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I looked up Titus 2: "Teach the older women to be reverent … not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine. … Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and … subject to their husbands" (vv. 3-5, NIV). I couldn't decipher how working outside the home precluded these virtues. Pastors' wives feel plenty bad about the fact that, in many instances, the church doesn't pay them enough to live on. "Ambitious agenda" has nothing to do with the cost of tennis shoes and car insurance.

Sometimes the ministry wife simply feels incapable of leading other women in the art of godly womanhood. One wife responded in the jbu questionnaire that she needed someone to function as a WOTTS-mentor to her.

Syndicated columnist Terry Mattingly wrote recently that the divorce rate for U.S. pastors rose 65 percent in the past 25 years. Eighty percent said their ministry has "a negative impact" on their home life, while one-third said "the pastorate has been a 'hazard' to their families."

A radio host recently asked the guest for that day what she thought would be a wonderful way to minister to the pastor's wife: "Maybe offer to clean house for her, or something like that?" he said. The cows will come home before a pastor's wife wants a church member digging socks (and who knows what else) out from under her kids' beds. The radio guest, to her credit, made a better suggestion. "If that's something they want to do, it would be best to pay for a cleaning service to come in." (But then, of course, the wife is haunted by the thought that the people in the church must think she can't keep her house ...

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April 7, 1997

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