he says: there are things you don't need to know

>> January 21, 2009

This is the second in a series by guest blogger and PH, Trevan Osborn. Read the first one here.

To tell or not to tell, that is the question. How much stuff about the church and its members should a pastor tell his spouse? This is a really tough issue and I don’t pretend to have the “correct” answer if there even is one. I think it really should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis but I’ll share my general approach.

I tell my wife little to nothing outside of general information everyone knows about the church. There are many personal things people have told me that they expect I’ll tell and will talk to her as if she knows when she has no clue what’s going on. It can put her in a bit of an awkward situation but I’d rather them telling her than me. I don’t tell her for two main reasons:

First, for my own sanity. I need safe space away from church and my wife provides that for me. Sure, she’s involved and we talk about church stuff a lot but I want it to be as limited as possible. When I come home from a tough meeting or brutal sermon, I just need to get away from it for a bit.

Second, for my wife’s sanity. I don’t want her to be burdened by the weight of the issues people are going through. She doesn’t need to know who’s on the warpath against me and get defensive and upset. I also feel the need to make her church experience as normal as possible for her own spirituality and emotional well-being.

I told my approach to a trusted mentor who said he takes the exact opposite approach. He tells his wife everything and she is a great support to his ministry. Either way has its strengths and weaknesses and the key thing is for you to be comfortable with your PH's approach.

What’s been your PH's approach? Has it changed over the years? How much do you want to know?


Sandra January 23, 2009 at 9:42 AM  

We're still early in our ministry, so what we do now may not be what we do ten years from now.

My husband shares a lot with me. I have a harder time forgiving and forgetting though. As he makes friends he can share things with (his assoc. pastor and other pastors in the area) I think he will rely on me less.

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