Dear Pastor:

Although we have both been faithful in church attendance, my husband is just not faithful to the instruction of the scriptures or to me. I never know where he goes or when he will be back. We have three children under 10 and I feel vulnerable and deserted. I pray but I don’t think my prayers get very far and I’m reaching out to you. I need help and I’m at the end of my rope. — Barbara

Dear Barbara:

Your first question is on marital infidelity. Your answer may be in marital counseling, where both parties, not one, must be willing to go. Don’t settle for less than expert advice and heed it. Prayer will not settle what work you both must do. It will, however, give God the opportunity to reveal healing options. Remember, this is a phase many marriages go through and can deepen and strengthen your faith. God never stops caring nor do I. Your pastor

Dear Pastor:

The situation at work is one of constant infighting. The jealousy and back stabbing produces a constant rat race where all suffer and few win. My promotion was nixed by a younger flamboyant opportunist. At mid life I’m left dismayed and underappreciated in a constant match of wits. How can I change all of this? — Don

Dear Don:

If the job gets no better, you must study books about salesmanship and human relations in the workplace, beginning with Dale Carnegie. Choose an area where your gifts can shine in the company as no one else. Treat everyone fairly and courteously, and look, with your wife’s help, for every job opportunity to improve yourself elsewhere. New jobs do not come to you; you have to go to them. Options abound. Look outside the box and continue to believe in yourself. God helps those who help themselves. Count me in. — Your pastor

Dear pastor:

Our pastor confessed to adultery from our pulpit with a young, non church member. He asked for forgiveness and abruptly resigned and left. The church is in an uproar and plans to split. Next Sunday, eighty members plan to join second church. He was one of the most outstanding young ministers in our denomination. His minister father, with heart trouble, died when learning the news. His wife, young children and close friends are all in shock. We are all devastated. Where do we go from here? — The Gordons

Dear Fellow Sufferers:

You don’t go anywhere. You go right on faithfully attending, working, and praying for your church. Wait and work this out. You loved and supported your pastor. He preached on lust and temptation many times. He knew better and went in the opposite direction and is paying the price. You must pick up the pieces and go on. Pastors change and churches shift but you must stay the course through the transition ahead and its fallout. The folly of impulsive behavior is not worth the temporary reward. The Bible indicates that much one in private will one day be known openly and the one who sows to the flesh will of the flesh read corruption. The misdeeds of secret sin never hide or help anything. The evil one always pays in counterfeit. Let us pray our way through. — Your pastor

E. Lee Phillips, a minister and author, works in Floyd County.

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