Divorced pastor dating
Although I’m tempted to write a tome on the subject, my dear, I’ll spare you and my other readers and try to keep my personal take on the subject reasonably short and in the form of a handy-dandy list. No Making Googly-Eyes At Church There was once a time when a single pastor would be introduced to every eligible gal in the parish with the thought that she’d be lucky enough to “land” his hand in marriage.
I don’t think this point is negotiable in the least. If a fabulous, dateable lady shows up at your church and you want to date her and vice versa, have the conversation about her (or your) leaving the church pronto. Yente the Matchmaker Does Not Attend Your/My Church Our churches are not dating services for us.
In the previous generation, the possibility of hiring a pastor who was divorced was rare.
Societal expectations and ecclesiastical standards would exclude a divorced man from the gospel ministry.
With the surge of divorce following World War II, broken marriages were found in more than a few manses.
The fact is, it benefits the entire congregation when a minister is happy and well-matched.
If you serve in a multi-staff situation in a tradition that considers it okay for pastors to date within the flock, I still don’t think it’s a good idea. All those “romantic” stories (like the one in the novel Gilead) where the woman comes to a church and is immediately spotted by the pastor as the love of their life and they get married are mostly fantasies perpetuated by men who have been free for hundreds of years to objectify women (we’re not even GOING into other kinds of sexual abuse scenarios here, okay everyone? Therefore, there should be no encouragement of introductions to eligible single family members or friends to the single minister. When folks who know of the demise of your relationship get all fluttery about combing their address books for eligible ones for you, reassure them that that’s not their role. HOWEVER, if church folk make it discreetly possible for you to meet someone eligible, great!
Does anyone want hundreds of pairs of eyes on their relationship? They don’t have to tell you in advance that their single niece will be coming to dinner the night you’re invited.
In my denomination, pastors are advised to keep their amorous eyes way out of the congregation and their mitts off their parishioners. People come to church seeking spiritual community, not to be romantically pursued by the minister of that community.
Those days are long over— like, say, 100 years over.