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Being a pastor's wife: is it a job?

Discussion in 'Ministry Spouses' started by Northbrook, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Northbrook

    Northbrook No sé vivir sin Dios

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    Pastors' wives, may I ask you a question? Would you agree with the following statement:
    "Being a pastor's wife is a full-time, unpaid job?" Thank you for your feedback!
     
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  2. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

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    Some parishioners try to turn it into that, but they should not. I have a strong bias here. I'm a PK who watched my mother in the church for 18 years, and saw the box parishioners often tried to place her in. A church contracts and pays a pastor. They should let pastors' spouses and children be people - no different than their spouses and children.
     
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  3. drjean

    drjean Senior Veteran Supporter

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    That about sums it up...except to add that often it is unappreciated too.
     
  4. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Ours functioned as a well paid team.
     
  5. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I just asked my husband - not a pastor's wife, but a pastor's spouse - and he said that it can be like this, but it depends how you choose to function in the role.

    Personally I would say it should not be like this.
     
  6. Southernscotty

    Southernscotty Well-Known Member Supporter Angels Team

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    I am a single minister now as my wife divorced me a year ago because of the ministry and because it was "to hard". {her words}
    I believe that it is a calling.
    If I had been seeking God first and foremost I would have saw that she wasn't right for me to begin with, I went against the Spirits leading and got married anyway and it cost me.
    I think God prepares certain people to be ministry spouses, It is a hard position and is a ministry in itself.
     
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  7. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I really don't believe "ministry spouse" is a ministry in itself. I think many churches try to make it that - often to exploit the spouse! - but our spouses aren't at the ordination rail making vows alongside us. They are free to choose to engage - or not - in our ministry context as they discern is best for them.
     
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  8. Southernscotty

    Southernscotty Well-Known Member Supporter Angels Team

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    Hi :] The thing is that, They are looked upon just as the minister is. That is why my wife divorced me. That is a lot of pressure for some one who is not prepared to walk the narrow path.
    People put much on ministers families, Brunches, lunches and women's meetings and prayer groups and etc: etc: etc: I think I needs to know all this upfront and be prepared and God indeed prepares many for this role and they are great at it even though they are not ordained or whatever
     
  9. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    But that's my point, Scotty. You don't have to do all that stuff. My husband doesn't even come to my church; belongs to a different denomination and attends there. My congregation are fine with that, and I told them up front that was how it would be.

    Congregations can want you to do all those things, but it's not mandatory, and the more we talk about being a ministry spouse as a "ministry" the more we make it sound like it is mandatory. And I think that's pretty dangerous, because not all ministry spouses are cut out for that involved-in-everything kind of role, and they shouldn't feel obliged to take it on.
     
  10. Southernscotty

    Southernscotty Well-Known Member Supporter Angels Team

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    Oh wow, Around here it is so much different. The pastor's family pretty much all support Him/Her by attending and assisting in the ongoing necessities of the church.
    I guess that is difference between us Hillbillies and you guys down under lol
     
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  11. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

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    That's why when I was leaving the parsonage and mom was sending me off to college I promised, "I'll keep going to church, but I'm never going to another potluck again in my life."
     
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  12. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I think it used to be like that a generation or two ago, scotty, but patterns of family life have changed a lot. Ministers' spouses often work and have their own careers, for a start (ordination of women changed things too; people seem happy to expect things of unpaid wives that they'd never expect of a man!)

    My husband does help with some stuff - rescues the parish website when it crashes, for example! - but it's what he chooses to do, and on his terms. And I think that's really healthy and important.
     
  13. Unofficial Reverand Alex

    Unofficial Reverand Alex Look up Jason Evert on YouTube; he changed my life Supporter

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    I'm too Catholic for this...^_^
     
  14. SgtBen

    SgtBen To Serve and Protect Supporter

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    I don't know but I can say that that Rev. R's wife and my Baptist's pastor's wife work tirelessly for others. These wives help people where they can, and are dear and God-sent to all of us.

    They may see it as a job, but it is my belief that they see this as a calling from God.

    I believe they see marriage as much more than just being a good wife. God bless them both.

    Ben
     
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  15. Sophia7

    Sophia7 Tall73's Wife Supporter

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    No. It is not a job. Neither is being a pastor; it is a calling. Being a pastor’s wife does involve supporting your husband in ministry, but what that means for each person is between them and God. People do have expectations for pastors’ wives—and their children, too—but you have to be careful with those. Sometimes those expectations are unrealistic or unnecessary. Sometimes people expect pastors’ wives to be with their husbands at every church program/service and every pastoral visit and look perfect and have perfect children and play the piano and teach Sunday School and on and on. But we can’t do everything, and we are not perfect.

    I’ve been a young pastor’s wife, and now I’m a middle-aged pastor’s wife, and I’ve learned a few things. When I was younger, I was more likely to say yes to things that I didn’t want to do, didn’t have time to do, wasn’t called to do, or wasn’t equipped to do. I was also more likely to feel hurt by people’s criticisms of me or of my husband.

    When my husband was called to his current church as a pastor, I went with him to meet with the search committee. They gave me a chance to speak, and I told them that I believe my husband has a calling from God and gifts of preaching and teaching a heart for people. I also told them that I would support him in his ministry but that I have a full-time job (I was a stay-at-home mom when our kids were younger), so I wouldn’t be able to accompany him to everything. I wanted them to know that right away so that they wouldn’t start out with too many expectations. And they didn’t.

    So I’m there every Sunday morning and sometimes for special programs. I play the piano occasionally as a sub when their regular pianist is gone. I help my husband lead the congregational singing every week. I write a monthly devotional for the church newsletter. I believe all of those things are within the scope of my gifts and talents. But they are not my job (although they do pay me when I play the piano). They are ways that God uses me to minister to others, though. He has put me in a special position as a pastor’s wife. And I can brush off criticisms more easily now, knowing that I answer to God and not to everyone else.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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