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Every job is important to someone, but many jobs do not get the recognition they deserve. One such job is the husband of the pastor's wife. This job carries great responsibility and yet has little if any recognition.

I believe, based on years of personal experience, the craft and expertise of this particular job goes well beyond normal expectations. Not just anyone can do this job and there does not seem to be any special training afforded the likely candidates. Unfortunately, those of us who are in this position are pretty much on our own.

Many responsibilities are associated with this profession. If the pastor's wife is to accomplish all she is supposed to do, she must have some highly specialized help. And most congregations expect quite a lot from the pastor's wife.

Let me just enumerate some of the highly skilled responsibilities of the pastor's wife's husband.

The first responsibility is quite basic. This has to do with selecting the right person to be the pastor's wife. This, I assure you, is no easy task. It takes a highly skilled individual to make the proper selection. Not just any woman will do. If the wrong woman is chosen, the entire congregation will suffer for it.

It may take years to find the right one, with absolutely no . . .

Every job is important to someone, but many jobs do not get the recognition they deserve. One such job is the husband of the pastor's wife. This job carries great responsibility and yet has little if any recognition.

I believe, based on years of personal experience, the craft and expertise of this particular job goes well beyond normal expectations. Not just anyone can do this job and there does not seem to be any special training afforded the likely candidates. Unfortunately, those of us who are in this position are pretty much on our own.

Many responsibilities are associated with this profession. If the pastor's wife is to accomplish all she is supposed to do, she must have some highly specialized help. And most congregations expect quite a lot from the pastor's wife.

Let me just enumerate some of the highly skilled responsibilities of the pastor's wife's husband.

The first responsibility is quite basic. This has to do with selecting the right person to be the pastor's wife. This, I assure you, is no easy task. It takes a highly skilled individual to make the proper selection. Not just any woman will do. If the wrong woman is chosen, the entire congregation will suffer for it.

It may take years to find the right one, with absolutely no room for mistakes here. Every congregation expects the husband of the pastor's wife to make the proper selection, and so they should.

Once this selection has been made, the job has just begun. As difficult as the selection process is, the next stage is even more difficult. If, for example, the wrong woman has been selected, this stage becomes a long and arduous process guaranteeing no success at the end.

The second stage is developing and training the woman in the fine art of pastoral wifery. This phase is quite tricky and demands the utmost in discipline and guidance. Contrary to what people may think, pastor's wives are not born but carefully developed by a highly skilled professional.

Every pastor's wife must have the dexterity to fit into any situation she may encounter throughout her career. If the learning process is fudged here, her career will be drastically shortened, much to the dismay of some unsuspecting congregation. She must be able to relate to any and all women, children and old people within the confines of the congregation.

Part of this training has to do with fashion and personal presentation. She must be able to dress for any and all occasions. Every dress she buys must be both casual and formal at the same time. She must be able to develop her wardrobe on a fixed budget and at the same time looked glamorous. However, her glamour must be very tasteful and modest.

Another important aspect of this training is in the area of hospitality. When she invites people in the congregation over for lunch she must out-Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart without, of course, going to prison. Everything must be absolutely perfect and in good taste, and more importantly, within a fixed budget.

One important word about this ?fixed budget.? The budget we are talking about was fixed in 1929 just before the stock market crashed and never adjusted for inflation.

Then there is the third stage in the development of the pastor's wife. Although the first two stages are difficult, this next stage goes beyond difficulty and floats on the sea of improbability.

This stage has to do with her involvement in the congregation, as well as in the community. To put it simply, she is to be ?all things to all people at all times.? Her musical ability is to border on the line of genius. Her teaching acumen is to run the age gauntlet of zero to 129. She is required to explain the most complex theological question to everybody ranging from the pre-born to the aged forlorn.

A good pastor's wife has the ability to plan, prepare and execute banquets for any group from 2 to 1,000 and then clean up afterward. Everything, of course, is made from scratch using her own secret recipes, which must be shared with every woman in the congregation.

No problem or difficulty is beyond her ability to tackle and solve, to the delight of everyone. Where two people are having personal problems with one another, the pastor's wife is able to solve this difficulty in one short session ? pleasing both sides of the issue.

The pastor's wife is able to sing every part at the same time. And if she cannot sing a quartet by herself some will look upon her with a little bit of suspicion. She must play every instrument the church can afford to buy and every style of music to please everyone within the sound of the church chimes.

This is just a sampling of the responsibilities of the average pastor's wife. If it wasn't for the husband of the pastor's wife, she would never learn to do all these things as well as she does.

One final aspect of the husband of the pastor's wife is that he does all of this incognito. Working behind the scenes, he makes sure the Good Mistress of the Parsonage is well-pleasing in both the congregation's eyes , as well as God's.

When someone comments appreciatively about the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, I secretly smile, knowing I've done my job well.

?Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.? (Proverbs 18:22 KJV.)

Copyright, Rev. James L. Snyder
Used With Permission
For reprint permission, contact the auther through his site at:
http://www.realezsites.com/bus/godspenman

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