Breaking Confidentiality: Your Spouse Needs to Know

Not Seduced by Secrets

When asked, “Can you keep a secret?” it means you are about to get hit with some pretty deep material.  Never promise to keep a secret.  In most cases you have an obligation to get help for that person if they are going to 1) harm themselves, 2) harm someone else or 3) cause damage to property.  Assure them you will walk them through whatever they’re going through no matter how ugly.   Often this involves getting in touch with your Senior Pastor and determining who needs to know this information (parents, police, paramedics, etc.).  NEVER DO THIS PART ALONE.


When Sharing IS Caring

Sharing with your Spouse Selectively

Sometimes you’re part of a ministry team and sharing is collegial.  However, there are times when I’d advise against sharing with your spouse.  A big one is when there’s no benefit to your spouse’s soul to know information.  Another is when the potential for the information you’re keeping confidential may cause tremendous damage to your ministry or youth if it gets out in a poorly handled manner.  I would share confidential information with my spouse when they need to be protected from and alerted to potential danger.

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