Pastor’s Wife Q&A @Innovate08

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.

8 thoughts on “Pastor’s Wife Q&A @Innovate08

  1. Deanna says:

    Whew…. now I REALLY wish that I would have been there, Michelle! Thanks for posting….
    I actually just linked to this entry, too… thought it might be helpful for a few others to see as well!

  2. Amber Cox says:

    Michelle! I’m so proud of you and mom! Wish I could have been as fly on the wall!
    I love you!

  3. amy W says:

    hi michelle, i have commented from time to time, but mostly just read. i follow you on twitter too…this all sounds a bit stalkerish…sorry! i am not a stalker, now your worried, i’ll go on … my bf is a pastors wife. her husband used to be my pastor, then she and i became friends (didn’t even know it was his wife) then i got a job at the church and he was my boss. how is all of that for complicated. anyway, i have seen all these struggles with my dear friend. i love her so much and wish that the world could forget that she is the “pastors wife” and realize that she is a real cool chic! (why else would she be friends with me…haha) it breaks my heart to see how she is treated sometimes. but i love the way god has made her…thanks for sharing these things…i hope it makes people think!

  4. mandy says:

    I’m sure your seesion was a huge asset to the “spouses” at innovate. 😉

  5. Cyndi says:

    Michelle thanks for sharing (so when does the book come out? ). I must admit I have developed a heart for PW’s. I have been very surprised by how many women have admitted to being lonely and lost while their husbands seem to be thriving as pastors. Got to admit I’m glad I haven’t had to go on this journey until much later in life. Not sure how I would have handled it 10-15 years ago. I’m glad you all were able to minister to these women. So often they are the ones who have to do the ministering.

  6. I just linked to this post from my blog. Wow! It’s the ‘best friend’ issue that is so hard. My friend can’t go to my church and don’t live in my state so far!

  7. Melisa says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. My heart aches for these women and the tough position they are in, while rejoicing that at least they had the courage to ask for suggestions.
    I’m proud of you and Sheila for sharing your compassion and wisdom.

  8. Christine Henry says:

    Wow, I wish I could have been there. I will pray for this next year.
    I cried half way through the questions wanting to share my heart too. WOW.

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