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:
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.
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…
Come on women… get with the program.
Pat Robertson gives advice from his 58 years of marriage. He knows what he’s talking about.
Somehow I think his co-host doesn’t agree.
Don’t you wish you owned your own Christian television network so you could say wacky things?
Bryan Fischer from the American Family Association and Renew America has published an open letter to Louie Giglio essentially telling him he has been fuzzy on his current view of homosexuality. I publish it hear in its entirity since it was a public letter. I’d love to hear your comments. I have some… but I’d love to hear yours. :)
Here’s the letter:
Dear Pastor Giglio,
As a former pastor, I have admired your work for many years. Your winsomeness and appealing demeanor have made you a very effective communicator of the unchanging truth of the gospel. I applaud you especially for your passion for the youth of our nation. You have formed a true and abiding connection with America’s spiritually hungry millennials as evidenced by the 60,000 young men and women who turned out for your New Year’s Eve weekend rally in Atlanta just three weeks ago.
I applaud you as well for your outstanding work in fighting the scourge of human trafficking, which is an unmitigated evil. Atlanta is the hub of sex trafficking in the United States, and you are to be honored for taking the fight to the forces of darkness right in your own backyard.
It was your noble work in combating sex slavery that rightly drew the attention of President Obama’s inaugural committee to you, and led to your invitation to offer the benediction at the end of the inauguration ceremony.
Yet, when a sermon you delivered 15 years ago surfaced, a sermon in which you unhesitatingly affirmed a biblical view of sexuality, you were unceremoniously dumped by the White House in a McCarthyite display of religious bigotry.
Your comments in response to this display of bullying by the president have left many of us who share your values wondering where you stand today on the issue of homosexuality.
For instance, when you emphasize that the sermon in question was “from 15-20 years ago,” you create the impression that it no longer represents your views, and that you, as the president famously claims to have done, have “evolved” on one of the preeminent moral issues of our time.
When you tell the nation, “Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years,” you are suggesting that you have abandoned the field as our culture battles over the definition of marriage and the family.
In your statement, you refer to this “fight” as an “issue not of our choosing,” again implying that fighting to protect the institution of natural marriage and the natural family is not a battle in which you want to engage. But sometimes, Louie, you don’t get to choose your battles. Sometimes battles choose you, and this is one of those times.
So we must know: have you changed your view on the issue of homosexuality? Do you no longer regard it is a sin? Your failure to address this question clearly and forthrightly in this controversy leaves many of us confused. It is imperative that you clarify your current position.
God has chosen you to be his mouthpiece at this critical juncture in American history on this issue of paramount importance. Surely you, as a perceptive cultural leader, understand that the homosexual agenda represents the greatest threat to the institution of marriage and to religious liberty in our time.
Your own experience illustrates that. You yourself have become only the latest in a long string of victims whose freedom of speech and religion have been shredded because of our culture’s determination to call good what God has called evil.
Every advance of the homosexual agenda comes at the expense of religious liberty. You have become the new Rosa Parks, sent to the back of the cultural bus because you are considered socially unacceptable. You have meekly allowed yourself not just to be sent to the back of the bus but thrown off the bus entirely instead of standing your ground as Ms. Parks did.
You could have, and should have, said, “Mr. President, you have invited me to offer the benediction at your inauguration, and I have accepted that invitation. I will not withdraw. If you want to disinvite me because of my unapologetic stand for the word of God, that is your prerogative, but you will have to throw me off the platform yourself. I’m not going to do it for you.”
In your statement to your church family, you say, “The issue of homosexuality (which a particular message of mine some 20 years ago addressed) is one of the most difficult our nation will navigate.” What do you mean by this? If, as you suggest, this is a difficult issue to “navigate,” does not our nation need experienced navigators such as yourself, who can steer this ship of state away from the cliffs of moral debauchery?
It looks as though you have abandoned your post on the bridge right when your voice was required to make the course correction our culture so desperately needs. We are headed for the shoals, and our nation has turned its lonely eyes to you. And you have been silent.
When you say, “[I]ndividuals’ rights of freedom, and the collective right to hold differing views on any subject is a critical balance we, as a people, must recover and preserve,” this sounds dangerously close to moral relativism. You seem to be saying that you have no right to challenge their values. You seem to be saying all values of are equal worth and validity.
But, Louie, President Obama is not disagreeing with you. He is disagreeing with God. And you have a profound moral obligation to defend his truth and speak truth to power at this time.
You go on to say that if people listened to your sermons over the last decade, they would “most likely conclude that I am not easily characterized as being opposed to people – any people.” When you say this, you create the impression that to be against homosexual behavior is to be against homosexual people rather than for them.
