Why Keeping This Secret is Deadly for Churches

One mark of a dysfunctional marriage, family or church is that others within the system are not supposed reveal the secret.

What is the secret?

You are not to tell anyone about the way things really are in this marriage, this family or this church. After all, what would people think?

Of course, I do appreciate husbands and wives who obviously love one another. It is really nice to see husbands and wives who still have much affection for one another after many years.

I do remember seeing an interesting Facebook status one day. It said something like this:

Twenty-five years ago, I met the man of my dreams. We have loved together, laughed together and dreamed together. I am so fortunate to be this man’s wife. Looking forward to the next 25 years.

Now many people enter a status like this one on their anniversary or spouse’s birthday. What struck me as odd about this particular post is that it never occurred to me (and I suspect many of their other friends) that she in any way adored or treasured this man. 

In fact, it really didn’t appear that they valued each other very much at all. The way they treated one another each day made such a post on their anniversary seem odd.

It was almost like she was trying to sell something to the rest of us.

Many years ago, I remember talking with a church leader’s wife. I knew her and her husband quite well. She was warm, engaging and extroverted. She was emotional and passionate about her ministry.

Meanwhile, her husband was shy, withdrawn and very introverted. He was a good man, but would rarely speak up in a group. His wife would normally do any talking in such an environment.

In conversations with her, she would often quote her husband. She obviously loved him.

Yet, I sensed that she was not content to allow him to be who he was. Instead, it seemed that she was trying to portray him as a vocal, outspoken, and bold leader.

It was almost like she was trying to sell something to anyone who happened to be listening.

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Jim Martin
Jim Martin has lead mentoring groups of younger ministers for a number of years. Besides this work, he serves the Crestview Church of Christ as a minister for almost 20 years. Jim and his wife Charlotte live in Waco, Texas. Follow Jim on Twitter @jimmartin

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