The purpose of this page is to support and encourage pastor's wives. If you are a pastor's wife and have a question, helpful suggestion, or response to another question or suggestion, please fill out the form and click submit. Responses will be added. Let's help each other!
Please also submit for our future book. We are also planning a book for and about pastor's kids. Please check this out if you were a pastor's kid - or have your child give us ideas!
Due to your great responses, we have
made this Support Board into many different pages! Make sure you
read all of them!
Page 22 - Current Page
Dove Home Page
Bunny 5/14/99 I THANK GOD FOR THIS SITE!! How we wound up in a mainline Denominational church is a mystery to me. You see, we are both relatively young (30 something) and we were saved and "raised" in a charasmatic, pentecostal type church. Being the practical jokster that he his, God led us to Pastor a small, rural church - where the average age of the (35-40) attending members is 62!! Needless to say, this has been a very challenging, frustrating and interesting "assignment." Any advice from First Ladies who've "been there and done that?" Also, like one of my sisters stated previously, it makes me so crazy when my wonderful, anointed husband preaches and teaches the Word of God so powerfully, and the members act as though he is a creature from out of space. Most of the time, I am the only one in the church who says "Amen!" I have gained weight as a result of "eating out of frustration" and plan to start a diet on Monday (5/17) - Please pray that I'll have the discipline to stick to it and find other ways of dealing with my anger, pain, and frustration.
can I relate to you. My husband and I are both in our mid-thirties
and DYING in a small, rural congregation, all retirement age. We
have a big church background, and God has placed us (for now) in a 75-on-Sunday
AM church that still does most everything like it is still 1970.
brosia 5/26/99 I
feel for your situation in the rural church setting. My husband and
I have been in small, but not rural. I think there are a lot of small
rural churches that frankly aren't interested in growth. They just
want a pastor to come in and "mind the shop" if you know what I mean.
If God has truly called you there, then He has probably given your husband
a vision for what HE wants for that church. If the people are unwilling,
then his hands are tied. I would suggest that he tell the powers
that be what his vision is
of all I think everyone involved in the ministry needs others support and
prayers. I have never regretted my husband's decision to become a
pastor. Our life is so much better because of it and yet it is a constant
struggle. People are demanding, their expectations are high, especially
toward a pastor and his family. Let's face it, we are supposed to
have all the answers and our kids are to be perfect. My husband also
works full time which makes me feel like we don't have a life of our own.
For the last eight months our family has been under attack within our church
and the surrounding community. First it was me they attacked and
it was women I thought were my friends in the church. Then it was
family and recently my oldest son. Everytime gossip was the culprit
and misunderstandings. Listening to "wolves" inside and outside the
church. I have felt so beaten down at times that I feel I can't take
anymore, and yet, God gives a strength and unity to our family during these
times. If God be for us, who can be against us? Bottom line, why
are we really in this anyway? To draw closer to God.
Yvette 5/22/99 First
of all, Congratulations!! It is amazing that all 8 people have stayed
these two years! I know it sounds strange, but we started 5 years
ago with 12, and only 3 of those are still at our
fellowship. (The Lord has brought others along since then) Sounds like you have a strong commitment from the 8 that are coming. Hang in there!! Continue feeding those 8 sheep. . . healthy sheep reproduce. May God give you and your pastor honey the stamina you need. It does take a tremendous amount of time to pastor a small church and work. I encourage you to pray for, love, and support your husband through this. Lovingly ask him to plan a small amount of time for you each week. Even if
it is only 1 hour, that will be a start. Make it a special time that you can minister to him. Make his favorite meal or dessert, put the kids to bed, and have a relaxed time together, not a time to discuss problems, but simply to enjoy being together. Many times our husbands DO need us so much, and we need them, but they will not make the time. Praying that the Lord will be your portion in the lonely times, that your husband will be drawn to you, that you and your husband will have a renewed relationship.
JoynHm 5/21/99 When
my husband and I first began pastoring we started a church from scratch
and he had to work a full time job but even when the time came that the
church could pay him full time he was still gone most of the time.
I did everything I could, talked, pleaded, cried, yelled - everything and
to no avail. I told him the kids would not know who he was if he
didn't spend more time with them. He even landed in the hospital
with an unknown illness (I think it was stress and over-work) but nothing
changed until one day when the world came crashing down around us and we
found ourselves with a church split. We tried our best to get things
going again but we were too worn down just trying to keep ourselves
above water - the church was unable to pay a salary any longer and we had bills by this time, in short we were devastated, defeated and drained. So, we decided the best thing would be to take some time off, in total we were out of the ministry two years, the worst two years of our lives. We found ourselves totally alone - one by one our friends dropped off and our support systems all dried up and my husband finally realized that the only people who stuck by him during this difficult time was his wife and kids. It was a long difficult road to get to that point but now our kids are 19 & 20 and they love their daddy but find it hard to talk to him and one day I asked them why and their response was that they never remember him being around very much when they were little. Some times we learn lessons too late to make changes in life and if you would ask my husband now if all that working and being away from home so much was worth it - I know he would say NO. I would like to recommend a few things - Bill Gothard does a seminar just for male pastors that is great and the Promise Keepers also is helpful in this area. And if I had a chance to do things over - I would make the time he was able to be home more enjoyable and peaceful rather than whinning and complaining about the times he is away. I just think that when we don't take care of our obligations, God has a way of getting us back on track and take it from one who had to learn the hard way - that's not always pleasant. My prayers and understanding are with you, stay sweet.
K 5/24/99 This
ones for you. I can relate to your attitude as of 5/21/99. I've been
going through the samething. In fact, I just have been praying all
day. "Lord, help me and give me your mind, attitude & strength to be
a PW, I am still waiting for a change and encouragement and I know in His
time He will do it. But, sister in Christ all I can say is HANG IN
THERE! GOD LOVE'S YOU AND SO DO WE. You and all the PW's are in my prayers.
Also, Does anyone know if there is a Pastor's Wives Chat Room? Please put
the email address on the board.
