What do you do when Your Pastor & His Wife split?

Brenda - posted on 10/21/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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I feel conflicted, just found out my Pastor & His Wife have been split since August. Our Pastor never revealed this to us. Maybe it is none of our business, but He's preaching one thing and living an etirely different way. I know their are 2 sides to every story. I can see how it would be true. I never would have expected this. How do you listen to someone preaching the word when you know they are not living by God's word. Quit a few people have left the Church already. Just so conflicted, not sure if we should stay. I fall short all the time, but I'm not pretending to be something I'm not. Lord give me the answer. Praying about it, Praying for them & their girls.

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Carla - posted on 10/26/2010

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I understand what you are saying, Victoria, but this thing has gotten very unsavory. People have left, obviously because they are not in support of the pastor. Those who remain either don't know what's going on, as Brenda, or are backing the pastor. I can tell you, from sorrowful first-hand experience, that trying to buck the tide of a church where they condone sin is like fighting Satan with a spoon. We, too, felt we should stay and fight, and did until it was like Sodom and Gomorrah. We prayed, fasted, cried, pleaded, to no avail. WE were branded trouble-makers and gossips. NOTHING could have been farther from the truth.

The Church, the way Paul set it up, was to bare their sins openly, and ask for help, counsel and healing. I do not believe covering such a potentially explosive event up does the church or the parishioners a service. Like you said, Victoria, when it happened the first time at our church, everyone stood behind the pastor. Everyone makes mistakes. However, if the solidarity of your parishioners makes you bold to commit greater sins, then the path is clear.

IF what the pastor's wife has shared is at least partially true, this man has no business standing in the pulpit of God! Leaving him in that position of shepherding will do manifold harm to the sheep. I think the synod, presbytry or whoever is over the church should be contacted immediately and made aware of this situation.

I am saddened by the conduct of pastors! I think this is a lesson for all. God said He put watchmen in the church. It is for this exact reason. We are to watch to make sure sin is not allowed to run rampant in our churches.

I am sorry to sound so negative, but we are admonished by Jeremiah who is very bold against the shepherds who muddy the waters, dilute the Word and cause confusion and shame.

God bless, everyone!

Rachel - posted on 11/30/2010

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I believe there was something said about the Leaders having left.... if that is suggestive to me of them having confronted him about sin and him not listening.... personally i would leave. as hard as it is to leave a church it sounds like your pastor is justifying what he is doing thinking he (the pastor) is the be all and end all, by claiming that anyone who has left as being in the wrong....

Heather - posted on 10/26/2010

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We just had an announcement at our church this weekend that we had someone leave our church because the pastors adult son is not a believer. God's Word says that a leader in the Church must manage his own household well, and have his children under control (1 Timothy 3). Apparently they had announced the whole situation when his son first chose to leave their home, and it has been public knowledge. They are keeping tabs on the situation and do not feel that our pastor needs to step down. But they wanted the church to know that someone disagreed. They are completely open about this situation and welcome any questions. When it first came about it was our pastor who approached the board and asked if they thought he needed to step down.

Another of our pastors did step down when he found out that his wife was cheating on him. (we now only have one pastor instead of 2). He felt that he no longer qualified because he wasn't managing his home well.

I think that this is amazing, and extremely humble! I don't know all the details of our current pastors situation, so I am praying for him. My husband is going to e-mail him later this week. For now we are staying mainly because of how humble he is. I'm not sure if he should still be preaching or not, but the leaders in the church do. I love his honesty and how he isn't trying to hide it from us...

Rebecca - posted on 10/25/2010

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God's word is where you will find the answers.



1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.



What you described of your pastor does not line up with what God describes.

It is not that everyone should leave, it is that the pastor should step down, if he refuses then I would leave.

Carla - posted on 10/25/2010

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Every story has two sides. And because this was kept so quiet, no one really knows the Truth. I talked to my mom about this topic, and she agreed with me that a very non-committal announcement should have been made. The pastor of the church we attended for over 30 years had an affair during the first 5 years we attended. He stepped down, but didn't truly repent. He came back again, and we welcomed him with open arms (I didn't know he hadn't repented, because I wasn't on the board, but my mom was, so she knew ALL the details). About 18 years later, he had another affair, this time with his son's fiance! This, too, was kept hush-hush. When I found out about it years later, I was so sick to my stomach I couldn't hardly breathe. He was always making little comments that weren't very Christian-like, but he had ALWAYS made them, so we just chocked it up to his personality.

