by Zsuzsanna Anderson from Are They All Yours? – Words Are Powerful
Editor’s note: While I will agree it’s a good idea to behave and speak respectfully to others I don’t think you are really being disrespectful to your pastor if you know him very well and call him by his first name instead of adding the sobriquet of ‘Pastor’ or ‘Reverend’ or ‘Father’ in front of it. It all depends on the closeness of the relationship. It’s not like like Steven Anderson has a legal titled name: for example Queen Elizabeth of England is always referred to as HRH or Ma’am when people must address the monarch. Zsu makes it sound like her husband has no real friends if they are that suspicious of someone being ‘chummy’ has ulterior motives. Paranoia runs deep.
Obviously, I call him by his first name, Steve. But at church, or when talking to church members and others who only know him as a pastor, I always refer to him as “Pastor Anderson.” Even when directly addressing him, I avoid calling him by his first name when others can hear. We have been in the ministry long enough to know that people who are too chummy with the pastor quickly become disrespectful and treat him as a buddy, not an elder as the Bible admonishes. This attitude then spreads like a wildfire.
I would no more talk about “Steve” to another church member than I would call him that to the kids when speaking about their dad, as in: “Please take this to Dad,” and not “Give this to Steve”. Married couples who refer to the other parent by their first name to the kids show great disregard for the that parent’s status of being an authority figure to the children, and not their co-equal. It is a passive aggressive way to show disrespect, and one the kids are certain to pick up on and perpetuate. These couples always have troubled marriages because they fail to appropriately honor the other out of a false sense of pride. A good wife who is interested in seeing her husband honored and succeeding will always strive to build him up in the estimation of others, and should never intentionally try to “take him down a notch”, especially so publicly or to the children.
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