EXAMINING THE CAUSES OF MARITAL BREAKDOWN by Teresa T.

This paper examines the causes and consequences of marital breakdown within the minister’s marriage, specifically in the areas of sexual intimacy, marital expectations, time management, and dysfunctional family of origin.

Introduction

The top ten problem areas ministers identified in ministry and marriage were: (1) Finding the time for pastoral duties; (2) Creating time for personal recreation; (3) Finding time for family; (4) Dealing with criticism from church members; (5) Continuing professional education; (6) Handling lack of congregational loyalty; (7) Responding to unrealistic expectations; (8) Facing feelings of professional inadequacy; (9) Exercising pastoral authority; and (10) Handling job dissatisfaction.[1] Other problem areas were: struggling with perfectionism, conquering sexual temptations, coping with loneliness, and dealing with low self-esteem.[2]

Causes of Marital Crisis

“Time with wife and family” is a problem for some ministers because ministry is “unstructured and unpredictable.”[3] A compounding problem ministers encounter is that it is “easier” to dismiss their family’s request of his time in favor of ministering to church members. If he decides to spend time with his family the congregation may misinterpret his actions as negligence of his ministerial duties, and his effectiveness will be hampered.[1] The minister would rather relinquish family time than risk “alienation of church members.” [2] The minister often finds himself in a “catch-22” because if he spends time with his family and neglects some church responsibility, he is accused of being lazy, but if he spends time doing the church responsibility and neglects spending time with his family, someone may say that his priorities “aren’t straight.”[3] Ministers lack peer accountability, and feel lonely and isolated because they tend to have only “casual relationships” that never move to the deeper level of friendship due to the lack of time.[4]

A minister’s church obligations may require him to be away from home on nights or weekends, to travel long distances during the week, or be involved in “confidential relationships” with many types of people. These duties may sometimes prevent the minister from participating in “homemaking” or daily housekeeping tasks; however, the minister may use church duties as an excuse to detach himself from his marriage or family commitments.[5]

The senior pastor’s wife may feel resentful or “cheated” at the prospect of having the “same pastor” for the rest of her life.[6] Some ministers may use their theological knowledge as a way of “pulling rank,” to belittle their spouse, or to express other kinds of suppressed negative feelings. The minister may even disguise an argument by “over intellectualizing” it in an effort to create a feeling of superiority within himself and in the process, producing a feeling of inferiority in the spouse.[7] It is the lack of self-awareness and elevating oneself without the accountability of another person that may delude ministers into thinking they are “immune” to sexual temptation or immorality.[8]

Perhaps the marital problem is due to the wife’s discontent with her husband’s profession. There are three basic types of minister’s wives worth noting: (1) The Team Worker- who sees herself as the “unofficial co-pastor” or assistant pastor, and views ministry as a shared team effort with her husband (such as a co-laborer); (2) The Background Supporter- whose identity is enmeshed with her husband’s because she has no identity of her own (she is “Mrs. Rev. so-and-so”), and her prime reason for existing is to meet the needs of her husband and family, and (3) The Detached Type- who has her own identity and usually works outside the home and has “minimal need” for contact with her husband’s work. One author believes that the “detached type” wife creates the best ministerial marriage because the couple has autonomy yet support each other in their “professional choices.”[9]

Although the marriage of the minister is basically very similar to the marriages of other people, ministers struggle with “unique pressures” and live in an unusual circumstance that demands additional requirements of marriage. Many minister’s marriage are in trouble not because they are a minister, but because they have not done the basic things which are necessary to make a marriage work.[1] Marriage is “God’s idea” but some ministers are oblivious to the fact that having a successful marriage is “tough work.” Marriage is supposed to be a “one hundred-one hundred” arrangement—each spouse should be putting in a “one hundred percent” effort.[2] The minister’s marriage however may be bombarded with “chronic busyness” that prevent each partner to give “100-percent.”[3] If the minister is pastor of a small church, financial burdens create “havoc” on the marriage as well.[4]

Other causes for marital stress are the minister’s dysfunctional family of origin, “unreasonable expectations” of marriage and spouse, “acute marital disappointment,” “blaming others” including his wife, attraction to pornography and fantasy as a “refuge” and “substitute,” formation of counseling relationships without “safeguards,” and attraction to a sexual liaison as an opportunity to gain intimacy and admiration.[5]