Bunny 5/27/99 Welcome
to my world, Honey!! First of all, don't be intimidated by the women
in your church - don't let them "pressure" you into doing something that
your heart is not in. Pray and ask Father what HE and HE alone want
you to do in terms of working/ministry at the church. Additionally, don't
expect too much support from you husband - only another PW who "has been
there" or is currently going through what you are experiencing can relate
and support you in this struggle. Ultimately, you
have to rely on our Father for guidance and support. Just know that I am here also to listen and pray with and for you. Remember, we're in this for the long haul - the enemy will NOT get the victory - we're more than conquerers through Jesus Christ our Lord!! You may e-mail me ANYTIME you need to vent. Loving you like Jesus...
Yvette 5/29/99 What
a switch!! Your church is growing and doing well!! Praise God.
We are going through some growth, and finding that the small church days
don't work forever. Recently my husband went on a spiritual retreat,
solely to seek the Lord, to pray for His direction for the body, to pray
for men to help, which ones, etc., and what our priorities should be both
as a body, and for our family. Great things came from that!!
God is faithful and spoke to my husband's heart about so many things.
Another thing that has helped, is a pastor or church that is one step ahead
of where you are in your denomination, or affiliation. We came from
a big mommy church, and are the baby church, so we can and do often ask
for advice. Also, Focus on the Family has a ministry called Pastor
to Pastor that addresses almost any issue that would arise as far as leadership,
church management, etc., and has really helped us. Some of the pastor's
advice is not applicable for us, but much of it is good, and if nothing
else, will encourage your husband, since it is from another pastor.
Also, Rick Warren from Willow Creek's fellowship does a lot of leadership,
time management, delegation, type teaching for pastors and church leadership.
Even though some things are not for our fellowship, we pray and glean whatever
is useful for our fellowship, and for what the Lord has called us to do.
Hope this helps.
Lili 5/26/99 Hi
again. Hello especially to Lauri and Shilo...boy have I been where you
are!! Shilo, my husband and I pastored a church and for NINE months
it was just us and our little boy...talk about discouraging. I called my
husband Moses and told him he'd led me into the wilderness to die (laugh)...we
had all the same things to face. The bills were behind cause we were
trying to pay them and support
ourselves too. The books were behind cause when we did get some people coming, nobody wanted that
job. Once in the middle of trying to find a math error, I picked the books up and threw them at my husband LOL!!! We look back on that time in our lives and laugh now, but it sure wasn't funny then...or easy....I'll be praying for you... and I sure wish somebody could tell us where a chat room is for pastor's
wives....we could all keep it going for hours!!!!! God bless everyone.
Lili 6/5/99 Hi...me again. Boy I'm glad I found this place! I still really want to chat with other preacher's wives....maybe we can try something and see if it works. There's a chat at www.cybergrace.com. It's Christian chat. Why don't we try to set a time and see if some of us can remember (gettin' old LOL) to meet there and chat? Why don't we say Wednesday (june 10?) at 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time. I'll try to be there. The nick I use is Gia. Hope to see some of you!
Lili 6/10/99 Hi
again. Well, I missed the time I wanted some of us to meet in the chatroom
at Cybergrace...out with church people LOL...oh well! Things have
been a little better for me the last few days. I had almost all I could
take with seemingly small things mounting up to big things and I just had
a heart-to-heart talk with the Lord about it and told Him I couldn't handle
anymore. I talk to Him just like I
talk to my husband, so over the ironing board last Sunday morning I said, "Lord, I've had all of this I can take. Now I need you to do something cause I'm getting ready to quit. I don't want to quit, but I'm tired and discouraged and don't have any fight left in me. So Lord, if anything gets changed it's gonna be you
who does it cause I can't handle anything else right now." It was effective. That night at church one of the ladies who has been adding to my problems came to me after service and apologized and hugged me and we cried together. It was the start of a healing I need desperately. Several other ladies also approached me and let me know that they love my family and support us. It has made a world of
difference in my attitude this week. I know we shouldn't let people get us discouraged, but we're human. I don't know about you, but it hurts me when I think someone doesn't like me. I find myself trying to analyze what I've done to make them treat me so badly. And sometimes it isn't anything I've done. Down south, it seems people have a tendency to have a "honeymoon" with the preacher and his family for 3 to 4 years and then buddy, when the honeymoon is over, they want you packed and gone. People seem to think a new preacher will solve their lack of spirituality. Well, sisters, when there's spiritual problems, it's not the preacher or his family at fault. We can all be just as spiritual as we want to be. The joy of my salvation shouldn't depend on who is standing behind the pulpit! Now I just gotta get it through my head that the joy of MY salvation doesn't depend on those hard-headed and sometimes hard-hearted members LOL!!!! God bless all of you.
Shilo 5/26/99 God bless you my sister! My me myself and I story can be read only a paragraph after yours. (ha! Ha! Well first I wanted to share somthing that a women who has already went to heaven told me once, or well maybe she told me a lot, when my husban and I just answered the call from God, It scared me to death. well this sister told me that God choses me and my talents and that he would use me if I would only be myself, never change from being myself, when I am fased with a desission like what women trying to gossip to tell me junk about others, I can't think what would a pastors wife do or say?? I only need to worry about what I would say or do. But let me add hear that the Lord does push us out of our comfort zone so that we can learn and grow! This last year I have felt like a baby bird who's mother just through him out off the nest to make him learn, so the Lord will use your known talents and he will also develope new ones, and I have a hard time calling my new jobs talents but the Lord has to use what he's got and as long as Im willing he will use me. I would like to sign up with you as a praying sister and friend!! God bless you!
Yvette 5/29/99 What a wonderful heart you have. Seems like someone else said "Here am I, send me." The word ministry comes from the word "service". Most ministries come from the Lord showing you a need, and then you being the hands and mouthpiece for the Lord. If you are a servant, you alreadyhave a "ministry". Ministry can be as simply as calling to encourage an elderly person, praying for others, giving a mother of pre-schoolers a break, keeping the nursery, doing the church books, buying church supplies, or can be as complicated as a full-blown church program. For me, I know that there have been times that the Lord prompted me to meet a need, and many times, ministry grew from that. Keep praying, and He will be faithful to show you. In the meantime, "minister" to, or "serve" your husband. He must be the pastor's wife's first ministry.
