have Authentic Accountability. Be totally transparent with a few trusted people about your temptations.

4. Have Wide Boundaries. Set up your boundaries so even if you didn't keep them, you'd still be far, far from sin.

Vince asks the question:  “So, if I’m right and those are four keys to affair-proof yourself - which of those four do you need to improve?”

You can read his whole post here...

What do you think?


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  There are 6 Comments:

  • Posted by

    Can’t agree with this more.  He is dead on and this is true for all persons much less pastors or people in ministry.

  • Posted by

    I seem to notice a huge amount of emphasis put on ‘boundaries’ and I don’t often hear about people being encouraged to strengthen their marriages as part of a pro-active way to avoid a significant moral failing like this one.  What’s interesting is the pastor’s that find themselves resigning due to a significant moral failing like this one, have certain rules in place (even the ‘elevator rule’).  With that in mind, I’m not sure if the answer is more rules…

    I think there’s a danger when constructing our boundaries.  We can turn something that isn’t ‘bad’ at all into something that is and then we find our minds going in that direction with little prompting and we wonder why.  I was talking with another pastor yesterday about this and we used the ‘elevator rule’ as an example.  There’s nothing wrong about riding on an elevator with someone of the opposite sex, many people have done it many times without coming close to even thinking about ANY unfavorable consequences before they adopted the rule.  Now, after they adopt the rule there will be a time (at some point) where they are riding on an elevator and someone of the opposite sex will slip in and they won’t be able to get off immediately; when this happens their mind immediately goes to a frantic ‘oh no, don’t think about ___...don’t think about ___...’ and it never had to be that way… The boundaries they have made for themselves have ended up training their thinking to go in a bad direction when that situation would never naturally make their thinking go in that direction… I think this is HUGE in many of these cases.  I’m sure there are exceptions but so far the pastors I have heard about that have had these significant moral failings have all had these arguably strict boundaries in place.  They have these boundaries which push their thinking in a less-than-beneficial direction so they struggle with this self-imposed sexual tension as long as possible then they eventually give in.  I hate to say it but I wonder if this is a ‘the proof is in the pudding’ moment (that’s not to say that everyone who adopts ‘boundaries’ like this one will eventually fail)… I think taking steps to strengthen our marriages (and that will be different for everyone), acknowledging our personal areas that are open for sin while understanding that everyone’s will be different because not everyone stumbles in the same areas, and being authentically accountable along with a strong growing relationship with God is good.

    This is not to say that having boundaries are bad of course, I just think that we can put too much emphasis on boundaries and we can come across like we think that’s what will save us.  Personally, I think that taking time off (which is easier said than done) and growing in relationship with your spouse (which means consistently making time for each other, growing together, finding out what makes you both feel appreciated, exploring each other relationally, encouraging each other, endeavoring to meet each other’s needs (and asking God to use to grant them the desires of their heart as far as marriage goes), having fun, laughing, crying, dreaming, basically keeping things exciting…) is a GREAT way to combat a significant moral failing like this one…

  • good ! i agree.

  • Posted by Justin Long

    What about loving your spouse? Practicing 1 Corinthians 13?

  • Posted by Peter Hamm


    Good point!

    That said, I need to love God more…

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