Pastors' Wives - Desperate Need for Help
Pastors' wives carry a heavy load of responsibility as they care for their families, their husbands, and people in the church, and participate in activities of the church and community. The expectations of the local church are very high for the pastor's wife and family. The church expects them to be involved on every level: music, Bible studies, women's and children's ministries, hospitality, outreach, etc. How does a pastor's wife live up to the high expectations of the church? Help is available.
Pastors' Wives - Unappreciated
Upward of 80% of pastors' wives feel somewhat left out by their mate and unappreciated by the church. They often feel overworked, unloved and underpaid. Very few ministry wives are involved in the decision-making of the church, yet they are expected to attend, host, and/or lead many activities. They are considered an integral part of the package deal the church receives when the pastor is hired, but are not often paid or compensated or given room to air their feelings and desires.
Pastors' Wives - Discouraged
Over 80% of pastors' wives feel unqualified and discouraged about their position. When they experience the expectations of the church they may feel totally unprepared to fulfill the responsibilities thrust upon them. Some wives simply decide they will stay home, away from the eyes of the church, or seek a job out side of the ministry in order to be themselves, out of the critical view of the brethren. Discouragement and burnout happen to pastors' wives just as to pastors themselves.
Pastors' Wives - Need to be Heard
Many pastors' wives simply yearn for an uncritical, listening ear -- someone they can pour out their feelings to with no fear of condemnation or reprisal. They long for a safe place to vent their frustrations and feel loved and accepted just as they are. They long for grace-based members of Christ's body to reach out to them and make a difference in their personal lives so that they can go back into the local church situation with renewed hope and joy. Across North America and around the world this need is being met by a growing number of ministries whose aim is to help the spiritually tired and wounded. Various kinds of retreats are available to help ministry families prevent burnout before it occurs. Some of these services are free, but most have some cost attached.
One excellent ministry for the wounded and burned out pastors and pastors' wives is Smoldering Wick Ministries. All the services offered by this ministry are free, and include counseling, articles on burnout and remedy ("Tree of Life" living), educational tapes, friendship and unconditional love. Kathy Wenzel served as the wife of a pastor for 23 years and experienced the gamut of burnout, termination, persecution, etc. She and her husband, Kim, can deeply relate to those who need a friend.
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