THE MINISTER’S WIFE
BY PASTOR LARRY M. ARROWOOD
The role of the minister’s wife in church is of great importance if not equal importance with her husband, and certainly of equal importance and sometimes greater importance within the home. Yet, too often, the husband is the one completing the training for service. The husband is the one receiving the praise for his sermons and leadership. The husband is the one the parishioners bring their big problems to, receiving praise for his words of wisdom. He also gets the paycheck.
But the wife is the one who must listen to the complaints when they are mad at her husband for something he has done or said, must take most of the phone calls at home, offer counsel when he is not available, be at his side during most occasions, fill in when someone is sick, and calm him down when he is upset; all of this without a call of God and without being paid. And when she has a nervous breakdown, the parishioners do not understand why, since her husband does all the work.
I do not know that I can change any of the above, but I offer some points on coping and making your home a happy place:
1) Grow along with your husband. Keep reading good instructional material. My wife reads Leadership from cover to cover and outlines it for me. As well, she listens to good instructional tapes like Pastor to Pastor, (Focus on the Family); AIS Tapes, (IBC Massengale Production); and Enjoy Life Club, (Maxwell). I have found these examples to be good study material that instructs how to better understand people.
2) Recognize and deal with the feelings of resentment over a husband that has another love affair — the church. You are in this thing together. His successes are your successes. Do not be in competition but work along with him. Don’t go separate ways with different interests. Be his partner; be his friend.
3) Don’t compare your life with that of other ministers and their wives. Learn from the successes of others, but don’t compare. God has not called you to be a Sister Mangun, a Sister Haney, nor a Sister Freeman, rather to simply be faithful in the church you are in by being the best you can be.
4) Do not be overwhelmed by the fickleness of a few parishioners. Do not take their criticisms of your husband, yourself or your children too seriously. Though we should give some consideration, for criticism does have a measure of merit, most criticism is exaggerated. You cannot dwell on this and be productive. Also, do not consider the transfer of membership from your church as a personal rejection. This is simply a process of life.
5) Help make the home a haven for your husband and children.
6) Keep a positive and respectful attitude within the home towards parishioners and other ministers. Keep in mind that the private attitude of parents within the parsonage will be reflected by your child in public.
7) 1 personally feel it best to not allow the children to know who is on the pastoral “black list.” If it becomes obvious to a child that a parishioner is a troublemaker, the child should be encouraged to be understanding rather than judgmental.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY PRINCE OF PEACE MINISTRIES, SPRING, 1996.
THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.