Ministry Wives · Uncategorized

Healing From Church Hurt: Five Healing Helps

Church Hurt is Real!

It never feels good to be hurt by others. But, what about when it happens at church?

How do you know when it’s right to leave a church?

Church hurt is real!

Church hurt STINKS!

Unfortunately when you have a room stuffed full of dirty rotten sinners, which we all are, even the most Godly spiritual giants will mess up from time to time. Now, instead of life long spirit filled Christians, add in lost and unsaved, stubborn sunken in sin, and baby Christians. This is more likely your typical church, if you are blessed. And although this does not change your hurt or pain, it does help to have a little bit of honest perspective.

Where does it come from? Church hurt can stem from a variety of roots. Whether a church is in search for a pastor, in the middle of a church split or merger, in the midst of growing pains, and/or experiencing some division or clicks within; churches in pain can cause pain. And then there are situational hurts. It may be click related, class or issue related, or a conflict of personalities. Whether you have been hurt by being lied to, lied about, gossip, unfaithfulness, neglect, conflict or backstabbing; hurtful words and situations impact our lives. Either way, church hurt is real!

Chances are if you are reading this and have attended church before, you have experienced hurt in church or are going through it now. You are not alone. We all respond differently to church hurt, because honestly, so many things factor into the hurt. And although one kind of hurt is not more important than another, situational does factor into the depth of your pain.

Have you felt distant from your church family? Do you feel like finding a reason to not be in church? Do you avoid certain people at church? Or are you a pastor’s wife that tries to be “unseen” and hide each service? Do you feel like God put you in the wrong church? Or like, Lord why are you putting me through this? So now what? What do you do?

What Do I Do Now That I Have Church Hurt

Okay, so you have been hurt in a church. Unfortunately, all churches have hurt someone at some point if they have been a church for any length of time. Hold on, before I loose you, this is not to diminish your hurt. However, the first part of church hurt is our initial reaction to the hurt. Do you brush it off, do you stop going to church, do you just avoid specific people, what was your initial response? Is it different now?

In order to to sort out church hurt, you first have to be honest. Was the church responsible for your hurt or was the hurt caused by one particular person or group of people? Let’s be honest, a lot of churches get a bad wrap for a couple people or a single person in the church. Again, no excuses or down playing any hurt, just asking you to sort out facts. Truth matters. I am in no way, an expert on church hurt. However, I have experienced church hurt in various facets throughout my life. I would love to share my experience in staying faithful in the midst of hurt. Five Healing helps.

sad woman with tissue box crying on couch
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1. Pray

First, pray. When we experience church hurt, we are obviously in contact with people that either do not love people very well, are in the midst of hurt themselves, or are not operating in a Christ-like manner. As much as you desire other people to be a certain way, even a way that is expected in their position, you have no control over what they do or say. When met with unlovable behavior, I find the best response is running to an all loving God. My Lord and Savior is LOVE.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” 1 John4:7

So, when you meet unlovable people, situations, and hurts, go straight to God through prayer. He is love!

woman in white sweater and blue denim jeans praying on bed
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

2.Address The Offense

As a very non-confrontational lady, this never gets easy. You may be more of a lover than a fighter too. And, as a pastor’s wife, this can become even more complicated. In fact, some people that have come to know me well are my “heroes” when it comes to people spreading lies and gossiping. In fact, just this month a particular individual has gossiped about me, spoken ill to other ladies in the church and has said ugly things. Honestly, I have come to get used to this behavior because frankly, the Lord is working on an unsaved heart. I do not take it personal, and will address things I need to if it interferes with God’s work.

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Matthew 18:15

Otherwise, I will continue to just go on loving, serving, AND giving it to God. Another sweet lady has made it a point to be my “guard” and will nip the backbiting in the bud when she is present, this has been an answer to prayer. For it cuts off the validity of her words. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case and may not be for you. You may need to address the person that offended you. Honestly, even though confrontation is hard, it causes reaction. Most of the time it ends there. Open air leaves room for apologies, opinions, discussion, agreements, etc. Sometimes, the individual didn’t even know they hurt you. Sometimes misinterpretation or lost connection makes situations fester. So, it’s essential to handle an issue immediately. In every situation, addressing the offender allows the acknowledgement of hurt caused to be aired. Address and confront the offender.

