Sometimes it is not easy for us as wives of pastors and it's especially not easy for our husbands, when members of our churches become upset, disgruntled, disapproving, and unsatisfied and either stop attending or leave our church. It also hurts when they begin attending another nearby church and possibly rave about it. It's hard for our husbands not to take this personally. Sometimes going through this type of experience tears the scab off a deep wound inside. No, it is not pleasant when the saints go . . . marching out.
One comfort I have found when facing this form of rejection is thinking about Jesus and that He understands how we feel because He has been through similar circumstances. I believe God can turn events such as this into a positive outcome for us and for His kingdom. One verse that I've pondered a great deal and wondered about is, "For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth" (2 Cor. 13:8).
A picture I love which illustrates this concept is the picture of what happened in the temple after Jesus cleansed it. I'm quoting from Desire of Ages:
"Slowly and thoughtfully, but with hate in their hearts, they (priests and rulers) returned to the temple. But what a change had taken place during their absence! When they fled, the poor remained behind; and these were now looking to Jesus, whose countenance expressed His love and sympathy. .
"The people pressed into Christ's presence with urgent, pitiful appeals: Master, bless me. His ear heard every cry. With pity exceeding that of a tender mother He bent over the suffering little ones. All received attention. Everyone was healed of whatever disease he had. The dumb opened their lips in praise; the blind be held the face of their Restorer. The hearts of the sufferers were made glad.
"As the priests and temple officials witnessed this great work, what a revelation to them were the sounds that fell on their ears! The people were relating the story of the pain they had suffered, of their disappointed hopes, of painful days and sleepless nights. When the last spark of hope seemed to be dead, Christ had healed them. The burden was so heavy, one said; but I have found a helper.... The voices .. . blended in thanksgiving and praise. . . The were restored soul and body, and they returned home, proclaiming everywhere the matchless love of Jesus."—Desire of Ages, pp. 162, 163, parentheses supplied
It is possible that when those we esteem leave, even though it hurts; perhaps it makes room for ministry to those who previously felt inferior, poor, looked down upon, and more insignificant. Perhaps God can turn our losses into blessings. He has a way of doing that.