|What Should I Do?|
Am I crazy? Is it just me? You’re a pastor’s wife. That means your life is perfect and you have no problems, right? Wrong! While your stress or trials may be light compared to some, you face unique challenges in your role. Those challenges are difficult enough when you and your husband serve alongside one another, and when your pastor-husband is a truly converted, dedicated, loving and Christlike man—a genuine shepherd to you, your family and the flock of God.
Yet sometimes, pastors’ wives may find themselves in a different reality. How do you reconcile your experience with what you hear?
You May Hear Things Like:
Sometimes comments about your pastor-husband are hurtful and humiliating. They may even be frustrating and maddening. You seem to be the only person (other than perhaps your children) who sees your husband as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—showing his good side to the congregation and community, but revealing another side to those who are closest to him.
Others May Be Unaware That:
You know he is not who he professes to be and he has no business being a pastor in his current condition. He may tell you God appointed him and is blessing his efforts, therefore, you need to keep quiet and “touch not God’s anointed.” He may claim you are the problem because you’re not more supportive of him, you don’t understand him or his needs, you don’t do enough to help out at home, the church, etc. This likely makes you feel uneasy and distressed. You need to tell. You want to tell, but…
It is normal to be fearful of confronting and exposing abusive behavior, especially when the abusive person is your husband—and the pastor. God does not want you to be afraid, nor does He want you to continue to suffer abuse of any kind. By telling, by seeking help, by making necessary changes in your life, you could save yourself, your children and perhaps even someone else who may be harmed by the pastor.
If your husband has a secret life or a dark side, that places you in a situation that is more of a nightmare than a dream come true. What should you do?
Perhaps you can start by reflecting on your life as a pastoral couple. Does this describe your pastor-husband?
If so, take courage! God sees and recognizes your pain and He is there to help you. Read Malachi 2:14-16 for further comfort.
Perhaps your husband does seem to treat you and the children well, as he should. What clues would you have if he were possibly addicted to pornography or otherwise committing adultery, perhaps even with a member of the congregation?
Potential Telltale Signs:
What Can I Do?
First, be aware of what’s going on in your own heart and mind. Everyone is vulnerable in some way. If you can safely do so, discuss your feelings with your pastor-husband.
God may impress you to report your husband’s behavior to the church and/or the proper authorities. Don’t allow fear to keep you from doing what is right and necessary.
If this situation doesn’t describe you or someone you know, praise God! But, please don’t discard this knowledge. Proper education can be a safeguard in the future—for you, or for someone dear to you.