I was married for 25 years and never was tempted by another woman besides my wife. Now that is not for lack of desire. I was as horny a husband as there was. I drove my poor wife crazy. There were a couple of questions that popped up in my mind, but I never lingered on any of them. I can count them on one hand and have fingers left over.
We got to share our 25th anniversary. We renewed our vows at the altar of our home church. Within 4 months she was dead. I buried her on Valentines Day, 1995. My grieving was predictaable. But the battle with cancer had lasted 6 years. Much of the grieving had already been done.
My friends were great. They comforted me and stood by me. I was a 44 year old pastor, serving a church I had come to less than six month before. My kids were all out of the house. The youngest had just started college. We had purchased a three bedroom home in Southern Florida. I sat in it alone.
One of the elderly ladies in the church offered to do some of my laundry. She would drop off my shirts clean and ironed, it looked. One day she came to my home with my shirts. I thanked her and gave her a hug. It wasn't an intimate thing, just a Christian hug of gratitude. In that moment I felt something sweep through the room. It wasn't center on "Her" or on anything specific. It was definitely not specifically sexual. We said good-byes without comment and she left.
She showed up in my office several days latter. She had on full makeup, as tight sweater, and what could only be called "Hot Pants". She stood before my desk and said, "Pastor, you have needs and I am here to meet them." This lady was in my church, as was her husband. I replied, "I couldn't do that to your husband." She said, "Neither would I." In the ensuing and ackward minitues I declined as graciouly as I possibly could. One of her comments was, "There is something beween us. I felt it the other day, and I know you felt it too." She had obviouswly placed the feeling in a context that I had not.
But what if she had been 30, 35, or 40, instead of 70? What if her response had been, "I don't want to have sex with you. But I can give you hand jobs, blowjobs, or some other option to intercouse?" The arguement was made a few years latter that Oral isn't sex. "I did not have sex with that woman." What if she had caught me in a friendly hug and slipped her hand down over me? I can not be proud that I avoided temptation. I have felt that sweeping feeling of desire.
I remember when I was dating my first wife. There is a very vivid memory of makingout on her living room floor. Suddenly, and unexspectedly, I wanted to be inside her. I wanted to be one with her. I had never had sex with any woman before. I had never wanted to have sex with her or anyone else. Makingout and petting were just fine until that day. At that moment I asked her, "Will you marry me?" She said yes. She didn't know I was asking if whe would become one flesh with me. At least that it would happen like it did. It was months before we consumated that, but I have felt the power of temptation.
I have remarried. I kept myself out of that and any other relationships. But God hedged me about with his Holy Spirit. He kept me safe from temptation.