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.