1. The writer of the scenario said this…

    “She is a Christian and my husband and her sit on a board of a Christian organization as well.”

    It concerns me GREATLY that a Christian organization would even consider putting two opposite sex employees into this situation… most especially MARRIED ones! I think she is well within the boundaries of reason to be concerned with this arrangement.

  2. Jolene,

    You’ve given great advice. And yes, a Christian organization should see red flags all over this situation. I am shocked that they’ve even suggested this arrangement. What a recipe for disaster! I believe, as you’ve stated, that God will honor a husband’s (or wife’s) commitment to purity even if he loses his job over taking a (respectful) stand. May he have the courage to do what is right.

  3. Jolene,

    I am so glad I came accross this blog as I really needed encouragement in my marraige as it is in grave trouble and I am heart broken but keeping my eyes on Jesus and believing for a miracle turn around for my husband to see the evil he has linked himself with .

    1. Oresta,
      I’m so sorry to hear about the troubling state your marriage is in. Yes, continue to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and believe in His transforming power to restore your marriage.

  4. It’s so great to really came across this article. Very informative to marriage couple in a compromising situation. I love it so much.. Will definitely share this! 🙂

    Visiting you from the Happy Wives Club Link Up.

  5. Jolene — this is my first time visiting your site. Amazing! Thank you so much for this insightful and compelling post and for the wealth of info your blog supplies. Great words! God bless you…

  6. Thank you so much, Jolene. I loveylour blog, your encouragement and your welcoming link up hop.

    I will follow you here and on social media. I found your button at Elizabeth’s Marriage Mon link up. I grabbed your button for m sidebar.

    God bless

  7. What if your spouse thinks that putting up “hedges” or “safeguards” is dumb and indicates that you don’t trust them. My wife DID have an affair a little over a year ago, and now she is headed into a business that could put her in close contact with younger men. When I tried to talk to her about safeguards and requested that she not take on any men as clients, she went off on me about how I don’t trust her and she “knew this was coming”. The fact of the matter is that I DO trust her, and I DO show her that I trust her, but I feel that, after everything that has happened, I would be a fool not to talk to her about how we interact with members of the opposite sex. She says she will comply, but she is very half-hearted about it, and though it doesn’t really worry me, it makes me angry that my attempts to protect our marriage are seen as an attack on her.

  8. About a month ago Robert and I visited the Billy Graham Library – it’s a walk through he and his wife Ruth’s life – all with an emphasis to provide an opportunity for souls to hear the gospel message.

    In one display we learned that at the beginning of his evangelistic mission, one rule Billy stated was that he never would spend time alone with a woman other than his wife. Obviously, that hedge/barrier he instituted served him well through all his years of ministry and marriage.

    Robert and I talk a lot. We discuss everything. Those we counsel understand that we don’t keep secrets from each other. There have been (rare) cases where it’s been appropriate and I felt God-led that the situation needed just Rob to speak with a woman alone. In one case we went to mall, met the woman and I went shopping while he sat with this woman in a coffee shop and talked. I returned an hour later and we all had a coffee together. Again – this wasn’t the norm – and both Robert and I felt convicted after prayer that this was necessary.

    As a rule it’s not usually necessary for husbands OR wives to spend time alone with another person of the same gender. But we always need to be sensitive to what God wants – where He wants to use us.

  9. Such a fantastic question to tackle, Jolene! I’m saddened to hear that this women, these families, are having to deal with this stress and am surprised that both of these two parties involved are Christians and neither of them has figured out a way to not have to travel together for business. It’s always a good policy to not put yourself in those situations with people of the opposite sex.

  10. Oh my! Indeed! I was the woman (at work) in this scenario, and let me tell you, temptation is hard to resist. As it was it nearly destroyed my marriage, and his as well.

    No matter how Godly a man, if he is in ministry, a father of two, married solidly for 14+ years… this type of temptation is extremely dangerous. If I were you I would have a frank conversation with my husband about this arrangement.

    But as a side note, not that only weak marriages are at risk, but they are certainly more vulnerable to attack… {as it was in my experience} so make sure your marriage is shored up on every side if there is no way around this situation. Make sure you are connecting emotionally, physically and spiritually are on the same page. Best of luck!!

