This is a guest post from Katie Persinger, The Summit Church’s Marketing Director. She wrote this a few years ago as part of an ongoing discussion about adultery among pastors, and her insights remain as relevant and wise as ever.
A lot of people ask why it seems common for men of faith to fall to adultery. While I don’t fully know the answer, I believe many pastors and other Christian men are at a higher risk for moral failure because they do not know how to have healthy relationships with women who are not their wives.
With a lack of understanding of how to have healthy relationships, the result is either no relationship at all or an unhealthy one that leads to emotional or physical barriers being crossed. I believe there’s a middle ground to be found.
Paul gives some of the only biblical instruction on platonic relationships to Timothy: “Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2).
We are in a family together, which means the “no relationship” model isn’t biblical. It also means that our relationships should be ones that protect the family as a whole. A sibling relationship implies the ability to relate to one another and the ability to joke, laugh, and share on some level.