Dysfunctional Family of Origin

A dysfunctional family of origin can cause a “fear of intimacy.” Ministers suffering from a “fear of intimacy” may create a pseudo-intimacy through pornography, prostitutes, and “short affairs” with other women. Unfortunately, his need for intimacy is never satisfied because it is not directed towards his wife. He is left feeling “empty, lonely, ashamed, and guilty.”[6] He becomes vulnerable to the development of an “unhealthy intimacy” as he finds his emotional needs being met by people other than his wife.[7]

The “residue” of a dysfunctional family of origin can result in “emotional scars” such as low self-esteem.[8] A minister who suffers from low self-esteem may hunger for acceptance to the point of avoiding conflict in an effort to “keep everybody happy.”[9] This need for acceptance inevitably affects his intimacy level and his view of sexuality. Often, low self-esteem leads to depression because the minister develops a “pseudo-self” because he fears rejection or harbors feelings of shame.[1]

Some ministers have a tendency to become “codependent rescuers.” They may have been raised in a dysfunctional home where they “rescued” or “enabled” family members. The problem with this type of dysfunction is that the person concentrates on the needs of others. For instance, if this type of person counsels a “hurting wounded woman,” he would be tempted to have an intimate relationship with her because of his incessant need to rescue, to be the “hero,” and to receive praise.[2]

Internal stresses can be caused by an insatiable need for approval that prevents the person from saying “no.” Some internal stresses may be due to an internal drive that keeps the person “pushing” to work more hours in order to get “more done,” but the work never seems to get finished and there is never an opportunity to relax. A minister might have the “Messiah complex,” which prevents him from delegating responsibilities because he feels that he is the only one capable of accomplishing the task. Discouragement and a “sense of failure” happens when ministers experience simultaneous conflicts at church and home, and are too busy taking care of others that they neglect their own basic needs for self-care.[3]

A male’s “exaggerated interest” in sex and “ambivalence” about his own sexuality can be the result of being raised by an aggressive and dominant mother (who “made most of the decisions in the home”) and a passive or “quiet” father.[4] When a mother’s method of curbing her son’s aggression is to withdraw affection from him, it can result in intense pain, bitterness, and deep-seated anger. This suppressed rage can cause the son to avoid conflict and in adulthood, trigger symptoms of headaches, intestinal problems, sleeplessness, and withdrawal from sex.[5]

The “bottom line” is that many sexual problems stem from emotional problems and developmental maladjustments.[6] When counseling ministers, it is imperative to look into their sexuality because many have doubt and guilt concerning sex, and are unable to discuss it with anyone.[7]

Unreasonable Expectations and Marital Disappointment

Intimacy is defined as a “vivid feeling of closeness arising from a purposefully selected and developed mutually committed adult relationship.”[8] When a minister has an “unhappy” marriage that is void of intimacy, it puts great pressure on him because he is not getting the “healing and support” of sharing his daily burdens with his wife.[1] He is “inwardly tortured” and “emotionally drained” because he feels disappointment, guilt, and failure in his marriage.[2] The wife also is suffering from stress because she must “put on an act” for the congregation or “risk ruining her husband’s career” by letting everyone know about their marital problem. A minister’s wife may harbor resentment towards her husband’s position, especially if she feels like she is playing “second or third fiddle.” Her resentment is exasperated because his “desires and schedule” often dominate their time.[3]

Ministers may have entered marriage with high expectations, such as believing all his needs will be met by his wife. [4] Though many marriages “start well,” with a high level of intimacy and genuine sensitivity to the other’s needs, their “sensitivity” towards each other may shift to children, careers, and community interests, resulting in “cooling” of relational intimacy.[5] Also, when certain expectations are met with disappointment, lack of intimacy and discontentment with marital sex results, which puts a strain on the marriage.[6]

Communication is “essential to relational intimacy,” however ministers neglect communicating with their spouse because they come home “tired of communicating” with others.[7] This lack of communication creates “isolation and alienation” between the couple in their own home. The minister ought to “reflect the expression of God’s love” through his marriage, as an “image and example” of how other people can grow in the quality of their love for each other.[8] When a minister’s marriage does not demonstrate the warmth and tenderness of “human love at its best,” it hampers their Christian testimony because “outsiders” will look at them and wonder if their religion is true.[9]

