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I am divorcing my wife
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Post Re: Why... TheBeebs
prefontaine wrote:
Why do we need someone to underwrite his salary?? Get a job. If he does divorce and it becomes public knowledge, he will likely be asked to step down for a time then, and he'd have to get a job. Some sort of system to underwrite his salary may be suitable, but IMHO when it comes to saving your marriage, getting a job outside of ministry seems a small price to pay.


...because he has obligations to meet and children to feed....get another job is a great idea, but these days, that doesn't happen overnight......and nobody knows what kind of financial obligations this man has that are directly related to his marital problems.....alcoholics can do some strange things to the budget....so can people with certain mental disorders....he's trying to do the right thing by getting his wife help....there may be insurance considerations here, also....doctors don't just give their services away and I can assure you that medication isn't free...in fact, without insurance, it's usually in the hundreds of dollars for a thirty day supply.....I'm not saying that underwriting the salary should be done indefinitely, but the church needs to take care of it's own.....and helping out until he can find employment and get the family on it's feet would be a way to help this family...they are, after all, members of the household of faith....

oh,no...........i told myself to stay out of this......i've escaped again!
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Post Re: Why... RaceForTheCure
prefontaine wrote:
Why do we need someone to underwrite his salary?? Get a job. If he does divorce and it becomes public knowledge, he will likely be asked to step down for a time then, and he'd have to get a job. Some sort of system to underwrite his salary may be suitable, but IMHO when it comes to saving your marriage, getting a job outside of ministry seems a small price to pay.


What happened to a spirit of benevolence. We would help a stranger but not one of our own?
I make great money but - if I had to get a new job tomorrow at the same pay - highly unlikely. It would be difficult to meet obligations and only make a bad situation worse.
Why can't there be some way to help ministers in crisis? They help us when we're in crisis.
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8/9/07 6:57 pm


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Post Just a few more thoughts to consider Oregongirl
For perspective, I grew up in a COG parsonage and married a COG minister, in ministry 15 yrs, been out of ministry for about five. There is life and employment outside of the church. For our own reasons, we stepped out of ministry to focus on our family.
In response to your situation, no matter what either of you are feeling at any given time, the Bible has much guidance on what you have shared. Don't let the "social psychology" of the our society and even the modern church take away from Scripture.
1. The account of Hosea and his adulteress wife, Gomer, is noted as a parallel of God's faithfulness to an unfaithful people. I know you stated that there has been no adultery, but the principle is the same. Faithfulness to your covenant.
2. It was noted that there is most likely a mental illness. ANY illness in a family is difficult to endure. If your wife had been in a tragic car accident and was left a quadriplegic, needing your 24/7 care, would you leave her then as well, because it would be too much too handle? The marriage vows state in sickness and in health.
3. Your statement "Ministry is the one thing we do right". You are fooling yourself. As soon as you said "I do", your wife became your first ministry calling. You are doing yourself, your family, and your church a disservice to believe otherwise. I Timothy 3: As a bishop and deacon, this basically states that if you don't know how to rule your own house, how can you take care of the church?

Take time to get an outside job. It may not be easy or as "fulfilling", as ministry, but your CALL, your FOCUS has to be your family, and ministering to your FIRST flock: your wife and children. God's ways are above our ways. Give yourself time to devote to God and your family only. Then after healing has taken place, prayerfully seek God's direction for your family.
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8/9/07 7:48 pm


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Post Re: Why... georgiapath
TheBeebs wrote:
prefontaine wrote:
Why do we need someone to underwrite his salary?? Get a job. If he does divorce and it becomes public knowledge, he will likely be asked to step down for a time then, and he'd have to get a job. Some sort of system to underwrite his salary may be suitable, but IMHO when it comes to saving your marriage, getting a job outside of ministry seems a small price to pay.


...because he has obligations to meet and children to feed....get another job is a great idea, but these days, that doesn't happen overnight......and nobody knows what kind of financial obligations this man has that are directly related to his marital problems.....alcoholics can do some strange things to the budget....so can people with certain mental disorders....he's trying to do the right thing by getting his wife help....there may be insurance considerations here, also....doctors don't just give their services away and I can assure you that medication isn't free...in fact, without insurance, it's usually in the hundreds of dollars for a thirty day supply.....I'm not saying that underwriting the salary should be done indefinitely, but the church needs to take care of it's own.....and helping out until he can find employment and get the family on it's feet would be a way to help this family...they are, after all, members of the household of faith....

oh,no...........i told myself to stay out of this......i've escaped again!


