guest blog: dealing with the nastiness

>> February 27, 2009

I don’t always like women very much. Women can be nasty. The jobs I have kept that have all women on staff are the hardest jobs I have had. Women have this tendency to rip one another apart. I suppose gossip and slander are our ways of making ourselves feel better about our own insecurities.

A few months ago I had the opportunity be on a panel for a Pastor's Wife Q&A. The attendees were all women who had the same thing in common. They were all Pastors’ wives. They were all at different ages and stages of life, but their questions had an uncanny theme. The thing they asked most about was how to deal with criticism and the bitterness that follows.

Pastor’s wife or not, all women deal with feelings of bitterness when they are betrayed by a friend or criticized unfairly by someone they care about. Here are some things I have done to deal with these issues:

  • Never fight back in the moment. You will say things you regret.
  • Try to see the hurt the other person is talking through.
  • Ask yourself if there is even a small amount of truth to what they are saying.
  • Don’t feed the fire of your insecurities by brooding over these things in your mind
  • Focus on others. A pity-party will only bring you down more.
  • Keep a sense of humor. Most of what people find to be critical about is pretty funny.
  • Wait till you are home or with your spouse to laugh. Laughing at them in the moment is almost as bad as fighting back in the moment.
  • Remember that Jesus was criticized and betrayed by the ones He loved the most. He sees. He cares.
Psalm 56:8: You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

Michelle Wegner lives in Indiana where her PH, Rob, is a pastor at Granger Community Church. She has 3 girls, 2 dogs and a great blog.


has the falling economy landed at your house yet?

>> February 24, 2009

Seems like none of us can escape the grim news about our economy reported on the news, on the web, on the radio,...everywhere. Some churches are struggling too---laying off employees and or not being able to hire the people they need.

All of the employees in my PH's area conference are getting a 5% paycut and their continuing education budget has been cut altogether (no Catalyst West for us).

Has the failing economy hit close to home for you already? Has your church been affected?


talking about accountability...

>> February 23, 2009

Last autumn, I attended a PW Retreat with about 100 other women from my general area. We listened to good speakers, had a late night pajama party, went walking in nature, and sat in rocking chairs talking for hours.

One of the main points the retreat leaders talked about that weekend was "accountability". The idea that every PW should have another trusted PW friend that she can talk to, confide in, pray with and mutually support. A woman of godly wisdom and earthly common sense...

I've done a lot of thinking about that since then. Praying that God will bring me someone to fill that role. Unlike some PW's I know, I was blessed with an amazing and godly mother who has often worn these shoes. But as a laywoman she can't always grasp the nuances of the tightrope we walk as PWs. So I've tried to figure out what "accountability" really means.

For me, having a PW accountability partner means someone:
- bold/brave enough to call me on my nonsense
- spiritually discerning
- fun enough to get me out of my box
- willing to be real and authentic
- discreet and trustworthy
- whose life is guided by scripture rather than just culture

Do you have a PW friend who keeps you accountable to grow and improve? What does accountability look like to you?


chime in: questions from you (2)

>> February 18, 2009

Reader Deidre C. wants your two cents on two topics. Answer one or both, but please chime in!

1) What to do when you don't feel called to the ministry?

2) How to support him when he doesn't even know where God is leading?


the hats we wear...

>> February 17, 2009

For years, my momma told me I should wear hats. I always nodded and smiled and never gave in to her crazy idea.

Until last year. When I discovered the joyous versatility of hats.

Newsboy caps with jeans and boots. Wool berets pulled down over my ears or tugged jauntily to the side like a sassy French chick. Cloche hats with little shift dresses. Wide-brimmed straw with sundresses. Short-brimmed felt with a prim church suit. The possibilities are endless!

I travel in Europe often for my work, and over there - women wear hats all the time. It got me brave enough to try it and bring it back home. And to church!

At my church, nobody wears hats. So I'm starting a new trend. I know some cultures in the States wear hats to church all the time, but in my church I'm currently alone.

Oh well.

Sometimes being the PW makes me feel like I should just stay invisible. Other times I feel empowered to be transparently, unashamedly myself. When I'm brave enough to follow through, it feels really good!

So maybe hats aren't your thing. But surely there's something you wish you were brave enough to do or say... Have you started a trend that you love, but weren't sure about doing alone? If you haven't, what trend do you WISH you could start?

