What Do You Expect of Your Preacher’s Wife and Children?

The honeymoon ends when unexpressed expectations start being expressed and expected. That can come when criticisms start because of the preacher’s wife and children.

There are two extremes in expectations:

  1. From the preacher: “If they don’t pay my wife and children, they don’t have a right to be concerned.” That’s unrealistic. Many companies won’t select a leader in their organization without meeting and talking with the spouse. They don’t want to select someone who will not have support and encouragement at home for the work they’ll be doing.
  2. From the church: the preacher’s wife has to teach ladies’ Bible class, stand beside the preacher as he shakes hands after services, lead the ladies’ ministry, sponsor baby and wedding showers, make all visits with the preacher, not have a job outside the house (or has to have a good job outside the house so we can pay the preacher less and not to have to provide insurance).

How Can We Not Have Unexpressed Expectations:

Express Your Expectations and Ask About Expectations

Elders: where did you get your expectations?

  1. Do you want your next preacher’s wife to be exactly like the previous preacher’s wife? (They don’t make any like that.)
  2. Do you want your next preacher’s wife to be exactly the opposite the last preacher’s wife? (They don’t make any like that.)
  3. Do you expect more of the preacher’s wife than you do of your wife, deacon’s wives, member’s wives?
  4. Do you discuss your expectations in the interview process with the prospective preacher and his wife?
  5. Do you include questions about the prospective preacher’s wife and children in checking references?

Preachers: how do you learn of the elders’ and church’s expectations of your family?

  1. Do you discuss this in the interview process?
  2. Do you include questions about the elders’ and church’s treatment of previous preachers’ families in checking references on the church?

When I was interviewing preachers for at least the previous twenty-five year in considering a new full-time work, I asked:

  • How has your family been received and treated?
  • What is expected and permitted concerning your wife?
  • What is expected and permitted concerning your children?

See: The Search

What suggestions do you have to prevent disappointments in family-church disappointments in each other?

(Visited 20 times, 7 visits today)
Jerrie Barber
Disciple of Jesus, husband, grandfather, preacher, barefoot runner, ventriloquist

2 Responses to “What Do You Expect of Your Preacher’s Wife and Children?

  • Excellent thoughts as usual. I think under “Preachers,” you meant to say the “church’s expectations.” not exceptions.

    • Jerrie W. Barber
      1 year ago

      John,

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      I have made the correction and I appreciate you noticing and telling me.

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