1. Marrying for the office
Some pastors marry because their office demands them to be married. So they end up marrying a spouse they are not fulfilled with, a spouse they don't love. Pastors who are not fulfilled in their own marriages will find it difficult to help others find fulfilment in marriage.
2. Doing shallow pre-marital counselling Some pastors glance through pre-marital counselling with couples, or they have counselled so many couples to the point that it becomes flat. When pastors fail to adequately prepare couples for marriage, the couples struggle in marriage. For many couples, it is not that they don't love each other but that they were ill-equipped for marriage.
3. Over staying their welcome Some pastors love to make visits to people's homes and sometimes unannounced. This leads some couples to have conflicts when the pastor leaves especially when the pastor keeps siding with one partner or when a partner treats the spouse special only when the pastor shows up.
4. Stealing time from family Some pastors insist on married people to be active in church activities throughout the week and making the ones who don't participate feel that they are not serious with God. A good pastor teaches married couples to balance church activities and family time.
5. Using the pulpit to spread male chauvinism Some pastors tell wives "Submit! Submit!" and tell women to listen to the orders of their husbands but fail to tell the husbands to submit to Christ, to love, to serve their families and not focus on only making money.
6. Using their office to get favours Some pastors get cozy with couples to gain favours and place demands, this ends up bringing conflict in the marriage especially financially. A good pastor before receiving a gift will ask "Have you consulted about this with your spouse?"
7. Infidelity Some pastors unfortunately flirt and even have sexual affairs with some married people because they know many would not believe a pastor being unfaithful. They hide behind the title.
8. Over spiritualizing marriage Some pastors place emphasis only on prayer and fasting as a solution to every problem without equipping couples with practical and Biblical principles in communication, relations, love, understanding and partnership.
9. Avoiding the sex topic Despite sex being God's idea, some pastors view sex as a taboo subject and as evil, creating a vacuum whereby the world gives direction on matters of sex.
10. Talking people into staying in toxic marriages To some pastors, people must stay in marriage even when they are being raped, beaten up, repeatedly cheated on and their lives put at risk. Some people have ended up being killed, poisoned or committing suicide because they were told by the pastor to stay in a toxic and dangerous marriage that was killing them. A good pastor believes and advocates for marriage and helps struggling couples find solutions but also understands that marriage is made of human beings and sometimes human beings harden their hearts. A good pastor counsels those whose marriages didn't bear fruit, reminding them that they are not failures and there is more to life than marriage.
11. Displaying only the glossy side of marriage Some pastors glorify marriage instead of also being real and teaching couples to take care of the little foxes.
12. Pushing people into marriages Some pastors talk single people into marriage simply because the single person is taking long to marry. Sometimes the single person rushes in to marriage and regretting because of the wrong motives.
14. Being a bad example to the flock No pastor should force himself or herself to have a good marriage because of the office, though by nature of them being public figures, they can either inspire people in matters of marriage or discourage them.
13. Gossiping Unfortunately some pastors gossip about others and can't be trusted with people's issues. They gossip about people's personal marital issues.
14. Neglecting demographics Some pastors ignore addressing the issues of the single parents, widows, widowers and the divorced and most of them will end up as future spouses.
15. Imposing their convictions Some pastors come in between the decision making process of a couple by imposing their decisions on a couple. Some literally micro manage other people's marriages including telling someone to leave their spouse and marry a chosen person because "God says so".
16. Ignoring the sins of the rich Some pastors choose not to rebuke or confront the wrongs that wealthy people are doing to their spouses and children because they need them to keep contributing to the church account. Most of the people cheating and beating up their spouses are the wealthy.
17. Firefighting instead of fireproofing Some pastors offer reactionary solutions only when problems occur instead of equipping couples on how to safeguard and nourish their marriage.
18. Preying on of vulnerable women Some pastors take advantage of the trust that wives looking for counsel and help put in them. Bringing more problems than solutions.
19. Hiding their wealth of wisdom Some pastors have a lot of wisdom to share about marriage but they don't share it at the pulpit, in seminars or even through their social media presence, they keep it to themselves and yet many marriages are perishing due to lack of knowledge.
© Dayan Masinde
In my new book, MANHOOD SERIES, I address issues men go through from childhood upbringing, work, sex, relationship with their father, friends, money, vision, self-esteem and identity.
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