Counsel for Pastors' Wives

This book could have been entitled, "Fourteen Frequently Asked Questions by Pastors' Wives." The book is based on fourteen letters of concern written by wives of pastors to a Christian counselor, Diane Langberg. Diane provides prayerful and sound counsel that addresses the hurts of pastors' wives.

For many pastoral couples, the challenge of pastoring is one of survival. High expectations about the opportunity to provide pastoral leadership and Christian ministry in a congregational setting too often turns to disillusionment and discouragement. Can the experiences really be changed into a positive ministry with real fulfillment? The author believes that is possible and, in general terms, address the "how" of accomplishing that goal.

Diane believes that the underlying cause for the multitude of pastors leaving pastoral ministry centers on two critical issues — marriage/family difficulties and burnout. Beginning as early as their days of seminary or Bible college training, the encouragement and reward of putting ministry ahead of family causes "severe neglect of the family" by pastors and a seemingly irresolvable conflict over priorities. Diane believes that "one of the most important assets in an effective ministry is a healthy and strong marriage." She also connects difficulties in marriage with the growing tendency towards burnout. Her call is clear. Neglect of marriage and family results in devastation instead of achievement.

Once she addresses the ability to survive the pastorate, her attention turns to those practical questions that relate to everything from congregational ties to practical ways of dealing with physical, spiritual and emotional issues in the family. She is very willing to address tough issues that every couple faces, such as friendship with congregates, as well as some issues that we pray no couple has to face, like recovering from an affair.

This is a very practical book that is willing to address those questions that others seem to be unwilling to mention. This book can help provide keen insight into those questions that you always wanted to ask. Diane's responses will provide good material for those reflective moments when you face challenges as a pastoral couple. You may just find yourself returning to a chapter that you read earlier just so you can refresh your insight into a particularly pertinent issue. It is good counsel.


Article copyright © 2001, Diane Langberg.
All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
Used by permission.

Counsel for Pastors' Wives by Diane Langberg
was published by Zondervan in 1988.