Beebs, you are exactly right. Good jobs are few and far between, it's easier said than done.
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8/10/07 8:39 am


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Post Ok Beebs and Race... prefontaine
Re-read my ENTIRE post...not just the first line. I believe my exact words were "some sort of system to underwrite his salary may be suitable, but IMHO when it comes to saving your marriage, getting a job outside of ministry seems a small price to pay." I am not totally discounting the possibility of financial help, I am simply saying that if you have to choose between keeping your job in ministry or keeping your wife, you need to choose your wife. Getting jobs aren't easy, but they are out there. Also, if we truly believe that God provides for us as long as we stay in His will, then isn't that really what we need to count on?? If I lost my job today, but I know that I have done nothing wrong, and that I am in God's will, I know that he will provide. Maybe right away, maybe a month from now, but God takes care of His own. I do believe we need to take care of our ministers in need. However, if a local church has to pay for a new pastor, and try to continue to pay their old one, I think that is a lot to ask a church.
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Post Point taken.... TheBeebs
....it's just that when someone adds the "but", it seems to negate everything that came before.....yes, there are jobs out there, BUT
will they meet the needs of this family...when it's just one person, waitin' cars at Sonic might cut it and there is certainly no shame in that honest work...this man has a family to support and God only knows what else is going on..if they have small children, is his wife able to care for them or will he need day care..does he own his home, rent or live in a furnished parsonage...is his family covered by insurance paid for by his church or out of his pocket..can you see where Race and I are going with this....he can't just quit on the spot....it's going to take some pre-planning and this man is going to need a whole lot of support from his church just to take care of the physical needs of his family until he can get on his feet.....that's all we're saying....and who says his church has to carry the whole load?...there's a lot of fluff that goes on at the state and national levels of this denomination and one would think that some of the fluff could be downsized to help ministers in need...oh....right.....that's a whole 'nuther thread.........Thanks again for the clarification, prefontaine...
love you brother!
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Post That's too true... prefontaine
There is a lot of fluff that would be better spent on this type of thing. Unfortunately, to a degree - and this is not all-inclusive at all - we tend to cut the minister off totally. We offer help in the way of counseling and support, but nothing financial. Also, I wonder sometimes how much any denomination cares to see a wounded brother get back into ministry. Gauging from a lot of actions, they would like to see him healed, and serving the Lord, but probably don't care a ton about them ever being 100% restored.
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Post Sir... Lovin God
My family is praying for you Friendly Face
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8/10/07 12:59 pm


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Help4ABishop wrote:
I want to touch on a few things.
The harm we are doing to our children is in displaying to them an unhealthy marriage, and presenting this as their example for their future spouses.


Have you considered that it might be more harmful for your children to watch you divorce, to have to grow up away from mommy or daddy? What kind of effect does it have for children to see that their parents, so active in ministry, are not able to work through their problems and stay together? Could damage to the children by staying together just be an excuse for you to escape from a very difficult and painful situation?

I know mental problems can cause problems in marriage. I have had a few relatives who have had problems with jealousy that seem to be almost mental problems and these things took a tole on their marriages.

Quote:

I would love to leave the ministry. Unfortunately, I would be starting over as a middle-aged man. I have no other way to make a living. How do I support a family, or survive myself without an income?


Who provides food for the poor man? Who feeds the birds of the air? Who provides opportunities? Is it not the Lord? You don't seem to include God in the equation here.

Do you believe God wants you to make this decision? To divorce? If so, then God will provide for you, won't he? The Bible says that the bishop must be the husband of one wife, and rule his house well. If that isn't working out for you, you need to step down for the sake of the church, and trust God to provide for you.

If God does not want you to leave your wife and wants to restore your marriage, then you can trust God with that as well. If you aren't ruling your house well and you want to reconcile, maybe you should still step down from your ministry role and look for another job for a while. God can open up doors for you.

Quote:

This isnít something I bargained for, or asked for. I didnít marry my wife to divorce her. I married for love. I still love her, and yet, itís so distorted, I donít know that I can ever get it back. I donít know if my level of trust can ever be restored.

After an intense talk with her today, I have given this thing one year. One year for her to get help, and for us to turn this thing around.


If things are that desparate, why don't you just open up to your church and ask everyone to pray for you about the situation. Maybe one of the other leaders in the church, an older couple maybe, could counsel with the two of you and help you out. God can heal anything, even mental problems.

Sometimes problems like this are results of unforgiveness, unhealed spiritual wounds, and things like that. There are people gifted in this area who can help people heal. Send me a private message if you want me to comment on this further.

Quote:
Trust me when I say, the church is not at all affected by our home issues. We give our very best to the ministry. Ministry is the one thing we do right. Is that dysfunctional?


If there is sin in the church, it effects the whole church. Leaven spreads throughout the church whether you see the leaven or not. Do you think your divorce will be a sin? Do you think if you get a divorce there may be a ripple effect with many other couples getting a divorce?

