How to Use Hedges to Protect Your Marriage from Sexual Temptation

While sexual temptation is a hot topic for almost everyone, pastors are under particular attack in this area–and fall victim to the attack way too often. You don’t have to look far to find example after example of major ministries that have been obliterated by sexual indiscretion. You are probably aware of many less well-known examples of churches, reputations and families being devastated by marital infidelity. The devil loves to work through sexual temptation, and no one is immune–not even you.

The question isn’t whether or not you will be temped sexually; the question is how can you keep yourself at the safest distance possible from the inevitable temptation–and then how you will deal with it when it does sneak in. The single best way to protect yourself, your marriage, your family and your ministry from the ravages of sexual misconduct is to build large, intentional hedges into your life.

The single best way to protect yourself, your marriage, your family and your ministry from the ravages of sexual misconduct is to build large, intentional hedges into your life. Click To Tweet

Several years ago, Jerry Jenkins, the author of the best-selling Left Behind series, wrote a book on this issue called Hedges: Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so. In the book, Jenkins details some of the protective hedges he has put in place to proactively protect his marriage from the damage he knows the enemy wants to inflict on it. I have taken these hedges to heart and have been applying most of them to my life since my wedding day. They are not always easy or practical to adhere to–and have led to embarrassing situations from time to time–but I am willing to do whatever it takes to stay far away from any impropriety that has the potential to ruin my life. Are you? Here are a few hedges I would recommend putting in place:

  • Don’t dine, travel or meet with a member of the opposite sex alone.
  • If you are going to hug someone of the opposite sex, only do so in front of others.
  • Avoid any kind of flirtation with someone other than your spouse. 

As you begin planting hedges in your life, remember to plant them higher, wider and thicker than you think you need to. Some of what I’ve outlined here may seem extreme to you; that’s because hedges should be built with plenty of margin in mind. Don’t build them just big enough to do the trick. Build them so high, so thick and so wide that you would have a hard time getting around or through them if you tried.

The question isn't whether or not you will be temped sexually; the question is how can you keep yourself at the safest distance possible from the inevitable temptation--and then how you will deal with it when it does sneak in. Click To Tweet

– Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

The above excerpt is from pgs. 58-62 of The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry.

Drawing from Nelson Searcy’s decades of ministry experience, The Renegade Pastor is a relevant, step-by-step resource for church leaders who are ready to step up in surrender to the pursuit of God’s best for his or her life and work.

P.S. – Click here to grab your copy from Amazon today!

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Nelson

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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