Ain’t But One Woman Allowed to Be In Love With My Pastor

An interesting little thread developed on my Facebook page yesterday that I felt the need to clarify in more than 160 characters.

Those of you who blog know that statistic programs (Sitemeter, etc.) exist that show what google searches people used to arrive at your blog if that is indeed how they found it.  It’s a crack up to look at them because you’ll see anything from  “My wife dresses me like a girl” to “I’m in love with my preacher and he has a wife.”  Both real searches that someone, somewhere on the planet used to arrive at my blog this week. 

To the dude whose wife dresses you like a girl:  Did you find something here that helped?  If you did, I’m closing down this blog immediately. 

As for the woman in love with her pastor, let’s talk about that.

Firstly I need to clarify that this ‘googler’ could be from anywhere in the world.  Just because she found me doesn’t mean this is someone in our church.  Or like my Facebook remark that started this whole thing – at least she better not be. (It’s a joke, y’all.  I don’t think that for a split second.)  I first made light of the search because that is just how I roll, but the more I thought about it the less funny it became.

I talked to a couple of friends about this topic today and I think they were both shocked at how common an unhealthy attachment to the pastor can be.  In fact, this search is by far not the first.  I’ve never written on this loaded topic, but apparently the ‘preacher wife’ aspect of this site leads some to believe an answer may be found here. 

And don’t let me leave it as though needy parishioners are the only ones who can instigate some inappropriate behavior.  Pastors can be just as guilty – not mine mind you – but only because Luke and I know full well how Satan would love to destroy our family and we are diligent in protecting our relationship.  Let me be clear that neither one of us thinks for a single second the other would be unfaithful but we also understand the concept of ‘be careful if you think you stand lest you fall’. 

So what does that look like for us?  

Primarily, we have been ultra-intentional in preserving our relationship and friendship through ministry and parenting.  We’ve fought long and hard for the marriage we have and there’s no stinkin’ way we are giving up on it at this stage in the game.  One of the things I believe most strongly is that there is no such thing as a ‘successful’ ministry if our homes are in shambles.  Can’t storm the gates of hell outside your house if you are busy raising it on the inside.  I pray for ministry wives often that the Lord would preserve your relationships in the midst of the obvious stressors your family will face as you serve His Body.

Practically, Luke does not nor will not meet with a woman alone.  Period.  If a female needs counsel then it is agreed in advance that either I will be there or the door will be wide open in full view and hearing of the secretary so that there can be no misunderstanding as to content of the conversation.  I do not mean to suggest that every woman who needs the advice of her pastor is automatically on the prowl.  However, it is naive to think that someone in desperate circumstances – especially one experiencing marital discord –  is not more vulnerable to form an emotional attachment to someone she may perceive as being everything her own husband is not.     

And again, let’s not let the pastor off the hook.  This is why strong marriages in ministry are so vital.  It is not unheard of for a chivalrous male to suddenly become attached to a woman he feels the need to rescue – especially if he feels unneeded at home.  Considering both sides, I think it is pretty easy to see how sharing intimate life details can create an environment ripe for indiscretion if we aren’t wise to the devil’s schemes.   

I’m interested in hearing from you girls about this – ministry wives and lay people alike.  What safeguards have your families put in place?  What advice can you give?  Does your pastor/church have policies to protect both parties?  Please feel free to discuss all of the many angles I didn’t cover because this short post is in no way meant to be exhaustive.  Really, it’s just more of a discussion starter so…let’s discuss!  I’ll be answering in the comments…

At Some Point I Will Make it to the Beach

I’ve mentioned a time or three that Luke and I are spending a few days out of town. And since that statement alone is a bit vague, I’ll elaborate by sharing we are in fabulous Panama City Beach with two of our best friends on this earth, Chuck and Debbie. We make this trip in the fall every year and I can’t say enough about its restorative powers in both our personal life and ministry.

Since I am incredibly busy lying on the couch watching a disturbing amount of television while still in my pj’s at 2 p.m., I thought I would leave you a couple of links on a discussion we had this same time last year about the importance of Hubby/Wife Time.

Interested? Check out this and then the follow up.

