One of the most difficult things I face as the wife of a pastor is how to deal with confidential information. No, I don’t mean deciding whether or not to pass gossip along. There are two possibilities that I face with this kind of information. First, I sometimes end up knowing about things that really aren’t my business. Not because my husband tells me about them (he’s very good at keeping things quiet) but because people will just assume that I’m the best way to get information to him. This has gotten better since we no longer have a home telephone but two cell phones. It’s rare for me to get information from someone that is really for my husband. But several months ago I received a text message from a woman at church regarding a very private family emergency. She wasn’t sure if my husband had texting capabilities and it was the only way she felt comfortable communicating at that moment. Naturally I passed the phone over to my husband and tried to forget about what I knew.
On the flip side, there will be times when people will (for whatever reason) assume Travis has shared private information with me. They will come up to me and chat about a situation of which I have absolutely no knowledge. When I tell them I don’t know, they are sometimes offended, as though I should have known and why am I not caring for them since their pastor is caring for them? This is something that doesn’t happen very often but when it does I’m surprised that people have so little faith in the promise of confidentiality.
I thank God that I am not a very curious person in general. I know that some women would be horrified to not be allowed to know information about their husband’s whereabouts. To me, it’s an issue of trust. I know my husband will tell me if he has a meeting, but if he can’t tell me who it’s with I don’t mind. Now, sometimes I’m privy to a piece of information, like that the person he’s meeting with is a woman. This is because he is strict in his policy to never meet alone in a building with a woman. If the church is going to be empty when such a meeting takes place, I tag along and find anothing room to read in. It’s just all part of the drill.