Be brave, girls!


guest blog: 8 reasons to close your blinds

>> February 16, 2009

As the pastor’s wife, you know that your life can sometimes feel like an open book. In our few years of ministry, we’ve already had some funny encounters. At our first church, a member who lived across the street from the parsonage called the head deacon and told him that the pastor (my husband) should not be washing dishes. The head deacon suggested we close the blinds! As a humors reminder to keep your private life private, here are eight reasons to close your blinds!

  1. You don’t want anyone to see you throwing away the cookies someone baked for you that are a little too crispy for your taste.
  2. Someone might see you in your pajamas at noon (and tell her friends).
  3. Pastors want their congregations to respect them. They do not want their congregations to see them in what ever outfit they can find on a Friday morning when you’re behind on the laundry!
  4. Your kids aren’t perfect. And especially at home, they aren’t expected to be.
  5. Even worse, you aren’t perfect. Your church members can find that out slowly on their own, they don’t need more evidence of that fact while driving by your house.
  6. You don’t want everyone to see your secret hiding places for stuff when you quickly have to “clean up.” One time when we had a group of women leave the house, I pulled out a stack of dirty dishes- from my dryer!
  7. You may have a particular pre-sermon-night ritual, like your husband preaching to the dog, or you finishing up your Sunday school lesson at the last minute!
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (and that’s all I’m going to say about that one!)

Sandra Peoples is a SAHM of two busy boys and a preacher’s wife living in Pennsylvania. She blogs with friends at Today’s Housewife, and for fun at Eight Reasons.


casting call

Okay, so this isn't really a casting call, but I'm looking for someone to interview. Have any of your churches done the 30-day Sex Challenge thing? I'm looking to interview a PW for this blog about that experience.

Let me know how to contact you (or a PW friend) or email me at




giveaway photos and winner!

>> February 14, 2009

Because we only received 10 entries...but 10 fun entries (and thank you to those who took the time to enter) it seemed a little silly to do a slide show set to music (rotating the same photos over and over until the song ran out).

Instead, here's a look at the photos of a few Clutch couples. Sing a little love tune in your head as you browse the photos. ;-) Happy Valentine's Day to all of you! Squeeze your man a little tighter today.

Valerie & Daniel

Shari & Trevan

Shane & Marc

Hilary & Mike

Julie & Jeff

Starr & Jonathan

Sheila & Jeremy

Jessica & Dennis (and fam)

Deidre & Otis

Charity & her PH

And the winner is:

Julie Aenk (the 6th person to submit a photo)

Please email your mailing address to and we'll zip the book right to ya. Congratulations!


romance in the fishbowl...

>> February 13, 2009

So (this is Sarah writing) we all know from personal experience that it can be tough living in the "fishbowl" of public scrutiny.

Kinda like being a celebrity, where people feel free to poke/prod/pass judgment on all your personal choices. Just without the cool clothes (sigh) and the paparazzi (thank God!).

Valentine's Day is tomorrow, reminding us about the beauty of love. When it comes to PDA (public displays of affection) every couple is different. Being "the pastor" means we don't always get enough private "us" time. It just goes with the territory.

Me and my PH? After every sermon when he's walking down the aisle to the back door, he always stops at my pew (I always sit second row back, at the aisle end of the pew) and takes me by the hand to walk out together. It's our little tradition. Makes me feel loved.

We also get a kick out of chastely smooching in the church lobby. We are naturally very affectionate, so it means we're just being ourselves. Maybe some people think its weird, but I've had many others say how nice it is, in today's world of marital uncertainty, to see that their pastor and his wife act like they really love each other.

So how about you? How do you and your PH handle public affection? Do you censor yourselves for the sake of the fishbowl? Got a funny story about how people react?

Bring it on, girls!


an open letter to seasoned pastor's wives - part 2

>> February 12, 2009

In case you need a little boost to get the mentoring juices flowing, here are a few ideas. There are many other ways you could inventively connect with the younger PWs around you, if you just use your imagination and put your natural gifts to work.

