This is a real situation. The name of the pastor is disguised but everything else is true. We’ve all heard about this and maybe it’s even happened in your church. It would be a helpful exercise for us to share our reactions and responses.
It was a rough weekend for Pastor JD. One couple in the church waited until after the holidays to tell their family, friends, and church that they are getting a divorce after 17 years of marriage. They have two teenagers at home and in spite of hours of counseling with JD and multiple appointments with a Christian therapist, they are calling it quits. Legal papers have already been served.
From all outward appearances they are committed Christians; members of the church. No outsider would think anything but the best about this couple and their family.
Why is JD so upset? Neither the husband nor wife is having an affair or accused of unfaithfulness. There is no evidence or accusation of any addictive behavior or substance abuse. There are no huge debts.
This couple claims they have “fallen out of love.” They say, “Our marriage isn’t fun anymore” and “the fire has gone out.”
They want to meet with the Pastor to talk about how to tell the church and to find out if the husband can continue as a Trustee. JD is wondering what to say; how should the church respond?
What would you say? Would you seize the opportunity to talk about the sanctity of marriage? Bless them both? How would your church respond? Would there be discipline? Could the husband stay on as a Trustee? What about the teenagers?