question from a reader: do you tag along?

>> August 30, 2009

Last week a reader posted this question on an unrelated post. We thought it was interesting enough to warrant its own post. What do you say, ladies?

"I am not a PW (I was a PK for 40 + years) but one thing I do notice about some PW's, is that they do not tend to go with Hubby when he preaches away. Years ago, we all used to go as a family. Why has this changed? It is something I miss now, only seeing a pastor and no family in tow. Any comments anyone?"


a word from the wise::JILL BRISCOE

>> August 28, 2009

Here's the first post in our new thread "A Word from the Wise", where we interview older PWs for their advice and mentorship to us young'uns. We'll scatter these posts throughout the rest, as we get the interviews back.

I (Sarah) had the pleasure of starting this thread by interviewing Jill Briscoe. Here's a little about her:
Hi there. I’m Jill Briscoe. Seeing that I'm ancient (in my 70s), I have been around the church/mission block a few times! My husband and I experienced the business world, were youth ministry missionaries, and I have also been a PW for 38 years. For the last 9 years we have served as ministers-at-large for global church and mission. We've been married 51 years. Just Between Us is our magazine to encourage ministry wives and women who serve Jesus. Check us out also at:

1) What do you see as the single greatest characteristic or personality aspect that every young PW should purposefully cultivate in order to fill her role according to biblical instruction?

We are disciples of Jesus disguised as Pastors' Wives - so strive to do everything a biblical disciple does. The most important thing is to grow your own soul. Be responsible for your own interior spiritual life.

2) Can you share your opinion of current Bible Study trends for women? Lots of women want to study but have difficulty committing to a long series. How would you advise young PWs to structure the bible studies they offer to women in their congregations?
The most important thing is to have a vibrant PERSONAL bible study plan, and to encourage women in your husband's church to put this first. Teach them how to study for themselves... I’m a little out of the loop for current bible study trends, but if we love our own devotional times, we will each be hungry to make time somehow to be attending or leading a small group study.

3) What is a primary pitfall that you would warn young PWs against?
Never use your position as an excuse NOT to do what you would do if you were weren’t a PW and were just a church member instead. Always see your position as a platform for influence. Being a PW is a privilege, not a punishment.

4) What issues do you see the younger generation of PWs facing that maybe the older generation didn't encounter? What advice would you give related to those issues?
So many young pastors today are finding spouses in Seminary or Bible College. Often both spouses are trained and young couples want to minister as a team. But when they get into a church the congregation isn’t always ready for this dual ministry. The PW feels under-utilized and frustrated that their expectations for her are so limited. Or, the church may love to have her involved, but expects her to be an unpaid co-pastor.

Obviously the opposite is also still true. Many PWs didn't have the chance to study and train alongside their spouse and as a result they feel inadequate. Sometimes this makes them want to push back against expectations.

5) How would you advise young PWs who are leading women's ministries in their church? What should they focus on? How can they better connect with the women around them?
Go for it! Good for you! As Paul said to young Timothy, “let no man (or woman) despise your youth.” Focus on the women in your church: love them, pray for them and invest in their lives. Don't be afraid to learn as you go. Find a few women who have a heart for other women and do it together. Heart comes first, then gift.

Make sure you are doing some kind of evangelism yourself: not just teaching others to do it.

6) What's a book you'd recommend for young PWs to read?
Renewal on the Run: Embracing the Privileges and Expectations of a Ministry Wife


PWs in Tucson area?

>> August 26, 2009

Yesterday's guest blogger, Katie Reich, would be thrilled to meet up with other PWs in the Tucson, Arizona area.

Anybody out there from her general region? She's busy, 3 kids and all, but would be delighted to get together with other PWs sometime soon.

If you live in her area, leave a comment on her blog at:, or shoot her an email at: katie (dot) reich (at) tucsonrevolution (dot) com.


Guest Blog::How to Respect and Support Your Husband

>> August 25, 2009

This is a guest blog by Katie Reich, a PW in Arizona. She is mom to three young children, and wife to Joshua Reich. Joshua is the lead pastor of REVOLUTION, a missional church in Tucson. This post shares Katie's thoughts on ways we can support our husbands, and is the outflow of her and Joshua's discussions as she helps him prepare for an upcoming sermon series on marriage.

