Years ago, Charlotte and I were walking across a parking lot of a large church building in Kansas City. We had an appointment with a marriage therapist. This was our first visit with him.
I was nervous.
I was nervous that someone who I knew might see me. I was nervous they would find out that we were going to a counselor to talk about our marriage.
The truth is that I was more concerned about how we looked, than the reality of our our lives.
No, we were not in a crisis. We were not dealing with any sort of trauma or disaster within our marriage. But, we were dealing with an important issue.
We were stuck.
We knew we needed to make some real adjustments but we were unsure what to do.
Yet, I was not as concerned at that moment about addressing those realities as I was the appearance. I was more concerned about the possibility of another’s perception than the reality of our relationship.
This is not a good place to be. In fact, it is embarrassing to think about this now. Yet, sometimes church leaders can find themselves worrying more about a possible perception instead of addressing the reality of their lives.
Unfortunately, this can get even worse. Church leaders can attempt to control and shut down what their family members are actually experiencing.
Church leaders can communicate to their families that they need to act like everything is ok, even when it isn’t. There are some real consequences to this behavior.