This is a pastor’s response to “Pastors Are Human, Too.” I’m so thankful for his willingness to share his insights and wisdom
As a young pastor, it is fascinating how people react to the office of a pastor, particularly women.
Often, women who do not know the minister in any meaningful way worship the idol they’ve constructed of the pastor.
- He is so smart.
- He is so godly.
- He is in a leadership position and possesses leadership qualities.
All of this makes him more respectable than the shmuck that was dragging his feet out of the door that morning or the guy you got in an argument with last night.
When you talk to the pastor, even if it is just in passing, he seems so loving. If you divulge your frustrations he listens to you and shows concern. All of this can cause resentment to build for her husband that does not show the leadership or sensitivity of this pastor.
But women need to realize that part of the pastor’s job is to love the flock. It doesn’t detract from the pastor’s sincerity, but you must realize that the pastor views his role in the church and before God as being a loving shepherd. And if your pastor is gifted and a good shepherd, it is easy to see why women would be attracted to him. But this is the public persona.
Let me tell you what every pastor’s wife knows about their husband. As much as the public persona may coincide with the pastors gifts and sincere heart, the pastor is not going to air his dirty laundry (nor should he, within reason) to the public. Pastors struggle with all sorts of sin: pornography, dishonesty, greed, insecurity, selfishness, depression, anger, etc, etc., The wife of the pastor sees these things in her husband because she knows the man behind the public face. She sees him on Saturday when he is stressed and angry because his sermon isn’t coming together. She sees him working himself so hard because of his insecurities that he ignores her and their children.
And this is where the recipe for an affair comes in. The pastor’s own insecurities and feelings of disrespect from his wife (whether they are legitimate or not) make him crave respect and attention. When he sees a congregant showing him the sort of respect he craves it can spark the romantic flames for him too.
What church members in general and disgruntled wives/women in particular need to realize is that the leadership/ministry gifts of your pastor are for the purpose of ministering the Gospel.
When you perceive your pastor as something more than broken vessel carrying the Water that will never make you thirst again, you are being idolatrous.
You should love your pastor and you should respect him. But you should see him as a man gifted & called for the purpose of giving you what you need most: the Gospel.
Disgruntled spouses don’t need a better spouse (as much as it may help) they need the love that is found only in God’s love for us on the cross. When you realize that you won’t be driven to the pastor, you’ll be driven to the wonderful cross and you’ll be strengthened to bear up the burdens of your marriage and endure them through the Holy Spirit.