Recently, a few articles have come across my desk dealing with the pressures a pastor's wife often lives under and the unfortunate outcomes of these real life stories.
When I was going through my studies in preparation to become a pastor, many wise individuals passed along great insights on how to protect ourselves from moral failings as men within a ministry. They spoke often of how women would look to their pastor's and see things in them that they did not see in their husbands thus demanding the need to place protections around ourselves in order to remain faithful to our marriage vows.
But, these articles seem to point to a new trend where more and more men are hitting on pastor's wives. As the divorce rate continues to climb and more and more middle aged people find themselves single again, the number of men looking for a "new wife" is on the increase and the pastor's wife is not immune to this reality. In fact, many would view the pastor's wife as a vulnerable person because many pastor's are not giving their wives the love and attention they truly deserve. The ministry has often become the pastor's mistress leaving his wife looking for someone to care and walk alongside of them through all of the pressure's of being a pastor's wife.
As I continue to ponder these readings, I am struck with at least two thoughts. The first revolves around my need to continue making my wife a priority far above my ministry responsibilities. She needs to know on very real and tangible levels that I am married to her and not the church. Secondly, we must be fully aware of the pressures and temptations that so many pastor's wives live under. So many face what feels like unrealistic expectations and the need and desire to "just escape" can sometimes lead to poor decisions that ruin marriages.
These are sobering realities facing even those who sit in leadership within ministries and all couples must continue to fight the good fight and make marriage a priority. Here are a couple of great resources that I've come across to help with this; Couples = www.loveandrespect.com and Pastor's wives = www.leadingandlovingit.com