  • try starting a mentorship initiative in your church (for multi-staff churches), area, district, conference, region (or however your denomination is organized). Match older PWs with younger ones, and get the word out to all PWs. Have a place where younger PWs can sign up if they desire a mentor. Let the pastor-husbands know about it too, so that they can support their wives' efforts to participate. And if your area already has something similar - go join in! Here's an example of what one woman did.
  • notice the new PWs that attend regional pastors meetings. Don't assume they already have friends and mentors. Go talk to them, find out where they live and invite them for a lunch date if they are close by. Swap phone numbers. Share email addresses. Go get on Facebook and make yourself a profile so you can connect with the younger women more easily.
  • be a listening ear. Don't act like you know all the answers to every problem, but instead offer to share your story. "When that happened to me a few years ago, this is how we handled it, and it worked out okay. Maybe you could do something similar..." Let younger PWs glean from your wisdom and see how your experience might fit into their lives.
  • host a panel discussion where younger PWs can ask questions. Offer follow-up mentoring. Invite as many women as possible to participate and have a nice meal together to foster social connections.
  • spend a few evenings compiling your own little "book of wisdom." Add your stories and experiences. Scrounge up your best recipes. List the books or resources that gave you direction and guidance in your own journey. Give the younger women around you the gift of sharing what you wish you had known at their age. Even more, give them the tools to figure out what they need to know for themselves.

It's not that complicated. It's just about being yourself. And about getting connected with someone a generation removed from you, but who might not be so different. And it's about going outside your comfort zone to remember how lonely you once were, so that the young women around you don't have to feel like you did.

Most of all, it's about following Scripture and mentoring another into godly womanhood.

What other mentoring ideas would you offer a seasoned PW?


an open letter to seasoned pastor's wives - part 1

>> February 11, 2009

Dear Seasoned PWs,

I need you. We need you. The younger pastor's wives in your life need you. When we see you at various events, we need more than a “how are you doing? Good to see you.” Have you ever thought about prayerfully choosing one of us, befriending us, offering yourself for more than just a casual relationship?

I don’t have to tell you that being a pastor’s wife comes with a unique set of struggles, challenges and joys that only another pastor’s wife would understand. But maybe you’re not aware of how much many of us would like one of you, who’ve been there, done that, to take us under your wing. We don’t necessarily need mothering (though it might be nice to have a local mother, when our biological mothers aren’t nearby), and we certainly don’t want smothering, but how about some gentle guidance, sincere advice, or just a shoulder to cry on and an ear to vent to? We want you to be our mentors. Will you be a Titus 2 mentor, encouraging us and training us "to love [our] husbands and [our] children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in [our] homes, to do good, and to be submissive to [our] husbands?"

Will you be intentional about sharing your experiences with us?

How do you deal with members who want to get closer to your family (or your husband!) than you're comfortable? How do you make your home a haven for your husband? What are some valuable lessons you've learned? Will you admit to some mistakes you made along the way? How do you deal with expectations? And what about practical knowledge… Do you attend every graduation party for your members? Does every new mother get a gift from the pastor’s family? How do you develop friendships without being exclusive and cliquish? Are you part of the church leadership team?

You’d be surprised at the type of relationship that you might develop with one of us too. You never know, we may be able to inspire you… to spread your wings, be more of who you are, and break away from the box that has defined pastor’s wives for generations. We want a real relationship with you.

Your life is a storehouse overflowing with wisdom and invaluable knowledge. Please share. Let’s do lunch.

In love,

A younger PW


Do any of you have a PW mentor? If not, do you wish you did? What questions do you have for older PWs?


giveaway time!

>> February 10, 2009

This month we're combining a request with a giveaway.

We're giving away this book:

The Sweetness of A Bitter Cup: Journey of A Pastor's Wife

What do you need to do?

Send us a picture of you and your PH. We're going to feature the photos in a special Valentine's Day post. But lets not make this complicated. If you don't have an easily emailable photo, just get your cell phone out and snap a silly, non-glam, casual picture of the two of you and send it (via your phone) to Make this *task* as painless as possible. Don't forget to include your names!

The entries will be numbered in the order they are received and the winner will be chosen at random. Previous winners are not eligible. US readers only.

Please submit by Friday, Feb. 13 at NOON (PST). That's right, only 3 days!


guest blog: why it's hard to be my friend

>> February 9, 2009

Being married to a pastor and balancing my friendships is a tricky thing. One thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is my friendships with other women. I love my friends. I adore them. I wish I could spend hour after hour with them just hanging out.

There has to be a lot of grace given and taken in these relationships. My life is never the same day to day or week to week. The times Rob is home with me and the girls is "retreat" time. It's time to back away from people, regroup, reorganize, and rethink. Before all that happens, we just need quiet. At the end of most days, Rob and I are just quiet. We're tired. People can be draining. You and I both know that trying to save the world is hard!