Even if the wife was the offender in this scenario, the Christian thing to do would be to allow the childrens' mother to see the children! I find this horrific. I think, I am in agreement with Jennifer -- find a new church. Too many people have left for this to be the wife's fault. I said it in my first post, I will say it again. Ministers are held to a higher standard than the congregation. If he is not doing everything in his power to resolve this situation, to show a loving heart for the congregation to follow, leave. Forget about the money you paid for the conference, just leave!

God bless, honey

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31 Comments

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Victoria - posted on 11/30/2010

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I think all that can be said has been said. Therefore I am closing the conversation to further comments. Thanks for all your comments. Bless you all.

Alisha - posted on 11/24/2010

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Hmm this is a tough one!! I don't think it's right at all that he kept it from you, personally I would search around at a few other churches and see what you find. I'm not saying to make up your mind right now if you're going to leave, but I agee that if he is telling you that divorce is wrong and then doing it himself I would not be happy at that church with him preaching! Yes Pray and read God's Word!

Victoria - posted on 11/06/2010

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This thread seems to be getting quite emotional. It's such a hard issue especially as Christians, we are faced with divorce & separation all the time & just because we are born-again doesn't mean it won't creep up on our doorstep. We still shouldn't jump to conclusions & listen to gossip, as that will result in us being accountable & even judged before God.

Pastors & teachers....leaders are already more highly accountable to God, for their actions, but also for how they lead God's people. This family needs prayer, not people gossiping. Only they truly know what has happened & just because the wife says something doesn't mean it's true, I've seen that. I saw a woman leave her husband & son, then steal money from them, try to sell the house from under them, tell lies about her husband & then tell her son, that he is not allowed to pray, read his bible or even mention God when he is with her. Yet even today, her now ex husband, our Pastor, still prays for her to come back to Christ, not to him as she has remarried, but that she will come back to Christ......her first love.

Pray for this family & leave the rest up to God.

Carla - posted on 11/06/2010

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I'm sorry, ladies, but I have to weigh in again about this subject.



I have shared on some of the other posts about the church we attended for over 30 years. When we first started going there our pastor and his wife got very friendly with a couple that attended that were living together. She had two girls, like 10 and 14. The girls were very aware of what was happening. There was never any teaching on living together, and I didn't understand why. We found out our pastor had an affair with one of the pretty divorcees that was attending. He left because the people felt he should step down for a while, but went to another church and pastored there until he came back to ours. People were divorcing and re-marrying, then divorcing again and remarrying someone else. A woman, old enough to certainly know better, would go to the mens' prison to 'minister'--she found two husbands there (she left husband #1, the father of her children to marry someone she felt God chose for her, divorced him before she started shopping at the prison). One was openly Muslim, and was allowed to talk with the young people of our church (the woman was the youth Sunday School teacher as well as song leader). Pastor married them twice in our church, once after he had been put back in prison for selling dope. We had two treasurers who embezzled church funds, yes, both were close friends with the pastor. Pastor had another affair, this time with his son's fiancee. When we tried to approach these issues (my mother and I) she was put off the board, and then we left. We, too, felt that we should stay and try to pray and fast things better. Surely God would 'fix' this. But guess what? He is still pastoring.



God does not take people out of their positions. He gave us very specific guidelines for discipline of pastors, bishops and deacons and expects us to follow them. We were an independent church, so there was no one overseeing this debacle.



IF the pastor is conducting himself according to the strict guidelines laid down, and still has problems, then I stand behind him. However I repeat--if he is doing half the stuff Brenda has described, I would take my innocent children and RUN! Any Christian man, and especially the leader of a church, that cuts off ALL money from his wife, keeps the children from her is NOT a person I would want pastoring my family! The fact that all the leadership has left gives me a little clue as to the way the wind is blowing here. You ladies that are pastors, pastors wives', children, etc naturally look at things from their view. My grandfather was a pastor, and I can't imagine him doing this stuff! Yes, we are to pray, yes we are to try to discern the right from wrong before we jump. But if all the people who HAVE truth leave, and IF he is telling people it's because they can't stand truth, SOMETHING is wrong!



I am NOT trying to lump all pastors in the same category as my example is, but we HAVE to protect our little ones from the wolves that are out there!



God bless, all

Norma - posted on 11/05/2010

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How many of our congregation pray for the Pastor and his family in regular basis? This is a very hurting moment for the church itself. We really don't know the whole situation, therefore, the members should remain faithful to their membership in the church and keep upholding the problem to the throne of God, so that God will hear the prayers of the contrite persons. Remember there is no perfect Church. If you move from one church to another church, then later found out that it's not what you want, you will keep on jumping from one church to another. My suggestion is for you to stay foot in this church and continue to support the ministry. If the Pastor is at fault, God will discipline him. Or he should step down. May God guide you and everyone in the church to make a right decision. The pastor may come and go but the church stays and remains a beacon of light in the community. The devil is very active in destroying the Church of Christ. Their number one target is the leader of the church. Therefore, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. The devil will flee away! PRAY.. PRAY.. God bless!

Elizabeth Jane - posted on 10/30/2010

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Pastors are human beings. Putting your pastor on a pedistal will only make you fall. Sounds like he needs your prayers and a listening ear right now. If you have been through a seperation or divorce you would know how bad he is already feeling. Sounds like he needs a friend. I will pray for him too. He needs your encouragement to go on with what he does best! This is a very crusial time for him. This would be a great time indeed to repay him for all the blessing he has given you. That is what christians do!

Evangeline - posted on 10/28/2010

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We must realize that the devil has a counterfeit for everything God has given us, and that includes marriages and it's breakup. My suggestion would be to maintain your relationship with both the Pastor and his wife, but do not take sides. One of the reasons they may not want others to know yet is that they may be trying to work things out. When others get involved and take sides, it is harder for everyone. Remember he is human and may not have been the one who wanted this. My prayers are with you and your church members. Remember that church is not only listening to sermons, it is following God's Word with all your heart.

Teresa - posted on 10/28/2010

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yes pray is the answer! we never really know what is happening inside of a marriage, so we just give it to God. it is so hard for a pastor to be transparent to his congregation. he never knows how they will take it, case and point with your situation. we can debate whether or not he should have told the church, but i cannot imagine the turmoil his family was/is going through. it is embarrassing to say the least, and thats where he looks like a hypocrite. just continue to pray and be bold in asking God to restore their marriage! That is the miracle, that God can do that! its more than just what is on the surface. Remember Romans 8:28-30 All things work together for good of those who love God and who are called according to His purpose!
Now you must pray for guidance of where God wants you to be.

Kourtne - posted on 10/28/2010

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I agree Jennifer its not liked he murdered or is beating her. the devil will always try to break marriages and all you can do is pray. something like that cant be controlled b/c it deals with 2 people and he cant force her to stay with him. so yea just dont judge and as long as he is align with the word-stay.

Sarah - posted on 10/27/2010

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I agree with Victoria, I am also a preacher's wife and a daughter-in-law. Yes, God will take care of the situation/matter. Just pray and seek God's will, I don't know what to say/tell you about leaving the church. If it's true, just pray about it, if not, just stay in the church. I hope that helped you :)

Grace - posted on 10/27/2010

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So many things to say about this topic. First all of, you should NEVER attend or decide to stay at a church because you believe your pastor is some how closer to God and should, therefore, act or be different than everyone else. We are all JUST people. You should attend church because you want to strengthen your relationship with God. For NO other reason. I can understand if your pastor was involved in some other things but splitting with your wife should not affect your relationship with him and your pursuit of a wonderful relationship with your God. Is he preaching that no one should consider ending their relationship with their spouse. And you also have no idea if this was even his doing or his wife's.
Keep your faith. Keep going to your church if that's where you feel connected. Never let someone else's relationship dictate what you decide to do. I'm sure God is not telling him he know as to quit the ministry because of this so why would you consider quitting his ministry because of this?

