The Trainer’s Sexuality
Whenever two people work closely together towards a common goal, feelings of interest and warmth often arise between them. When these people are of similar background, and especially when they are of the opposite sex, the feelings of warmth almost always have a sexual component. This sexual attraction between trainer and trainee has been called “the challenge ministers don’t talk about.” But it is a problem that almost all trainers encounter, at times, whether or not they talk about it with others.
Training often involves the discussion of intimate details which would never be discussed elsewhere – especially between a man and a woman who are not married to each other. This can be sexually arousing to both the trainer and trainee. The potential for immorality is even greater if the trainee is attractive and/or tends to be seductive, if the trainer is not having emotional and sexual needs met elsewhere, if the trainee indicates that he or she really needs the trainer, and/or if the training involves detailed discussions of sexually arousing material. The wise trainer would make special effort at self-control:
1. Spiritual Protection. Meditation on the Word of God, prayer (including the intercession of others) and reliance on the Holy Spirit to protect us are all crucially important. In addition, trainers should watch what they do with their minds. There is also value in finding another believer to whom you can regularly be accountable for your actions.
2. Awareness of Danger Signals. There are several clues that can indicate a potential shift from lifestyle training to dangerous intimacy. This includes:
the communication of subtle messages of a more intimate quality (smiles, raising of the eyebrow, physical touches, and so on);
the desire of both the trainer and trainee to maintain the relationship’
eagerness, especially by the trainee, to divulge details of sexual experiences or fantasies;
The trainer’s permitting himself or herself to be manipulated by the trainee;
the trainer’s recognition that he or she needs to see the trainee (this is a sign of going under);
increasing frustrations in the trainer’s own marriage; and
the lengthening of time and frequency of interviews, sometimes supplemented by telephone calls.
3. Limit Setting. When the sexual attraction is present and recognize the trainer can stop the training, make a referral, or even discuss these feelings with the trainee. Before any of this, however, it is best to set some clear limits. Clearly prescribe the frequency and length of training sessions, then stick with these limits; refuse to engage in long telephone conversations; discourage lengthy detailed discussions of sexual topics; avoid physical contact; and meet in a place and seat yourself in a way which discourages wandering eyes or an opportunity for personal intimacies.
4. Examining Attitudes. There is nothing to be gained by denying sexual feelings. They are common, often embarrassing and quite arousing but controllable. Remember the following:
Social Consequences. Yielding to sexual temptation can ruin one’s reputation, marriage, and training effectiveness. This realization can be an important deterrent.
Image. Remember that you are a Christian leader/trainer, a Child of God and a ambassador of His kingdom, and a maturing man or woman of God.
Theological Truth. Sexual involvements outside of marriage are sins and must be avoided.
We may complain that “the devil made me do it,” but the devil only tempts. he never MAKES us do anything. We choose to sin by deliberating and acting contrarily to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, who resides within the believer and is greater than Satan. This is important for both trainers and trainees to realize.
5. Support Group Protection. Effective coping involves an honest recognition of the sexual attraction. Then there is great value in discussing this with one or two trusted confidants. First on the list should be one’s spouse. A good marriage does not prevent one’s being sexually attracted to a trainee, but it has a significant influence on the trainee’s ability to cope.
- The Trainer’s Vulnerability (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- The Trainer and Training (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- The Trainer’s Effectiveness (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- The Techniques of Training (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- The Process of Training (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- For the Leader (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- The Goals of Training (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- The Church As a Training Community (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- Goals (georgehach.wordpress.com)