Again, if you are going to go down this route, why don't you just separate temporarily, maybe one or both of you go away on some kind of retreat somewhere to heal up, not with the purpose of ending your marriage.

Quote:

You bet. Itís easy to say, ďQuit.Ē You try living without an income. Not an easy thing to do.


I believe the Lord directed me to this out of state school for my masters degree. I have no job, and I'm getting ready to go full-time, but God is providing our every need.

Your story underscores a concern I have about the professional preacher system. Instead of mature, 'seniors' in the church leading (i.e. presbuteros-- elders), we send really young people to Bible college or seminary to enter a ministry carreer track just as if they were studying to be financeers or engineers. This is so different from the way things were done in the Bible, where older men, who had already figured out how to earn a living, were appointed to pastor the household of faith. Ruling the household well is a key requirement. (Not saying I'm perfect in that area.)

Also, having a godly, stable wife, is a part of it. The husband of the noble woman in Proverbs takes his seat with the elders at the gate.

I would urge you not to put the financial well being of yourself and your family ahead of the needs of the church. If you need time for your marriage to heal, take it and step back from church leadership until things have improved.
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Post myinquringmind
Help4ABishop wrote:
I want to touch on a few things.

First, there is absolutely no physical abuse in our home. Not me towards my wife, or my wife towards me. There is no infidelity in either party. I cannot state the particulars, but I believe my wife is mentally ill. I have been unsuccessful in getting her to go to counseling or to get any type of treatment. She saw a psychiatrist for the first time yesterday. She is already on anti-anxiety medication, and antidepressants. She has struggled with a closeted alcohol addiction. This is under control at this time. However, there are other addictive tendencies and behaviors. Iím weary of it. I cannot continue.

I am depressed as well. I realize this.

The harm we are doing to our children is in displaying to them an unhealthy marriage, and presenting this as their example for their future spouses.

I would love to leave the ministry. Unfortunately, I would be starting over as a middle-aged man. I have no other way to make a living. How do I support a family, or survive myself without an income?

This isnít something I bargained for, or asked for. I didnít marry my wife to divorce her. I married for love. I still love her, and yet, itís so distorted, I donít know that I can ever get it back. I donít know if my level of trust can ever be restored.

After an intense talk with her today, I have given this thing one year. One year for her to get help, and for us to turn this thing around. Trust me when I say, the church is not at all affected by our home issues. We give our very best to the ministry. Ministry is the one thing we do right. Is that dysfunctional? You bet. Itís easy to say, ďQuit.Ē You try living without an income. Not an easy thing to do.

Thanks for so much advice, and prayer. I never expected such an outpouring. Prayer is the big thing right now.

If there is some Church of God Official out there, please take note of this. There are hurting ministers and broken ministries out there. Handicapped pastors will build handicapped churches. I know I am broken. I have to put myself together every Sunday, only to fall apart again on Monday. I canít afford to do it any differently.

I appreciate every response.

If you really believe your wife to be mentally ill then I would think that she would need you love and support more now than she ever has before. Would it not be more beneficial to you children to see their father stand by their mother while she is going through some of the hardest times of her life, rather than see him tuck his tale and run away when thinks get tough. Just my two cents though.
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8/11/07 2:47 pm


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Post Alot depends on.... TheBeebs
Quote:
If you really believe your wife to be mentally ill then I would think that she would need you love and support more now than she ever has before. Would it not be more beneficial to you children to see their father stand by their mother while she is going through some of the hardest times of her life, rather than see him tuck his tale and run away when thinks get tough. Just my two cents though.


...whether or not she wants help...from what I've read, he's already trying but there's only so much he can do....sort of like when Jesus calls us to salvation....he leads us there, but it's our choice whether or not to drink....there's only so much one person can do to help another....when the ill party refuses to do their part to get better, there's nothing else the other party can do...sometimes, it takes losing everything for them to see how serious things really are....
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Post I waited a while before responding roughridercog
Help4ABishop wrote:
I want to touch on a few things.

First, there is absolutely no physical abuse in our home. Not me towards my wife, or my wife towards me. There is no infidelity in either party. I cannot state the particulars, but I believe my wife is mentally ill. I have been unsuccessful in getting her to go to counseling or to get any type of treatment. She saw a psychiatrist for the first time yesterday. She is already on anti-anxiety medication, and antidepressants. She has struggled with a closeted alcohol addiction. This is under control at this time. However, there are other addictive tendencies and behaviors. Iím weary of it. I cannot continue.

I am depressed as well. I realize this.

The harm we are doing to our children is in displaying to them an unhealthy marriage, and presenting this as their example for their future spouses.