I’d love for you girls to take a look so we can refresh our conversation on the importance of nurturing marital relationships.

Tell me, what do you do to set aside time for your man?

As for me, I’m hoping for a walk on the beach at some point in our trip. So far, having nowhere to be with no time to get there has trumped anything resembling exercise.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some more big fat nothing to get back to..

Welcome to the Hotel Alabama…It’s a lovely place…such a lovely place…

Hello bloggy friends o’ mine!

We are back from the District Baseball Tournament – for the time being anyway. Our record stands at 1-1 so we will be driving 1 1/2 hours each way every night next week until we are beat out. Have any of you baseball moms ever hoped your kids lost?

Yeah, ummm, me either.

Anyway, we spent the night in Tourney Town over the weekend because we had the late game Friday night and a noon game Saturday. I was all proud of myself because I found a decent room online at a great rate. Notice I didn’t say fancy – we just wanted clean.

I should preface what I’m about to say by telling you I’m not a picky or demanding girl. I don’t think I’ve ever sent a meal back. Not one to pitch a fit in long lines. Not one to insist on my own way.

Not one to toot my own horn?

Seriously, I’m only trying to get the point across that I’m not high-maintenance – in my own estimation anyway. (Luke McKay, if you are reading this you’d better keep it zipped or you will pay, hubby. You will pay.)

So, we pulled into the motel I had reserved. Let’s just say if there were ever a new HGTV series of Curb Appeal: Motel Edition – they’d totally qualify to be the first contestant. It looked NOTHING like the web pictures. Those photos were obviously taken the day after the contractors pulled out a few decades ago. Before Luke and I said a word Boy Two whined, “Awww, man. Are y’all making us stay in this dump?”

Even with that, I was willing to give the place a chance if it were just clean. That’s all we wanted – not too much to ask for, right? I went in the lobby and asked the owner to let me see the room before we agreed to rent it.

Oh, y’all.

Mr. Patel (really his name) led me through a breezeway to the room. We had to weave our way through a maze of old mop buckets, a rusted washer and dryer, and discarded flower pots to make it to the back part of the motel. He opened the door and grandly presented the room just like Vanna White showcasing a new car.

There warn’t no new car in there.

There were bugs. Big, fat, junebuglookin‘ bugs.

Some were dead. Some were alive. Some of their broken carcasses littered the floor. The carpet had very obviously not been vacuumed in a great long time.

I knew there was no stinkin‘ way I was laying down in that room and I triple knew that my man wouldn’t sleep there so I gathered my nerve and said:

“I’m so sorry but there are bugs in this room and I don’t believe we’ll stay here.”

And with that, the Vanna-smile disappeared. Imagine telling some exotic, sword-carrying king that his only daughter – the apple of his eye – was indeed an ugly duckling. That was the look on Mr. Patel’s face. I’d insulted his pride and joy and he was not at all happy about it.

Wide-eyed and teeth bared, he yelled, “These just water bugs and no problem!”

I calmly explained that, yes, the bugs were a problem and again that we would not be staying. He then told me he was still going to bill me for the room.

Scary man with dirty motel say whaaat?

“Oh, no sir. I won’t be paying for a night here.”

“Yes, I bill you and you must leave my property right away. Right away!”

“Oh, no, you won’t and I am SO not leaving until you remove my credit card from your computer.”

And then I did what I always do when I’ve gotten in a mess far beyond my ability to manage.

LUUUKKKE!”

And y’all his name was, like, the magic word. When Mr. P. saw me wave towards The Man in the Car, he totally freaked. Don’t think for a second I wouldn’t have scheduled Luke for a dust up on the playground if it would have gotten us out of paying for that room.

I’m shameless in playing the Hubby Card.

For any of you girls who think submission doesn’t work to our advantage? Maybe you just aren’t working it properly. Hang around awhile, my friends, we’ll get you straightened out in no time.

Guess how Mr. P responded to Luke’s buffness? “No, no. I promise I cancel your reservation. Just leave my property right now! Right AWAY!”

And so, we left. We found another hotel (the only vacancy in town) that cost us a stinkin‘ fortune.

And we slept like babies.

Bug free.

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