He Said-She Said: Is This Behavior Inappropriate?
- Thursday, June 30, 2011
I would also suggest you sit down with your fiancée to pray, discuss your feelings and share the concern you have for the appearance of her relationship with the pastor, not to accuse her of any wrongdoing nor bombard her with scriptures (that is why I decided not to reference any).
Take this time to disclose any insecurity or fear you may be dealing with, past or present. At the same time, ask her what difficulties or struggles she is facing that you can pray for. This is something that should occur regardless of the situation for any couple prior to getting married. Open heartfelt communication is oftentimes not comfortable or easy to do, but is so vital to the success of your relationship.
In your circumstance, this is one of “those” discussions that can bring you closer together or, if done accusatorily, drive a stake between the two of you. Nevertheless, since this is a serious concern of yours, it needs to be addressed at some point.
Finally, you may consider accompanying your fiancée to church on a more regular basis, if you’re not already doing so, to both support her and her work and being a visible presence in her life.
Relationships are built on trust. If you can’t trust the person you are marrying, why marry them?
SHE SAID: I’ll start my answer by doing what I do a lot of the time when addressing questions from readers: flipping the scenario.
If you were on the phone every day with a female pastor who was married and with whom you were receiving counseling and prayer support and whom you answered to as a church leader and/or board member, how would your fiancée feel?
I think she would wonder what in the world a married woman and an unmarried man needed to talk about every day. Just as you are wondering with what is happening with her.
And why is that?
Well, because it appears that there is extreme emotional dependency going on here—either the pastor being dependent on your fiancée or your fiancée being dependent on the pastor. And what’s inappropriate about that? For starters, since the pastor is your spiritual leader, he should not want to cause a fellow or weaker believer to stumble (Rom. 14:19-21). Since he is married he needs to respect his wife, and her position of importance and honor in his life (Eph. 5:25) as his mate, and to make sure that his actions are above reproach.
And how does one live above reproach?
By not doing or saying anything that would make someone else think that something very wrong is going on.
Avoid every kind of evil (1 Thess. 5:22).
Well, what’s so evil about a pastor talking with one of his parishioners on the phone? Nothing in and of itself. But what could lead to something evil is frequent and private communication between a married man and an unmarried woman. It’s a potential recipe for disaster. Emotional affairs are easy to fall prey to, and their kissing cousin—a physical affair—is only one step away.
You say that the pastor is concerned about your fiancée (due to issues in her past) and for this reason he seeks frequent communication with her, in addition to discussion about her role as a leader and a board member. My question to that is this: Does he call everyone with whom he counsels or who is a leader or board member on a daily basis? If so, then that is probably a lengthy list and could hinder him getting the rest of his job done. If not, then why?
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