Dove 6/2/99 Thank
you so much for your encouraging words..It touches my heart to hears those
words and it encouraged me to press on to keep serving, to do all
that I can to serve people of God. And to keep asking Him to show me how
could I serve Him bettter..So Thank you so much Ladies..You are a
Annie 5/30/99 Your
call for help stays on my heart. No one else has responded, so perhaps
it is time you have an answer. The following is adapted from something
a friend sent to me: Three of her missionary friends never had a call,
but their husbands did. The women were willing to go with them.
Two of the women lost their husbands. When they began to consider
how they would put their children through college on their own, they realized
that only missionary work would be right for them. God had
called them throug their marriage. The third women felt that she would "go back home" if ever left alone;
however, when her husband began to talk about "going home," she vigorously declared that they could not do that because "God wants us here." As my friend observed, "She was called and didn't know it until she needed to." If your husband is wrong, and going is a mistake, you can learn from mistakes.
My own reluctance to make one move was because of fear: could I ever live up to "their" expectations. Living up to God's expectations, I learned, was more important. Another move had a different ending. My husband wanted to go and felt it was right. I did not, and gave all the arguments against it that I could muster. He had an answer for them all. When the decision was final, I felt a stab of fear and
apprehension in my heart. We went. It was the worst experience we have ever had--"It was the best of
times. It was the worst of times." But that experience was of utmost importance in our learning to be His servants. So, go with joy. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Look for His approval. Be ready to learn--even painful lessons. God really is faithful and will not ask you to bear more than you are able.
Yvette 5/29/99 There
have been times in our own marriage when we had opposite views on things
pertaining to the ministry. One thing that helps is praying together,
praying for unity, for like-mindedness, and waiting before the Lord, for
Him to answer. I also pray separately, for my husband to be able
to hear clearly, to heed the Lord's answer, to be obedient, and for myself,
that I might be open to absolutely ANYTHING the Lord may have. That
is so hard for me. I also ask the Lord to speak to me through
His word, and try to spend that time. Because, God calls these men,
very strongly, and
sometimes, I really need for Him to speak to me, to show ME, that this is right. I try not to let emotions run amuck, try not to allow Satan to tug at me, and stay focused on what I know. I know that my husband seeks the Lord, and wants to do His will, and knowing those two things, I can rest, allow my husband to make the final decision, trust that God will speak to him, and that he will hear and obey. . . One other thing is true, God does not leave us high and dry. He has not forgotten the ministry wife during these times. Comfort and guidance are available to us. Even if our husbands mess up royally, I
believe that God honors and protects us, even in the mistakes. And knowing God, He will probably turn it into something good!! Keep us posted.
A Friend 5/28/99
thing I have learned, men (ministers/pastors, can be insensitive even brutal
at times. This is a high stress job. One time I was preparing
to picket on the pulpit. I was advisaed against it, but it was on
my heart. The sign would have read 'UNFAIR TO WIFE'. The secret
or real truth, if you will, is communication. But I've found pastor
husbands can be quite closed-mouthed. It's hard and seemingly unfair,
to sit back and agree with them. But let me tell you about precision
prayer, prayer that is precise and to the point. Very effective!
My pastor/husband beat me, cheated on me, lied to me and abused me and
then preached 'ever so angelically' hours later. I know this is hard
and maybe even
unacceptable to some, but I prayed for 2 years straight, "Lord get him
together or move him out of the way". Two years to the date I prayed
he left. And now I am assistant pastoring myself. I am doing
what he should be now. If he won't listen, tell God. He is
the real source. Tell Him the situation. If your unsure of
the direction the ministry should go, tell him to close doors until the
right one is opened. Let there be no peace in the situation until
the right decision is made. He WILL show you. Please ladies,
don't despise your calling and your pastor/husband. They are 'still
in the house'. God will hear your prayers and He will move.
How do you know He hasn't already? Be open. Listen.
Look. God will
respond. He loves His Pastor/minister wives. He has specially annointed us because of our position. Even though it's hard, it makes you feel 'Blessed among women to be called to such a challenge
Annie 5/29/99 Heap coals of fire on his head. Every time he says something unkind, tell the people after the service about one nice thing he said about you. Send him complimentary little notes now and then. Just be as nice to him as you possibly can manage. When he is not around, build him up by telling about all the good things you know about him. Be sure to tell the truth. You probably promised, among other things, to honor him. Even if he does not keep his vows to honor you, that is not an excuse for you to let down on yours. Honor him in all you say and do. You will be the winner - a beautiful and gracious attitude. Bless you.
Yvette 5/29/99 I
can feel your pain. When my husband first started pastoring, he would
reveal personal things about our home and family, our children, etc.
It got so bad that I became the perpetual nursery worker for several weeks,
because I knew no other way to cope with it. After pouring out my
him not so spiritually, I hushed about it, then committed it to prayer, and soon after, the Lord used someone else to speak to him very frankly, but lovingly, and it got through. He has been such a honey. God truly is in the business of changing lives. . . even the pastor's.
Brosia 5/31/99 My husband is a pastor and he strongly discourages anyone ever belittling their spouse to anyone else. It is a cruel and divisive thing to do. He is clearly out of line on this one and I think you should confront him on this one. If he disagrees with you that is fine, but regardless he should stop out of respect for your wishes. Otherwise it is a form of slander and defamation. The bible tells men to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and no where in there do we see Christ making jokes or doing anything else at the expense of the church. He laid down his life for her. This is clearly wrong and you need to rebuke him. I will be praying for you dear.
Karen 7/28/99 There
could be underlining jealousy your husband has of you. Does he think
he's in competition with you? If you know things are right between
you it could be just insensitivity. I'm 3 months older than my husband
and he used to joke in the pulpit about being married to an "older woman."
