[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]uestion: I’m married with three kids, and have been the worship leader at my church for two years. My wife and I have been struggling in our marriage for a couple of years. Lately though, it’s been getting worse. We argue a lot, mostly about finances. We also have some major intimacy issues. Over the past few months, I’ve been developing strong feelings for a young woman who sings on our worship team. We haven’t talked about it or acted upon it, but I sense she’s attracted to me, too. I love my wife, but I don’t know what to do with these feelings I have for this other woman. What do I do?
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nswer: Romantic feelings can be very real and compelling, especially for people with artistic temperaments, who are readily in touch with inner thoughts and feelings. However, you are married. You vowed a commitment to your spouse “in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, till death do you part.”
Besides, feelings, no matter how strong, never trump God’s Word. Scripture instructs us husbands to love our wives sacrificially “as Christ loved the church” (Eph 5:25). That means we put our wives’ needs and those of our families above our own (1 Pet 3:7). As a leader in the church, you are to be a “one-woman man,” (and for those worship leaders who are married women, a one-man woman) lovingly devoted to the one you made a covenant with before God (1 Tim 3:2-13). God calls us to be faithful and true to our spouses in every way.
You’re obviously vulnerable to temptation right now. You and your wife are struggling relationally, you’re frequently arguing, and intimacy needs are not being met. Though it’s understandable why you’re attracted to someone else, the direction you’re heading is unacceptable. Not only does it violate God’s commands, it’s also destructive—to yourself and others. If you act upon your feelings, you could lose your job, your marriage, your family, your reputation, and your ministry. At the time, the other relationship looks so inviting, but no one thinks about the pain, the scars, and the despair that follows. To spare you that kind of anguish, I humbly offer four suggestions to you and any worship leader male or female that finds themselves in a similar situation.
- You need to cut off all personal communication with this person—no phone calls, emails, texting, or one-on-one conversation.
Make sure you two are never alone together. That “chemistry” you’re feeling is not based on commitment, but on physical and emotional attraction. And it will explode in your faces if you keep fanning the sparks that are already there. Cut off all personal contact now.
- You need to be accountable to someone about this.
You need to confess this to a mature and exemplary brother (if you’re a man) or sister (if you’re a woman). Confessing to an opposite sex confessor alone can set up another situation for mutual attraction. You can talk with your pastor, an elder, a friend—someone who can pray for you, and check in with you every day. Don’t keep secrets; be totally honest with your accountability partner.
- You and your wife (or husband) need marriage counseling.
This incident has brought to light some deficiencies in your marriage. However, I’m not hearing anything that would lead me to believe that your relationship is beyond repair. Instead of expending energy toward an extra-marital relationship, you should throw yourself into improving your marriage. It takes work to have a great marriage. It doesn’t happen overnight, but the hard work pays off. Your relationship can improve over time.
- Lastly, are you ready to follow Jesus even when it’s hard?
I hope your marriage turns around, but what if it doesn’t? Are you still going to honor your marriage vows? Suppose your spouse never becomes as attentive to your needs as you’d like. Are you still going to obey God’s command for purity? Unfortunately, unmet needs and unrealized expectations are a part of life this side of heaven. The way you respond to them ultimately determines your character. In the meantime, rest assured that God is your all in all, (2 Corinthians 3:5), your sufficient grace (2 Corinthians 12:9), and the provider of all your needs (Philippians 4:19).
My friend, you’re at a pivotal point in your life. The decisions you make in the next few weeks can dramatically change your life. I pray you make the right choices.
Rory Noland is the director of Heart of the Artist Ministries, which is dedicated to serving artists in the Church. He has authored three books, including his latest, The Worshiping Artist, leads retreats and workshops. Find out more here.