What do you do when the spark in your marriage is gone? When you are going through the motions, so you feel more like roommates than soul-mates? How do you treat your man when you feel like he is not holding up his end of the bargain? I can tell you now that I do not have all of the answers, but I think that there are some things that we can do and some attitudes that we can have to help protect our marriage in those difficult times, as well as create a foundation for a stronger future.

  1. Stop blaming your spouse, hoping that he will change so things will get better. Work on the plank in your own eye!
  2. Evaluate your own life and actions. What things have you allowed to creep in that are not edifying and glorifying to God; have you become sarcastic, do you name call or not fight fair, do you pick at and nag, do you make fun of or drag your husband through the coals in front of him or when he is not around? Take a minute to confess these to God, and apologize to your man and kids if you do it in front of them. Now change that behavior. (Easier said then done I realize.)
  3. Take time to sit with God and help Him to create a spirit of Rest and Retreat in your heart. If you are looking for your husband, or anything else, to complete you then you have totally missed the mark. You are only complete in Christ. Allow Him the time to sing over you and mend your broken places, it is only from the deep well that is God that you will be able to have patience and grace towards those that you love.
  4. Evaluate ways that you can speak respect to your husband. When was the last time you had sex? How can you talk to him to let him know that he is not only a man in your life but THE MAN in your life? Communicate your appreciation of the things that he does well; work hard to provide for the family(even if you work), that you notice the little things that he does,how strong, handsome, and smart he is.
  5. Communicate with your man. Take time to ask him how you can support him? Ask him what you say or do that cuts at his manhood and what encourages it?
  6. Remember. If I have learned anything in life it is the heart tends to follow the head, so start remembering and thinking on the positive rather then the negative. When Josh and I were first married it was hard for me to do this, so I started to write down in my journal all of the little things that he did for me. This allowed me to have a warm, loving heart toward him, instead of a judging and resentful heart.
  7. Expect the best! I am reminded of a conversation that I had last week, a husband had started a project and then left it undone. So the wife has now taken over the space with her things, so even if he wanted to work on it he would have to wade through her stuff first… So clean out that area and let him know what a great guy he is and how much you will appreciate having that project finished! He may not get to it this week or even this year, but at least when he is ready, he will have access to it. Don’t allow those things that are left undone to add fuel to your frustration and discouragement. Instead take time to pray for him or encourage him when you see that sore spot instead of mutter under your breath.
  8. Push back to him the responsibility that he has shirked. Because of original sin we as women naturally tend to take over and do things that are in our husbands role. What are you doing that you should let go of? Don’t throw it in his face, but let him know how you feel. After Josh and I first got married, I decided to write our check for our tithe. I did not think twice about it because he was a pastor, but he let me know that we were not going to be tithing. So instead of kicking my feet and doing it anyway or throwing a tantrum, I let him know that it was really important to me to tithe, and we would do it when he was ready. Soon after that, Josh started his Master’s Degree and our prayer was that we would get through it without any debt. For that prayer to become a reality we needed to be giving back to God, so the light bulb came on for Josh and he started to sign our tithe checks. I don’t say all of that because I was a relationship genius or even knew what I was doing at the time, but so that you can see what giving over control to the man in your life who is called to be responsible for the house can look like.
I guess that is all I have to say right now… think about it, chew on it and let me know if anything changes in your house after you start to worry about your attitude and actions instead of those around you.


why PKs leave the church...

>> August 24, 2009

PKs have a reputation. Everybody knows that... and even though we try our best, there are generations of bitter pastors' kids who make all of us tremble when we think about raising our own.

I recently read the results of a study that asked "What influences do ministry parents have that affect whether their kids stay in the church?"