It didn't bother me but it bothered some of the older ladies and they came
around to comfort me. So, I told him they were being offended and
he'd better quit. This went on for 3 months and finally I said, "I'll
stop this if you won't." He just laughed. So, one Sunday morning
in the middle of his sermon he again made a teasing remark about my age
and heads swerved to the right to note my response. I
thought, okay buddy, this is it! I stood up, turned to face the congregation and took an exaggerated bow. The whole crowd went up in riotous laughter, he was left speechless, my face was red. BUT--he's never mentioned my age from stage again! HUMOR does work!
Bren 6/1/99 I'm not sure that I have any real solutions for you. I can totally relate to what you are saying. I am going through a similiar situation right now in my life. God is revealing things to me that I have known to be true, but like a rebellious teen I have not complied. I feel like I have been wrestling with God. That isn't a very even match at all! I am in a study now that is dealing with the strongholds in my life. It is excellent. It is turning my mind and heart back to what God wants me to do. Everyday I have a choice; I can follow what God wants me to do, what I NEED to do or I can do what I want to do, follow my GREED. For some reason when I looked at it this way it really hit home for me. I need to do what God wants me to do; even enduring this ministry that can at times be hurtful and difficult. I have found that first I need to give my mind to the situation and then in time my heart will follow. Even when there are days when I don't feel like doing what God is asking of me, I find that if I do follow him I am much more joyful at the end of the day. God never disappoints me, ministry can disappoint me, but I just have to trust that God has me in this situation for a reason. I may not figure out the reason for some time, but it is still there!!
Brosia 6/1/99 A
spiritual downfall is something we probably all experience from time to
time so you are in good company. Do not despair. It will pass,
but you are right to take it seriously. First of all it is hard to
comment without more information. What are you struggling with specifically.
Why do you think you are on a spiritual downfall. Is the ministry
overworking your family, are you feeling burned out. I will assume
so for the sake of this response. First of all, you need to identify
the problem. Something is
causing you to feel this way. Then you can begin to ask God to give you His passion and vision. A lot of times the spiritual slump is caused by a lack of spending time with God. We get caught up in living life and before we know it, we have strayed far from God. Then we feel like we have gone too far and it is hopeless, so we continue the downward spiral of neglecting our relationship with Him. Then when the hard times come, (and they always do) we are estranged from God and are not equipped to handle the stress. The good news is we are always just a prayer away from God. He knows your struggle and He is the answer. It sounds almost cliche we hear it so much, but the truth remains. I really believe God just wants us all to learn to depend on Him and trust him moment by moment. If we involve Him in every aspect of our lives, then and only then do we really begin to see the joy and peace that He promised his children. I have been there in the valley many times. In fact recently I was there, but once again God showed me that the rules have not changed, and that He is still waiting for me to trust Him. Paul said
it best in Philippians. He basically said that he has discovered how to be content in all situations. In wealth and poverty, sickness, health. He said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Let Christ strengthen you. What ever you lack, ask him for it. Ask him for your commitment and fire back. He is able. Rebuke the enemy who seeks to destroy you. Never underestimate the power of Satanic opposition. It is very real. Remember, you have the victory already. You are the winner, positionally, in Christ. God be with you.
Laurie 6/1/99 Hi
Jen, my message is posted earlier on this page, dated 5/24 if you want
to read my whole story. I can truly relate to what you are going
through. I have noticed a real change of heart just
since I posted my message last week, and I believe it's because others on this board have taken my case to the Lord in prayer. When I've been down on our ministry, I remember the scriptures about how we must crucify the flesh, daily, and work wholly for the Lord. Then, I think about all Jesus suffered for us and I realize what small matters my complaints really are, after all. There are times that all of us, as human beings, "feel" hardened, but praise God, we can do like Paul said and remember that these "...light afflictions are but for a little while...working for us a far more exceeding weight of glory...". Jen, the Lord knows just how you feel. I've been right where you are and then have experienced restoration.
I'll be praying for you, hang in there!
Hicks 6/1/99 I
do know how you feel. It is a difficult question and one many can offer
advise on, but only WE can fix. I, too, am a pastor's wife and have been
for 17 years. For 15 of those 17 years, we pastored small, rural and not
rural churches. The space provided to give some of the experiences in those
churches is not enough. But, as others have mentioned on previous pages,
those small churches fit the status quo: they were elderly people, set
in their ways, not interested in growth and only there to have their ears
tickled. Four years ago, we were in a situation where we felt it was just
best to resign and step back for a while. Kind of regroup and pull our
family together. My husband applied with the gov. and was transferred to
the north (a very small town). We have been in the waiting room for a couple
of years now. He has since been transferred again with the gov. and we
now live in the deep south (Florida). During this regroup time, he has
had the opportunity to either preach bi-vocational or as interim. I have
not attended any of those churches he has been to because my calling is
not putting band-aids on coma patients. We have four children (two of them
teenagers) and attending DEAD, COLD churches has hurt them in the past.......their
spiritual condition means more to me than sitting on the front row of a
dead church listening to my husband preach his heart out to a group of
elderly saints who munch on manna.
