Life In A Preacher's
Describing life in
a preacher' home is endless. I will describe some of the
pressures that must be faced, such as time, social, and emotional.
The life of my
preacher, and most preachers, is not a nine-to-five job. In
today's terms, it's 24/7. Crisis can happen any time, day or
night. I remember more than once we were packed and headed
for the car when the phone rang. I sat on the steps almost
in tears because the few days vacation we had anticipated were
There is always the
juggling of personal time, time for family relationships and the
responsibility of the ministry. It takes self discipline and
balance to keep everything in perspective.
This can cause a lot of grief to a preacher and his family.
The extreme pressure to conform to standards or practices from
those in your congregation or your fellowship of believers is
relentless. Most of these concern outward appearances,
activities and behaviors. Though a congregation encompasses
those from various sides of many issues, each feels the pastor and
his family should conform to their point of view. It is
For example, both
our sons were severely reprimanded for their hair style in their
younger school years. One because he had parted it in the
middle, and the other because an "authority" felt it was too long.
(He had just passed a hair check minutes before).
We learned that
though we wanted to respect the opinion of those who might differ
with us, we were obligated to give our children a consistent stand
that we could point out in the Word of God. My husband was
criticized as being "too soft", but we taught our children to
please God and not the opinion of continually changing leadership.
I know personally
of several wives of preachers who have suffered mercilessly at the
hands (mouths) of criticizing members of their congregation.
One form is to complain to the wife all the gripes about the
preacher. I think I know why, but this has never been a
problem with me. This was once a subject at a meeting of
preacher's wives. I was appalled that wives would allow such
things to happen. Later I mentioned the topic of the meeting
to my husband's secretary, stating that no one comes to me to
criticize my husband. She said, "Jeanette, they wouldn't
dare!" She's right. If you want to criticize my
husband, I am NOT the one to talk to.
The pastor, his wife, and usually his family are obligated to
attend an unbelievable amount of social functions. Banquets
are fun and exciting,---At least the first few hundred.
Weddings are very tender and emotional,---the first ones are.
Graduations, Mother's Day Dinners, Father's Day celebrations,
Stewardship and on and on. It becomes a challenge to
anticipate such events in an excited positive attitude.
Sitting at the speaker's table presents the option of being very
bored, nervous, or just relaxing and enjoying everything.
Tom and I have opted for the latter.
Perhaps the most difficult pressure preacher's face is emotional.
They are always expected to be "on top of the world". If
they are discouraged, down-hearted, angry, tired, or upset, it is
not supposed to show.
After each meeting
at church Tom and I come home feeling mentally and physically
exhausted. The emotional drain involved in interactions with
people takes its toll. We all have problems. That is
life. We have our own family crisis from time to time, but
we also feel the weight of those of our extended church families.
At any one service, one family may share the pain of divorce, a
life-threatening surgery; or a gravely ill child. On the
other side of the coin, we rejoice with the young couple at the
birth of their baby; an earned degree from college; a wedding
anniversary or a special birthday. Each emotional swing
takes it toll. Tom and I have actually left a wedding and
gone directly to a funeral.
I could add other
pressures that many preachers face in the ministry: financial,
medical, temptations, but perhaps at some other time. I have
outlined those above to help you get an idea of the reasons
some women say they would never marry a preacher. My
response to that is this: if they were married to a preacher
like mine, all those pressures are nothing compared to the joys of
living and creating a home for a man of God.
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.