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3. Forgive

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

The best part of confronting your offender or addressing the offense head on, is acknowledging that it exists so that you can forgive. Forgiveness is beautiful and fulfilling. Peace follows forgiveness. Whether you receive an apology or not, you can forgive. When you begin the process of forgiveness, you are allowing the toxicity to begin to die down. So, the sooner, the better.

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25

Forgiving your offender allows you to heal. Whereas, the alternative is letting roots of bitterness to grab hold and spring forth.

pensive grandmother with granddaughter having interesting conversation while cooking together in light modern kitchen

4. Find a Friend

Forgiving is your avenue to healing, but finding a friend to confide in can help the healing process as well. As difficult as it might be, it is best to find someone that you can confide in that is not connected to the situation. Discretion and privacy are helpful in peace keeping. If there is an on-going situation, a friend is also helpful to help address the situation if needed too. A loyal friend can go with you if you need to confront someone again. Having a listening hear and Biblical encouragement can help us make right decisions that are spirit filled instead of just reacting to a situation. Faithful loyal friends are the best!

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Matthew 18:15

5. Walk In Love

After praying about your church hurt, sorting out truths in the situation, addressing the offense and offender if needed, confiding in a friend; the next step is to walk in love. Commit to live a life that is committed to Christ, to walk in love. Loving all that are placed in your life whether they are lovable or not. Truth be told, you can do all you can to make a situation right, but it takes a mutual respect and desire to make situations right. Even if it is a mutual respect, but agree to disagree.

Walking in love is a mutual understanding that you will get hurt and you will probably hurt others while in the ministry. Possibly without even realizing it. As you are praying for those that hurt you, ask the Lord about any hurt you may have caused.

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 7:3

And as you continue to pray your way through your hurt for resolution, ask the Lord to help you Love better. It is not always an easy feat. But, committing to love more and better than you ever have before will help churches build stronger life changing atmospheres. We serve an amazing God that has given us HIS living word to walk us through this journey called life.

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

In the midst of ugly situations, the Lord pressed on my heart to grow and sometimes gave me direct examples of what NOT to be like and how NOT to be in church situations. Everything we see, experience, and read in God’s word is meant to grow us one way or another. It is more of the question of are we seeking to grow in love and our walk more closely with HIM? What better decision can be made out of church hurt, than to commit to love better? Or be known and have the testimony of really loving ALL people? Make a commitment to be the representation of “real love” like Christ at your church.

These five helps will get you through church hurt every time! If you find yourself in church hurt again, go through these steps and lean on Christ. HE will carry you through again and again! And remember, when dealing with people, at some point we will all encounter church hurt.

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Now you may say that is great, but I did NOT know these truths or address hurts this way. Perhaps the church wrongly addressed truths too. So here are a few statements and thoughts to follow.

I Quit the Church…

Okay, you stopped going to church, you quit church. Okay, but did you quit God? Do not lump God in with people that call themselves “God’s People”. Do not punish God for what man has done unto you.

I can recall a particular church hurt that stung. Stung bad. It occurred from “Christian Leaders” that wanted to be first. It was not let’s all serve God together, but every one can serve as long as we are first and above all others. Without going into detail, the individuals did not acknowledge they did anything wrong, nor cared how it affected my family. It was purely selfish gain. When you love deeply, you will get hurt deeply. There will be people you pour yourself into and possibly even serve alongside that will never love or care for you the way you do them. It hurts. So many people step out of the ministry because of it! Because of people!

If you quit church. I can say, there are seasons of healing that I believe are good for families. However, that does NOT mean you have to quit on God. Perhaps if the only solution is to step out of the church, it might mean a season of substitution and prayer to allow the Lord to lead in your next step. BUT, if anything, when you quit the church, draw even closer and lean in on God. It is easier to hear the whispers of “I love you” in your heart.

Voiced Opinions, Value and Validation

Manage your pain and lean on God! Perhaps you feel like you already let loose, and may have handled the situation wrong. Own up. Pull up your big girl britches and make it right. If you need to, go apologize. Making excuses for your behavior is the same thing that was done to you. Didn’t feel good, did it? You just shifted the weight and obtained more weight.

