No matter what happens, live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ. Then I will know that you stand firm with one purpose. I may come and see you or only hear about you. But I will know that you work together as one person. And I will know that you work to spread the teachings of the good news. So don't be afraid in any way of those who oppose you. That will show them that they will be destroyed and that you will be saved. That's what God will do. (Philippians 1:27-28)
First off a shout out to my new friends at the RevGalPals blog ring. There are more women clergy out there than most people realize (I don't mean to say that they're "out there" - although I'm sure some of them probably are - aren't we all!). The Rev-Gal-Pals provide an excellent forum for conversation.
But - and this is becoming a real concern to me - even though a lot of my new friends are married, I'm not managing to make that many connections with fellow members of the Clergy-Hubby club...?
Do you want to know who reads "The Preachers Husband"? Well, it boils down to two main categories:
- Preachers - both men and women...
- and then - People Who Simply Enjoy my Writing.
- Fact is, more "Preacher's Wives" read this blog than "Preacher's Husbands".
- Are there particular issues you need addressed?
- Are you maybe too busy serving in your faith community to read blogs?
- Are you not that interested in what you perceive as stereotypical roles?
- Are you desperately trying to keep a low profile and hoping that I'll just go away?
- Are you unsure of what it really means to serve God in this unique capacity?
- Or do you have ongoing doubts and you're simply afraid to voice them?
TIME TO STAND UP:
But what does seem to be different is the in-general willingness of Clergy-Hubbies to stand up and claim the role, and to step into being the pastor's spouse with the kind of confidence and commitment that our Rev-Gal needs.
Now she might not be so willing as her male colleagues to confess that she needs anything - even you. Because perceived need, after all, is one of those huge double-standard issues used to bludgeon female clergy. The "I-can-do-it-myself" malady is not surprising considering the barriers so many women are forced to negotiate. You can only "prove yourself" so many times before losing balance and setting up permanent camp on the toxic self-sufficiency side of the line.
Meanwhile, the RevGals' male colleagues lean heavily on their spouse for every conceivable kind of support from "prayer partner" to "amateur therapist" to "make my home a sanctuary/refuge, I need it" to "best friend" to "cheerleader in chief" and everything in between.
And there's nothing wrong with that because ministry is a tough job to pull off solo. The irony is that so many women pull off "all this and more" because they:
- A) Believe they're supposed to be tougher than the men...
- B) Live in a culture where skepticism and doubt still shadow their ministry...
- C) Don't want anyone to think they need their husbands to pitch in...
- D) Don't occupy a position where their spouse would be "allowed" that privilege....
- E) Don't have a Clergy-Hubby who really "gets" it...
-F) Still - in their hearts - are trying to prove something to themselves....
Women are strong. Rev-Gals especially. I get it.
That said, it's still the responsibility of every Clergy-Hubby out there to love-nurture-encourage-support-serve their heart out!
SO CHECK IN ALREADY!
Let me hear from some of you. Your voice is important.
- Rev-Gals - please pass this on to your friends/husbands/colleagues/contacts/seminary connections.
- Pastor's Husbands - I need some feedback, pronto. Am I wrong about all this?
- Church members - What's your take? Do you think female clergy are short-changed in the "helpful spouse" department?
"No matter what happens, live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ..."