It is the frequent complaint of pastors that are serving disobedient congregations that District Presidents and District reconcilers always seem to side with the congregation, even when it is quite clear that the congregation is the one with the problem, not the pastor. Certainly pastors are sinners too, and there is much that we do to offend church members. But when a congregation refuses to submit to the pastor’s authority and teaching, it still seems like the congregation gets a “slap” on the wrist, and the pastor is thrown out or disciplined.
I think there is a parallel here to how pastors handle marital matters. It is so easy to side with the wife. It is so easy to listen to the complaints of a wife and think that the husband is nothing but a boorish ass. The truth is, it is often the wife that just doesn’t like to submit to her husband’s authority. She becomes spiteful, vindictive, and disobedient, or “chafes at the bit” so to speak. Husbands are far from perfect, but they have every reason to expect their wives to be submissive and obedient. Such a wife is a blessing and gift to a married man. Luther says: “Another very fine factor, one that contributes much toward harmony in the home, is the concerted effort of the wife to regard her husband’s will, to do what she knows he likes, and to avoid what she knows he dislikes. By such conduct she wins the heart of her husband so that it is a pleasure and delight to him to return to his home and his wife. On the other hand, if wives are disobedient, self-willed, and domineering, a man hates his own home and feels as if he is going to war and entering the enemies’ camp when he steps into his house.”
I think that pretty much says it all.