I can't tell you how many appointments I have had to cancel or reschedule because of Rob's schedule. I've had to reschedule breakfast with the same friend 10 times or more. Does she get mad? Nope. Grace has grown in our friendship over time.

Have I lost friends because of this? Yep, more than have stayed around. They did not like it very much that family, marriage, and ministry were so time-consuming; Not only time-consuming, but energy-consuming as well. When I looked at them and said, "I am so sorry, we just cannot put our kids with another babysitter tonight. " they packed up, left, and never came back. Ouch.

But, the friendships that have lasted these 16 years of ministry are the strongest and best I could ever ask for. These are the friendships I pray you will have. If you don’t have a friend that will stick around despite the craziness of your life, pray for God to send you one. He will. It might not be tomorrow, but He will.

Michelle Wegner lives in Indiana where her PH, Rob, is a pastor at Granger Community Church. She has 3 girls, 2 dogs and a great blog.


resources to battle sexual sin

>> February 6, 2009

You know we never like to pose a PMS topic without including ways to help or heal. While there are many options for resources, here's a few we've found. Our listing them here isn't an endorsement of the ministries, just a place for you to get started looking - if you or a friend needs help.



Girls, if there is a great resource we've missed, please share it with us.


healing and redemption: moving on

>> February 5, 2009

The best part about Cindy's story is the restoration of her marriage, a flourishing ministry where the couple helps other marriages in crisis and the hope that there is life after infidelity, porn addiction and sexual sin. But how do you get to that point? How do you ever talk to your PH the same way again? How do you learn to trust him? How do you stop hurting? How do you forgive? Don't you deserve to hurt him like he hurt you? Can you ever let him forget it? Will life ever go back to "normal"? Here's Cindy's advice for moving on:

  • Talk openly about everything with your husband. You’ll find that when you allow each other into every area of your life, the breeding ground for secrets will diminish significantly.
  • Work really hard not to get defensive or be sarcastic. Those two ingredients can really prolong the healing process.
  • Don’t throw it back in his face. Ever. If/when he brings up one of your shortcomings, you could be tempted to say, “Well, at least I haven’t broken my vows!” That is a sure sign that you want to hurt your husband. You may think he deserves it. But, I can promise you that if you want your marriage to stay in a circling pattern and not heal, this is the way to do it.
  • When hard days come, because they will, get on your knees and and ask God what He wants to teach you through this. He will not waste your hurt. I promise!


facing a scandal? some advice.

>> February 4, 2009

We asked Cindy to offer some advice to PWs living in the ministry fishbowl and facing a public scandal about a personal issue. Here's what she said:

  • Be particular about the company you keep. There will be many people who think they need to tell you something or give you certain advice. Find true confidants whom you trust to give you godly, sound, biblical counsel.

  • Be authentic. Don’t try to put on a front if you’re hurting. Allow yourself to cry and don’t pretend that you have to have it all together. You don’t. That’s a lie. And you’ll find that most people will admire you and appreciate your honesty.

  • Prepare yourself to be talked about. It’s normal. But don’t let it take you out. Allow your brokenness and need for God’s redemptive power to take your broken heart and life and make it better than new.


cindy beall today

You read the beginning of Cindy's story, but you're probably wondering where her life stands right now. Is she still married? How does she feel about the child her husband fathered? Here's an update in her own words.


My husband and I are coming up on the 7th anniversary of his confession to me. In many ways, it seems like it was just yesterday that my heart was shattered. In others, I feel like it was a lifetime ago. During these past seven years so much growth has occurred in both of us. Actually, so many of our family members and friends have also been changed. The devastation was so widespread and affected so many innocent people but with humility and brokenness, the story has a drastically different ending than many expected.

Today, we are best friends. Our passion for one another is stronger than in our dating days. Our family life is rich. We are better than new. We are better than we could have ever imagined. We are better than anybody thought we’d ever be. We still have disagreements like everyone else, but we handle them differently. We are as healthy as any couple can be.

Our relationship with Chris’ son and his mother is nothing short of astounding. Many jaws remain on the floor when I tell them what it’s like. We truly love each other and all want to do what is in the best interest of this precious child.

My prayer for you as you read my story and remember what I endured is that you will know that you are deeply loved by the Creator of the universe. You are His pride and joy. Continue to surrender your life to Him, even when it hurts and is uncomfortable, and you will know abundance of joy, hope and peace like you never imagined.