Ministers-in-training often believe that they can “compensate” for “anything they missed” while working on a Christian vocation. A wife will have feelings of resentment and hatred when the minister misses crucial life events such as the birth of a child in favor of ministry.[10] The truth is that some family experiences cannot be continually “neglected, delayed, or bypassed” without causing severe damage to their marriage and family life.[11]

Perhaps the couple’s marriage never aligned with God’s expectation of marriage. A study conducted by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary indicated that there were three qualities of a godly marriage: (1) There is an establishment of a biblical foundation for marriage, in that each acts as a “servant of Jesus Christ” towards the other and are demonstrating “Christ-centeredness” in their marriage, (2) A sacrificial headship of the husband exists within the marriage, in which he places his wife’s concerns “first,” and (3) Husbands promote holiness in their marriage through personal example, which prompts their wives to grow and develop in holiness too.[1]

Unreasonable expectations may have been placed on the minister simply because he occupies the pastorate.[2] The most identified mark of the pastorate is that it is an “impossible job.” There is an extreme pressure to succeed and a constant fear of job security.[3] This creates “unexpressed anger” which is usually suppressed and surfaces as depression.[4] Spouses may not have examined the role expectations of a minister, and ignorance of the position resulted. For example, ministers might receive praise and requests for counseling from “attractive” and “romantically eligible” people following a worship service. This can create jealousy or anxiety in the wife. On the “flip-side,” some wives are more personable than their minister-husbands, which may produce “negative feelings” in the spouse, causing stress in the marriage.[5]

External stresses often hamper the marital relationship. Many are “unavoidable” to the minister. For instance, ministers may feel “overwhelmed” with all the work to be done and are continually frustrated because they cannot “do it all,” they feel pressure to “entertain the congregation,” pressure to “produce,” and “church shoppers” add stress by moving to another church rather than resolve problems or address difficult issues.[6]

Relevant Statistics About Ministry and Marriage

Findings from a 2002 survey indicated that fifteen hundred ministers leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches, Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years, ninety percent of ministers said their seminary or Bible school did a “poor job” in preparing them for ministry, Eighty percent of minister’s wives feel their spouse is “overworked,” Eighty percent of minister’s wives feel “left out” and “unappreciated” by the church congregation, Eighty percent of minister’s wives wish their spouse would choose another profession, Seventy percent of ministers constantly fight depression, Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry, and ninety-five percent of ministers do not regularly pray with their spouses.[1]

Results from Thorburn and Balswick’s survey, Extra-Marital Sexual Behavior in the Ministry, indicated “pastors have the highest incidence of sexual contact among professional helpers,” “pastors usually get involved with someone they know,” and “pastors are slightly more likely to have intercourse with a counselee or a friend.” A pastor may engage in an intimate sexual contact with a counselee because he became “caught up” in a momentary attraction based on his own unconscious needs or the neediness of the counselee, or he may be unconsciously seeking to express the “power of his position” in the relationship.[2]

The Long-term Effects and Consequences of Unresolved Marital Issues

When marital stress is unresolved, the couple is left with a “superficial” relationship. They “put up a front” for appearance’s sake even though they are suffering deeply. They avoid seeing a marriage counselor because they fear being “downgraded” or becoming the subject of gossip.[3] They are inhibited from seeking help because there is intense pressure to model the perfect marriage for the congregation, which only intensifies the feelings of guilt and depression.[4] Because of this “secret,” the couple is unable to develop very close friendships with other couples in the church.[5]

“Neglected Spouse Syndrome” develops when the wife of a minister receives little to no attention from her husband for a prolonged period of time. The feelings of neglect and abandonment turns into resentment and anger, which is expressed as “nagging for more time,” “criticism of the spouse,” “getting even by reciprocal neglect,” and “getting physically sick.”[6] When negative feelings are not directly communicated, the possibility of “passive-submissive behavior” is likely, for instance an “unconscious passive-submissive punishment” is to withhold sex.[7]

The “battle for control” in a marriage may “feel like a fight” only to the spouse who is “giving in.” The spouse may have no idea that the expression “I’m sorry” is actually masking a “deep fear” of separation or violence. Meanwhile, the individual who gives in feels controlled and dominated. The resentment builds up and the relationship suffers.[8]