This study asked 111 questions of clergy parents across the Mid-Western states of North America to find answers. I wrote the researcher, Dr. Martin Weber, for permission to share his findings. Here's what he discovered:

  • Parental conservatism regarding lifestyle standards is not statistically significant in attrition.
  • Legalism regarding gospel doctrine (soteriology) is a moderately significant cause of attrition.
  • Legalism regarding practicing the principles of the gospel is a major cause of attrition.
  • For clergy parents to hold their own children to a higher behavioral standard is one of the highest causes of attrition.
  • Lack of relationality in the pastoral family is the most serious cause of PK (pastors’ kids) attrition. Pastors with the highest retention rate of adult children are those who managed to provide the most positive and “fun” family experience in the parsonage and were close enough to talk about anything in an atmosphere of freedom that allowed children and teens latitude in developing their own faith experience.
  • The greatest predictor of future faithfulness as an adult is whether the PK during growing up years takes initiative to approach a clergy parent to discuss spiritual matters.
  • Closely associated with family relationality is the freedom and trust expressed in discussing controversial issues. There is no greater cause of attrition than to attempt to shield children from knowledge of, or to resist discussion about, church or denominational conflict.
  • Congregational criticism of pastoral family members portends future attrition of adult children.
  • There is definite significance between the experience of entering the pastorate during one’s 30s and the future attrition of one’s children.
  • Having a clergy grandparent is a stabilizing factor in the spiritual life of a PK.

Dr. Weber also says that the three most significant factors in avoiding attrition are:
  1. being able to discuss church problems at home, while
  2. managing to sustain joy and togetherness in the family circle, and
  3. giving teens freedom to develop their own faith experience without the expectations of being super saints because they are the pastor's kids.
To read more of Dr. Weber's research, articles or books click HERE, or email him directly at: martin (at) midamericaoutlook (dot) org.


calling all bookworms...

>> August 21, 2009

We know you're all busy. Some of you meet yourselves coming and going each day, and you wonder just how to get everything done.

But in between the cracks, we've all read at least one really REALLY good book. You know the kind - that book that inspired you to be more like Jesus, or that helped you through a crisis, or that answered some burning question for you.

We'd like to feature book reviews from CLUTCH readers. They don't have to be long and complex, or brilliantly witty. They just need to say:

1) the title, author, edition and where to get it
2) why you loved the book
3) a synopsis of what you learned from it
4) why other PWs should read it

We want to keep our posts relevant to PW life, so we're especially looking for reviews on books that somehow helped you become a better pastor's wife - spiritually, emotionally, practically - whatever works. It's just got to tie into life in the ministry in our special calling as PWs...

Write us at clutchtalk (at) gmail (dot) com to share about your favorite book.


idea share :: local PW groups

>> August 20, 2009

Hi girls,

Janice, a PW in North Carolina, asks:

I'm starting a group for PWs here locally. Do you have any suggestions? My first meeting is scheduled for September 10. I've wanted to do this for years, and I'm finally doing it!
Got any ideas for Janice? Ways to contact PWs? Things to do?

Leave a comment below so she can stock up on ideas!


the legacy we leave (part 2)

>> August 19, 2009

(...continued from yesterday's post...)
Two years ago, I (Sarah) attended a regional PW luncheon. About 130 women of all ages gathered for fabulous food, fellowship and to hear an inspirational speaker, Dr Wilma McClarty. (Sadly, she recently passed away from a brain tumor.)

Dr McClarty's message was about our legacy as PWs. About the little things we might never dream would have a lasting effect. She shared a story that burned itself on my memory, and I'll pass it on to all of you PWs here:

It was 5 AM, as she boarded a shuttle to the airport to catch an early flight. A dozen or so passengers began the two hour drive by introducing themselves and getting acquainted. When her turn came, she shared that she was a professor at a nearby Christian university. Other passengers immediately responded favorably to the university's reputation.

"Oh yes, I had some student interns from there in my office - great kids!" "I've heard about you guys, doing all that volunteer work in the slums!" "Great school!"

With every glowing comment, Dr McClarty sat a little taller in her seat. "Oh yeah," she thought to herself, "I'm proud of my school!"

Until one quieter passenger asked, "Isn't that school from such and such denomination?"

"Yes, absolutely!" she answered proudly.

