Biblical Counseling affords the opportunity for us to become involved in each others lives. Many counselee’s become friends with their counselor through the process. As Christians we are to hold to moral and ethical standards. We are to the best of our ability avoid all the appearance of evil.
I am gravely concerned about the number of pastors who counsel women. I understand the reason for this is in many cases there are no women who are trained to do intensive discipleship, or the pastor lacks confidence that anyone other than he should counsel.
I have seen the devastating consequences of these beliefs. Pastors who are now in prison having lost their ministry and gained the title of “Sex Offender.” One such case came about because the Pastor was accused of inappropriate behavior by the husband of the woman he was counseling. Indeed an relationship had developed between the two as he “helped” her through her difficult time.
In the case of a woman who goes to her pastor for counseling for a marriage issue she finds a man she already respects and honors. He is willing to listen, compassionate, wise, godly, and helpful; many things her husband is not. He cares for her as one of his sheep and depending on the situation he may care for her as a friend. Her husband may not listen to her at all or be cold and unfeeling. He may not understand at all because he is not a Christian.
If the husband is unkind or being portrayed as abusive it puts the pastor in the position of being her protector. Men are wired to protect women, women like to be protected. Pastors are wise and godly, women desire a wise and godly man to speak truth into their lives.
In the counseling relationship, many private and personal details are shared by the counselee. Invariably, sexual or intimate issues will have to be discussed in a situation of marital discord and there is no way a man should be listening to a female counselee’s sexual issues! This puts both the pastor and the female counselee at tremendous risk! The female counselee is very emotionally needy, and as wise as our pastors are many do not see the manipulations that wily women can work.
To be blunt, many female counselee’s fall “in love” with their male counselors. Emotional attachments are made in the heart and desires are born. Not exclusively physical desire, but also the desires/idols of her heart on how she thinks she should be treated in the marriage and what kind of a husband he should be. The Pastor becomes the standard to which her husband must attain. She compares her husband to the Pastor/counselor and no way does husband measure up. This is not helpful for reconciling the marriage.
Another reason women should counsel women is because we know how women think. I used to co-counsel with my Pastor on marriage cases and he would frequently comment that I could see things that he could not in the discourse the wife would give. He tended to be more sympathetic to her circumstances while I was thinking only of where was her sin, and was she glorifying God in this marriage.
How can you help your pastor? Get trained to do intensive discipleship! There are many outlets to learn how to counsel and disciple from God’s Word, including those found on my website.
Be a blessing to your pastor!