Sexual power struggles can occur when a wife views her husband’s sexual desires as “selfish demands,” and uses sex (either giving or withholding) as a way of gaining power or expressing anger.[1] Sometimes an inability to resolve conflict causes sexual power struggles, for example, a husband might feel manipulated by his wife’s use of sex when she “gives in” to him sexually only after he has given into her demands in other areas of their relationship.[2]

“Sharing” in ministry can result in competitiveness between spouses, or it can become a source of irritation for the couple, causing “relational fatigue.”[3] Sexual power struggles can happen when a minister’s wife feels powerless.[4] When sex in marriage becomes a “battleground,” it can make the couple feel powerless, angry, vulnerable, and tense.[5]

The broad definition of an “extra-marital” sexual behavior is “the sexual behavior which occurs outside the bond of marriage, by those who are married.”[6] The definition was narrowed, to “extra-marital sexual behavior, without emotional or spiritual investment is fornication, and sexual behavior with someone other than a spouse that includes an emotional or spiritual investment, is adultery.”[7]

A minister might become vulnerable to an affair (or “extra-marital sexual behavior”) when “common interests” and sexual intimacy with his wife diminishes.[8] The process is gradual and might begin with the minister becoming “preoccupied” with another woman in that he starts thinking about a counselee during his day, and shifting the focus from her problems to her “as a person.” Eventually the minister starts to compare the other woman to his wife, noticing that the other woman laughs at his jokes and is fascinated by him. He starts to tell his wife that she should be more like the other woman (in terms of characteristics and appearance). The desire to be with the woman becomes so strong that the minister starts to find excuses to be with her. He then starts to have sexual fantasies about her that may “intrude” during sexual intimacy with his wife. During a counseling session, the minister begins to share his own marital problems with the other woman (the counselee), which only intensifies his “perceived unhappiness.”[9]

Some women may see a minister (especially an evangelist) as a sexual object because his personality is “powerful and winsome,” his speech is persuasive, his dress and appearance are “attractive,” and his meetings are “conducive to openness and trust.”[10] There are many women who find this combination of factors powerfully “irresistible.” “Hysteroid” women who often seek “meaning” and “identity” are obsessively drawn to this type of male figure. Lonely wives, who are yearning for intimacy and lack “romantic excitement” in their lives, fill the void in their lives through fantasies to “overcome reality.” When these “available women” encounter an evangelist suffering from the pressures of ministry, loneliness, and “heightened levels” of testosterone, there is a great possibility for infidelity to occur. The minister may rationalize his sexual exploit by convincing himself that God had brought the two together.[1]

A minister’s wife may also be vulnerable to having an affair if she feels neglected by her husband, becomes concerned about “losing her attractiveness,” and sees in another man the qualities “she wishes her husband had.”[2] When the couple reaches their capacity of “marital discontentment,” the marriage often fails and ends in divorce.[3] Over the years, there has been a notable increase in the number of “clergy marriages” ending in divorce. Divorce is disruptive to any family, but more so to the “clergy family.”[4]

There are consequences for certain actions, for instance McBurney recounted a time when “a young pastor” confessed an “adulterous relationship” he was having with a church member. His wife knew and had forgiven him, and when he was advised by McBurney to confess the relationship to his elders he was met with anger and lack of forgiveness and was quickly fired.[5]

De-Stressing the Marital Relationship

Couples must learn to allow faith and love to “permeate” the core of their marriage. The permeation of faith and love within marriage is “manifested” in “essential elements”: closeness, conflict resolution, and cognition.[6] Couples also need to reestablish “covenantal commitment,” staking their “honor, their word, and their identity” on fulfilling their covenantal obligations toward the spouse regardless of what the other person “does or does not do.”[7]

To deescalate a marital power struggle, it is helpful for a counselor to help the “clergy couple” to do a number of things, (1) Help the couple to recognize the “battle for control” in which they are participants and to aid them into understand the “underlying reasons” for the battle, (2) “Negotiate a truce” between the couple and teach them how to resolve conflicts in a “creative way,” and (3) Explain to them the benefits of a “balanced, mature view of submissiveness.”[8]