We have been in dynamic churches as well.......contemporary worship, worship bands, awesome ministries......ect. We have only been on staff at one of those churches and unfortunately, resigned
because of stupid reasons. That was over 10 years ago and we've been wandering ever since. The Lord called my husband and me both in the ministry. Unfortunately, now I feel I've done nothing and I have no desire to even attend the church where my husband is ministering now. I guess you could say my heart is broken...........broken because of so many questions. It is a spiritual condition and one that I can't depend on my husband or any congregation to fix. It ends with me and Jesus. I know the Lord has never left my side----not for a minute. There have been times the enemy wanted me to think so, but I know in my spirit that is a lie. My husband told me Sunday he wanted me and the children to find a place and get active in it. I know that is true, too, but we have been going to church without him for two years now and I feel like some divorced woman taking her children to church alone. We hope to be in full-time ministry by the end of this year, but I don't see that happening. Sure we could be in some dead church that is looking for a pastor because they ran their last one off for some ungoldy reason. Those type of churches are all over this blessed land. I want no part of them. Scripture says to "Come out from the harlot" and many of our congregations are playing just that role. Where have we gone as a people? I pray often for young pastor wives who are just coming out of seminary all excited about the ministry. God is able to place them in really dynamic churches. Of course, there are only so many of those to go around and if the church is not on the move prior to a pastor, chances are they "ain't" gonna be when the pastor comes. They've been sitting in the wagon waiting for someone to give them a ride instead of pulling the wagon themselves looking for people to give a ride to. So, has my heart become hard? Has it become calloused? Has it become cold? I truly don't feel that in my spirit. But, maybe I'm not sensitive enough to my own spiritual condition. The pastor's first church is his family. God help us when we forget that. My ministry has been to our four children and trying to weed out some of the junk they've received in church from members who would bash their father as soon as the sermon was over. Yep, that includes deacons and deacons wives as well as other members. Christians can truly be some of the most evil people and some of the most supporting and loving. We're not promised a bed of roses in this calling, just the promise that the master Gardner will always be there pruning. Don't feel you are alone on this spritual ride, Jen. There are many of us. Many more than you would know. My trust is in the Lord. He called me out and placed me in. I'm just at a point in my life where I will not let the spiritual condition of a church rub off on me any longer. My only duty is to pray and lead by example for them, not become one of them. God have mercy on the congregations who treat their pastor's like quarterly teaching curriculum...here for a while and then bring in something else. We need more members holding up the arms of these men of God. The ark of ministry gets very heavy...some laypeople have no idea. Instead of helping hold up the ministry of the church, they are there trying to tickle the underarms, hoping for the hands to come down. I've answered my own questions----I have become cold, hard and calloused. Not to the church but to the "ticklers" whose life call is to test and tease. But, I don't think I'm in there alone. My Saviour once called them white tombstones. Yep, I know I'm not alone.....neither are you! God bless.
Bunny 6/2/99 For
Sister Hicks: Sweetie you sound like you have been to Hades and back!!!
My heart is just aching after reading your "testimony." Yes, I can
relate to many of your feelings - however, I can also sense that you do
still love the Lord with all you heart, soul, mind, and strength.
We both know that ALL things work together for the good of them that love
Him. I would suggest that you try to give it ONE MORE SHOT: and join
your husband where he is working/worshiping now. I know, I know,
you'd probably rather not - but you know that "a house divided against
itself CANNOT stand." Do it in faith, and for the rest of us (your
PW sisters)who will be praying for you. Please??? Let us know
what happened. I'm believing God is going to do something SPECIAL
in your life. Keep us posted ...
Loving you like Jesus!
Jen 6/2/99 Thank
you for all of your words of wisdom. It really does make me feel
better. I have a wonderful husband who loves me very much, but he
is so SPIRITUAL that it intimidates me and makes me want to withdraw from
God. He doesn't mean to make me feel so small, but he does.
wish he were just a regular worker than a pastor. I want to talk to him as a friend, not as my pastor. I tell him that, but he doesn't understand me completely. He says he tries just to be my friend and not preach a sermon to me when I tell him my problems, but I don't feel that he tries. I still feel dumb and SMALL after he gets done GIVING me his advice. Guys must not be very good at listening ONLY! I must NOT let his relationship with God hinder mine. Pray for me, please.
Yvette 6/3/99 Dear
Hicks, ever heard "Can't put new wine into the old wineskin??" You
sound like you
just might have a pioneer spirit. Do you think that maybe the Lord would have your husband and yourself start a new fellowship? I know that pioneering is not for everyone, only for those who are called to it, but
those who are called begin by seeing that there is a need for a new wineskin. If your husband truly has a shepherd's heart, maybe he just will not make a very good hireling, and needs a shepherd-sheep relationship given by the Lord, and fresh pasture. . . . just a thought. The discontent you feel may be God's prodding.
Hicks (who responded to Jen): Whoa there Sis. Hicks!!! Honey, my
computer almost caught on fire after reading your entry. I can still
smell the smoke from your letter! You really struck a nerve here.
I mean, you were so brutally honest and real that it forced me to acknowledge
my own issues with "tombstones" and "arm ticklers". Been there...done that! It almost leaves you numb. We have been pastoring for 5 years and there have been days (just recently) when I wanted to pack my bags and get out of Dodge. I didn't feel holy or saved, just TIRED!!! The long and short of it is I prayed and asked God to PLEASE PLEASE help me with my attitude. Like you, I refuse to let people infect me or our daughter (age 8) with their negativity. Our situation is a little different in that God
instructed us to plant a church. Therefore, there was no history or former members to deal with. We started out with a few families and now have over 100 plus a lot of youth. Praise God! With the growth has come tremendous pressures, expectations and our fair share of "arm ticklers". The only thing that has helped us stay sane is the grace of God, His Word, and our refusal to let ANYONE divide us as a couple. May I join Bunny in encouraging you to PLEASE PLEASE consider joining your husband. He needs you! Let us know. And Jen, you are not alone. Hang in there and do keep us up to date. Love you both my sisters!
Yvette 6/6/99 to
Hicks: Just wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers. Praying
might hear His voice, and that He would engulf you with His wisdom, that you and your husband would be drawn together, and delighted with His tender love. Keep us posted.
