Clergy Spouse’s Job

Stereotypes abound when it comes those married to clergy. First off many people think they are all women. Second, they all either nurses or teachers. But as two income families become clergy families due to second career ministry, that has to have changed. As I talked to a new minister in our district he talked about his wife’s 70 mile drive (one way) to her employer. He asked us to keep her in our prayers because she loves what she is doing and who she is doing it with but the drive may force her to change locations and employers. (Any Hospice group looking for an Art Therapist in or around the Welcome, NC area, please let me know).

I am lucky to have a very understanding wife who after being frustrated in the lack of employment in her 4 year degree went a different route, one we hoped would travel better. She became a Massage Therapist. (NOT A MASSEUSE, but a MASSAGE THERAPIST, pet peeve of both of ours.) This has opened up some great opportunities for her but is also frustrating too. Now after living in our new appointment her personal clientele is not where she would like it. That is because we are placed in a blue collar town which is suffering and the last thing they will do is chuck out $60 for an hour Swedish massage. Also the commute to other places where she could work is almost too far to make it worth it at this time. Add the cost of CEUs and the price of recertification and it can be frustrating. Yet our congregation is a great support to her as well as me. They allowed her to work out of the home when necessary (which takes veto power from Admin Council and Trustees over the DS) and talk her up in the community. They truly have been a blessing.

Yet, I know we are not the only clergy family out there with those kinds of issues. Which got me thinking about this question. What are your spouse’s stories? Did your spouse give up his/her career for your call to the ministry or change his/her job or career path. Is your church appreciative and supportive of your spouse’s career?

Clergy Spouses have a special place in heaven with all the ‘rubbish’ they have to endure. Yet we could not do ministry without them.

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4 thoughts on “Clergy Spouse’s Job

  1. The Loving Husband gets tired of the clergy groups that sponsor “make-overs” and craft sessions. He’s thinking about expanding their lexicon with say, a nice Monster Truck Party or seminar on how to rebuilt weed-eaters for fun and profit. Or lessons on belching.It’s a hard row to hoe for any clergy spouse — harder for clergy husbands. We get invitations for tea parties and what not and he feels so very unsupported. How to BE a clergy husband?Because of this year’s appointment, I’m the one with a 74 mile commute to church (one way), 17 miles between churches and a 72 mile commute home. The LH’s commute is closer to 26 miles one way. We have discussions of telecommuting when I get appointed to a church with a parsonage — we have discussions about the LH starting his own software company — we have discussions about him finally writing that series of novels.Thinking about the loaves and fishes this week — I wonder if we need to just trust that God will provide and what we will receive will be much richer than we ever could imagine. This doesn’t make the struggle any easier – but it helps to keep the end goal in view.My 2 cents worth.

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  2. Rev. J.”No doubt that clergy spouses have a special place in the roll of the kingdom, precisely on account of what you say.I sometimes wonder if I should retire early only to allow my wife to pick the place where will live and the job she wants for a change.

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  3. I’m about to get married in a few weeks! So she saw it coming…knew I was in the ministry. Interestingly, she works in the church (different church!) as well – not something I was shooting for as the complications of clergy couples can be daunting.But God had other plans. And one thing that is important to both of us is that we can both support each other’s ministries. She’s not just gonna be my wife; she’s gonna be first and foremost God’s servant called to her own place in the Kingdom – then my wife 🙂But like I said, I’m not married yet so all this idealism might fly right out the window with the first call from my DS. But I sure hope not…

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