Couples ought to take steps to “preserve a loving relationship” by learning to resolve conflict, and develop interests outside of marriage. They should also work on their communication skills, commit to spiritually growing together through devotions and worship, and keeping the sexual relationship “active.”[1]

Ministers need to be aware and conscious of “red flags” from other women, a few of which are: (1) a “growing dependence,” characterized as a woman requesting more time to meet and asks you to help her make personal decisions, (2) “affirmation and praise” from a person whom appears to ‘understand’ and ‘admire’ you, (3) “complaints about loneliness” that leads to a “confession” that her loneliness is subsided when you are with her, (4) “giving gifts” to you, which creates a feeling of obligation on your part to reciprocate, (5) “physical contact” that may start out as an “innocent” hug of appreciation, and (6) “other seductive behavior” such as sending non-verbal “messages” about her availability and her concentrating on sexual issues during individual counseling sessions.[2]

Ways of strengthening a minister’s marriage should include, (1) Placing one’s life, marriage, and family in God’s hands day after day, and trusting His care in all events and circumstances, (2) Enjoying each other’s successes and being supportive when one or the other partner fails, (3) Hearing one’s spouse when he or she is hurting and making essential changes in life-styles to help the partner cope effectively, (3) Coming to terms with one’s spouse as a real person rather than living with a fantasy or forcing someone into false roles, (4) Sharing each other’s private life, (5) Permitting unique interests and activities to emerge and thrive as spouses age, change and grow, (6) Protecting the marriage/family as a unit against the disruptive forces sometimes imposed by community or church, (7) Keeping fit in all respects so that one possesses reserves of energy to handle schedules that are frequently overloaded and face crises when they arise, and (8) Scheduling some “couple time” that remains “inviolate” and permits them to catch up with each other.[3]

In regards to infidelity, repairing the damage to rebuild a marriage means that “roadblocks to reconciliation” should be extricated from the marital relationship. These roadblocks include, “anger and unforgiveness,” “pride,” “fear,” “the third person (the lover from an affair),” “old patterns of relationship” (especially those that are “destructive” or “negative”), “the cost of the affair,” and “the counsel of the ungodly.”[4]

The couple ought to focus on the strengths and unique aspects that “unify” a couple in a “clergy marriage,” such as the “events of the day are shared with a common point of reference,” “the wife is not left out of her husband’s world, as in the case of most other professionals,” “both are often involved together in the same tasks with the same goals,” and “less ‘fragmentation’ of life because all the pieces can be ‘put together.’”[5]

Ministers need accountability and should find other ministers with whom to build “mutual and trusting relationships” where there is “open talk and prayer without the fear of gossip.” These types of friendships will aid in the reduction of stress and loneliness that is often accompanied with being a minister.[1] Finding a mentor who has the “wisdom, experience, and anointing” to minister to the minister in another good idea. A minister ought to return to his “first love” and devote time in studying God’s Word because it is important for a minister to be “fed” by the Word. This can be accomplished in taking time for personal devotions, individual prayer time, and attending ministry conferences.[2] “The burden of the ministry” also requires “honesty and humility” and a comprehension of a minister’s own human limits.[3]

Several things need to be recognized in order to “deal” with the problem of the neglected spouse, (1) “acknowledge the feeling of each spouse,” (2) “identify patterns of behavior and communication being used,” (3) “clear out the ‘backlog’ of hurt and resentment,” (4) “become aware of each other’s needs and have permission to place those ahead of ministry demands,” and (5) “educate the church of the legitimate needs of the minister’s family.”[4]

In order to protect oneself from “vocational vulnerability,” married ministers have “three defenses”: (1) He must “maintain” his marriages by having a “continuous romantic affair” by “rekindling fires of passion” with his wife, because being in love with one’s mate provides the “best defense” against a sexual affair. This process of “relighting the fire” may take months of “inventive, energetic courting” but it is possible if the relationship is built on the foundation of a covenantal commitment; (2) One must “reassess attitudes” about falling in love. A “common path” to sexual immorality is the idea that feelings are uncontrollable, or that a person can be “genuinely in love” with two people at the same time. [5] This type of thinking “gives permission” for the person to “fall in love” with another woman without any regard of faithfulness for his wife. Finally, (3) A minister must avoid “every appearance and opportunity of evil.” This means that a minister should never spend “long periods” of time alone with another woman because it may place him in a vulnerable situation leading to “false accusations” or “intense temptation.”[6] A minister should “set limits” on his time with other women, protect his mind from “romantic fantasies,” involve her husband in counseling, and stop himself from comparing other women to his wife.[7]