I’m living proof.


the interview: cindy beall

>> February 3, 2009

Husband: Chris
Children: Noah (9), Jack (6) and Seth (4)
Occupation: Administrative assistant/bookkeeper; I work remotely for a company out of Ft. Worth, Texas. This allows me to focus most of my time and energy on my family.
Church:, Edmond, Oklahoma
My husband and I have been married for 16 years. We met in college at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, in 1992. I’ve been a pastor’s wife since 1996.


What is something you wish church members knew or understood about you (or your family)? Those who know us know that we are just normal people. We do things just like a lot of other Christ followers. We just happen to be in front of people more.

What is your favorite way to partner with your husband in ministry? Chris and I enjoy ministering to couples by inviting them to come to our home. For some reason, people just seem to feel at ease and comfortable in our presence. Inviting them to our home seems to work well and foster growth.

What’s the hardest thing about being a PW? That has changed over the years. Early on, it was battling the ideals that people thought about me and things they thought I should do as a PW. Now, it’s sharing my husband’s emotional energy with others.

What are some of the perks of being married to a pastor? People enjoy blessing you with affirmation and even material things, which came in very handy when our finances were very low. We even got a vacation to Cancun paid for one year!

In what ways would you still like to grow in your role as a PW? I’m a part of a big church. So, I am trying to find ways to reach out to women more. I lead a ladies Bible study each week and that seems to help bridge the gap some. But I know there are more out there.

What are some techniques or resources you’ve found that have enriched your quiet time with God? One of the things I do is write my prayers out on my computer. Since I love to write, I often get more out on paper than I would just speaking my prayers. I also try to find different books that I can read alongside the Bible. I gain a lot of insight by reading books by respected authors.

Do you network with other pastor’s wives? Not much. Most of the other pastor’s wives in our church are busy working or raising children. How? I do try to minister to some of the younger pastor’s wives.

How do you help your kids deal with the pressures of being pastor’s kids? My husband and I decided early on that we were not going to force our children into any image or into any activities just to make sure we looked good. So, if one of our sons does not want to go to a particular class, we don’t force him to. We encourage him to go and learn, but we are not going to do it just to make sure that others think our family has it together.

What are some ways that you manage alone with your kids during church services or other functions when your husband is “on”? One of the ways I do it is by treating our work week as Sunday-Thursday. Since my husband only has one full day off, Friday, we consider our weekend to be Thursday evening through Saturday afternoon. It works for us.

In what ways do you think things are different for our generation of pastor’s wives? I think it’s wonderful that a lot of churches are not putting expectations on pastor’s wives. Not every pastor’s wife can sing or has a passion to work in the nursery. Some work outside the home, some work in the home, some home-school their children, some do not. Pastor’s wives are as diverse a group as any. Let them walk in their gifting and talent. The most important thing that a pastor’s wife needs to make sure she does is support and honor her husband and he should do the same for her.

What areas of ministry are you passionate about? I am passionate about mentoring women. I absolutely love helping women by sharing God’s word and promises as well as sharing my experiences in life. My husband and I together are passionate about helping couples work through difficulties in their marriage.

What is the most meaningful thing you do to support your husband? I try to do more than one thing, but the thing that makes the biggest impact on him is how I keep our home. Not necessarily that it’s clean or perfectly picked up, but that it’s a haven for him. I want him to have a sanctuary to come home to and one that he looks forward to. I usually have a good-smelling candle lit when he gets home. That awakens his senses when he walks through the door and I usually get a huge smile!

Do you have any PW mentors? One of my mentors is a pastor’s wife but she lives in another state. We keep up with each other through emails, text messages, phone calls and the occasional visit. I absolutely trust my whole heart with her and have learned so much just by listening to and watching her.

What valuable lessons have you learned as a PW? I’ve learned that there are some people who want to befriend you because of your role as the pastor’s wife. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be perfect, just authentic. I’ve learned that as long as my husband supports me and I support him, I don’t need to worry about making everyone else happy. Because that just won’t happen.

How do you fit the traditional/stereotypical role of a PW? In what ways do you break the mold? Traditional role – Well, I sing and have worked in the nursery, lol. Even though I work part-time from home, I am home with my kids. I run the household and manage everything. Break the mold – While being a mom and a wife are my highest callings, I am very involved in ministry and spend some of my time in ministry appointments and writing on my blog to bless the entire body of Christ, not just those at my church. Oh, and I watch the UFC. I’m sure that HAS to break the mold, lol.