"I thought so. I know all about you guys!" the other passenger announced bitterly. The group's attention shifted to the new speaker.

"My grandmother used to work for a farmer from your university's denomination when she was a teenager. She worked for him every summer, along with other local kids. And every summer he paid her half what he paid the kids from his church - for doing the same work!"

Eyes widened at the farmer's injustice. Dr. McClarty wasn't sitting so tall now. In fact, she felt like shrinking into her seat as the bitter passenger recounted events from a hundred years ago. None of the passengers were now thinking about the great work her Christian students do every day in the community. Instead their unfortunate final impression was of unfairness from decades past.

Her lesson to the audience of PWs? "That farmer had no idea that his injustice would be repeated to an entire airport shuttle a hundred years later. He never dreamed his actions would be a curse through generations, retold as a reason to disdain his Christian identity."

"Ladies," she said, "as pastor's wives, seek to be sure that you are acting according to God's principles in everything you do. And when you make mistakes, do your best to make it right. You never know the legacy that you are leaving behind!"


the legacy we leave (part 1)

>> August 18, 2009

There are days when I (Sarah) wish I wasn't a PW. And not for the reasons you might think.

Not because of the long hours. Not because there are 600 other people who feel strongly about their stake of "ownership" on my PH's time. Not because I miss sitting together with my husband's arm around me in church. (Although, on certain days, all of those things have crossed my mind, I'll admit!)

But, while no PW is perfect (and I hope you're not self-imposing that expectation), some days it would be nice to just be "normal". Like the days when you make a quick run to the grocery store in your grungiest sweats with greasy hair - and you're guaranteed to run into the most well-dressed member of your church at the checkout line.

Or the days when you're tired, cranky and in a rush - and you honk loudly at the driver that just cut you off, only to realize that it was someone from church. And they DEFINITELY recognized your car.


Being a PW can sometimes feel like being an ambassador. Yes, we are human. But so are the people around us - and they still form opinions about us, our husbands, and our church based on how they see us act.

Sometimes it would be so nice to just have some time "off" from being under observation. To just shrug off the responsibility of being a representative.

But I suppose Jesus didn't ever have a time where he wasn't responsible for his actions and words, either.

( be continued...)


making it all about Jesus...

>> August 14, 2009

It's pretty easy to get caught up in the business of living. Sometimes we all lose focus on being daughters of God. It seems easy to forget why we exist, even when we are living lives of everyday ministry to others as a pastoral family.

So let's share some ideas together. What are the little things that you do to keep daily activities all about Jesus? To keep your own spiritual focus?

How do you remind yourself that our whole purpose of existence is to share Jesus with others through everything we do?

Do you:

  • play sacred music as you do housework instead of leaving the TV on?
  • keep a little pack of scripture memory verses by the toilet instead of magazines?
  • put inspirational quotes on the refrigerator or the bathroom mirror?
Or something totally different and creative?


helping kids understand daddy's job

>> August 12, 2009

I recently read an online topic thread where someone wrote:

Being a Pastor's Kid (PK) is like being the child of a celebrity, just without the money.
As PWs we all know that sometimes life in a pastoral family is rewarding, and sometimes it's tough. In our final post of this PMS week on supporting our PHs, we can't leave our kids out of the picture.

Our attitudes as the PW and the Mom, can make a big difference in how our kids feel the pressure of dad's ministry career. We can pass on a sour disposition, or we can help them find the meaningful side of things - our choice. And sometimes easier said than done...

No matter how "normal" a life we try to provide for our children, they are still the pastor's kids. It's an unavoidable fact of reality. So what can we do to help them cultivate a sense of value and respect for dad's work? Here's a few of our ideas:
  1. Be honest with them about dad's work. Protect them from what they don't need to know, but don't hide the real facts of ministry from them. Be open and transparent.
  2. Get them involved in serving others - let them see some of the things that dad and mom do, so that they don't feel stuck on the fringes of your ministry. Give them their own role to play. Make it a whole-family way of living.
  3. Build up their respect and appreciation for their Pastor Dad's calling in the way that you talk about people at church and your family's life of ministry.
  4. Hold them accountable to whatever standard you set for them, because that's who you are as a family, not because Dad is the pastor or because people might talk. If it's worth doing, doing for the right reason - because God asks you to do it, instead of to please (or avoid displeasing) other people.
  5. Be excited about church. Kids catch on to your enthusiasm, especially when they are little. Talk about church during the week, sing their songs from children's classes at home, study their lesson with them - make church something they look forward to. If you hate being at church, they will too.
Got more ideas? Share how you help your kids support daddy.


counting conversations...