Conclusion

There are many causes for the marital breakdown of a minister’s marriage. Some ministers expect their spouses to be in full support of their long hours at church, but because they neglect to spend any time with their family it creates resentment in the spouse. Often, this resentment causes the wife to use sex as a weapon to manipulate her husband and as an outlet for the expression of her anger. The sexual power struggle may result in the husband’s sexual needs being unmet by the wife, making him more vulnerable to sexual temptation as he unwittingly gets his needs met from another woman.

There is a “snowball effect” when lack of communication is experienced in a marriage. For example, the husband often comes home verbally exhausted from working at church that he neglects to communicate with his wife. If this happens continually, the lack of communication will cause “isolation” and “alienation” between the minister and his wife, and might manifest itself into unresolved conflict because there is an inability to discuss issues. Isolation and alienation causes marital stress. Sometimes the stress pushes ministers to put more time into ministry, which only compounds the problem within the marriage. As the emotional distance between the couple becomes wider, there is a great possibility that spouses will divorce or have their needs met elsewhere. The latter leaves the minister or wife susceptible to sexual temptations. When either succumbs to the temptation, it can result into misplaced intimacy with another person, which only deepens the problems within the marriage.

Some preventative measures can be taken before the marriage reaches the point of isolation and alienation, (1) a husband should encourage his wife to use her gifts, (2) a minister ought to get his wife involved in his life and regard her as his “chief confidante,” (3) the couple should attend conferences together, (4) a husband should help his wife with child-rearing, (5) they should spend time together as a couple, (6) the minister can delegate certain church obligations to laypeople, (7) the couple should show continually appreciation for each other, (8) the husband should take certain precautions when counseling women, such as scheduling a session during times when someone else will be in another office, setting time limits on counseling duration and number of sessions, and counseling together as a couple, and (9) a wife should support her husband in his work, in his role as a husband, and through “physical expressions of love.”[1]

The “world’s” definition of marriage is “the legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife,”[2] but a Christian’s marriage ought to be more than just a “legal union” and should be held at a higher standard. A biblical marriage is defined as, “an intimate and complementing union between a man and a woman in which the two become one physically, in the whole of life (i.e. “one flesh”).”[3] The couple needs to return to the true meaning of marriage, which is “to serve God and to reflect the relationship of the Godhead.”[4]

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Marriage [on-line]. Accessed 3 May 2004. Available from http://biblestudytools.net/Dictionaries/Bakers EvangelicalDictionary/ bed.cgi. Internet.

Bouma, Mary LaGrand. Divorce in the Parsonage. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Fellowship, Inc., 1979.

Brister, C.W. Caring for the Caregivers: How to Help Ministers and Missionaries. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1985.

Collins, Gary R. Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide. Waco, TX: Word, Inc., 1980.

Dictionary.com. Marriage [on-line]. Accessed 3 May 2004. Available from http://dictionary. reference.com/search?q=marriage. Internet.

Gottman, John M. and Nan Silver. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 1999.

Grenz, Stanley J. and Roy D. Bell. Betrayal of Trust: Confronting and Preventing Clergy Sexual Misconduct. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995.

Harbour, Brian L. Marriage in the Minister’s Home. Nashville, TN: Convention Press, 1992.

Hunt, Richard A. Ministry and Marriage. Dallas, TX: Ministry Studies Board, 1976.

Knight, George W. III. The Role Relationship of Men & Women. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1985.

Mace, David and Vera Mace. Marriage Enrichment for Clergy Couples [on-line]. Accessed 5 April 2004. Available from http://www.parkroadbaptist.org/articles/enrichment.htm. Internet.

______________. What’s Happening to Clergy Marriages? Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1981.

Malcomson, William L., ed. How to Survive in the Ministry. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1982.

Maranatha Life’s Life-Line for Pastors. Statistics About Pastors [on-line]. Accessed 10 April 2004. Available from http://www.MaranathaLife.com. Internet.

