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ex husband slept with one of the pastor's wife at my church, do i leave the church?

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I'm a single mom with 2 kids, got divorced from my ex husband in 2011 after putting up with physical abuse, infidelity, and a serious porn addiction. During the time we were married, we were both in ministry, and he was a favorite in the church (non denominational). I was invisible unless I was with him. I finally went to the pastors about the abuse and problems at home, desperate for help. they sat down with us several times and lectured him about how he needed to read and pray more and get more involved in ministry and pay attention to his family. that was it.

they didn't want to lose him from their ministries. years went by and things got worse, his anger started affecting our kids and he started becoming verbally aggressive with them. again, went for help from the pastors, told them he was in jail after putting me in a headlock and throwing me across the room, then dragging me by the feet to the bathroom. Again, another talk with both of us. By this point I was completely numb, I felt like I was going through the motions and divorce wasn't justified in their eyes since he wasn't even removed from ministry or anything. I didn't know who I was, I lost sight of everything. I ended up having an affair with a mutual friend, and after I told my ex, filed for divorce shortly after, I finally felt justified in doing so. I regret that affair to this day, it brought me down a path I'd never thought I'd go down, so completely out of character for me, and it showed me how far from reality I was and numb I'd allowed myself to become. I have since repented and still do to this day, but I have never quite been the same. since the divorce, my ex has backslid and left church and partied with friends for a long time, slept on their couches and still hasn't lived in the same place for more than a few months. he rarely sees or talks to our kids, and when he does it's brief and he takes lots of pictures and posts them on social media. I have dated once, my fear of going through all that is too great to put myself out there. he has dated/slept with several of my friends since then, the same way he did when we were married but no one believed me. the church we went to was a church I have been in since I was a baby (I'm in my 30s), the head pastor dedicated me, and he dedicated my kids.

my kids both have anxiety disorders from things they've been through with their dad, and my son has high functioning autism and cannot handle change well, so I've stayed at this church for their sake and security-since my entire family is there too, trying other churches causes meltdowns for my son even though I found a couple I loved and wanted a fresh start. after the divorce when my ex would show up there from time to time, people would flock to him, love on him, etc. when I'm there, I get a few hellos from longtime family friends, and that's

it. I tried joining choir again to get back into ministry and ended up crying through most rehearsals and song services because I felt so out of place, I couldn't shake the condemnation from my divorce and affair, and feeling like people blamed me for my ex leaving church. it felt like everything was fake and forced except for a small handful of people who I knew cared about me and my kids. a couple months ago, I found out that my ex had an affair with the pastor's wife recently, and it knocked the wind out of me. I didn't know if I was allowed to be upset because a) we aren't married anymore, and b) because I too had an affair with someone in the church even though it was years ago and not a person in pastoral leadership. clearly something was wrong in their home/marriage and i understood that pain because I've been there, so it felt wrong to be mad at her, although furious with my ex. it's incredibly hard enough to be at this church as it is without this new unfolding of events happening, but now I feel like I can never show my face again.

the congregation already knows, it's a church of about 800 people, but word spreads like wildfire there. my family has told me that if I decide to go, to walk in with my head up, which I did once and wanted to puke the entire time. there were a few people that came up and hugged me and loved on my kids, knowing what was going on. not a word from anyone else. it feels gross being there now, like I'm forever tied to the pastoral family now (their family runs the church) and that every time they see me it will be a reminder and cause heartache. I don't want to be there, but my kids' needs make it hard to leave and start over from everything that's happened over the years. I don't know how though, I don't know where to begin or how to help my kids through such a big transition especially when they both already have anxiety problems. I need help and guidance from a neutral party and am hoping God shows me where to go from here soon. does anyone have any advice or words of wisdom?
 
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Loyal
Either learn not to care about snooty people there or leave and learn how to help your child with anxiety instead of avoiding it. Be glad to pray for you.
 
Member
As you stated - "it feels gross being there now..."

I think I would feel this way as well. I'm not certain I could feel right in that congregation again, considering all of the past issues that have occurred. But that's just me...I would most likely move on to another church, but I cannot suggest for you to do that. Search your heart, and God's guidance, He knows you better than anyone else and knows how this should be handled. I will be praying for you. God Bless.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
Dear Sister @purplekbear
First I'd like to welcome you to Talk Jesus. I pray and hope brothers & Sisters in Christ Jesus maybe of help to you in the burden you are carrying.