>> August 10, 2009

Ever feel like your interaction with other people is just surface talk?

Sometimes I (Sarah) wish I could feel like I was doing more to help people. Those are the times when my husband kindly reminds me that we rarely get to see the fruit of our interaction - and we'll never know the true results until we get to heaven.

But now and then, don't you just get the urge to know you're making a difference NOW?

What if we could do that by re-evaluating our perception of what it means to share Jesus? As PWs, we interact with a LOT of people. Sometimes more than we'd like. Whether we like it or not, whether we admit it or not, people take notice of what we say and do - no matter how humble or invisible we may be.

What if we didn't worry about counting conversions or wishing we could see how our ministry will affect that person's future?

What if we counted conversations instead?

Conversations about Jesus, or about the things Jesus has done for us and can do for others.

If we're alert, these conversations can sneak up on us in the most unexpected places. Like the young man working at Sally's Beauty Supply a couple of weeks ago when I went to buy shampoo. I had a teen girl from church with me, and he asked if we were sisters.

"No, I'm her pastor's wife," I replied.

"Really?" he sounded interested. "Where?" I told him. "Cool! I just got married, and my wife and I haven't really found a place we like yet."

Mental note to self: never brush past an opportunity to talk about Jesus! "What are you looking for?" I asked.

"Someplace that isn't safe," he replied. "We want challenge, not the boring status quo."

I invited him to check out our Friday night LIFEgroup for young adults - a place of deep bible study, warm fellowship, and yummy food. And I mentioned the yearly mission trips to the Amazon interior that my PH coordinates.

Will I see him again? I hope so, but you never know. Did I "convert" him - definitely not. But isn't that why Jesus gave the Holy Spirit?

And while I don't have a clue what will happen next in his life, I do know that God gave me an opportunity for a conversation. And thankfully, this time, I wasn't too dense to notice.

Counting conversations about Jesus, and making a pact with myself to never pass up an opportunity has not only changed the way I feel about ministry, but it keeps me accountable to the calling God has given me as a PW.

How would your ministry and outlook on life change if you counted conversations?


does your church live stream services?

>> August 8, 2009

It'll probably be several weeks before I step foot inside a church again (here's why), but I thought it would be a great time to church hop -- virtually that is -- and visit some of the Clutch ladies' churches.

So, if your church live streams or archives their video sermons, please leave a comment with the name of your church and the link to the stream. I'd love to visit and experience your worship service and listen to a word from your PH.


PMS: open thread on supporting PHs

>> August 7, 2009

Take a minute today and ask your husband this question:

What is one thing that I do, (or that you WISH I would do) to support you in your leadership as a pastor? What action of mine is the most meaningful to you in your ministry from me as your wife?"
Ask his permission to share his answer, and then tell us what he said in a comment below.


PMS: 10 ways to give your PH amazing support

>> August 6, 2009

Here's the bookend to this week's earlier (humorous) post about ways to make sure nobody thinks your husband can do his job. This one is actually serious.

Try these, and your husband will not only love you forever, but his congregation will love him too. And most likely his pastoral career will blossom beyond his imagination. All thanks to you - his loving and adoring wife. (Well, at least his supportive and honoring wife, even if there are a few days when you question both his sanity and yours.) But hey, that's just part of being human, and being married.

