Help! My wife is disobeying my church rules


October 27, 2015

Dear Pastor,

I am 36-year-old Pentecostal preacher. My first wife died so I remarried. I found a woman I thought was in love with me. She told me that she loved me and she would obey me and work with me. Some of my fellow ministers discouraged me because she belonged to another faith. I thought I would have been able to bring her into the Pentecostal fold. We got married and soon after the wedding she started acting up. When we met I told her that my wife should not wear pants on the street and shorts should only be worn in the house; not in the yard. The first thing she did was to put on her shorts and was outside washing. I called her in and told her she could not wear the shorts and she should take it off and she hissed her teeth and went back outside. In the evening I confronted her and told her that according to my Bible she should obey me. She did not see any reason why she should be in dress or in skirts while she is outside washing. I told her there are good reasons why she should be in her dress because there are young men around and they would lust at her flesh. That's how my marriage started to go downhill. After that, she would dress up in pants and go out and when the brethren from the church saw her they talked about it. I have young women in the church. Now I can't talk to them about wearing pants because my wife is dressing like a sinner. I can't talk to my overseer about the problem I am having because he was against me marrying this woman. I know you are not a Pentecostal but you are a counsellor. Can you give me a word of encouragement? What should I do?


Dear R.S.,

I regret hearing that you lost your first wife by death but if you are not careful you are going to lose your present wife through lack of understanding. I am assuming that your wife is younger than you. She agreed to cooperate with you before you got married. You call it obey but perhaps you are taking this matter to the extreme. Perhaps you are not willing to give this young woman any freedom at all. You may say that she made a covenant with you when both of you were dating that she would not wear pants. Well, perhaps she has now come to realise that she made a mistake by telling you that she would not wear them. Some would say she was so eager to get married that she fooled you. I would hate to think so. If this woman is young she might feel that you are behaving as an old man and it is time for her to get her independence. My brother, why are you worrying yourself about your woman wearing shorts in the yard? If she loves you, you don't need to worry yourself about another man seeing her in shorts. I don't think that she would wear anything that is very short to embarrass you. I doubt what she wears in the yard may be described as 'b riders'. Please remember that men don't have to see women in shorts to lust after them. They can be fully covered and the men lust at them because of their natural beauty.

Having said the above, I must concede that your wife is disrespectful to you. Perhaps you might take an archaic position in the way a woman dresses or conducts herself but out of respect for you, your wife should not blatantly disrespect you by wearing the shorts while males are around.

I am afraid that because of your wife's attitude she might cause some problems for you in the church. If you have believed and taught all these years that it is not appropriate for a woman to attire in a certain way and members have followed your instructions, and your wife is doing the opposite to what you have taught, she can cause a split in the church. You might have to call the overseer of your church to help you deal with your rebellious wife. Don't be afraid to call him. And please, try your best to keep your marriage together.


Other Tell Me Pastor Stories