What are you reading? For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Menby Shaunti Feldhahn

What’s playing in your iPod? Carrie Underwood, Hillsong, John Mayer

How do you like to spend your husband’s day off? Well, first thing is that we have 2 ½ hours together each Friday morning while our sons are in school. We just enjoy the quiet J and have an extra cup or fifteen of coffee with each other. When the boys get home from school, we do family stuff. Fridays are rarely shared with anyone…just us!

What was the reaction of your church members and your church-member friends (did you lose friends, etc.)? The church was amazing. They rallied around us because our pastor told the truth about our situation. He led the way in our restoration. There were some friends of ours that we’d known a long time who struggled with all of it, but eventually got through it.

How did this experience enhance your dependence on God? In every way. Not only did we lose our ministry and our livelihood, we lost trust, joy, peace and so much more. When trust is broken, as it was in our case, you realize that there is only One who is truly dependable and trustworthy. So, we both leaned on Christ. I did because I did not trust my husband and my husband did because he did not trust himself. We were under earning, to say the least. Our finances were so tight, but we were faithful to tithe and God always came through. It was an amazing opportunity to learn that God is who is says He is.

In what ways did you see God’s hand guiding you through this? God’s hand was everywhere. It was in the new friends we made, it was in the mysterious money showing up from out of nowhere, it was in the way our family rallied around us, and it was in the way our marriage became better than new. It was clear that God was carrying us through this.

How do you keep your ministry from being defined by this chapter in your life? We don’t. This is our ministry. We help couples who have walked or are currently walking the same road. It’s what we do. And we do it willingly because God brought us through such a tumultuous, life-threatening circumstance. How can we not?

With whom did you feel safe to talk to? We trusted our mentors, Jim & Beth Kuykendall. We trusted our pastor and the leadership team at our church, but our mentors were with us through it all. They spent many an evening sitting on our living room floor as we wondered how we’d ever get through our circumstance.

What were some milestone steps in your healing process? A couple of huge things were during a short trip to my hometown. I met with my mom’s pastor who spoke amazing truth to me. He told me that I was not a fool to stay and be a part of the redemptive work in a man’s life. I then, after begging God for a Word to stand on and believe in, heard Him speak to me through a young teenage girl as she shared Habakkuk 2:3 with a group of us. Those two milestones were huge and absolutely necessary for my desperate heart. I knew I was on my way to healing after hearing them both.

What steps did you (and your husband) have to take in order to forgive and trust again? I can’t really speak for my husband, but can say that I learned a lot about the forgiveness of God. I learned that retaliatory sin doesn’t make things better and hurts the heart of God. I came to a conclusion that I had to forgive for two reasons: God had forgiven me and I didn’t want to be in a prison where I was the key holder. The trust issue is another story. That is still a work in process. I trust my husband when he is walking in the Spirit and not submitting to the flesh. But, most importantly, I trust my God. And when I was making the decision as to whether I would stay or go, He asked if I trusted Him. I knew I did. I always had. So, I said yes and have never regretted remaining in my marriage.

What are some important things men struggling with sexual addiction need to do to “stay out of trouble” (accountability, etc.)? Protect your computers. That is probably the biggest thing you can do because most men (& women) look at pornography on the internet. Accountability is always important, but my husband lied to his accountability partners so that may just be a smokescreen for some. My husband would say now that he found a guy in his life for whom he really cares and then asked him to hold him accountable. They work very closely together and are with each other daily. He cherishes the friendship and would never want to let him down. That helps him, he says. But most importantly, you must feed your spirit so that the flesh will starve. It’s not enough to just say “no” to things of this nature…one must, must, must bombard his/her mind with things that honor God and keep your focus on Him and no one else.

In your opinion, what role should the wife play in this process? I think the wife should know everything from day one. Because the reality is, she’ll learn about it eventually. Unfortunately, so many wives take offense to their husband’s sexual problems understandably so, but don’t realize that it has nothing to do with them. I’ve met some of the most beautiful and amazing women whose husbands are addicted to pornography and/or have committed adultery. If you have a strong friendship with your husband, it’s key that he be able to share with you without you panicking. It’s okay to be upset, but remember that he is trusting you to hold his heart as he shares something that could bring about a lot of devastation.

