PMS week: PWs and their work

>> July 5, 2009

Do you work outside the home? Do you work along side your husband in ministry? Do your career and your career ambitions sometimes clash with your husband's role as a pastor? This week we'll be exploring the many different ways PWs have chosen to balance work, family, life and ministry. You'll get a glimpse of their lives and the pitfalls and advantages of their situations. We want to hear from you too. How have you made things work for your family? What sacrifices have you had to make in the struggle to prioritize? How has your role as PW affected your career choices? Anyone give up a career and struggle with loss of identity?

Talk to us!


Anonymous,  July 5, 2009 at 5:14 PM  

We have worked in ministry for 10 years, 9 of it married. The last 4 years I have stayed home with our kids but prior to that I always had a full time job in addition to my responsibilities within the church.
I LOVE to work, I enjoy the freedom of having my own thing and I enjoy being out in the world.
But, I also LOVE not being tied down to hours, and being free to do more for the church and our family.
If I had to choose one over the other I don't know if I could. I've done what needs to be done with each stage of our life. Right now our kids are little and we want me home with them.
I feel like right now my sacrifice is being home with little ones. They are very demanding and not as flexible as when I just had one kid who could hang out at the church with me.
As for career though, I am totally okay with my identity being wrapped up in the church & in my husbands identity. I may not always feel that way but in this stage and at this time, it's okay.

LaRae Davenport July 6, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

My husband and I have just celebrated our one year anniversary, so I'm VERY new to the role of a PW. He grew up as a PK and his mom was the quintessential PW. My family was involved in church, but not at all like the family of a pastor. Needless to say, this past year has been a little bit of culture shock. I love ministry and know that my passion is to help others learn more about Christ, but having a full-time job has been so hard this past year. I work 8-5, M-F and I am exhausted at 5! But, then we have a college bible study and youth group--on top of my husband's job as a worship pastor...needless to say, it's a lot. THis past year, I had to learn boundaries and how to say 'no'--something i'm not very good at. I feel like I'm finally getting a handle on this whole thing...but we don't have kids yet...and I'm sure that'll be another story!! :)

All in all, though I really don't like my job, I try to see it as blessing. It allows us to have more resources towards our various ministries and helps us as we strive to live debt-free. I just have to keep in the back of my mind "this isn't forever" helps my perspective. That, and my hubs is amazing at giving me "me time" and allowing me to not have to participate in everything He does. He understands that it is His love and passion, but also, His job, not mine to attend EVERYTHING! I appreciate that :) But, as hard as it is at times, I wouldn't trade it for the world--though the thought has crossed my mind) haha. But, it really is an honor and seeing people worship and know Christ more makes it all worthwhile!

bashtree July 6, 2009 at 3:22 PM  

My husband is finishing up his final part of seminary this month, and he has begun his search for his first call. I, after a year and a half of searching for work that was meaningful and also manageable, finally found a wonderful job with an organization that has come to mean a lot to me. There aren't any positions in the area for my husband's ministry, so we are facing relocation soon. As someone who has never invested much in the concept of a 'career' I am surprised at how difficult it is for me to now consider leaving a job I love. I've found work that is not only satisfying on a mental level and manageable for a home/work balance, but I've been able to develop my own sort of 'ministry' to the families I'm serving. I sometimes struggle with wondering why his call 'wins' over mine, although I did realize what I was getting into when I married a 'seminarian.' When we were dating, I figured that since I'm not particularly career-driven, that uprooting wouldn't be a very big deal, yet now I'm finding some real sadness and frustration with the challenge of shaping my work around HIS work. This may be a temporary thing for us, because if/when we have a family, we would both like for me to stay at home. Regardless, I hope to read more responses on this topic and learn more about the experiences of others who are really there.

dpm July 6, 2009 at 3:56 PM  

bashtree--stay tuned this week, especially to Thursdays post. I hope you find something there you can relate to and find encouragement from.

I can certainly relate to your post. Before I got married I was very annoyed that his career automatically trumped mine... it's a normal reaction...especially since we're so influenced by feminist thinking. (and even if it's not a career conflict, it usually ends up being some other power struggle about how your life revolves around his job.)

There's no easy answer, but it helps 100% to submit these thoughts to the Lord and ask Him to renew your thoughts from His perspective. I can't tell you how many times I've thrown my little tantrum in the last few years and found this to be the only remedy and the only way to cope, have joy and be supportive...

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