Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Abuse, Forgiveness and the Pastor's Wife

Posted by Hannah at 6:07 AM

Standing in the Shadows is a very touching story of a minister's wife that was treated sinfully, and her husband left the family to start another one! Yet is a story of hope, new beginnings, forgiveness and it also sounds like a ministry she can call her own!

I knew that my healing and the healing of my children could only come with forgiveness. As long as I had unforgiveness in my heart, I was still in bondage - he still controlled me. Forgiveness is never easy but necessary. Too often, we don't allow the wounds and the scars to heal and we never let go of our hurt. But I knew that unforgiveness turns to bitterness and bitterness destroys the mind, the soul, and ultimately the body. I needed to forgive him but I also needed to forgive the members of my church.

I think anyone of faith that has been dealing with any form of domestic violence can relate to this. Forgiveness isn't easy at times, and bitter pill we can't do away with will destroy us in the end if we can't let of it. Forgiveness as you can clearly see isn't for them - its for US! COULD be way the bible asks us to forgive in the first place huh? Abuse isn't always easy to forgive, but I believe you can let go of it little by little!

I realize that some of you reading this "lengthy" blog have gone through painful ministry relationship breakups. Yet, I know that some are still in those painful relationships such as the minister's wife of 50 years. Please let me hear from you - talk to me. I want to pray for you. I want my children to pray for your children. Sometimes, it is not always advice that you seek but a listening ear. Often, the focus is on the minister/pastor with very little emphasis on the wife. When there is a divorce, that wife and those children become invisible. It happens - please talk to me.

The pastor's wife has a very difficult position at times. WHen you are dealing with abuse, forgiveness, and just life that goes also with that please reach out! Reach out until someone listens!

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Anonymous said...

I and my children have been emotionally abused,neglected and abandoned by my minister husband. I have prayed for 20+ years that God would turn his servant's heart to his home and family but He hasn't and it is too late-the children are now grown. When confronted with his actions, he is unrepentant and denies it even in the face of overwhelming evidence and testimony. My faith,once strong and vibrant, is barely breathing. If one cannot pray such a Godly prayer and expect God to grant it, what can one pray for and have granted? I never prayed for things, just my home and that I would be a Godly wife and mother and he would be a Godly husband and father. I am not perfect but my heart and my efforts were focused on the needs of my family, emotionally, relationally, physically and spiritually. When I messed up, I asked forgiveness. He has rarely asked for forgiveness about anything and certainly not for the things that he has done that have really hurt us. He has even justified some of those same actions! He was an absentee husband and father but it was not because of church work. He is addicted to his phone and computer and to socializing.

I am in such spiritual and emotional pain as are my children. What should have been a wonderful Christian home (Pastor father, stay-at-home Christian mother)was not. I am left with why God did not answer my prayers and how this Minister husband could be so callous and negligent of his family's needs on every level including their spiritual welfare and growth.

Once the children are gone, I hope I die thereby being freed of this torment.

I am told that I am bitter about this-hmmm, how should I feel?

Hannah on 8:54 AM said...

I don't agree that you are bitter. I believe those that you are speaking are not hearing what they need to. I wish I could tell you that is uncommon, but their denial is very strong.

Please reach out to your local domestic violence shelter. Find people that will listen to you, and know that God doesn't wish any of you to suffer like this. God can change people, but they must ask for it and want it. He isn't going to force people to be the person that God intends.

God may have a different avenue in mind for you. I never in a million years felt he would place me on the path that he has. I have to wonder at times if he placed me in this position to make sure I understood things very well, and that I could work his will in a way he pleases. God has something in mind for you also.

On the left side of my blog are some links, and if you check those out there is some ministries that are safe. They will listen to you, and they will help you with your family issues.

I'm praying for you, and you have every right to feel anger, frustration, and host of other feelings. Personally, you don't sound bitter to me. You sound lost. Find fellowship with those that wish to listen, and I bet God will show you that door he wishes you to walk into!

Anonymous said...


I am the first born daughter of a family whose father is a church minister, university chaplain and theology lecturer. My mother has played the role of breadwinner when he was away to study or teach or traveling to the different churches that he was sent to, supporting him, us, the church and later her businesses in an effort to keep the family clothed and fed. He was an absentee father to both my brother and absentee husband to my mother.

I have worked through, and still continue to work through the pain on being emotionally abandoned, of two attempted suicides, of addiction to food as a method to self medicate the pain, of being triangulated in the fights between my parents....

It has been hard going, but it has taken courage. It gets easier, to let the pain go and to forgive, but it takes time and a willingness to face the pain and to face what part I had to play in the experience. and through out, God has sent me all the resources I needed to work through the pain. For me it has been people I met in rehab, certain workmates, my husband, my first-born child, the books I have chanced upon, the friends who I have who are committed to their growth....I have had help when I needed it, how I needed it..and for that I am grateful.

I know it is possible to stop paining. It is even possible to gain a perspective and not get drawn in as I see now my parents' marriage disintegrating before my very eyes as my father gets involved in extra marital affairs and how my mother fights him, fights for the control of the property....they would rather fight and carry out a public and extended family smear campaign against each other, than divorce, take responsibility for their actions and what they have each contributed to their current state of their marriage, begin their healing process...if they want to. They clearly don't.

I don't know how much help this post is, but help is always at hand. Ask for help for yourself. That's all the responsibility God had given you. You. First and foremost. You can only effect change on You, not your husband despite how long you've been married. God will not change someone else just because you have been praying for years for them. They have free will and until and unless they ask for help to change, God will wait until they are ready. You ask you help for yourself, that's who needs help at this point. You recognise you are in pain, so if you want it to end, to feel better about yourself and your relationship with God, your husband and your children, ask for help. But for you.

All the best, in your journey. Do not give up, help is next to you, waiting for you to ask it in.


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