Thank-you for sharing your story. This is difficult to do, even to strangers online, be they brothers & sisters in Christ Jesus or not. My heart & prayers will go out for you.

There is no justifying what the church has failed to do in helping you and your family. In fact there is little to say that would make sense in anything that has transpired in your life to now. Whether this church can help your family now or not I do not know. This in truth will be found in Holy Spirit guidance after much prayer.

All I can give you is a perspective of things to be aware of. If you decide to stay/restart at this church. You have to confront the ministry team that failed to help in the first place and meet with them to find out if they have learned anything from what has happened to you. Would they have done things differently and what would those things have been. It would not do you any good or your children if nothing has changed. Just the fact that gossip is prevalent in the church tells me enough to the shepherding of this flock and it's failure to address their needs as well as protecting them from the adversary's influences.

So, if nothing has changed, then look for a new beginning at another church. One whose focus is not only reading the word of God, but application of it as well. A church that prayers with Holy Spirit power and addresses problems instead of sweeping them under the rug. One that will promote growth in your children, which now must truly be your focus. There is not much time that you have to spend and help them grow in knowledge of God's word and His ways. They are scarred by what has happened. Let them not be motivated by this, but learn from it that they maybe men & women of God.

My prayers are with you and your family no matter the direction you may find yourself walking. I pray that it is by direction of the Holy Spirit and not one by friends or families etc. For in God's way no matter what happens will always be the best for you and yours. To His Glory Honor and Praise. Alleluia!

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
Once again be welcome.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Loyal
@purplekbear

Unfortunately people who attend churches are also flesh and blood and subject to temptations and too often yield to those temptations. Nomatter where else you might go you will meet people and some of them will without a doubt have some of the same kind of problems.

Should you leave and move to another place (assembly or church group)? Only you and God can properly answer that question. Where you want to be is where God wants you to be. If that is where you are then you need to stay, but if He is now really including you in this verse ids something your need to know:

"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev 18:4

That verse has different specific meanings for different people. Sometimes God wants us to go through the worst of things to get the best out of us.
Here are a couple of examples:

In Job, we see him in the very first verse named as "perfect", but then he is put through terrible trials which include the loss of all of his physical goods. and the death of all of his 10 children, and the loss of good health of his own body.

Jesus knew what his trials would be, but He asked the Father to "let this cup pass from me" [Matt 26:39] because the flesh of the man did not want to suffer the pain of torture and death.

So what is your situation and what is God's will for you? Does He want you to leave? Your flesh may hope so, but talk to God about it. If you feel the need, put a fleece before him like Gideon did [Judges 6:37-40] as to whether you should or should not leave. But, if you do that be sure to obey the answer you receive even if it seems to be the most painful one.

I will be praying for you and yours.
 
Active
I'm a single mom with 2 kids, got divorced from my ex husband in 2011 after putting up with physical abuse, infidelity, and a serious porn addiction. During the time we were married, we were both in ministry, and he was a favorite in the church (non denominational). I was invisible unless I was with him. I finally went to the pastors about the abuse and problems at home, desperate for help. they sat down with us several times and lectured him about how he needed to read and pray more and get more involved in ministry and pay attention to his family. that was it.

they didn't want to lose him from their ministries. years went by and things got worse, his anger started affecting our kids and he started becoming verbally aggressive with them. again, went for help from the pastors, told them he was in jail after putting me in a headlock and throwing me across the room, then dragging me by the feet to the bathroom. Again, another talk with both of us. By this point I was completely numb, I felt like I was going through the motions and divorce wasn't justified in their eyes since he wasn't even removed from ministry or anything. I didn't know who I was, I lost sight of everything. I ended up having an affair with a mutual friend, and after I told my ex, filed for divorce shortly after, I finally felt justified in doing so. I regret that affair to this day, it brought me down a path I'd never thought I'd go down, so completely out of character for me, and it showed me how far from reality I was and numb I'd allowed myself to become. I have since repented and still do to this day, but I have never quite been the same. since the divorce, my ex has backslid and left church and partied with friends for a long time, slept on their couches and still hasn't lived in the same place for more than a few months. he rarely sees or talks to our kids, and when he does it's brief and he takes lots of pictures and posts them on social media. I have dated once, my fear of going through all that is too great to put myself out there. he has dated/slept with several of my friends since then, the same way he did when we were married but no one believed me. the church we went to was a church I have been in since I was a baby (I'm in my 30s), the head pastor dedicated me, and he dedicated my kids.