  1. Let his little mistakes go unnoticed. Others may not even have caught them, so avoid humiliating him by pointing them out.
  2. Keep the cute anecdotes about his idiotic moments as private jokes between just the two of you.
  3. Show up at church. Even if it isn't the church you'd pick if you had a choice, find something to love about it. Be there because he is there,unless you're sick, out of town, or otherwise prevented. Sit near the front if you can (assuming the age of your children allows any sitting at all). Be his biggest fan when he preaches or leads.
  4. When he excels (or takes one of your brilliant suggestions), let people think it was all his idea. He'll feel like a star, and they'll think he's amazing. Most of all, when he does something great - let him know you thought he was fabulous. Let him overhear you bragging on him to someone else.
  5. When he's forgetful or does something stupid, minimize your reaction. Remind him gently if you have to, but try not to him feel like a moron. He probably already feels stupid anyway, no need to rub it in.
  6. Avoid letting people know when you don't agree on church issues. (Not that you can't duke it out at home if you need to, but keep a united front.) When people complain to you, find a way to build him up. Suggest that they approach him directly instead of taking their beef to you. If you secretly agree that your PH is wrong, stay neutral: "Well, I trust that my husband will do whatever he feels is the right thing." If they probe for your personal opinion, try: "Whether my husband or I agree is irrelevant. I believe in his ability to hear God's voice on his own, and I think he'll do what is best."
  7. Never, EVER fight in front of other people. Keep even minor differences of opinion behind closed doors. It's okay to keep your opinion to yourself until you can discuss in private. And when you DO disagree in public, gracefully give him the last word while onlookers are watching. You'll increase their respect for him, and most likely their opinion of you in the process.
  8. Don't point out his failures in front of guests. So what if he sets the table with the fork on the wrong side? At least he's not making you do it alone! And if the dishes were stacked in the dishwasher all wrong... suggest a better way to do it later - after the company has left.
  9. Avoid making fun of him in front of friends - both his friends AND yours. His antics might make them howl with laughter, but he can feel like you're belittling his masculinity or leadership. If something seems innocent, check with him before broadcasting the tale.
  10. Keep your agitation to yourself. He's guaranteed to make you steam now and then, but everyone else doesn't have to see the smoke coming out your ears. And just because there's an intense "discussion" coming his way doesn't mean the whole world has to know. Let some things stay private, really private.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you NEVER have conflict. But try letting your marital journey exist inside its own sacred circle without the congregation's prying eyes.

These tips might be specially worded for PWs, but they aren't necessarily new or earth-shaking. Wise women have known for centuries that they have the almost-exclusive ability to build up their husbands into powerful and confident men, or to tear them down beyond repair.

The proverb "Behind every great man stands a great woman", doesn't exist by accident. The only question is: Will we be those great women?


PMS: how much do you really need to know?

>> August 5, 2009

When we first got married, I wanted my PH to tell me everything.

"No secrets between us!" was my mantra.

He, on the other hand, felt that there were some things about church politics that I was better off not knowing. Like when brother so-and-so flew into a rampage at board meetings, or when sister so-and-so shared something privately confidential in a counseling session.

"But how am I supposed to know how to interact with people if I don't know what's going on?" I would ask him.

He stuck to his guns. "Some stuff you just don't need to know," he said over and over. "It doesn't help me to tell you, and it sure doesn't help you to hear it."

Almost 7 years of ministry and marriage later - I'm glad he did. I've learned that if I'm going to support his decisions and his leadership, sometimes there really are things I'm better off not knowing. Seems like God gave men a compartmentalizing ability that we women just don't have - at least in my experience.

My PH can know the most horrid details about someone, or endure a vicious personal attack and still manage to give them a genuine greeting after church. Me? I'd need restraints just to keep from clawing their eyes out in his defense.

Sometimes he comes to me asking for my input about how to navigate a delicate matter. Other times he just needs the freedom to handle touchy situations without my narration from the peanut gallery. Usually this is when my way of dealing with it would be the exact opposite of his way - and oddly enough, no matter how wrong I might have thought he was, his carefully considered course of action ends up being wiser and more effective than mine would have been. Guess that's why God made him the pastor, and not me! Go figure...

We have an agreement now - he tells me the things that I need to know in order to serve our congregation better, or in order to keep from innocently sticking my foot in my mouth. The nasty stuff that would make me lose sleep, he keeps to himself or seeks advice from his mentors.