Hicks 6/8/99 Thank
you dear sisters for the encouragement and if nothing, just the chance
to "vent". God is good isn't He? Bunny, I understand where you are coming
from. Dear, it's not that I do not want to be with my husband. As any pastor's
wife, I feel he's the best preacher around. Ha. Unfortunately, I
don't share the "preaching gift". My call has been to children and women's ministry. I sometimes wonder if meloncholy is a spiritual gift, for it's often during those mood swings, we learn some of lifes valuable lessons. I am whole heartedly beside my husband in his calling, just not to this church. Maybe it's just our denomination. Who knows. There are so small churches in our denomination with the average age of 60, unkept buildings and facilities, not worried about the lost (that is of course, unless the pastor leads some type of witnessing program up), the youth or even visitors......it's as if they as a church have given up. They want young blood in, but mainly for the wrong reasons. Most often, it's just to have a young pastor they can mold and shape or just because there is no one else available. Just recently my husband requested this church get together a vision committee and pray about the direction in which they, as a church body want to go. This church is located in a very large city, so potential is there. Two people showed up. "Without a vision, the people parish!" I guess ideally, as a pastor's wife, you want the best for your husband and your children. Sometimes we have to be faithful in the small things before that can happen. After serving in these small type churches for 15 years, I feel we have given of our time, finances and even family more often than not. But, as I said, God is faithful. His timing is not ours. My husband and I have committed our plans to Him and with faith, they will succeed. That doesn't mean the travel will be smooth riding all the way; more like the back-roads in southeast Missouri! Yvette, we have pioneered before. It was an exciting time for us. We started (with the help of four families) an innovative type worship church in the St. Louis area. God blessed our little congregation, but due to finances (the cost of property) and not having a building, many members becoming unhappy with having to move the church so much, we had to fold. But, I think church planting is something every pastor and his family
should have to do at least once in their life-time. It's the "hands-on" junk that really gets the dirt under our nails. The Lord continue to bless you and your husband in the new work He has planted you in. Above all else, let NO one (whether it be fellow Christians from other churches or even unsaved people) steal your joy in doing this good work. Patricia: You've got charisma don't you? I can tell just by your words. Ha. The Lord bless you, sister. Remember the old bumper stickers that used to be on cars several years ago with just the hands, eyes and basket showing? The slogan "Hang in there Baby!" applies. If I've learned nothing excluding the fact the Jesus IS, I've learned this: Never make any spiritual
decisions when you are physically, mentally or emotionally TIRED. And I've yet to meet a pastor or his wife whose never felt like "acting as dust and hitting the trail!" Thank you all for your response, prayers and concern. We are a motly crew...........we ARE blessed....we ARE different.....we ARE special: we,
the pastors wives!!!! What would the ministry be without us?
Bunny 6/4/99 Are
we a motley crew or what??!! But then again Jesus did say that he
came to help the "sick" and the whole needed not a physician. Thank
you so much for your story - you have helped so many of us with your warning
that "it CAN happen to anyone." You are absolutely right - only God can
fulfill all of our needs as women (I also learned that after the first
year of marriage). Thank God for the
restoration of your marriage - and most of all for your spiritual restoration!! Just wanted to say we appreciate your candor and God bless you, Sister!
yvette 6/6/99 WOW!!
What an eye-opener. Thanks for that exhortation. You are so
right. . . we are ALL susceptible to sin, expecially when given the breeding
ground of discontent. Thanks for sharing. Praising God for
His work in your life. GO GOD!!
PW4GOD 6/13/99 Hello
Robin, I have a friend that runs a missionary care ministry. Her
and her husband formed this ministry several years ago to provide support
and encouragement to missionaries as well as pastors. They have a
home on the Chesapeake Bay, that is used for a retreat to ministers
and their families. There organization is called Godspeed Missionary Care...Their business phone is 1-410-819-0497. You should give them a call and see what they can do for you and your family. Their names are Karen and Barney Davis. I hope that this helps. God bless you all and I will pray that you!
JoynHm 6/9/99 Hi
Melody - oh just the word candidating gives me shivers!!! I will
be praying for you this weekend. I am wondering what denomination
you are with, I would love to talk more to you and hear how things went.
We have had our resume out there for nearly a year now and about a month
ago we candidated. We just really prayed and fasted that no matter
what the outcome would be that the Lord
would use us to minister to those people and meet some needs. We gave it our very best, I played the piano and sang in the morning service, our daughter sang in the evening service, our son played his bass and my husband preached his heart out in both services. The Lord truly blessed us and He really did take our fears away as our hearts yearned to be used of Him. We had fabulous services and the people really responded. We had a tremendous peace in our hearts as we left that church and made our way 6 hours back to our home. The church waited nearly a week to vote on us but when that call finally came, much to our shock it was not in our favor!!! It rattled each one of us because we really felt as though we knew what God's will was for our lives. The story goes on as we each came to grips with the decision. We are still waiting on God's open door and sometimes the waiting gets almost unbearable. Just keep your mind focused on the Lord and ministering for Him, when you think about being on display it almost makes it hard to be who you are. When we candidated at the church where we are now - it didn't feel as though we were on display cause we concentrated on ministry....there are so many hurting people out there and even in the church and we just wanted God to use us and if you never see those people again you can take comfort in knowing that you brought Jesus to them. I will be praying for you Melody and I will look forward to hearing how it goes.
Iowa Lynne 6/11/99
I'd add a little humor about candidating.... The first time we candidated
for a church was very funny..... We were fresh out of Bible college....
Poor as church mice.... We drove this old car and the seats were
falling apart so we covered them with duct tape.... We arrive at
the church, we were greeted by many kind people..... Song service
was great... Then, it was time for my "HONEY" to preach. He gets
up.... He starts preaching..... For added emphasis he lifts
his right arm
and thrusts it forward..... I notice something slinging from his behind like the "cowardly lion's tail." I thought it was my imagination.... Then, he makes a point again and thrusts his left arm for added
emphasis.... Again, this silvery tail comes swinging from behind him. I COULD HAVE DIED! It was DUCT TAPE! (You know you're a red neck preacher when..... ha!) Anyway, he closes in prayer. Just before the amen... I run up to the platform and yank his "duct tape" tail off and stick it in my pocket. We got the church... They loved him duct tape and all. We still laugh about it. Anyway, thought you'd enjoy a little humor... Might help calm your nerves. Just be sure you don't take any duct tape with you. God bless you! Keep the "SON" in your eyes!
Bunny 6/11/99 Thank you so much for the "Duct Tape" story -- I laughed til I cried!!
