It is sad to say, but divorce is a very real part of the Christian community. It occurs in churches all across America. Even pastors are getting divorces. I’m not just talking about what some people may consider as “small time” pastors. Over the last couple of years a number of well know pastors have had to endure divorce. I’m sure you have heard of some of or all of these names; Randy and Paula White, Bishop Thomas Weeks and Juanita Bynum, Hezekiah Walker, and Zachery Tims.
As a church member, what do you do when your pastor gets a divorce? I’m sure a number of emotions may run through your head that will include anger, hurt, and a feeling of betrayal. Do you just automatically leave and find another church? Do you stay and continue to make contributions to the ministry that is going on at your church? It is clearly a tough decision to make.
Fortunately, I have never been faced with this situation. However, I have an number of friends that have had to experience their pastor going through a divorce. Some of them chose to leave the church, while others decided to stay. It is a challenging choice for someone to make.
Let’s all be clear about something. Malachi 2:16 tells us that God hates divorce. That doesn’t mean that God people who divorce. We should never forget that God’s love is everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3).
So, if your pastor gets a divorce, it is completely understandable for your to be heart broken and for you to be upset. Please remember, it is not God’s desire for you to have hatred towards your pastor and his or her spouse. It is God’s desire for us to always love one another (John 13:34).
Often times when people get a divorce, we tend to poke and prod them in an effort to find out which person is at fault. In the case of your pastor, you could try to do that (I don’t recommend it), or you could spend your time and energy on something much more productive. You could PRAY! In fact, that is the absolute best thing you can do.
You can pray for your pastor and his/her spouse. Pray that God will give them healing and comfort during this difficult time.
You can pray for your church. This is a good opportunity for the enemy to come in and attempt to break your church apart. Pray that the Lord will continue to protect the church and keep it together as you all go through this difficult time.
You can pray for you and your family. This is a time where you should seek God’s guidance regarding what you should do. Ask God what your role should be during this time. Ask God if it is his will for you to remain with that church or if he has another church he wants you to join.
I wish this post was completely irrelevant. Unfortunately divorce happens and it happens often. We all have had times in our lives when we have fallen short of the glory of God. You would think that certain things should not happen to pastors, but none of us are immune to sin and the troubles that come in this life. That is why daily repentance is something we should all incorporate into our lives.
What is your take on divorce and pastors? Have you ever been a member of a church where the pastor got a divorce?