McBurney, Louis. Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986.

Meirer, Paul and Frank Minirth. What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993.

Miller, Samuel H. An Honest Man of God. New York, NY: The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board, 1960.

Murphy, Richard A. Maranatha Life’s Live-Line for Pastors: Statistics About Pastors [on-line]. Accessed 5 April 2004. Available from www.maranathalife.com. Internet.

Narramore, Clyde M. Why A Christian Leader May Fall. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1988.

Nielsen, Stevan L., W. Brad Johnson and Albert Ellis. Counseling and Psychotherapy with Religious Persons. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2001.

Oswald, Roy M. Clergy Self-Care: Finding A Balance for Effective Ministry. New York: The Alban Institute, Inc., 1991.

Ragsdale, Ray W. The Mid-Life Crises of a Minister. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1978.

Rodd, Cyril, ed. The Pastor’s Problems. Edinburgh: T.& T. Clark Limited, 1985.

Tackett, Charles W. The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, vol. 7 no. 4. The SBJT Form: Applications of Counseling in MinistryWhat Are the Characteristics of the Godliest Couples that You Have Seen in Your Marital Research Lab to Date? Louisville, KY: The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2003.

Thorburn, John W. and Jack O. Balswick. Demographic Data on Extra-Marital Sexual Behavior in the Ministry. Pastoral Psychology, vol. 46. Human Sciences Press, Inc., 1998.

Turnbull, Ralph G. A Minister’s Obstacles. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1946.

Ulstein, Stephan. Pastors Off the Record: Straight Talk About Life in the Ministry. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1993.

Worthington, Everett L. Jr. and Douglas McMurry. Marriage Conflicts. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1994.


[1] Mary LaGrand Bouma, Divorce in the Parsonage. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Fellowship, Inc., 1979, 100-124.

Dictionary.com. Marriage [on-line]. Accessed 3 May 2004. Available from http://dictionary. reference.com/search?q=marriage. Internet.

[3] Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Marriage [on-line], accessed 3 May 2004, available from http://biblestudytools.net/Dictionaries/Bakers EvangelicalDictionary/ bed.cgi, internet.

[4] Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Marriage [on-line], accessed 3 May 2004, available from http://biblestudytools.net/Dictionaries/Bakers EvangelicalDictionary/ bed.cgi, internet.


[1] Richard A. Murphy, Maranatha Life Life-Line for Pastors [on-line], 2002.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Samuel H. Miller, An Honest Man of God. New York, NY: The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board, 1960, 13.

[4] Everett L. Worthington Jr. and Douglas McMurry, Marriage Conflicts. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1994, 129.

[5] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 265.

[6] Ibid., 266.

[7] Ibid., 267.


[1] Ibid., 152.

[2] Ibid., 268.

[3] C.W. Brister, Caring for the Caregivers: How to Help Ministers and Missionaries. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1985, 192.

[4] Everett L. Worthington Jr. and Douglas McMurry, Marriage Conflicts. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1994, 157.

[5] David & Vera Mace, What’s Happening to Clergy Marriages? Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1981, 119.


[1] Ibid., 83.

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[2] Ray W. Ragsdale, The Mid-Life Crises of a Minister. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1978, 63.

[3] David and Vera Mace, What’s Happening to Clergy Marriages? Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1981, 25.

[4] Everett L. Worthington Jr. and Douglas McMurry, Marriage Conflicts, p. 25.

[5] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 51.

[6] Everett L. Worthington Jr. and Douglas McMurry, Marriage Conflicts. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1994, 101.

[7] Ibid., 124.

[8] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 143.


[1] Ibid., 137.

[2] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 137.

[3] Ibid., 138.

[4] Ibid., 139.

[5] Ibid., 136.

[6] John W. Thorburn and Jack O. Balswick, Demographic Data on Extra-Marital Sexual Behavior in the Ministry, Pastoral Psychology, vol. 46, Human Sciences Press, Inc., 1998.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ray W. Ragsdale, The Mid-Life Crises of a Minister. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1978, 61.

[9] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 268.

[10] Ibid., 83.