  11. I believe that this is a dangerous situation as well. One thing they need to do is make sure they have a way to contact each other no matter the time of day, and she needs to understand that her husband may not be able to answer the phone while in a meeting or driving or sleeping – do don’t panic if he doesn’t answer. They need to pray together before they talk about this, before he meets with his boss, before he travels anywhere with this woman, etc. The wife needs to be sure to be praying for her husband all day long, there are smartphone prayer apps that can alert you at whatever time you set to pray for your husband. I can not remember which blog I saw it at but one blogger said she prays at certain hours for certain things for her husband; purity, work, family, fatherhood, witness, safety, blessed, strength, visions & dreams. (I use prayer NB, btw). Separate rooms are (obviously) a must, that may not even be a consideration for the company. And the wife needs to feel free to ask her husband questions but she needs to be careful not to seem accusatory as well (if she’s not accusing him that is). Courtney at Women Living Well has said that she picks something that reminds her of her husband and whenever she sees that she prays for him. I hope these ideas help.

  12. Great advice, Jolene! And exactly what AJ said in the comment above, “make sure your marriage is shored up on every side if there is no way around this situation. Make sure you are connecting emotionally, physically and spiritually are on the same page.” So important. The only thing I would add is having a daily ritual -something you do together to stay connected. Some couples have a glass of wine together at the end of night and just connect. Keith and I have a cup of coffee together in the morning and close off the world for the first hour of our day. What’s most important is you have that time each day (when you are apart, you can often do it by phone or Skype as Keith and I did when I was traveling around the world doing interviews) that you block off to talk and to enter one another’s world.

  13. Jolene, thank you for posting the question as I was the one who posed the question. My husband and I had a very candid, open conversation and he was very understanding and supportive. We drafted an email with the hedges we established together and sent them to his company, both for an accountability and in the event extra money is spent due to keeping within the boundaries. The company my husband represents does have Christian ownership and management, so we expect full support. The next step is trusting my husband on all this. I know he will walk in integrity, but sometimes my own insecurities rise up, and I must take them to the cross. My husband needs a trusting, supportive, God-fearing wife, not one who walks in fear and distrust – especially since he is worthy of trust and whole heartedly supports protecting our marriage. Once again, thank you for this post and for your ministry.

  14. This is excellent, Jolene! (I hope it’s o.k. to call you Jolene!). We have boundaries too. My husband is a pastor and so there have to be additional boundaries there.

    I would add another. We have no texting and no facebook messaging beyond the additional question asked.

    Now granted, there may be a problem and so you may have to text back and forth with questions. But I am talking about when the conversation goes beyond the question and suddenly you’re joking and texting back and forth and it has nothing to do with business. No “personal” texting or facebook messaging. That is a no-no in our relationship.

    Some couples refuse to be facebook friends with someone unless the person friends their spouse as well.

    I remember when my kids were little my husband’s single friend dropped by. He knew the “rules” and so he was more than willing to wait outside in the car until my husband came home. The reason we did this is because our kids were little and we always told them to never be alone with a girl. As they were growing, we were teaching them to protect themselves from temptation and accusation.

    So I just couldn’t let our friend in because I needed to model it for my children and lead by example! But he’s a good friend and he understood!

    My husband NEVER took babysitters home but now we’re getting into protecting yourself from accusation so I’ll stop, lol!

  15. I ran across your blog through another blog I follow. This hit home. I normally don’t comment, but wow. My husband and I have been married 11 yrs and in his work he is always working with females. At first we didn’t have hedges, & I was a jealous, nagging wife, but we learned we needed to protect our marriage. I trust my husband, yes he has traveled (for work) with women, yes he does text with them, but there are boundaries (like he has me read his texts so there is accountability). I think the accountability is a huge part of the hedges to protect our marriage. My husband has had some female employees try and push or knock down our hedges, but it only made us stronger.

    To the lady whom this post was about. It’s hard, watching your husband drive off/travel with (for work) with another female, but once you set up your boundaries and accountability you have to just trust in the Lord and in your husband. I will be praying for you and for other wives in the same situation.

  16. Re: “Putting up Hedges Around Your marriage”… I agree wholeheartedly with Jolene-this Christian organization should know better than to encourage sending a man & woman out traveling alone together. That is “asking for trouble” & putting temptation in their midst; not to mention “the appearance of evil”, and heaping a huge pile of anxiety unto their poor families.