Tami 6/11/99 I understand the feelings of apprehension you are experiencing. My husband and I candidated just over two months ago. We were both nervous, my husband's stomach was upset during the time we were there. He asked our host family for Pepto Bismol!! The questions were directed mostly to him (which was fine). I was nervous for him. At the Sunday evening service, they decided to have us both come to the microphone and answer questions from the audience. That was when I was most nervous. We are never given more than we can handle, and we came through. Many people told me before we went, to remember to be myself. I tried to do that, and it felt good, because the people of the church were very genuine and did not put on a show for us. For the most part, it was not as bad as I thought it would be. We had been in the application and candidating process since December, and the church voted in April. We are now settling into the parsonage at the church and are feeling very blessed to be here. My prayers are with you and your husband as you go.
Iowa Lynne 6/14/99 How did the candidating go? Let us know..... We've all been praying for you. Can't wait to hear. Hope you left your "duct tape" at home. (SMILE)
Melody 6/16/99 Thank you for praying, ladies! We traveled nearly 1700 miles in the last 6 days. We went from the suburbs of America to small town, U.S.A. It was a bit of a culture shock. The weekend went well. The congregation meets tonight and the board chairman said he would call us after the meeting. He told my husband that the board was going to advise the congregation to extend him the call. We did nothing special to impress anybody, just tried to be ourselves and to minister - thanks for the wonderful advice! When we shared our testimonies on Sunday evening, my usual polished speaking voice and organized thoughts left me and I really struggled to get my voice. I couldn’t remember what I had planned to say, and just finally shared my heart with them. My husband also shared his heart. After that service we had a fellowship time with refreshments. People talked and talked about their lives and their struggles and the faithfulness of God. I guess we fell in love with them and they with us. If we don’t go there, it still would have been a special weekend. We’ll know more tonight. Thanks, my sisters, for your prayers. Oh, by the way - in our motel the first night, a total stranger poured out her heart to me. Then she said, "God sent you here for me." So the weekend was quite an experience regardless of the outcome.
Melody 6/17/99 Last
night my husband received a call from the church we candidated at this
weekend. It was the first time in the history of the church that
there was a 100% vote to call a man. We are taking today to pray
and fast, but I think I know what our answer will be. Relocating
is such a tremendous
undertaking. We built our dream home and moved into it only a year and 1/2 ago - we will need to sell it. We are also in the middle of various projects that need to be finished. Oh, the cares this world... Anyway - thank you so much for your prayers. Please continue praying... for a buyer for the house, for the kids to accept moving, for the overwhelmingness of relocation... God bless you!
Melody 6/18/99 Well,
ladies, we are going! The task that is ahead just to get there is
enormous - need to sell my 18 month old dream house... and need to transition
financially between jobs, sell a truck, say good-bye to friends of 10 years,
PACK up, etc., etc... Please pray that this all goes smoothly and
in God's timing. I know He is able to bring all these things together,
but it is frightening at the same time. Thanks, ladies. I feel
like I know you and that you have been there for me through this time.
Tami 6/22/99 Congratulations!
I am glad to hear that candidating went well and that you had a unanimous
vote! That kind of confirms it for you. You know you have all
of the congregation behind you. Will be praying for the needs you
mentioned-selling house, packing, etc.
Karen 7/28/99 Just
Between Us is a good PW periodical started by Jill Brisco, published quarterly.Toll
free number is 1-800-260-3342. $14.95 for four issues a year.
Email: email@example.com Excellent publication.
Iowa Lynne 6/14/99
It sounds like you are going through the mill. I remember my husband's
last semester of Bible college ---- It was very difficult.
He had to study for his classes..... Hold down a part-time job...
Be a daddy to our year-old daughter... and keep our marriage afloat.....
I wouldn't want to go back to those years for any amount of money....
The good news is this... Seminary is for just a short while.....
If you can keep saying to yourself.... "THIS TOO SHALL PASS!" during the
difficult times.... How do you feel the marriage is besides the intimacy?
Do you feel emotionally close? If the answer is negative..... Is
there any older pastor or pastor's wife you can pour your heart out to?
Do you have anybody? We will all be praying for you. I know
it is so difficult. Keep us posted & enjoy your child....
they grow up too fast.
Jen 6/15/99 I
feel for you! I am right there with you. Our church is struggling
at this specific time with many NEGATIVE WORDS. No one has anything
good to say. And, they think my husband, the pastor,should do all
the 'ministry' for them. They don't want to lift a finger to work
but they DO lift a finger just to point it at my husband and say HE should
be doing all the jobs that need to be done around the church.
(small, country church of about 50-60) I have to bite my tongue to keep from speaking my mind's worth and remember that my tongue is a very dangerous thing! God's Word gives me strength and it tells me that HE will take care of those that stir up trouble. I must think of that each time I have to bite my tongue! I know I haven't been much help, but just thought I'd tell you that you aren't alone!
Iowa Lynne 6/14/99
Have you ever heard the saying, "When women have coffee.... a marriage
is saved!" I think it would be great to have a get-together with
these gals and really pray for their homes. Of course, there probably
has to be a "WISE" leader (YOU) who guides the conversation and prayer
requests so that it isn't a husband-bashing time. I think the wonderful
thing about prayer is that it gets our hearts soft..... And JESUS
taught that the reason for divorce was someone's hard heart. Time
the presence of JESUS can really calm many storms.... May God be with you as you lead these dear women to the feet of JESUS.
Mary 7/22/99 I
have one! The Lord sent it to me when I was only married 5 years.
I have kept it, studied it, sometimes once a month. It has brought
me to repentant tears very oftem. It concentrates on what the wife should
do and allows God to work onthe husband. After all we can only change
ourselves and not others. The wife can win a lost husband by her
testimony, but she can also win one that is astray. It is very powerful.
THere is a study guide with it. I am not sure if it is still in print
or not. Check Amazon to see. I even purchased one for each of my
daughters for when they are married. All my copies are really worn from
loaning them out. I got to talk with the author several years ago
and she is a wonderful Christian woman. I highly reccommend it above
all books! The name of it is , YOU CAN BE THE WIFE A HAPPY HUSBAND.
By Darien Cooper, foreword by Tim LaHaye. I hope it helps. Applied,
it is alife changing book.
