Wives and Porn and Busy Church Leaders

I celebrated her courage to approach her pastor and ask for help, confide in him about her hurting heart, and to open a window for him to see into a very broken and fragile part of her life: her marriage.

Thankfully, he listened, he prayed, and then he told her he’d leave it in her court if she needed anything else. Yes, this pastor did enter in, he did listen, and he did make himself available for a ten-minute conversation after church.  But then he left her on her own.

 

Just heard it again. Another wives and porn story. A sad and frustrating story from a wife who discovered her husband looking at porn again. She had hoped for the best, believing he had been walking out a path of faith and repentance and was “doing okay” (his consistent answer when she asked him).

But then, a quick slam shut of his iPad when she unexpectedly walked in on him. Porn. Again.

But then the story went from wives and porn to busy church leaders. I celebrated her courage to approach her pastor and ask for help, confide in him about her hurting heart, and to open a window for him to see into a very broken and fragile part of her life: her marriage. Thankfully, he listened, he prayed, and then he told her he’d leave it in her court if she needed anything else.

Yes, this pastor did enter in, he did listen, and he did make himself available for a ten-minute conversation after church.  But then he left her on her own.

It’s hard enough for many women to approach male pastors for help, but it’s worse when they do and are given little time and dismissed afterward on their own.

First, let’s be fair and honest. Church leaders are busy and overwhelmed with the needs of the sheep under their care. There are dramatic and complicated things happening in the lives of people in our churches, and pastors are typically on the front line of being asked to help.  Pressured by crises and meetings and other commitments, church leaders can come across as disinterested, uncompassionate, or dismissive. Sometimes these perceptions are true, but not always.

In this context of seeking help, a wife who is sleep deprived and emotionally beaten down will struggle to feel safe approaching a church leader who seems to only have five minutes to spare.

Secondly, another more disheartening reality is when wives are under the authority of church leaders who preach an anti-biblical message about husbands who struggle with lust. It’s just what men do. It’s just who they are. Wives need to trust the Lord and get on board with what he wants to do in their husband’s lives. Get behind his recovery and help him however she can.

Of all the hundreds of wives I’ve gotten to sit with, not one of them feel safe (or cared for) in churches where that message (of minimizing the effect of porn use or ungodly sexual behavior) is taught or implied by church leaders.

Read More