Victoria - posted on 10/26/2010

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I think it depends on the situation, if the gossip about the Pastor is true, then the situation definitely needs to be addressed, by the Church leadership (NOT the people), but if it's just a wife who's gone array allowing satan to use her to tarnish the Pastors reputation, well then everyone needs to be careful of what they say, how they react and such. God is always in control, God will judge, he knows exactly what is going on, but whether the Pastor is in the right or wrong, it's up to God to judge & respect should still be shown towards Gods anointed leaders.

Carla - posted on 10/26/2010

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@Heather--Back in NT, parents had control over their adult children (wish I knew that trick!). My grandfather was a pastor, and ALL of his children strayed! I applaud him for his transparency, I truly believe that is the best policy. Those people who left, watch to see what their children do ;) I hope that your pastor who's wife was cheating receives healing. I find that, as well, extremely humble! God will reward him.

God bless, all!

Victoria - posted on 10/25/2010

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Our Pastors wife left him & their son, walked out on God, divorced him, stole from him & their son, and then remarried. He is still standing firm in God, up until she remarried, he believed for reconciliation, now he's believing God for a wife, who will be a fellow minister. We stood & continue to stand in full support of our Pastor. Even though he was devastated that his wife left him, he continued to do the work of the LORD, standing firm on the word of God.

Brenda - posted on 10/23/2010

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Everyone thank you for your advice. The Pastors Wife confided in me that she left him, she told me so many details I was in shock. I always thought they had the perfect relationship, but just shows we are all human and make mistakes. I feel really bad for her cause she left him he was constantly belittling her cussing at her. He has her Car, she has no transportation, she has not worked in over 19 years & he blocked her from all their accounts, has no money she's staying with her brother right now. Me & another Sister are planning on saving money & give to her. He won't let her see their Girls. I guess they are going to court to file for divorce. She has to call his Attorney in order to see her girls for 30 minutes a week. I did see signs in the past that he is controlling. She has spoken to some of the Ladies at the Church I think seeking advice and they told her she was lying and told Pastor. The Leaders left the Church but we were told it was cause He was speaking the truth God's Word and they couldn't handle it because it came to their situation so they left. Our Worship Team Leader left, Our Couples Leader Left the Teens Leader Left, Our Nursery Leader Left and so many more. I guess they found out what had happened. He had preached a sermon about Cleaning House (Spiritually) they probably felt how could he speak on that when He was treating his own Wife so horribly. I've been praying for My Pastor & His Wife & their Kids. He has not tried to contact her to make it work. I was told he's taking money from the Church so Much stuff. I just feel conflicted between the two. Talked to my Husband He's in shock too, he's not sure he still wants to go their. I told him we should not cast judgment , and to pray about it if God reveals to us we should go to another church then we will but I guess in the meantime we will stay. Plus we already gave money for the Men's & Women's conference which will be weird for me cause Pastor's Wife did that now he will be doing that. We have not been to Church since we found out bout this. We go to Church tomorrow. My Husband's Brother has been asking us to go to his Church we just don't know right now, we have been their for 3 years, this Church is the reason we are Married now and not living in Sin no more & my Husband goes to Church now regularly. Need Prayer on this one.

Rebekah - posted on 10/23/2010

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Pray!!!! You don't need the details and he doesn't need to tell everyone the details. People will always feel mad, glad, or sad about situations like this. But realize your pastor is just as human as you are. God did not use the STRONGEST to lead, He used the WEAKEST, that means all the flaws, the failures, the mistakes, the scars, everything is still in that person. This is a battle that your pastor has to overcome... and the best thing for the church to do is PRAY! Leaders are always on the frontline of the battle and if the devil can cause a leader to fall, then the devil will prey on the rest of the warriors as well. I believe you need to become an advocate of prayer and encourage everyone else to do the same thing. It's time to cover your pastor and his wife in prayer. Asking God to heal their hearts, reveal the love between them and rekindle the passion that seems to be bombarded by the stresses of being "shepherd". Your pastor does not have an easy position, and it causes stress in marriages!!! Pray and lift them up. God will intervene, for when two or more are gathered in His name, He will answer you! And personally I don't care what the side of the stories are from the pastor or his wife, when a marriage turns sour, it BOTH people at fault - lift them both up prayer, that they can see past each other's faults and remember the love and that God will move them forward. Cover them in the blood. Pray the scriptures over them. The only way to keep a leader, the one on the frontline going, it takes encouragement and prayer. Lead a group for praying over your pastor... and you will see this hard time at the church become something good and it will make the church stronger in the end.