A Friend 6/17/99
Concerned Minister and Cindi: My heart is hurting because I know
what you two are going through. Sometimes it seems there is no one
out there for us and we have to stand alone. The ministry tends to
take so much away from our time and energy. But it is so true we
need to find
someone whom we can relate to. Sometimes I want to take the ministers' wife robe off and just be myself. But we have been called to a high calling. ANd we are the more blessed for it. Try to treat yourself to alone time whenever possible. No phonecalls, no visiting, no counseling, just alone with yourself and God. I too, wish there were more wives to talk with, ask the Lord to put some faithful, not competive wives in your path to share with and just be you. Afterall, we are people too and need one on
one with someone. I hope you find a true sister in Christ. They are rare, but they can be found. God Bless and keep you is my prayer!
Jen 6/18/99 I
feel that we are all the same. I am new to being a pastor's wife,
but was in a different ministry position before marriage. I have
only been a pastor's wife around a year and there are many frustrating
situations that we encounter week-by-week. I believe all ministers
encounter the same or similar struggles. I would love to talk to
you. If you want my email address, contact this support board for
it. I would be glad to email one-on-one. May God give you and
your husband the strength to deal with the minister's life. Always
remember this, God doesn't CALL the equipped, he EQUIPS the called!
He has got you where He wants you, just smile and keep close to Jesus!
A Friend 6/23/99
scripture says: 'THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE'. I understand your situation
because mine was very similar to yours, only I was a ministers'/pastors'
wife. He never prayed with the family, and only prepared sermons
when it is his turn to preach. He was always anxious to meet other
peoples' needs but not those of his family. So I know the frustration
and pain you feel. Although you may not be a minister on the pulpit,
we are ministers at home for sure. Make yourself irrresitable to
him by having your own study time (which is dificult at times),get yourself
involved and your kids in the Word. Challenge him with some scriptures
you have found and ask him to join in, have fun, have bible games.
You need to have an heart to heart talk with him and let him hear your
side. Reassure him that you understand he must prepare but he has
to provide for his family too. In the scripture it says, 'if you don't
work, you don't eat. This is also true in the Spirit, you must work
for spiritual food or you will spiritually starve. Pray for him that
he gets an understanding and be patient. Live a Godly live before
him, even if it gets tough, and it does. But the reward is great.
Especially when God opens his eyes and he realizes that he really needed
you. And God will open them, that you can be sure of. Let him see
you in prayer time with the kids and when you are alone, don't compete,
but let it become something that will entice him into prayer. God
will draw him through your Godly actions. I know. Pray always
for your husband, and for his ministry. Let him know you are always
by his side. But keep these words of comfort to yourself, that God
will see your works of labor and love and he will reward you for them.
You are important and God will answer your sincere prayer to Him.
Don't give up. You have no idea the impact you have on this man and
his ministry. He will bless you one day. I will be praying
for you. God Bless.
A Sister 6/23/99
Jen - 'Been there and it isn't easy. After going through it, I found
that the advice I could have used was to stay close in my relationship
with the Lord and in my relationship with my husband. If people want
to leave, they will find some reason to go. You really can't keep
them there. God can keep them there, but He doesn't always work that
way. It is vital that you keep your eyes on our Loving Father who
carefully watches over us and lovingly allows difficult times to come in
to our lives. He is making you more like Him as you experience some
painful times. It is not easy, but it is good to know that He is
there with you. Run to Him and rest in His arms. Don't try
to solve it - just give the battle to Him. His shoulders are much
bigger that ours. If there is sin, He alone can forgive. If
there is hurt, He can heal. My sister, I know - "it ain't easy." Whatever happens, put your relationship with Jesus first and foremost. Let him carry you.
Iowa Lynne 6/29/99
doubts be tormenting? I know how you feel I've had my own personal
struggles with "doubts!" One thing that I have discovered is there
are many areas of ministry..... Not just the "Behind the Pulpit" on Sunday
morning ministry..... There can be the Sunday school teacher.... who
earnestly prays for his class & teaches them the truths from God's Word.... Then there is the one who faithfully goes to nursing homes and sings the old hymns with some of God's "most" precious saints.... The areas of ministry can go on & on.... If God leads you & your dear husband into a full-time, behind the pulpit ministry.... He will prepare you... You won't have to rely on your own strength.... (THANK GOD OR WE'D NEVER MAKE IT!) Just be willing to be all JESUS has called you to be for this present
moment and then look what the LORD will do for you.... You sound like a dear servant of the Lord.... Keep your humble sweet spirit... and watch the LORD open doors for you. May God bless you, my sister-in-Christ!
Bunny 6/29/99 Because my husband pastors a small, rural church (that can't afford to pay him a decent salary) we BOTH work full-time!! I wish I didn't HAVE to work, but I do. It gets rough sometimes ... trying to hold down a job, be the "perfect pastor's wife" (ha,ha), keep a clean house, cook nutritious meals, be his helpmate, friend, confidante, and lover, etc. etc. etc. With that said, I think that if a pastor's wife is in a position where she doesn't HAVE to, but just WANTS to work, it is between her and her husband. If he doesn't have a problem with it, neither should anyone else.
Jen 6/30/99 I
think that having an outside, full-time job is great for a pastor's wife
if that is what the Lord is calling you to do. The Lord may want
you to work a full-time job. He WILL provide you ways of ministering
to the ones you work with! That is a great opportunity for you to
Iowa Lynne 7/8/99
a precious family God has given you. We have four children.
(ages 20, 18, 12 & 10) We have a Christian school in our church....
It's around 30 children so it's more like a glorified home school....
God has been so faithful! Our oldest will enter her junior year of
college this fall. College is VERY expensive, but because of the
"Christian" character formed in her from the beginning.... She just received
over $9,000 in Christian Leadership Scholarships. IT WAS AN ANSWER
TO PRAYER FOR OUR FAMILY ---- A real miracle! I know the sacrifices
you are making... but you will NEVER be sorry in the years to come....
You will reap "many" rewards... Don't grow weary in the work of love....
May God be with you and bless you as you raise your children for the KING!
Rock Dove Publications reserves the
right to reject any submission.