[1] Richard A. Murphy, Maranatha Life’s Live-Line for Pastors: Statistics About Pastors [on-line], accessed 5 April 2004, available from www.maranathalife.com, internet

[2] John W. Thorburn and Jack O. Balswick, Demographic Data on Extra-Marital Sexual Behavior in the Ministry, Pastoral Psychology, vol. 46, Human Sciences Press, Inc., 1998.

[3] David and Vera Mace, What’s Happening to Clergy Marriages? Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1981, 27.

[4] David and Vera Mace, What’s Happening to Clergy Marriages? Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1981, 71.

[5] Ibid., 43.

[6] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 119.

[7] Ray W. Ragsdale, The Mid-Life Crises of a Minister. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1978, 66.

[8] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 135.


[1] Charles W. Tackett, Characteristics of Godliest Couples Research, SBTS Journal of Theology, 89.

[2] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 56.

[3] Ibid., 61.

[4] Ibid., 63.

[5] Richard A. Hunt, Ministry and Marriage. Dallas, TX: Ministry Studies Board, 1976, 49.

[6] Paul Meier and Frank Minirth, What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993, 40-41.


[1] David and Vera Mace, What’s Happening to Clergy Marriages? Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1981, 24.

[2] Ibid., 24.

[3] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 139.

[4] Stanley J. Grenz and Roy D. Bell, Betrayal of Trust: Confronting and Preventing Clergy Sexual Misconduct. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995, 49.

[5] Ray W. Ragsdale, The Mid-Life Crises of a Minister. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1978, 56.

[6] Stanley J. Grenz and Roy D. Bell, Betrayal of Trust: Confronting and Preventing Clergy Sexual Misconduct. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995, 49.

[7] Ray W. Ragsdale, The Mid-Life Crises of a Minister. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1978, 57.

[8] David and Vera Mace, What’s Happening to Clergy Marriages? Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1981, 24.

[9] Ibid., 24.

[10] C.W. Brister, Caring for the Caregivers: How to Help Ministers and Missionaries. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1985, 174.

[11] Ibid., 173.


[1] Ibid., 52.

[2] Ibid., 53.

[3] Paul Meier and Frank Minirth, What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993, 46-47.

[4] Clyde M. Narramore, Why A Christian Leader May Fall. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1988, 77.

[5] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 133.

[6] Clyde M. Narramore, Why A Christian Leader May Fall. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1988, 63.

[7] Louis McBurney, Counseling Christian Workers: Resources for Christian Counseling. Waco, TX: Word Books Publisher, 1986, 139.

[8] Brian L. Harbour, Marriage in the Minister’s Home. Nashville, TN: Convention Press, 1992, 18.


[1] Brian L. Harbour, Marriage in the Minister’s Home. Nashville, TN: Convention Press, 1992, 9.

[2] Brian L. Harbour, Marriage in the Minister’s Home. Nashville, TN: Convention Press, 1992, 13.

[3] Ibid., 22.

[4] Ibid., 106.

[5] Stanley J. Grenz and Roy D. Bell, Betrayal of Trust: Confronting and Preventing Clergy Sexual Misconduct. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995, 62.

[6] Ibid., 49.

[7] Ibid., 50.

[8] Stanley J. Grenz and Roy D. Bell, Betrayal of Trust: Confronting and Preventing Clergy Sexual Misconduct. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995, 51.

[9] Ibid., 51.


[1] Brian L. Harbour, Marriage in the Minister’s Home. Nashville, TN: Convention Press, 1992, 66.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, 87.

[4] Ibid, 86.

[5] Richard A. Hunt, Ministry and Marriage. Dallas, TX: Ministry Studies Board, 1976, 70.

[6] Ibid, 67.

[7] Richard A. Hunt, Ministry and Marriage. Dallas, TX: Ministry Studies Board, 1976, 68.

[8] Stanley J. Grenz and Roy D. Bell, Betrayal of Trust: Confronting and Preventing Clergy Sexual Misconduct. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995, 133.

[9] William L. Malcomson ed., How to Survive in the Ministry, Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1982, 59-60.


[1] C.W. Brister, Caring for the Caregivers: How to Help Ministers and Missionaries. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1985, 186.

[2] Ibid,186.

[3] Brian L. Harbour, Marriage in the Minister’s Home. Nashville, TN: Convention Press, 1992, 62.

 

Copyright © 2007 M. Teresa Trascritti

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