    Some months ago I had a somewhat similar situation. My husband & I had planned to travel together to another city, about two hours away, as part of a rare dog-rescue transport. A couple days before it was to take place, however, my husband received a phone call from a church representative requesting that he be part of an all-day clean-up crew just outside that same city which had recently suffered a great deal of storm damage. Since we like doing most service projects together, and because I’m trained & certified in disaster relief, I offered to cancel our original plans and join my husband but he insisted that it was only the church brethren who would be going there. So, I continued with our previous commitment alone, while he arranged to get a ride with a young man from our church; and then we planned to meet up later that evening & return home together. You can imagine my surprise when the church member showed up at our house early the next morning with his young wife-a pretty, young Filipino girl in her early 20’s. Because of my husband’s past struggles with pornography, sex addiction, and lust/fantasizing, I was not very happy to learn that he would likely be working there with other women. But since he was going with the girl’s husband; and since it was by then already too late for me to cancel our previous commitment,s I decided to let it go, & not be too concerned.
    Looking back, I recall that on our drive back home my husband was very irritable, & was frequently looking to pick a fight with me for any little thing. He also talked allot about his friend’s young wife (who he found also works in a similar field of engineering), and repeatedly spoke about how very impressed he was with her willingness & ability in handling a chain saw, etc. He also mentioned working with her for quite some time alone (I don’t recall where the husband went or why he would leave them to work alone together). I told my husband I thought that was probably not appropriate but that only further infuriated him; so, I let it drop. Now some months later I’m left to pick up the pieces.

    You see, I was caught off guard. What I easily dismissed as tiredness, my husband had really been acting out, & I failed to recognize the symptoms. Since then, I’ve seen little signs of his decent, and he had recently even asked for prayers in this regard. Then, some weeks ago, I was shocked by a situation that I found him in, and am still questioning & uncertain of just how far he had fallen. Because of that occasion, & many subsequent discussions, I’ve learned that since that trip he has greatly struggled with his attraction for the young woman (who’s about the same age as our daughter), and has tried very hard to avoid her (at church). I am grateful that he cares enough about our marriage, his faith, & our family that he is willing to be honest, & willing to try to work together for a solution. However, this is apparently not the case for the young woman involved. As I have paid closer attention, I have noticed some very disturbing behavior. For example, I’ve done some research on body language, and besides the usual dilatation of one’s pupils upon arousal, attraction, excitement (or fear), I have never in my life seen any one primping themself (smoothing back her hair constantly) as often as I have seen her (only) do whenever she’s near or sees my husband . While at church or especially at activities & service projects we have desperately tried to avoid her, turning direction so as not to face her, leaving a room, or even putting myself in the way between them but she repeatedly seeks him out to talk to him or moves & places herself in his line of sight. I don’t really know if she is genuinely attracted to him, looking for security, flirting, or just playing some kind of sick games & trying to upset me. What is even more sad is that this young woman is actually still a newlywed to a wonderful young man, and she is very-very pregnant. I’m not sure what we will do next; we are considering attending a different church for a while but there are activities coming up that my husband insists on participating in that I’m fearfully dreading. All I can say is that we (I am) are now living a kind of nightmare-largely as a result of my (very vulnerable) husband spending a day with a young couple, and spending sometime alone, on a service project with a (supposedly Christian) young woman…

    Matthew 10:16
    “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves”…

  17. A few years ago, when I was going through a difficult divorce, I was working as an assistant for a very dear friend’s husband. There were myself, one other woman and my friend’s husband in the office. When the other woman was laid off, I found myself in a very difficult and quite awkward situation. I had learned from my Father from years back to: Abstain from all appearance of evil (1Thess 5:22). He was an administrator at a school and there was a majority of female teachers. He always kept his office door open when he had to have a meeting with a female teacher. So I did the same in reverse. I stayed in my office with the door closed. I met with his wife (my friend) frequently for lunches and texted her often to reduce any insecurities she might have had. That was only short-lived, thank goodness, since he took a job at another company the following month.

  18. Sound advice my sister. Many christian men feel that they are immune to failure, forgetting that they are mere humans. Affairs do not just begin over night, but with one innocent step in the wrong direction. Whatever it takes, we need to protect our relationships, especially godly ones.

