Sheila Beeson and I got to co-lead a casual Q&A session for pastor’s wives at Innovate08. We led the session two separate times and each session was limited to 12 people. It was a very interesting time from my perspective. Sheila and I are both at completely different ages and stages of life and ministry, so I think the combined experience of both of us was a help to the pastor’s wives that came.
The conversations got pretty intense quickly. I was really pretty sad about a lot of the questions most of the women were asking. These ladies have very hard lives. They sacrifice so much, and yet they are so ostracized in the public arena. They don’t have close friends, are able to make a close friend or two, often they are betrayed by that friend when the friend doesn’t agree with the husband’s ministry.
Here are some of the questions that came up in our discussion. I won’t list the answers we gave because that would be an entire book, not a blog post.
Here are the questions:
· How do you balance your family life with ministry life?
· What do I do with the bitterness I feel when my husband gets to serve and I don’t?
· What do I do when people criticize me?
· Am I allowed to fight back when people criticize my children?
· What do I do when people criticize my husband?
· Am I allowed to have a best friend?
· Who can I trust?
· Can I trust anybody?
· Am I normal for asking these questions?
· Can I contribute to my husbands’ research with my thoughts and ideas?
· How do we establish boundaries so other people don’t invade our family time?
· What am I supposed to do when someone I have invested my life into betrays me?
· Will I ever have a close friend?
· How did your kids turn out normal?
· What do you do when church members talk down to your children?
· Are we allowed to take a day off?
· What does “Family Time” look like to you?
· Do you have any one you can vent to about ministry problems?
· How many close friends do you have?
- How do I get my husband to turn off his email/cell phone?
Interesting stuff if you ask me.
If you know a pastor’s wife, be nice to her. And don’t criticize her kids. If you do, be very careful. Me and Miss Sheila gave them all permission to wage an all-out war against anyone who messes with their kids.