We've asked Cindy a ton of questions, but do you have more?


the day everything changed

>> February 2, 2009

A NOTE FROM CLUTCH: This is the first chapter in Cindy's book, Life After Porn: A Redemption Story. I can't think of a better way to share Cindy's story and start the conversation. Cindy is working on rewriting and publishing her book, but for now you can read the chapters online. You can also check out her posts on marriage and the couple's marriage ministry here. (Photo is a stock image and not a photo of the Bealls.)

Chapter 1 - The Day Everything Changed
by Cindy Beall

Knee deep in boxes at 217 Brackendale Lane, I heard the front door open. The jiggle of the doorknob was a familiar sound, for I knew the entrance of my husband was soon to follow. Inching my way through a small pathway in between many boxes, I looked up and saw the face of the man I married nine years ago. Chris walked toward me and asked if we could “talk”. The look on his face said enough - something was wrong.

After getting our oldest son, Noah, settled with a Blue’s Clues video, Chris motioned me toward the newly-purchased sofa that had arrived just twenty-four hours before as we began our new life in a new town.

He began by confessing that he had
numerous affairs with numerous women from numerous places. My heart began to palpitate while I listened to him. I heard the cracking of my heart as he spoke and felt the devastation setting in almost immediately. As if that information was not enough to handle, he also informed me that one of the women was pregnant, and he was pretty sure the baby was his child.

You have got to be kidding me.

I’m quite certain that Webster does not have one word that could have even come close to describing my immediate state of mind and heart condition.

Bewildered. Stunned. Shocked. Overwhelmed.
Befuddled. Floored. Jolted. Nauseated. Sickened.
Disturbed. Crushed. Dismayed. Paralyzed.
Pissed off.

Nope, none of those work. The truth is that I still can’t tell you to this day how I felt in those first few moments.

What I can tell you is that I was keenly aware that my world as I knew it was forever changed. I woke up that morning a relatively comfortable housewife and stay-at-home mom, and within a couple of hours I became a seriously damaged woman.

As one might imagine, my mind began to race with all sorts of one-word questions. What? When? Where? And of course, an all-time favorite question asked by thousands when thrown into an unwanted circumstance – Why?

I guess I need to tell you the stinger in all of this. Up until the day my husband confessed his adultery, he was a pastor at our church.

This is where your jaw drops, your eyes get big, and you might even say, “What the…?”

I began to ask questions.

Why in the world would my husband choose to do this? We both made vows to forsake all others for the rest of our lives. I had kept my vows. He had not.

Why did you need other women?
Wasn’t I enough?
Why so many?
Were you in love with any of them?
Where did it happen?
When did it happen?
What did you do with them?
What did they do to you?
How many times?
Did it happen in our home?
Did it happen in our bed?
Do I mean anything to you?
Was it all a farce?
Did our ministry mean anything?
How did you lead others to Jesus while you were living this life on the side?

He knew those questions would be coming and as I asked, he simply sat there and cried.

After gaining some composure, he assured me that it wasn’t my fault. He told me that he loved me and found me attractive. He told me that I was a great wife. He said he loved being married to me. He told me that he never loved any of the women. He told me that his relationship with Jesus was real and that he did love the teenagers to whom we ministered.

Then why on earth would you risk what we have to be with someone else?

He replied, “Because I’m addicted to pornography.”


Read the Introduction and Chapters 2-10.


What is your initial reaction to Cindy's story? Any questions for her?

Stay tuned tomorrow for an interview with Cindy.


PMS week: sexual sin

>> February 1, 2009

I've been looking forward to this week of posts for a few several weeks now. Not so much because of the topic, but because you're going to meet an amazing, brave, honest, friendly PH, Cindy Beall. I know you are going to be blessed by her testimony and her advice. I don't think you're ever going to forget Cindy or her story.

But the subject matter, sexual sin, is important too. The probability is high that many of us will face this issue in our marriage to one degree or another. Because of our role as pastor's wives, the issues take on new dimensions, with our husband's career and gainful employment, with his influence as a spiritual leader, with everything that goes along with a public scandal. Cindy has been there, done that. This week we're going to explore many of the dimensions of this through her eyes.

We hope you'll find useful information and find strength in knowing that God can and will bring you and your PH through anything, no matter what. He's in the redemption business. And that's what this story is really about, overcoming and "life after... ." Cindy shares her story to "give hope to the wife who is living with the atrocious consequences of her husband’s actions." We welcome your comments, your own testimony and your questions for Cindy. Feel free to post anonymously if you feel more comfortable.

You will be blessed this week. Promise.

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