It helps me help him. Helps me support him without hating other people for their stupidity, or sometimes just for their humanity.

How about you? How much do you feel like you really need to know? How much detail keeps you from being able to give support and honor to your husband?


PMS: 10 quickest ways to undermine your PH

>> August 4, 2009

Want to make sure that your husband's congregation doesn't think he's capable of spiritual leadership (or any other kind, for that matter)?

Try some of these tactics on for size:

  1. Editorialize his sermons in real time. Correct his grammar or story details from the audience.
  2. Tell your church friends funny stories about his mistakes or failures at home.
  3. Don't go to church - for whatever reason. Don't show up to support him when he's preaching or leading out up front.
  4. Make sure everyone knows that you are the brains behind his sermons. Don't let them think he can do it himself.
  5. Remind him in front of others when he's forgotten something important (or trivial), and roll your eyes to make sure they know that you have to put up with this all the time.
  6. Voice your agreement when a church member complains about the way your PH has handled a recent situation, or says they don't like a decision he's made. Let them know, either openly or subtly, that you support their point of view.
  7. Fight with him in front of others. Don't keep your opinion to yourself just because people are around. Insist on having the last word in public, no matter what.
  8. Criticize all his attempts to help when you have guests in your home. Tell him how to sweep the floor, point out that the dishes he washed still have food stuck to them, and say something like: "How many times do I have to ask you to ....?!?!"
  9. Poke fun at his foibles around friends. Get them all laughing uproariously at the idiotic thing he did last week.
  10. Roll your eyes, sigh loudly, show other physical signs of aggravation in public to let everyone know just how irritated you are with him. Be sure they can guess that a fight is brewing and that you're going to let him have it after church on the way home.
Follow even a few of these practical tips, and you are guaranteed that your husband's congregation will have little or no faith in him and his calling. It'll ensure that he feels a sense of shame and embarrassment every time he thinks of you in connection with his ministry. You might even get the reward of getting him to eventually leave his calling behind and switch careers so he can feel better about himself!

Or you might just solidify everyone's pity for him, and guarantee that they all think you're a shrew. But either way, if a man's own wife thinks he can't do the job - who's gonna really trust him to lead others, right?


PMS: supporting your very human pastor husband

>> August 3, 2009

It's PMS week again girls, and this month we're talking about giving our Pastor Husbands (PHs) support.

Anyone who is married knows that giving real biblical support to your husband is a tough assignment. You know, the respect & submit to your husband as the head of the marriage part of things. (And no, I didn't make this up - read Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 if you're a little fuzzy on the scriptural details.)

But giving that kind of support to your husband, WHILE LIVING IN THE FISHBOWL? That can make the privilege of being a wife seem almost impossible. I mean, if it is our God-given role to:

  • support this man,
  • to build him up,
  • to remind him of his calling to serve,
  • to give him freedom to fulfill that calling,
  • to affirm him to his face and to others,
  • to encourage his church to trust him and follow his leadership,
  • and to make him feel like a king in the home....
uhhh, just who exactly are we free to vent to when we're mad?

You know how it goes. It's been a horrid day, your very human PH did something stupid (or that you just plain don't agree with), and you need a sounding board.

If you call your mom, she'll get mad at your husband just to support you.

If you call his mom, she'll get mad at you for NOT supporting him.

If you call a friend outside your congregation who isn't a PW, she probably won't understand what you're going through.

If you call a friend inside the congregation, they may not always keep it to themselves.

If you call a fellow PW (or two or three), she'll probably understand and can likely commiserate - but you're almost guaranteed to transition from healthy venting into a good old-fashioned husband-bashing fest. Which brings relief in the short-term... but afterward you feel a little sick inside because now this other person outside your marriage knows too much detail about your husband's private flaws.

(NOTE: We're not talking about getting help from abuse, or seeking confidential mentorship and advice for serious issues here.)

So how do we maintain our sanity as women married to wonderful but very human men of God - while supporting, respecting, loving, and honoring them?

Let's talk about it.

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