But Louie, surely you know that if we love people we will love them enough to tell them the truth about behaviors that can leave them diseased, dead, and separated from God for eternity. How is it a loving thing to refuse to warn people about sin that has disastrous consequences both for time and eternity?
Your sermon from long ago struck the perfect balance. You offered homosexuals life-giving forgiveness and life-giving power to leave their self-destructive lifestyle and find hope and transformation in the person of Jesus Christ.
So we must ask you directly, and the nation deserves an answer: Do you still believe that homosexuality is a sin from which man may be saved but also must be saved? If you do still believe this, then why have you not said so?
The eyes and ears of an entire nation are open to you at this critical moment, and you have been given a once-in-a-lifetime platform to be God’s man with God’s word for a deceived and deluded culture. Will you seize the moment? It is not too late.
I urge you to unambiguously affirm the position you advocated in your sermon. Your convictions were based squarely on the unchanging standards of the word of God. We need to know that you still stand where you once stood.
Our nation desperately needs a clear, unambiguous word from God at this moment in our history, and he has chosen you for that task. To this point, it appears as if you are shirking your heavenly duty. I urge to you to respond to God’s call to be God’s man for this hour.
As you of course know, our youth are at severe risk in our culture because of the normalization of homosexuality. You know from your work in human trafficking that boys are often subjected to sexual slavery in order to serve the depraved whims of homosexual peophiles.
You know that HIV/AIDS is devastating the health of our young men. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 87% of the young men between 13 and 24 who have HIV/AIDS contracted it through having sex with men.
You have the opportunity right now to alert a nation of young men to the dangers of homosexual behavior, the same dangers cited longed ago in Romans 1. I beg you to seize the day.
Martin Luther long ago said this: “Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
Louie, God has stationed you in the very gap through which the forces of sexual perversity are flooding our society. Will you be the man who stands in that gap before God on behalf of the land?
Your window of opportunity is rapidly closing, and may be shut altogether by the end of this week. Carpe diem.
Your brother in our common faith,
So… what do YOU think of this letter? Necessary?
A Colorado pastor is causing a national stir equating homosexuals to cannibals, child molesters, rapists, and murderers. Pastor David Beuhner of Christ the King Church is calling for discrimination against the gay community as state lawmakers revisit marriage equality this month:
Louie Giglio, pastor of Atlanta’s Passion City Church, previously selected to deliver the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration, has withdrawn his name from the services, amid fresh controversy over past comments he made regarding gay marriage.
Matt Steen and I read part of Louie’s statement and discuss:
What do YOU think? Leave a text or video comment here…
During a radio interview with Sandy Rios of the American Family Association yesterday, Pastor Scott Lively said that homosexuality “is the issue of the end times” and that God brought on Noah’s flood “when they started writing wedding songs to homosexual marriage,” reports RightWingWatch.org (audio below).
Pastor Lively said: “The last straw for God before He brought the flood was when they started writing wedding songs to homosexual marriage and Jesus said that you’ll know the end times because it will be like the days of Noah. There’s never been a time in the history of the world since before the flood when homosexual marriage has been open and celebrated, and that’s another sign that I believe that we’re close to the end.”
I’m not quite sure what to say here…
According to CNN, Washington’s National Cathedral is set to bless and wed same-sex couples:
When laws went into effect in three states for same-sex couples to marry, many were quick to line up at their city halls to exchange vows. Now they may do so in one of the nation’s most prominent churches – the Washington National Cathedral.
Most Americans know the house of God, also called the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, as a place where sacred rites are carried out on behalf of the nation. It has been host to the funerals of numerous presidents and of inaugural prayer services for four presidents, including Barack Obama.
But it is also an active house of worship in the Episcopalian Church, said the Cathedral’s dean, Gary Hall. The denomination has developed a blessing rite that mirrors current wedding ceremonies for heterosexual couples and allows each bishop to decide to allow same-sex marriages in their churches or not.
Bishop Mariann Budde decided to allow the rite, since same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia and now in neighboring Maryland as well, Hall said.
It was Budde’s decision that led Hall to create the same-sex rite.
He sees it as “another historic step toward greater equality.”
The states of Washington, Maine and Maryland all legalized same-sex marriages in referendums during the 2012 general election. It was already legal in the nation’s capital.
That’s the claim that made in an article in the Charlotte Observer…
Biggest stresses: long hours, too little time with family, delayed or interrupted vacations, nonstop counseling of people in crisis, and pressure to have the perfect family.
There is no doubt that being a pastor is a tough job.
No doubt at all.
But is it really worst or most stressful job that a person could have?
I’m not sure.
But it does take it’s toll.
Take Rev. Steve Shoemaker. He’s the pastor at Charlotte’s Myers Park Baptist Church.
