I'll never forget the relief I felt when my wife said, "I just want a spiritual companion, not a leader."
A sick feeling takes over the pit of my stomach. The pastor's wife I'm counseling has just brought up a topic I'd rather avoid. Nancy is registering hurt at the hands of her pastor-husband—and nailing me in the process.
"I remember how excited I was when we fell in love, and I realized I was going to be married to a minister," she says. "I had always prayed for a godly husband, a man who would be a spiritual leader for me and our children. I was sure Joe would be God's answer to those prayers. We even prayed together on our dates. It gave me such a secure feeling.
"I just don't know what happened. After we married, all of that stopped. Oh, sometimes we still pray together or read the Bible, but only if I insist. That doesn't feel right. I want him to take the leadership for our spiritual life together."
I'm gulping hard and nodding knowingly—too knowingly. I've heard my ...1