Pastors: How much (confidential) information do you share with your spouse?

How much ‘confidential’ church information do you share with you spouse?

You know… board meeting stuff… who says what… who you’re counseling and what the issues are.

Do you share stuff like that with your wife or not?

It seems that most of the time, there are two different types of people… those that share everything, and those that share nothing.

I’m one of the ‘I share almost everything’ types of guys.  My wife is my confidant.  She encourages me, and she talks me off the cliff at times.

But I couldn’t keep a sane head if I couldn’t confide in her.

Others I know are the opposite, and tell their wives next to nothing.

Megan Hill writes on this subject in a guest post at ChristianPost.com.  She writes:

In this post-HIPPA world, in a world where a tweak to Facebook’s privacy policy causes a cyber-stir, confidentiality is seen as a standardized procedure, an invisible but ever-present right.

And that expectation gets imposed on the church.

But pastors and their wives often don’t see it like that. The reality is, the church is something altogether different than a doctor’s office. And your relationship with your pastor is not your relationship with a therapist.

The church is a body. An organic being in which each part is affected by the other.

And this is why pastors and their wives share with one another.

The problems and sins and needs that people bring to their pastor are not isolated letters to a remote advice columnist. (Nor are they unusual or inherently interesting, as some might suppose. We’ve all dealt with the same things. The root of murder is anger, says Jesus, and of adultery, lust.) Instead, the issues people have are part of their whole, eternal self. And their self is part of the body. And that body is the responsibility of the pastor, its under-shepherd.

Pastoring is a long-term commitment to a comprehensive relationship. A pastor tells his wife because what happens to the church happens to him. And what happens to him, happens to her. (That’s the way marriage works.)

Here’s the thing I wish people knew: when your pastor tells his wife something about you, it’s not really about you.

This is what I heard from the pastors’ wives I interviewed:

“If [my husband] is sad, I’ll notice. So he tells me.”

“If I could give any advice to a pastor, I would say keep sharing your heart with your wife. She loves you and is there for you. She does not need all the details, but she needs your heart and your vulnerability.”

“[My husband] is very open with his life. He tells me everything pertaining to his ministry. He tells me details of counseling sessions and personal information of those he ministers to and with. He processes through talking and he feels connected to me when he can share his life with me.”

“I need to be a listening ear. We have had situations where [my husband] felt betrayed in the church. . . I am glad he shared those things with me. It was hard to hear, but I am called to bear his burdens as he is mine.”

For pastors and their wives, it’s not about the secret information. It’s about the fact that having certain secrets can burden an individual and damage a marriage.

// Read more here…

What do you think?  How much do YOU share with your wife (spouse)?  Are there things that you don’t tell her… EVER?

Do you think there are issues of confidentiality that are ever breached during a husband/wife discussion?

Leave a comment…

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11 Comments

  1. Seth
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