Thursday, September 15, 2016

When the Unexpected Isn't So Unexpected

The following quotes are just a few that popped up from a simple Google search:   pastor steps down. 
“…fired from his position for ‘deep historical patterns of sin’…”
“…removed Pastor…from his leadership position…’for dependence on alcohol for my refuge instead of Jesus and others’…”

“…pastor steps down…accused of misconduct with a minor…”

“…resigned as senior pastor…because he is tired, broken and in need of rest…”
“…’no longer qualified’ to continue as pastor….”

“Two…pastors step down…under unknown circumstances.”

“…Pastor…steps down…to the surprise of many….”

In many of the articles statements like “to the surprise of many” surfaced.  Unexpected.  Shocked.  Surprised.

I wonder.... How many of their wives were surprised?  Shocked?  Or was it expected?

Did she know of his ‘deep historical pattern of sin’?  Perhaps she did not…but perhaps she did and yet ignored it and/or was afraid to expose it.

Did she know he was ‘dependent on alcohol’?  Perhaps she did not…but perhaps she saw him start out drinking a glass of wine in the confinements of their own home in the evening just to unwind and saw it escalate to hard liquor and more often and yet was afraid to expose it.

Did she know he was doing ‘inappropriate things with a minor’?  Perhaps she did not….but perhaps she saw warning signs but was afraid to address it.

Did she know he was ‘tired and broken and in need of rest’?  Perhaps she did not….but perhaps she knew it and said something to him about it over and over again but he did not heed her warnings.

I do not know any of the above pastors or their wives....but my heart grieves for them.  Truthfully, they could be my story.  Or your story.  It is just that their stories hit the media like a tidal wave and most people in their churches did not expect it....nor would the people in our churches.

There are hundreds more stories like theirs that did not make headlines or my Google search.  Many.  Lots.  Sadly way too many.  And, typically, no one in our churches expect it to happen.  But we do.  We see the humanity of our husbands and the relentless pursuit that the enemy has for his destruction and the destruction for His Bride...the church.

Here are just few that I do know about personally.

A couple who served a large church in Memphis, TN was actually divorced…but no one in the church knew about it.  He encouraged her to have an affair and would drive her see the ‘other man’.

A minister in Colorado was involved in pornography and extramarital affairs.  His wife was emotionally abused while the public saw him as a smart, funny, Godly man.  He later committed suicide.

He was involved in pornography…he would saturate his eyes and mind with filth in his office right before stepping in to the pulpit to preach.

Sadly and honestly I could go on and on.  Perhaps you remember Mary Winkler…?

Here’s the burden of my heart….

We must be honest.  We cannot cover up.  We cannot ignore.

We think the best way to help our husbands is to protect them from exposure to their sin.  But is that what God wants?

If you are seeing signs—either obvious or subtle—please address them!  Go to your husband.  Speak Truth to him.  If you are afraid to do that or if he refuses to listen and/or get help…talk to a trusted advisor.

Talk to someone.  Be aware of anything sinful.  Address it while it is small before it grows.  Stop thinking you are the only one who has a husband in the ministry who is harboring sin.  Reach out.  Say something.  It is not your fault.

You were created to be an ezer!!  A very strong helper!!  Help him get help!!

Don’t let him be the next headline.

“Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—beware of their hypocrisy.  The time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public.  Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!”  Luke 12:1-3

Tell someone!!  It is not your fault.  You are not in trouble.  God is not mad at you.  Speak up.  Tell someone.

After the words of Mordecai, "If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance for the Jews (and my I be as bold as to say our husbands?) will arise from some other place..."  Esther 4:14

No comments: