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For those of you who aren't pastor's wives, there are some things you should know about how to encourage your pastor's wife.

1. She's not perfect either.
2. There are things that go on in the life of the church that you know nothing about but are huge burdens for her to bear.
3. She'd like friends, too.
4. So maybe you should call her for a playdate or over for dinner.
5. Pray for her that she would not get bitter or resentful.
6. You don't have to act "all spiritual" around her.
7. She does a lot that no one sees and she certainly isn't getting paid for it.
8. Unless she's in a megachurch, her family doesn't have a lot of money, probably less than you make.
9. She has times of spiritual dryness, too.
10. Sometimes she wonders if it's worth all the hassle, worth the toil it can take on her husband and children.

So the next time she does something that bugs you, remember these things and pray for her instead of complaining.

15 comments:

I'm sorry to read this post, because it makes me think that someone has been unkind to you. Your suggestions are terrific. Be cautious about making friends in your church. It often doesn't work out that way. Especially guard your comments, and the depth of your conversation - things that you think are in confidence many times aren't. 'Friendly' is a better goal, maybe. I'm praying for you that whatever has fallen heavy on your heart will be healed and lifted from you. Hang in there - it's not an easy role, but keep the family close and things will get better.

June 20, 2007 at 9:17 AM  

P.S. If this is something you'd like to discuss in a more private arena, I'll be happy to pass along my e-mail.

June 20, 2007 at 9:18 AM  

Thank you for sharing some badly needed information that I haven't been willing to share myself. The part about things going on in the church that others know nothing about is so true. I sometimes feel that people look at the outward expression of my life and make judgments without knowing all that we are carrying, and we aren't allowed to share it with them.

I am so grateful that God is faithful! HE is why we continue on where he has placed us.

Keep up the good work! I love visiting your blog!

Blessings to you,
Gena

June 20, 2007 at 9:36 AM  

PRAYING for you Julie!

June 20, 2007 at 10:47 AM  

Wah! These things are so true.

Sometimes I fantasize about if my husband were suddenly killed in a car crash, and think about whether or not I would marry a pastor again.

That's probably not healthy to dwell on.

;-)

June 20, 2007 at 10:56 AM  

How can we get this made more public? I think I'm going to email focus on the family about this because while there has been more discussion of pastor burnout and pastor appreciation (October is the month for that), there needs to be more encouragement for pastor's wives. Maybe they can do a radio program or magazine write up. There was an article in Time a while back with all the Mary Winkler stuff, but that seems more like a marriage problem that was already exacerbated by ministry (in other words, they had problems unrelated to ministry-obviously). Great thoughts. Thanks for commiserating with me.

June 20, 2007 at 2:22 PM  

Julie... Praying for you.

And I'm so glad that you are bold enough to speak out and say what it's like on the "inside". So many people have no idea. Including me.

But I am learning through the Bible classes I have been taking. The pastors that teach the classes I've taken (because they are for folks who are potentially going into a ministry) speak alot about motives, issues, pitfalls, and such. But they haven't ever touched on pastor's wives. Definitely a topic worth discussing.

I think sending radio topic ideas to FOF is a great idea. People often think that it's greener on the Pastor's side of the fence. And it's quite often the very opposite.

June 20, 2007 at 11:47 PM  

Thank you so much for your post... so much of what you said is true for me too.

#2 is true and it is also true that our husbands carry confidential counseling burdens that they are not able to share with us. This can cause hurt feelings when people think the pastor's wife does not care about their problem... when the truth is the pastor is keeping their confidence!

I agree with you that the resources for the PW are limited and I pray that things change for pastor's wives around the globe!

June 21, 2007 at 1:34 AM  

Julie,

Thank you for sharing from your heart and instructing many people today.

A number of years ago my husband taught a Sunday school class for adults from the book "They Cry Too" which addresses the life of those who live in the parsonage....all of them. It was well received by everyone who liked the pastor! :)

I would highly recommend it.

I have had the privilege, over the years, to be best friends with two women whose husbands pastored churches. It worked well for me to hang out with them because they didn't have to be the pastor's wife with me. One of them was so funny....she kept a scrapbook of cartoons that related to her lot in life. My favorite was the one of Snow White standing behind the pulpit and the pastor saying, "And now I'd like to introduce you to my wife."

FYI, I am hoping to do a podcast with Mary Winkler and have been in contact with her. For what its worth, the Lord has given me a burden for the past 20 years for pastors' wives and more recently for homeschooling moms, so if you are both, it is your lucky day. I am praying for you!

God bless you, Julie, as you seek to serve HIm through your very important job as PW!

June 21, 2007 at 10:47 AM  

Julie, thank you for this post! It captures perfectly much of the life of a pastor's wife that no one ever sees. I don't know how I overlooked this post, but I'm glad I found it. (And I linked to it on my latest post too!)

June 24, 2007 at 9:08 PM  

Thanks Julie!

June 25, 2007 at 2:52 PM  

Thanks for sharing from your heart. Ministry can sometimes be a very discouraging and lonely place but don't allow the enemy to use these situations and circumstances everto discourage you from doing what God's will is for your life. Sometimes we feel so unappreciated and unloved but just remember that we are not here to please people. We are called to do a work in God's Kingdom. Stay focused and lean on the Lord. If I can ever offer a word of encouragement to you in the future please don't hesitate to contact me by email.

Blessings to you and your family.

July 4, 2007 at 3:07 PM  

I am so glad to know that I'm not alone. One of our new minister's wives is so glad to have friends at our church & I feel so alone. A lot of acquaintances, but so few who want to develop relationships. I get tired of trying & getting no where. When dh is gone I feel more alone, because generally no one calls or invites the kids & I over. My dh is lonely too.

July 13, 2007 at 6:28 PM  

Oh Karen-I so understand how you feel! I have found a number of PW cyberbuddies and while they aren't flesh and blood here, they have helped me so much on the pastors wives forum. I need to update the link to the left, but here's the new one. Get registered and start chatting:

www.pastorswivesonline.com

July 13, 2007 at 6:34 PM  

Very well expressed. God bless you. I would like to link to this, and encourage you to post it on the League of Pastor's Wives blog. www.leagueofpastorswives.blogspot.com

July 26, 2007 at 9:45 AM  

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