I would love to leave the ministry. Unfortunately, I would be starting over as a middle-aged man. I have no other way to make a living. How do I support a family, or survive myself without an income?

This isnít something I bargained for, or asked for. I didnít marry my wife to divorce her. I married for love. I still love her, and yet, itís so distorted, I donít know that I can ever get it back. I donít know if my level of trust can ever be restored.

After an intense talk with her today, I have given this thing one year. One year for her to get help, and for us to turn this thing around. Trust me when I say, the church is not at all affected by our home issues. We give our very best to the ministry. Ministry is the one thing we do right. Is that dysfunctional? You bet. Itís easy to say, ďQuit.Ē You try living without an income. Not an easy thing to do.

Thanks for so much advice, and prayer. I never expected such an outpouring. Prayer is the big thing right now.

If there is some Church of God Official out there, please take note of this. There are hurting ministers and broken ministries out there. Handicapped pastors will build handicapped churches. I know I am broken. I have to put myself together every Sunday, only to fall apart again on Monday. I canít afford to do it any differently.

I appreciate every response.


You stated that you believe your wife is mentally ill. That may be. By your own admission you're depressed yourself.
Let me speak to you from over fifty years of living and over thirty years of mininstry.
1. Stop using the word "divorce." In my opinion, the more you use the word, the greater your chances of making it a reality by a self fulfilling prophecy.
2. If your wife is really mentally ill, do you think divorce is the answer? If she had cancer, would you divorce her? I think not.
3. Take a sabbatical from ministry. Find a job and a place to live for you and your family. You are an intelligent man who can do other things than pastor for a season. You might find it refreshing. You can do some checking through other pastors for Christian businessmen who are hiring. You can simply say that you're taking a sabbatical from pastoring. That will be a true statement.
4. Place yourself under the guidance of a pastor in whom you have confidence. Take your children with you. If your wife desires to attend with you, that's great. But if she chooses not to, simply commit her to God and let Him do what He does best, woo a wayward soul.
5. Commit yourself afresh to your children. Let them know that you love them more than your own life.
6. Always let your wife know that you will be there for her.
7. Wait, pray, and wait some more.

Stop using the D word.

Just speaking my heart this morning.
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Post That's a good word Rough... prefontaine
That'll preach. Anytime the D-word comes up, it's scary. It allows a foothold for Satan. Also, like James said, the tongue is like a spark that can ignite a huge fire.
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Post Wow rough, that is great advice...... caseyleejones
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Post Do yourself a BIG FAVOR String Bender55
Get a GOOD Lawyer.

You won't be sorry.
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Post Re: I waited a while before responding Phil Hoover
roughridercog wrote:



.


You stated that you believe your wife is mentally ill. That may be. By your own admission you're depressed yourself.
Let me speak to you from over fifty years of living and over thirty years of mininstry.
1. Stop using the word "divorce." In my opinion, the more you use the word, the greater your chances of making it a reality by a self fulfilling prophecy.
2. If your wife is really mentally ill, do you think divorce is the answer? If she had cancer, would you divorce her? I think not.
3. Take a sabbatical from ministry. Find a job and a place to live for you and your family. You are an intelligent man who can do other things than pastor for a season. You might find it refreshing. You can do some checking through other pastors for Christian businessmen who are hiring. You can simply say that you're taking a sabbatical from pastoring. That will be a true statement.
4. Place yourself under the guidance of a pastor in whom you have confidence. Take your children with you. If your wife desires to attend with you, that's great. But if she chooses not to, simply commit her to God and let Him do what He does best, woo a wayward soul.
5. Commit yourself afresh to your children. Let them know that you love them more than your own life.
6. Always let your wife know that you will be there for her.
7. Wait, pray, and wait some more.

Stop using the D word.

Just speaking my heart this morning.[/quote]

This is the best advice you've gotten so far.
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Post Keep us posted about how things are going roughridercog
We're praying for you and your family.
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Post Help4ABishop
I'm in a state of quietness right now. I'm spending some time in the secret place. I'm letting God fix me. As I said, I'm not rushing. I'm in no hurry to destroy my world here.

I appreciate the words and advice. Some deviated from what I asked, as I'm not asking for approval one way or another. I was simply trying to ascertain what happens after the fact if I take the next step. It makes a difference as to the way I take the next steps.

I will post as I take these steps. I need your prayers.
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Post If I might give you a little bit on advice. String Bender55
Get a GOOD Lawyer. Get a BETTER Lawyer than your soon to be Ex. Wife. Pay him whatever he asks, and move to the poor house.

Either that or WORK IT OUT.

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Post SB, I like your last post...quite humerous...... caseyleejones
However, most failed to answer the question...including myself. Trying to work things out was never a question or a major concern, its about keeping credentials. Acts-perienced Poster
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