Dating your preacher
You automatically confide in these people with sensitive information for specific purposes, and in return, they do not use it for another goal—such as trying to develop sexual intimacy. The pastor can learn about your deepest values and fears and dreams at an alarmingly fast rate—and it’s nearly impossible for him or her not to use that for manipulative ends if the two of you get sexually involved.
The entire United States recognizes a fiduciary duty in the pastor-parishioner relationship. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Pastors, like everyone else, don’t want to have their sex lives examined by their community.
Especially if that community is paying their salary, and holds them up as a model of moral behavior. But when someone in a congregation finds out that a pastor and a parishioner are dating, the news is wildfire, and the questions never stop.
Unlike, perhaps, some of the readers of this article, I actively support full LGBTQ equality, and I do not believe that the only province of sexuality should be the marital relationship. But you, and I, and everyone, universally agree that some classes of sexual behavior are simply acceptable, like child molestation, or sexual assault.
And pastors dating their parishioners—although seemingly more benign at first—actually fits into that category. When you belong to a church, the ministers consult each other about what’s going on in your life—and this can create conflicts of interest if you’re dating one of them In my case, when I grew increasingly frazzled by my relationship with my pastor, I couldn’t go to one of the other ministers and talk about it. This would be like dating your manager, and then going to the CEO of the company for relationship advice.
” Thank you to the pastors’ wives who were willing to give us such great feedback. One pastor’s wife told us that her role was like getting a job for which she never applied.
Our recent, informal survey simply asked the open-ended question: “What do you wish you had been told before you became a minister’s wife?So I’m writing this document to explain to my friends and family -- and the general public— these rules are in place, and why, increasingly, observers of religion and sexual abuse awareness organizations say that pastor-parishioner relationships should be forbidden.One more quick point: I’m not the kind of person who frequently tells people how they should behave in their sex lives.(And because my pastor had told me not to tell anyone about the sexuality, I ended up having to discuss a “relationship” whose existence I was not allowed to acknowledge.) It stinks to keep secrets from the people you pray with, because then how on Earth can you pray in any meaningful way together, if you can’t talk about one of the most important things in your life?Alternately, you can not keep things secret, but then... Other parishioners are going to think that you’re getting special treatment from the pastor (and so might you).