Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
-Matthew 15:14, KJV
I wish I could say an older pastor will be more discerning and wiser than a younger pastor on matters of adultery and divorce.
But that would be a dangerously false assumption to have.
When I went through my ecclesiastical trial to retain my minister’s license and its aftermath, I had occasion to work with seasoned pastors who were around my father’s age.
These were men with decades of experience leading churches or otherwise experienced in ministry. But they were–mostly–woefully unprepared to provide competent pastoral care for me.
In fact, I would consider age and experience a particular liability for at least one of them. He assumed he knew what I needed and lacked humility on these matters. The blindness to his own unbiblical, divorce prejudice was rather striking, actually!
A pastor with a great deal of experience as a minister may approach a faithful spouse with arrogance; or the pastor may choose humility. Age and experience does not necessarily dictate which path the pastor selects.
Young pastors are not the only ones who pastor arrogantly.
Nor is humility a virtue only older pastors possess (thankfully).
Look for the virtues of kindness and humility. Age is a poor proxy for virtue. Do not assume an older pastor will get “it” right simply because he or she has lived a longer life as a pastor.
Their age might simply mean they have had more time to entrench their harmful and unbiblical thinking on the matters of adultery and divorce.
*A version of this post ran previously.
Republished with permission from www.divorceminister.com.