Clergy spouse advice:
• Identify your gifts and be willing to share them with an open and happy heart—on your own, apart from who you are married to. Be yourself—not an appendage of someone else.
• Try not to read cynicism into people’s invitations. Although it might be offered awkwardly, it’s just their desire to involve you in the life of the body of Christ.
• Take the lead in sharing your gifts when appropriate, and where you see a need. Don’t always wait to be asked.
Fifty years ago hiring a pastor was pretty much
a package deal—the wife and kids were included. And the house they
occupied—usually the parsonage next door—became an extension of the
The pastor’s wife kept the home “company ready” and was able to stretch the evening meal to include everyone from the down-and-out to distinguished visitors.
Of the parsonage years with her parents and siblings, Lynn Krog, a member of Faith Lutheran Church, Seattle, said: “I loved it that there were always people in and out of our house. There was always a cake so there was something to offer. And a pot of coffee was ready.”
Besides being hospitable and taking care of the house and children while her husband was out making calls or at meetings, the pastor’s wife was expected to attend church activities, teach Sunday school or vacation Bible school, join the circles and altar guild, direct a choir and bring hot dishes whenever needed.
“In former times many congregations had a virtual associate pastor without the extra cost,” said Ralph D. Stilwell, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Gilbert, S.C., and one of several to respond to The Lutheran’s reader call about the changing role of the pastor’s spouse.
Many wives willingly accepted this role.
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© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers