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.
• Use confidential e-mail or answering machines to communicate when the pastor is unavailable. Don’t expect the spouse to relay information.
• Be sensitive to the busy lives most parents today experience around their children’s schedules and career requirements.
• Recognize the pastor’s need for personal time—time away from church on days off and vacations.
• Anticipate and offer assistance when there’s extra stress on a pastor’s family, such as Christmas and Easter, or if there’s an ill parent or child.
• Schedule meetings that allowfor uninterrupted family mealtime together.
• Offer to baby-sit so the pastor and his or her spouse can go on a date.
• Recognize the different stages of life that a spouse might go through: caring for children, working full or part time, caring for elderly parents or other volunteer commitments.
• Give the pastor a reasonable living wage and benefits.
• Understand that the pastor’s spouse may have his or her own opinions regarding Scripture and theology—the same as any other member.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers