guest blog: the friendship application

>> March 30, 2009

We’re pastor’s wives. We're nice people. We need friends like anyone else. We know these things are true, so then why is it so hard for us to have strong, healthy friendships inside the church? I am thinking about offering a Friendship Application to every new friend I get, that way were clear from the get-go. These are things I would put on a friendship application if it wasn't totally weird to hand someone such a thing.

1. Will you trust me?
2. There are things you will tell me about ministry that I will have to tell my husband. Don't look at it like I am betraying you when I talk about issues in your area of ministry with my husband, who is your pastor.
3. My time with you will be very limited. I don't have free child care. My husband works totally random hours. When he's home, I'm home. He is more important to me than you are. Are you ok with that?
4. Will you trust me?
5. You have the power to make my life seem completely normal.
6. You have the power to destroy my ability to trust again.
7. Will you push me to greater levels of excellence in my own life? I seriously don't have it all together. I need someone to challenge me like everyone else.
8. Will you trust me?
9. Asking me to help get something done in your area of ministry is like me calling the Wal-Mart managers wife at home to clean up a spill on aisle 8. My life is at home. My job is not at the church.
10. We don’t answer the phone on my husband’s day off. Do you understand that doesn’t mean I don’t like you?

If you understand and agree with me on all these points, then, and only then, can we be close friends.

You know I am being slightly sarcastic with this. I am really just trying to figure out ways to convey these things to my friends without being overly rude. I love them, and don’t want to lose them. Not many will stick with you when they start learning that a friendship with a pastor’s wife is slightly conditional. Those that do will be the best friends you could ever ask for.

Michelle Wegner lives in Indiana where her PH, Rob, is a pastor at Granger Community Church. She has 3 girls, 2 dogs and a great blog.


Cindy Beall March 30, 2009 at 8:32 AM  

Been there!

I can say that I have been able to find the people who really do care about me and not about my husband's role. It isn't easy. In fact, I've been in my current town/church for 7 years and feel like I finally have a group of women in my life that I can call in the middle of the night if I need to.

One thing I've also learned is that finding a friend who has a father in ministry often helps. She knows what it's like...from a different role, but still knows.

Veronica Brown March 30, 2009 at 11:33 AM  

This is hillarious - true and great. It's a bit different for me in some areas, but you hit the nail on the head in most parts.

Lily March 30, 2009 at 9:21 PM  

Maybe I'm just an old jaded PW, but finding true friends within the church is VERY rare. Some may seem like friends, but church members tend to turn on a dime when it comes to the pastoral family. Then again, that could just be past hurts speaking.

Sarah March 31, 2009 at 7:57 PM  

For me personally, I have many lovely acquaintances in our church. But I am always guarded, no matter how much we have in common or how perfectly trustworthy they seem to be. I've learned from painful experience that people can quickly turn - and you never know when someone else's rumor or even a straight sermon from your PH may give them reason to take all their insider tips on you and your family and use them to cause pain.

So, while there are women I chat with/ladies I have lunch with/women I serve happily alongside, I keep my bestest buds on speed dial from outside the congregation. Sadly, most of them live in other states - but we have lively friendships via phone and email.

Anonymous,  March 31, 2009 at 10:11 PM  

It is a shame. My closest friends turned on me after a minor ministry issue. These were friends I would have at the time called "forever friends". I ran into them at the resturant we used to meet at...they were all meeting without me. boo-hoo. They all got the "deer in the headlights" look. If it wasn't so funny, I would have broken down sobbing.

Painful stuff.

ColleenMcD April 1, 2009 at 12:57 PM  

So true, when can we get that application into circulation?

Tabitha April 1, 2009 at 2:22 PM  

I am so glad that I am not the only one who has a hard time being a good friend!

Anonymous,  April 1, 2009 at 10:06 PM  

I always said, that's why we have to have other PW's as friends because they are the only ones that understand!! It's like we have to have everyone at arms length because they don't know HOW to be OUR true friends.

Melanie April 2, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

Painfully true... praise God He has provided me now with some great close friends that do understand and provide confidence in what is shared!

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