Sandra - posted on 10/22/2010

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There is so much to think about here... Do u know all the details of the spilt up? Who's choice was it to spilt up? Why was it a spilt up? I think the best thing to do is pray and ask God for the guidance u need... Only God knows the what truely happen.... So that is the one u should go to... Dont get me wrong if u see ur pastor not living the way God calls then by all means take it to the board.. but if he is living for God and doing what God has called him to do.. let God deal with the situation..

Kat - posted on 10/22/2010

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When you say 'he's preaching one thing and living an entirely different way' what exactly is he doing wrong? He could still very well be fully committed to his marriage & his wife. Do you know the details? My Husband & I separated March/April this year. We did not tell any of our family at all. To this day they still do not know. Why? Because it was our business. Because it was painful to discuss. And because I was waiting for direction from the Lord. I didn't have the answers, so I had nothing I could tell them. I prayed & prayed & prayed. My Husband & I are now reconciled. Perhaps this is where your Pastor is at. He doesn't have the answers & really has nothing to tell at this stage. Pray for him, his marriage & your church. Ask the Lord's Will be done & that's it.
When he is preaching he is still preaching God's word, listen to what the Lord has to say not the man delivering the message. We are all sinners & we all fall short. It is sad that people would even consider leaving the church. This man in his hour of need is being left behind. He's not pretending, he's exercising his right to some privacy. When the time is right he will either make an announcement or he & his wife will reconcile. Hopefully the latter. I imagine he will do both prayerfully.

Brenda - posted on 10/21/2010

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pray because this is happening everywhere the devil will try to kill the ministry anyway he can. So pray always for your leadership. Always remember their just like parents they need thank you's and encouragements. Must of all prayers!

Carla - posted on 10/21/2010

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These things are true, however, being a pastor, he is your shepard, and it's hard to follow if there is a hint that something is amiss. I know this would be difficult for him to do, but it might even help some of the couples struggling in the church. He should make a very brief announcement; not going into any type of details, but to ask for the prayers of the congregation. If you know anyone on the board, I would talk to them about it. We need to be transparent to our fellow bros and sis., especially those of the ministry.

Pray for them, pray for him. He is in a terrible position. He doesn't want to look weak. He still has a male ego, even though he is a Christian man. He should have made the announcement months ago to have avoided this uneasiness, but hindsight is 20/20. God bless you and the church.

Heather - posted on 10/21/2010

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There are acceptable reasons to get divorced. Did his wife leave him? If he is faithfully committed to her, he might be waiting for her to return. He probably spoke with the elders about it, and it was a group decision not to tell everyone. He might be in a lot of pain over the situation and while it is good to have brothers and sisters in Christ encourage you, too many people giving you their opinions and sympathy is not a good thing. It can make it worse. I would say that if you don't know the details then don't be too quick to judge him. However since you did find out, maybe seek out counsel from a deacon or elder at your church. Let them know that you don't want to take part in gossip, but since you found out, you just want to make sure that your church is a biblical one. If he is in the wrong you need to find out. But I wouldn't press for details, just ask them if they know what's going on and if they feel that he is innocent or biblically correct. Make sure you ask someone you can trust, and don't gossip about it or encourage gossip. What a sticky situation! I will pray for you and for them!

Jennifer - posted on 10/21/2010

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Couple of things I thought of... Yes there are 2 sides to every story. Also they are just people too. And finally, until they had made a decision to split or reconcile it really is no ones business.. Why? Because their relationship is between them and the Lord. If he is a solid teacher and in the Word then stay. When I was separated from my husband I didnt want it. He chose someone over me... Not my fault. When I divorced my husband he had done some insanely immoral things while professing to be a christian. Give him a break. Things happen and if he's a solid teacher I'd stay. Prayers for you and for them also. ~Jen

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