my kids both have anxiety disorders from things they've been through with their dad, and my son has high functioning autism and cannot handle change well, so I've stayed at this church for their sake and security-since my entire family is there too, trying other churches causes meltdowns for my son even though I found a couple I loved and wanted a fresh start. after the divorce when my ex would show up there from time to time, people would flock to him, love on him, etc. when I'm there, I get a few hellos from longtime family friends, and that's

it. I tried joining choir again to get back into ministry and ended up crying through most rehearsals and song services because I felt so out of place, I couldn't shake the condemnation from my divorce and affair, and feeling like people blamed me for my ex leaving church. it felt like everything was fake and forced except for a small handful of people who I knew cared about me and my kids. a couple months ago, I found out that my ex had an affair with the pastor's wife recently, and it knocked the wind out of me. I didn't know if I was allowed to be upset because a) we aren't married anymore, and b) because I too had an affair with someone in the church even though it was years ago and not a person in pastoral leadership. clearly something was wrong in their home/marriage and i understood that pain because I've been there, so it felt wrong to be mad at her, although furious with my ex. it's incredibly hard enough to be at this church as it is without this new unfolding of events happening, but now I feel like I can never show my face again.

the congregation already knows, it's a church of about 800 people, but word spreads like wildfire there. my family has told me that if I decide to go, to walk in with my head up, which I did once and wanted to puke the entire time. there were a few people that came up and hugged me and loved on my kids, knowing what was going on. not a word from anyone else. it feels gross being there now, like I'm forever tied to the pastoral family now (their family runs the church) and that every time they see me it will be a reminder and cause heartache. I don't want to be there, but my kids' needs make it hard to leave and start over from everything that's happened over the years. I don't know how though, I don't know where to begin or how to help my kids through such a big transition especially when they both already have anxiety problems. I need help and guidance from a neutral party and am hoping God shows me where to go from here soon. does anyone have any advice or words of wisdom?
It sounds like to me your husband should have never been put into a position of authority in the Church no matter well liked he was with it's members. As Paul tells Timothy...

1Ti 3:4 He must rule his own household well, keeping his children under control, with true dignity, commanding their respect in every way and keeping them respectful.
1Ti 3:5 For if a man does not know how to rule his own household, how is he to take care of the church of God?

If your Ex husband had an affair with the pastors wife at this Church, that pastor also should not be in the position he is in, as he falls into this same category.
This size of a Church, and how nice the music is means nothing to the Lord. He is looking at the intents and purposes of men, and women's hearts!!!

The Church at Sardis in the book of Revelations was a Church who was "well known", and considered to be "lively", but Jesus said they were "dead"!!!

Rev 3:1 "Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the One who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: "I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead.

I am sensing the Church you have been going to is "dead" Church. You need to move on to where the Lord is, with people walk in the light, and love of God.
 
Member
Good evening Purple K;

Being the head of the household (or leader of any organization for that matter) also carries with it the responsibility of setting things right. Stepping outside of that role to pursue one's personal ambitions neither minimizes nor negates it. If you have done nothing wrong, hold your head up, tell them they are forgiven, and leave only because the leadership in the church has failed in its duty to set things right. That decision is up to you. Your children still need a parent who is a good role model as that basic need does not change. Phil 4:8.
 
Member
Dear Single Mom(Purplebear),

I cannot imagine the hardships you are going through and reading your post and what you went through, you truly have been through a lot.

Grace. We did not deserve it. We cannot do anything to earn it. It was freely given. It is there for us to accept.
When Jesus died for us, He washed away all our sins. FORGIVEN! Clean slate. A fresh start for us all. And the only catch is Faith. If we choose to believe and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour; we are forgiven, we are made new. The old self, the past does not matter. All the wrongs, troubles, and sins are wiped away, FORGIVEN!
And that means you too. If you are a born again Christian, The Lord has forgiven your sins. Not just the sins of the past but of the future as well. Now don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean you can purposely go out and sin. That means the Lord knows you're not perfect and there are times that you will fall short and stumble but He will be there to pick you up again.
The Lord has forgiven you, you have to do the same and forgive yourself, your husband and all those who have wronged you.
If you really want change, you have to make that decision yourself. We always have a choice. You can make that choice to be happy, to forgive yourself, to make that change. The Battle is and always will be in the Mind. What you think directly relates to how you act. Don't let your emotions dictate your life and decision-making. You always have a choice.

