HAVE YOU HUGGED YOUR PASTOR’S WIFE TODAY?
BY TALMADGE SMITH
Some of the most dedicated people we now are pastor’s wives. Many have a strong sense of calling in their particular ministry. Yet, the pressures on them are great and in some instances greater than that experienced by their husbands. Usually the pastor’s wife has most of the problems the pastor has. This is enough for an overload. In order to help the pastor’s wife deal with life, church members should understand the kinds of things that cause stress, tension, and pressure and take positive steps to help overcome them.
First, there is the pressure to serve in every position that is difficult to fill. There are some church people who believe that
because the pastor is paid fulltime to serve the church, then his wife is to be a fulltime unpaid worker. The pastor’s wife should have the same right to say “yes” or “no” as any other woman in the church. She should not be made to feel guilty and that she is not “dedicated” if she doesn’t do everything anybody asks of her. Sometimes the pastor’s wife is asked to lead a class nobody else would teach. This is also unfair and could cause her to feel she had no choice in the matter.
Second, there is the pressure to do a major portion of earning enough salary to live on. The church people should not automatically think that the pastor’s wife is to help earn a living. If she chooses to work outside the home, then that is good. But she should not be overloaded with jobs that others should and could do. The pastor’s wife cannot rest on weekends. After working all week, her weekends pick up speed with church responsibilities and preparations. Sunday is not a day of rest for the pastor’s family.
Third, there is the pressure of coping with her husband’s schedule. Even though it is good when the pastor and wife can minister together, there are times when the pastor’s wife cannot do everything the pastor does and be everywhere the pastor is. This is especially true if they have children. In most cases, the pastor attends many meetings and ministers at all hours. Even when the pastor is at home, he may be called away to the hospital or for some other emergency at any time. There are many times when the pastor’s wife is at home alone while he is away meeting other people’s needs. While the ministry is the pastor’s calling, there are times when the pastor’s family, needs ministry.
Finally, there are other pressures. Some people use the pastor’s wife to get the pastor to do things; or feel that to tell the pastor’s wife something is the same as telling the pastor; or when the pastor is away then the pastor’s wife must visit, make phone calls, tend to business as a associate pastor.
So, what can churches do to help y reduce the pressure of pastor’s wives?
First they can recognize that pressures exist. They can be kind, cheerful, understanding and considerate of her.
Second, let her be who she is and don’t try to force her into a former pastor’s wife mold or someone you think she should be.
Third, realize the pastor’s wife has the same needs, dreams, feelings, and problems that any wife and/or mother has. She too, needs attention. She needs a real friend.
Fourth, pray for your pastor’s wife. She needs prayer support as much as her husband does.
Fifth, when you see her Sunday, give her a big hug, and tell her you love her, appreciate her, and you would like to take her and her family out for lunch. What a difference that would make if we could be that type of people. Make it a nice day.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL IS PUBLISHED BY THE LOUISIANA CHALLENGER, PAGE 10.
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