It is okay to value your opinion and receive validation for your pain. But, it is not okay if you disrespected someone else or embarrassed a sister in Christ to simply voice your opinion or give her the “what for!”


Truthfully, we are all broken. We all have encountered hurts and pains throughout our lives. Some of the most amazing people I have met have encountered some of the greatest pains and hurt known to mankind. Yet, instead of letting bitterness take root and rule over their life, they dedicated even more of their life to serving our great God! If you feel broken and unusable, remember that that is your view from a broken window. When we hurt, everything in our view enters through our glasses. When our glasses are views from a broken heart, we can easily forget or distort truth. No matter how broken we “feel” God still has a plan for our lives. If you were hurt, thrown out of a church, ran off from a congregation, or just completely down; you may feel useless or worthless. But you are forgetting all the thoughts God has of you are precious! HE loves you so much! Come Home to HIM! May I keep this here, it is a beautiful reminder!

I am Tired of People Saying, We All Hurt People, We All Fail

Although this statement is true, when you experience intentional hurts from those you love within the church, it does sit differently. Truthfully, people hurting brothers and sisters in the name of “The Lord”, are doing generational damage to the kingdom of the Lord. Truthfully we have to first acknowledge that this is indeed a true statement. Second, even if the the reason for the hurt may be clear, it does not make us heal. Really, it is forgiveness and God’s healing grace that helps us heal. Over time, the pain is not as sharp and often the Lord has already remedied the situation OR brought new people in their place to be a blessing in our lives.

Some People Will Never Apologize

As much as this stinks, make the decision that when you are hurt, you will forgive whether you receive and apology or not. Truthfully, some people will never apologize. Even in the most obvious wrongs, apologizing is not their solution. Chalk it up to pride. It is not you, but them.

Some People Will Never Be Sorry

While some will not apologize, I have met people that will still make it right without apologizing, if that makes sense. And while I would clear the air as quickly as possible, some people will say I’m sorry or apologize by doing things or helping in various ways. It is there way of restoring the wrong in the relationship. And while we hope that is all the people that never make things “open”, we have to admit this is not the case. I am not being a negative Nancy, in fact, the opposite. We have to forgive for our own growth, even if people are not sorry. Just as God blesses, Satan sends stumbling blocks too. Things to stop us, or make us question why we even bother, or why we do what we do. Truthfully, we must accept that some people are not sorry for being mean, ugly and hateful. Most people I have encountered like this fall into one of two groups of people. 1. LOST 2. A Deeply Wounded Christian suffering in Oppression.

Stop Making God Pay for What People Did to You

God did not do it. No matter how long you have been distant from God, run to HIM! Heal, weep, cry out to Him with all your pain, and stop the hurt and bitterness from overtaking your life.

Break the Cycle of Pain

Choose from this day forward you will end the cycle of your pain and church hurts. Stand in victory with Christ!

Time Will Heal Hurts and Forgiveness Will Come

Come unto Him, Lean on Him and let HIM heal all your hurts. Forgive and let time ease your pain and hurt. Wait on HIM. Do NOT make decisions when you are in pain or church hurt. Reactions will cause more pain and hurt, possibly altering the course of our lives. Decisions with unclear vision can lead to disaster. If you need to, step away for a week or two to pray and seek God’s will and discernment in your situation. Seek Biblical counsel if needed. But, run to Jesus’s feet when you feel like pulling away. He will bind your wound best.

Happy Homemaking! Happy Ministry! Have a beautiful week my sweet friends!

If you do not know for sure you have a home in heaven, make sure of that dear friend. Do not leave that unsettled, God never left us to wonder if we are “good enough”! HE IS! He has purchased your sin debt on the cross, it is up to you to accept it. Like a birthday or Christmas gift, it’s already been purchased, but do you want it. If you do not have that nailed down, or are unsure check out this Romans Road post. Please do not wait or put this off, feel free to reach out to me as well if you have a question. If you want to search this more, check out @realbibleanswers ! If you just need to go to Him and lay it at HIS feet, perhaps LOVE will help. Not sure how that may look with a busy life, how about a day in the life post or some extra girl talk?