The Lord gives us His word to Teach us, His Spirit(Holy Spirit) to guide us BUT it is up to us to choose to do it.

God Bless you. I hope this will help you. I would also recommend this Book "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyers. Its Helped me alot.

Phil:4:13: We can do all thing through Christ who gives us strength.
 
Active
What is more important in our lives, one may decide to ask after going through so much as you did purplebear? Our own feeling,or losing something far more important!!! One's salt! ( Matt 5:13-16) Look close at verse 13 please. Verse 14-16 encourage us to not allow our salt to be trampled! And who shall judge us when we arrive at the throne of God? Who knows your heart?( 1 Sam 16:7) So why would we who are no longer condemned, use our own flesh to alter what Jesus himself says???( Rom 8:1) Going against the Lord??

It is no wonder we FEEL defeated! Did we forget a woman Jesus met when all the people wished for him to stone her?( John 8:1-12!!!) Following after our Jesus means believing in everything he said!( Proverbs 3:3-6!!) Not giving place for an opportunity!( Eph 4:27) For the very nature of the enemy is twofold. 1. He first uses our feeling of our flesh to believe a lie!( John 8:44) then 2.Condemns you as this lie being your fault in the first place! that is his nature. Of course I am not saying to you that you are in any way making the devil your father!!!! God Forbid!

But what I am saying is that if we look to entertain a lie long enough in our mindset which he looks to built a stronghold in( 2 Cor 10:4-7!!!) then we forget the weapons Jesus gave us to start with!!verse 4!! The weapon is salt!!!( Col 4:6!!) Words that are true first for you,so that you can help another!!!! We stay seasoned by staying in God's Word! Not by our flesh and its feeling and emotions. It is our choice,and upon this choice we make,we deal with either the consequence( Col 3:25) OR!!! The fruit through our Jesus!!( Gal 5:22-24!!)

Those like myself who take Jesus not as a game of any kind,but rather as both Savior and BEST Friend reap a great harvest! We lean to endure,so through our Jesus we can overcome through that endurance!( Heb 10:36) and notice if you will please the rewards of overcoming through our Jesus!!! You will notice that with each scripture something is added as a reward for the bold enough,and strong enough to overcome! ( Rev 2:7,verse 11,verse 17,verse 26 Rev 3:5,verse 12,verse 21 and if that is not enough one last reminder in Rev 21:7!! This is the finish line of faith through our Jesus! A fine reminder purplebear of just how important it is for us all to wake from our sleep!!( Rom 13:11-14) and KEEP our HOPE through OUR JESUS!!!!Rom 15:13!! Blessing!
 
Member
PURPLE:
1) It is tragic that people would put you in such a conflicted and unenviable position to begin with. Given the circumstance your options may not be as limited as they seem, but the "options," readily at hand are all less than ideal. Even "doing the right thing," presuming there is "A" right thing and not simply a choice of several biblically precedent-ed responses which all carry a weight of trial with them; may be difficult to endure.
2) While you should not have to leave, and should not feel as though you "have to leave," it may be in your best interest, and here is why. Human nature is bound to serve the flesh; and given the situation, this leaves much room for others to use elements of this scenario to impose emotional and mental duress upon you in a wide variety of actions. Folks will inevitably either look at you as though you are the guilty party; which is clearly not the case-or they will tend to patronize and be overtly kind while in front of you; but avoid interaction if possible simply to avoid the discomfort associated with such a situation. This should not be so, but is the sad reality.
3) You must think of your own spiritual and emotional health moving forward. It will be very difficult to break free of the sense of external and even unjustified self-condemnation while in this environment; and it can severely hamper your ability to grow in the kingdom and be fruitful while under the dominion of such terrible spirit. "For the prudent foresee the evil ahead and avoid it," eh?
4) Whatever you choose please remember that it is neither the situation nor your reaction that define you but the direction and intention of your faith in Christ. Don't let the enemy deceive you into thinking you are somehow unworthy or "unclean,' given the actions of others. Do not let the enemy take hold of you in the form of presumptions made by others. Know that above all, you are a blood-bought, Spirit-taught, Daughter of a ruling Father in Heaven; a Princess in the highest regard, clean, sanctified, holy and joint heir to the heavenly throne with Christ Himself. Keep your head up ma'am; you do not wage this war alone I assure you.
 

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