It just got me to thinking of women who have attended our church in the past who interacted inappropriately with my husband. As a wife, I find it my solemn duty and privilege to be on the front lines when it comes to praying for my husband about the temptations that the devil may bring through other women. One thing I've noticed through the years is that when the Holy Spirit prompts me to pray about this issue, it never raises suspicion in my mind or heart that my husband is doing something wrong. The Bible clearly states that "we are not ignorant of the devil's schemes", and history has certainly proven that bringing this type of temptation has taken many a minister completely out! So I view this type of prayer for him as preventative, not reparative. I also feel privileged to be in the position of holding the responsibility of guarding the man of God in this way. Just as no one else can meet the physical needs of my husband, no one can really pray the way I can for him concerning this temptation either. I see myself as his spiritual body guard and I feel a sense of honor to be in that position. By guarding him, I am also helping to guard the flock that he shepherds and I like that.
Through the years, I have noticed that there are 3 kinds of women that have a tendency to act inappropriately with my minister husband. You may be able to identify other kinds, but these are the 3 that I have seen as we have been in ministry.
- The first kind I just call the innocents. They are usually, but not always, fairly young in the Lord. They are usually not happy in their marriages and often unequally yoked. They have a respect for the ministry on some level and often look at my hubby as the perfect mate or a better mate. In their minds, a pastor is just a cut above all the rest of the men in the world and they desire to know and relate to him because they are intrigued by him or desirous of the characteristics that, in their minds, he possesses. In him they see the things they should be receiving from the men in their lives but aren't. Because they don't know any other way to gain proximity to a man, they knowingly or unknowingly flirt with him in an attempt to get nearer. These kinds of women really don't bother me much. I see them more as children who wait in line to see Santa Claus or a sports hero. They are misguided and misinformed, but are not maliciously trying to destroy a marriage. I do make sure that I am always beside my husband when he is engaged with these women in any way-both for his and their own protection. With a little discipleship and care, these women soon fall into proper relationship with their pastor and become a tremendous blessing in the body. Once I figured this out, it was a lot easier for me to minister to these women.
- The second kind of women I have observed are those with a spirit of lust. Because they are controlled by a lustful spirit, they see my husband's position as something to be desired and they lust for the power they feel they would have by being involved on a deeper personal level with him. Lust comes in 3 forms according to scripture, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life. It is indiscriminate about what it lusts for, but when fully developed in the heart of any person, it will use sexuality as a means to satisfy it's end. Lust is a consumer. It consumes the person it possesses and attempts to consume anything it puts it's attention on. Women with this spirit are usually very well groomed and attractive. They demonstrate an exaggerated amount of respect for the position that a pastor holds that is almost nauseating. They are usually very flirtatious -but in a subtle way, very flattering and they say crude things all under the guise of being transparent. One woman approached my husband when he was alone at the front of the church and asked him to pray for her crabs! Then she wanted him to come to her house one afternoon for counseling. He went, but because he is wise he took 2 staff members (one which was also a woman) with him. She was alone in the house and was angry that he brought others with him. Obviously, she was up to no good. Towards me, she was demeaning and haughty. Given a little more time she will develop into the third, and most dangerous type of woman that preys upon a Pastor.
- The third type of woman is what is commonly known as a Jezebel. Many books have been written warning Pastors of these types of women. Just Google "Jezebel Spirit". I have personally encountered several of these women, some in the early developmental stages and others very well developed. Keep in mind that Jezebel needs an Ahab to operate, that Ahab being your husband. This is why we need strong, discerning men behind the pulpit. In our case Jezebels sought to separate me from my husband and the rest of the women in the congregation. Behind my back they found fault, "discerning" my spiritual weaknesses and making me look more like a detriment to the ministry than a blessing. Then they would befriend me under the guise of "helping" and continue on with their agenda by trying to make me second guess myself making me appear weak to my husband, which then furthered what they were communicating to my husband. In our case, one of these women was on staff which was the perfect place for her to work her evil. Once they sense any weakening of the Pastor in any way, they play on that to gain control eventually by either having more influence with the congregation than the Pastor or they end up splitting the church (which did happen in our case). What clued me in eventually was that people always thought that she was my husband's wife when they visited the church, or we went out to eat in a group. We even got mail addressed to her and my husband together. Secondly, she would call me out of a service and have "a word from God" for me that would be demeaning and embarrassing that she would declare to me in front of the whole congregation. While she was telling me one thing, she was telling the women in the church the opposite. Because I was naive to these types of women, I took what she said to heart which caused me to separate myself from those God had given me to minister to. Fortunately, it caused me to run to God and not to her. God began to work in my heart. I started to know things by the Spirit of God and realized that her "prophecies" were always things I was dealing with in my flesh that were directly opposed to what God was doing in my spirit and I came to realize that she was up to no good. In fact, I knew this a full year before things finally came to a head and she left. She always was telling me the opposite of what God was speaking to me in prayer. When she thought that I was sufficiently out of the way, then she started to try controlling my husband by presenting herself as his sounding board, replacing the position I once had occupied. She made a few fatal mistakes though and left when she realized that her plan would never work, but not before she split our church and left us with a bunch of bleeding, hurting people. Most writers on this subject would have given our church about a 2% chance of surviving the havoc she had wreaked, but by God's grace we did and are stronger and healthier than ever! The other women not as developed in this craft that we encountered in ministry came after this staff member and because we recognized what spirit they were of immediately, they never hung around long.
I have learned to trust my gut but before I ever say anything, I spend extended times in prayer to make sure that I'm not operating out of my own insecurities or jealousy. We learned in the lawn business that moss only grows where grass cannot. These types of women can only operate successfully where there is spiritual weakness, ignorance, and lack of discernment. They are exceptionally dangerous because they do not only hurt the Pastor and his wife, but can negatively affect the whole body. As a Pastor's wife, I work to remain strong, grounded, and secure in my relationship with God and my husband so that when situations like these arise, I am not a victim and I can help protect the rest of the body that the Lord has entrusted to our care.