A Pastor’s Reflections: Never Counsel a Woman Alone

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Wayne Wilson's picture

If the woman was married, I always insisted that the woman inform her husband, something I would verify, so that she was honoring her husband’s spiritual authority. The same would go for a young woman who was still living under her parents’ roof.

I can definitely think of some real world situations where this would not be a good idea.

 

 

Julie Anne's picture

If the woman was married, I always insisted that the woman inform her husband, something I would verify, so that she was honoring her husband’s spiritual authority. The same would go for a young woman who was still living under her parents’ roof.

Wayne said:

 

I can definitely think of some real world situations where this would not be a good idea.

 

No kidding, Wayne.  What if the wife confesses that there is spousal abuse and husband denies it?   Do we call the husband in and ask if he is abusing?  What if he denies it?  Then what?  Believe him or her?  

In the above paragraph, does it seems to imply that the husband as spiritual authority is always right?   I keep trying to dismiss that idea, but it won't leave me. 

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

It is wise to never be in a situation where doubts about propriety could gain hold. As for counseling and confidentiality- Is the husband required to inform his wife that he is receiving pastoral counseling? After all, they are one flesh. Why should confidentiality only extend to the husband as the 'authority'? 

Also, if mature women are given the Scriptural charge to mentor younger women with regards to husband and children, why couldn't the pastor just refer the woman to a qualified female counselor in the church? (not necessarily the pastor's wife, by the way)

Keeping the confidences of underage children could be problematic. It should be granted without question if the issue is one of abuse, but if a child is confessing their own substance abuse or sexual activity (that is not of an abusive nature involving the parents) I would not be comfortable with those or similar problems being kept from the parents.