Posts Tagged ‘pastor’s wife’
Brian Croft with some helpful insights on a pastor’s wife’s battle against loneliness and pastor’s children’s battle against resentment. Brian is hard at work on a book on the pastor’s family, and I hope that this solid, unspectacular, commonsense, thoroughly sensible approach is indicative of how he is approaching it. Brian’s determination not to do fireworks for their own sake means that you don’t get dazzled, but see clearly.
What role should a pastor’s wife or elder’s wife play in the church? What are her responsibilities? How can she serve as a helpmate to her husband in the ministry?
Jonathan Leeman sets out to answer these questions, and does so very helpfully.
Cara Croft hijacks her husband’s blog for some straight talking:
Men, ministry is hard. I know that, you know that. It is no secret. It is a life that demands sacrifice, wisdom, time, and energy. What you may not know is that it is also hard for your wife and your families.
Having explained why, she asks:
I want to know (and I am sure your husbands do too), what is the biggest challenge in ministry life that you face? What has been the most surprising struggle? What has been your biggest joy?
Pastor’s wives may wish to contribute; others may also wish to watch and learn.
Love to Christ is the great and primary love; it drives and relativizes all other loves; it gives right priorities to all other loves. Brian Croft provides a warning against getting these priorities wrong:
If we love our ministry more than our wife, it is likely we could lose our wife.
Of all the many earthly blessings the Lord has given me, from friendship with Derek Thomas (for my sanctification) to that with Paul Levy (just have to cling blindly to Rom. 8:28 on that one), having a normal, down-to-earth wife is surely the greatest.
Indeed, when asked by a student spouse the other week how she kept up with reading all that I read so that she could support me in my work, my wife’s response (worthy of Newman himself) was ‘Read what he’s reading??? Lovey, I don’t even bother to read what he’s writing!’ In fact, she famously claims never to have read anything I have ever written. Why should she? She lives with me and knows what I am really like; and her interest in my job is primarily that of ‘does it pay the mortgage and enable him to be a decent husband?’ not `is he changing the world or hanging with the right people?’
Splendid, with the added benefit of being true. Read it all.
Brian Croft suggests that the ideal pastor’s wife is supportive but unimpressed.
In answering a friend’s question about something, I was reminded of Spurgeon’s musings about minister’s wives:
If I was a young woman, and was thinking of being married, I would not marry a minister, because the position of minister’s wife is a very difficult one for anyone to fill. Churches do not give a married minister two salaries, one for the husband and the other for the wife; but, in many cases, they look for the services of the wife, whether they pay for them or not. The pastor’s wife is expected to know everything about the church, and in another sense she is to know nothing of it; and she is equally blamed by some people whether she knows everything or nothing. Her duties consist in being always at home to attend to her husband and her family, and being always out, visiting other people, and doing all sorts of things for the whole church! Well, of course, that is impossible; she cannot be at everybody’s beck and call, and she cannot expect to please everybody. Her husband cannot do that, and I think he is very foolish if he tries to do it; and I am certain that, as the husband cannot please everybody, neither can the wife. There will be sure to be somebody or other who will be displeased, especially if that somebody had herself half-hoped to be the minister’s wife!
Difficulties arise continually in the best-regulated churches; and the position of the minister’s wife is always a very trying one. Still, I think that, if I was a Christian young woman, I would marry a Christian minister if I could, because there is an opportunity of doing so much good in helping him in his service for Christ. It is a great assistance to the cause of God to keep the minister himself in good order for his work. It is his wife’s duty to see that he is not uncomfortable at home; for, if everything there is happy, and free from care, he can give all his thoughts to his preparation for the pulpit; and the godly woman, who thus helps her husband to preach better, is herself a preacher though she never speaks in public, and she becomes to the highest degree useful to that portion of the Church of Christ which is committed to her husband’s charge.
He had a knack for putting things well, did he not?