  19. This is excellent advice. I am so glad you had the courage to say the hard things that need saying, and I thought it was wonderful that the wife who asked for advice commented in the thread.

    My husband is a pastor, too. We have long cultivated all these hedges you mentioned, along with the Facebook and social media practices mentioned by another pastor’s wife. My suggested hedge is NEVER argue, engage in disagreement, or insult the spouse publicly. Other than matters of personal taste/preference regarding inconsequential items like favorite colors or the best place for nachos, don’t bring out private hot buttons and push them in public. Even if spouses have even agreed to disagree, they should not engage in group conversations about things they disagree about–one does not have to contribute to every line of conversation–even if it going his way. The preservation of loyalty and unity respects the one another passages of scripture (for both the spouse and the surrounding group), and grows the emotional intimacy at home. While there are occasions where conflict needs to be resolved or others are hurt or concerned for our hurts, it is always better served to acknowledge the truth while remaining loyal. Certainly I am not suggesting that if someone needs help in a bad situation, they should not seek help from trusted people, but the key words there are NEEDS and TRUSTED.

    Regarding Christian organizations: The local church and the Church universal (body of Christ) are the only two Christian organizations mentioned in the New Testament. Even missionaries were privately funded by individuals and churches. Scripture is clear about gender roles and relationships, both single and married for the church and the Church. While the concept of the para-church organization is not bad, there is not a clear cut scriptural guideline to follow, which means we have to fall back on the what is mentioned. Volunteers for ANY Christian ministry are hard to come by. How many times has the call for help with the 6 year-old children’s church or the unpaid teen youth minister position gone unanswered? Sometimes the organization has to accept the best applicant available for the position and rely on that person’s Christian character and spiritual life to guide his decisions (which means that person HAS to bring his own hedges and stick by them). I’m not disputing the problems or the need for standards, I’m saying the simple solution is not always the easy one…which brings us back to hedges. They aren’t easy to plant (trust issues and hard conversations), and they aren’t easy to maintain (unexpected circumstances and PR nightmares), but they are worthwhile and when kept healthy, can protect something very beautiful and very special.

  20. In Hosea 2 there is a prayer of a hedge of thorns. Hosea had prayed a hedge of thorns around his adulterous wife that would confuse her paths and lead her back to her husband. My own husband is a musician and of course women throw themselves at him! It was very hard at the beginning of our marriage because he was so used to the flirting and didn’t see anything wrong with it but it DOES open doors. So all I could do is pray that God would reveal the truth to him and pray the hedge of thorns. It definitely still happens every time he plays music and God has truly given him a beautiful gift and talent! But the enemy wants to use it for evil. A praying wife really helps because you two are one! Such a wonderful mystery but I know my husband has come a long way after 4 years of marriage. And praying was the only thing I could do! My husband isn’t perfect but I just have to keep praying that God’s word would be revealed in his heart. And only after praying could I find the right words and the right way to communicate with my husband otherwise it was a lot of fighting. Sometimes fasting was even appropriate. And I pray for all you other wives too! That God would strengthen you too because I know how hard it can be!!!

    Many blessings,


  21. Jolene,

    Thank you so much for your words of wisdom in this article. My husband and I have these same boundaries in place. Recently, we had a situation come up with my husband’s work where he was placed in an office with just him and two other women. This was so hard for me! He was with these women for 8-10 hours a day every day (he’s in the military so leaving his job isn’t an option). My husband is a wonderful man but anybody could be at risk in these types of situations. We talked about it and agreed to additional boundaries, such as keeping conversations work related and not ever closing the door. Thankfully, it turned out to be a short term situation and the two women actually turned into good friend of mine.

    One additional safe guard we have in place is to have accountability partners who we have asked to speak up when they see something that could put our marriage in danger. Sometimes we aren’t willing to listen to our spouses because we get defensive or think our spouses are paranoid/insecure/jealous, but if we have a godly accountability partner (of the same sex) who is willing to speak wisdom into our marriage, that can make a difference.

    So glad I found this post today! Thank you!

  22. Great advice! But in today’s world of technology we need to be sure to put hedges, barriers and brick walls up to protect against affairs through social media or even text messaging! Emotional affairs can happen through text messaging. More churches and pastors need to speak on the dangers of this. Marriage is a covenant, and church members and pastors SHOULD be supportive in helping protect It! What God put together let no man take apart.

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