He checked himself into rehab last week.
Shoemaker had a tough year last year. He fought depression and anxiety. He got divorced. And got hooked on alcohol.
“I’m physically, psychologically and spiritually depleted,” he told the congregation.
He is expected to return to work later this year.
Shoemaker is being given opportunities most pastors in his condition would never be given. A chance to keep his job after personal failure and divorce.
I have mixed feelings about that.
But I do wonder… how many pastors are truly burned out and hiding it.
Are YOU Steve Shoemaker six months ago?
Maybe your marriage hasn’t fallen apart (yet), or you’re not that depressed (yet), or you think you can control that urge to drink (now)… but truth be told: your dry and empty.
Here’s my challenge to you today: get help before things all fall apart.
Fix the little cracks before the foundations crumble.
Need some help? Contact me confidentially at todd rhoades at gmail.com and I’ll see if we can’t hook you up with someone that can help you through whatever you’re going through.
QUESTION: Have you ever been so burned out that it scared you?
Jeff Anderson writes: For over a decade I have been talking with folks about their personal financial giving. Among the most common questions I hear is,
“What do I do when my spouse and I are not on the same page about our giving?”
Great question. Often tension in the area of giving can frustrate a marriage. And it’s not always as simple as one spouse is generous and the other is not. As with other issues in marriage, the root cause of this situation can be complex. Here are five ways couples can untangle their giving wires and grow together in generosity.
#1 – Connect as a Couple
Often the problem has less to do with giving… or even money. It has to do with the marriage. From my own experience, a marriage can build layers of unresolved issues – poor communication, busy schedules, parenting challenges, unmet needs, financial stress, work stress, etc. (Shall I go on? Sure is getting quiet!)
Anyway, each layer collects dust. When the issue of giving comes along, it often gets placed on a pile of unresolved issues. If one spouse tries to press into the matter of generosity, the dust starts to fly!
One spouse is inspired by a new church project and desires to give a faith-stretching gift. The other spouse, feeling attention-deprived, resents the fact their spouse is feeling so charitable when their personal tank feels so empty.
I remember an out-of-town conference where I had been touched by a radical giving testimony, while feasting on hotel steak. Then while enjoying a peaceful flight home with my spiritual head in the clouds, I dreamed up some noble giving plans for my family.
Meanwhile my wife, Stephanie, was recovering from a rough week at home, juggling sick kids, constant carpools, and the fallout from a failed freezer.
Let’s just say I learned these times are not best for giving conversations.
Often what the giving conversation needs most is a relational tune-up. Whether it be a weekend retreat, marriage conference, or a simple date night, take some time to connect as a couple and to connect with each other’s core needs. As for the giving conversation, set these aside for times when relational connection is high and the distractions are low.
For Stephanie and me, we address our giving with a year-end “business” meeting right after the holidays. This usually involves a date night away from the kids – a time to celebrate the passing year and look ahead to the next. In addition to enjoying a good meal and quiet conversation, we discuss a short list of items such as family vacation plans, the kid’s sports calendar, our dreams and goals as a family, etc. Included in this agenda is our financial giving plan.
Enjoying a nice evening with my wife, reflecting on the God’s goodness, celebrating the previous year’s highs and setting sights on the year ahead – that’s when the giving conversation seems to flow best for us. Also, by taking time to plan our giving in advance, we have a giving plan in motion for the new year and a framework in place for reacting to giving “prompts” along the way.
Take steps to connect as a couple; and address your giving when the connection is high. Your giving will flourish.
#2 – Connect in Worship
Often spouses bring different worship preferences to the marriage. When it comes to Christian living, we all agree the matter of generosity is more important than the matter of church size, style or song selection. Whether your church sings hymns or pop-praise, whether your pastor sports a tie or a tattoo – these considerations are not significant to the core elements of financial giving.
Still, when couples struggle to find agreement with worship preferences, they struggle to find agreement with the weightier matters.
Attending a church does not define a Christian. However, we are biblically instructed to be connected to a body of believers for spiritual growth, connection and protection – whether it be the downtown church or the house church. And when couples connect on the little things like church worship preferences – they’ll be better able to connect in the areas that really matter.
#3 – Connect Spiritually
Spouses are not always at the same level spiritually. When this is the case, there can often be a rub in the area of generosity.
One spouse may be seeking to grow spiritually and connect deeper with God through new levels of giving. The other spouse can feel alienated and detached from this process because of where they are (or are not) spiritually. The more mature partner may be able to pull them along the journey for a while, but likely not forever.
