Counsel for Pastors' Wives
by Diane Langberg
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.
Conversations, letters and surveys tell us the concerns you wives in ministry have. About 45 percent of you fear physical, emotional and spiritual burnout. Nearly 60 percent of you work outside the home. Some 45 percent of you tell us you have no close friends. And more than half of you worry about raising your children.
My list of things to do seemed to be growing out of control. Pastoring two churches, my husband often worked 60 to 80 hours each week, and I was increasingly frazzled as ministry spouse and almost-single parent. In greater martyr moments, I felt I did everything but stomp the grapes for communion.
Encouragement for women to make God's word the center of their daily lives.