For the more spiritually mature spouse, think about what it would look like to be generous to your spouse. How can you invest in their spiritual development? Perhaps instead of a gift for missions, you invest in attending a Christian couples conference together to connect spiritually. Maybe instead of a special gift to the church capital campaign, you invest in an overseas trip together with the church missions group.
I am not providing excuses to give less, and I know you are not looking for them either. But there’s much grace in the giving journey – especially for couples where spouses are disconnected spiritually.
God knows your heart on this matter and your desire to grow together in the giving journey. Step back and consider creative ways to invest financially in connecting spiritually with your spouse so that you can advance in the giving journey together.
#4 – Connect Financially
Just as spouses bring different spiritual alignments to a marriage, they bring varying financial styles and experiences as well.
A free-spirited, free-spending spouse will clash at times with a tightly-wound, bookkeeping spouse. Often the spouse who appears inclined to be more generous is also the one thinking about a new swimming pool or the next vacation destination.
Meanwhile, the one who reacts more cautiously about giving ideas is thinking about this year’s IRA contribution or an extra month’s savings for that unforeseeable economic crisis. When the giving conversation surfaces, resentment concerning how the other spouse views money gets in the way.
Couples need to find their common ground. Neither spouse is fully right or wrong in their position. Both need to be affirmed… and both need to be challenged.
The bookkeeper needs to be affirmed for their helpful management skills; but they may also need to be challenged to take steps of faith and give past their comfort zone.
And the free-spirited spouse needs to know their desire to give freely is admirable; but they may also need restraints on their personal spending to “earn the freedoms” to be generous that come from practicing sound stewardship.
Even couples with similar money styles become disconnected. My wife and I graduated with accounting degrees and view money similarly. In the past when I gave my wife the “time to cut back” speech, that was my signal to tighten our spending. Then weeks or days later I might come home with a grand giving idea. She’d call “foul” on my mixed signals (rightfully so) and I’d have explain my cryptic thinking. Since then I’ve worked harder to keep her in the loop with the financial picture and how possible giving sacrifices might affect our overall situation.
To connect financially, consider taking a financial stewardship course together. If scheduling seems problematic for you, consider going through a self-study as a couple. Early in our marriage, my wife and I went through a financial bible study together as a couple.
For stewardship resources, check out Crown Financial Ministries or Compass – Finances God’s Way or Financial Peace. For generosity-specific resources, consider our Plastic Donuts materials at www.AcceptableGift.org
For many couples, a budget coach or counselor may be helpful to press into some of the more difficult areas. Often financial stress and difficult circumstances stand in the way and require a third party help to resolve.
For a couple to advance together in the giving journey there must be togetherness in the financial journey.
#5 – Connect on God’s Blessings
A Christian couple should regularly count their blessings. This stirs up a heart of gratitude together. And gratitude (not guilt) is the wellspring for generosity.
Often we don’t take time to count our blessings. Instead we focus on our problems. But there will always be challenges in our lives…and in the world. Remind each other of what God has done for you – not what has happened to you. Remind each other of what you have been given - not what you are lacking.
My wife and I see-saw together on this. When I am gloomy, she counts our blessings for me and helps me perk up. When she’s in the dumps, I talk about the big picture and pull her up. That’s the power of a couple working together.
When news reports blare the world’s problems, we take the time to reflect on our blessings – after all, we have food, water, shelter, and the means for me to type this article on a laptop.
A spirit of gratitude can be learned. Encourage each other in these areas.
Also, be sure to celebrate the milestones in your marriage and your shared spiritual journey. How did God bring you together? Reflect on that story. How has God enriched your marriage? Circle back to those events.
Connect on God’s blessings regularly and generosity will grow in your soul… and into your conversations together.
Healthy Connecting Leads to Acceptable Giving – and Living
Connect as a couple. Connect in worship. Connect spiritually. Connect financially. And connect with God’s blessings in your life. When you connect as a couple in these areas, your marriage will be fruitful. And generosity will flow out from your marriage partnership.
God will notice. And God will be pleased. He will find your gifts acceptable… and your marriage acceptable, too.
Jeff Anderson has worked with churches and non-profits for nearly two decades – as elder in his own church, and as Vice President of Generosity Initiatives with Crown Financial Ministries. He now leads AcceptableGift.org, helping people see living and giving from God’s perspective. Jeff continues to consult and speak, and is the author of Plastic Donuts, A Fresh Perspective on
James Dobson this week on his radio show:
Our country really does seem in complete disarray. I’m not talking politically, I’m not talking about the result of the November sixth election; I am saying that something has gone wrong in America and that we have turned our back on God.
I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me and we have killed fifty-four million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition. Believe me, that is going to have consequences too.
And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on.
This is the fourth or fifth time that I’ve heard the abortion debate come up after the CT school shooting.
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