Two becoming one: that is the challenge of marriage. A pair of independent I-me-mine types may have to work hard at blending his life-style and her life-style into their life-style. And the blending is likely to leave off where the vocation begins. This may be particularly so when one of the two persons is a minister.

It is not unusual to find a married male minister using his endowments to the full while his wife suppresses her own gifts in order to further his productivity. She keeps the house running, the meals on schedule, and the children under control, trying to help reserve his physical, mental, and emotional strength for the people “out there” who really need him.

A women whose primary abilities lie in parenting and homemaking may thrive on this type of joint service. But a multigifted woman may be uncomfortably aware that she isn’t fulfilling her God-given potential.

Many a parsonage wife and child resent this kind of ministry for a different reason. They see “we” competing with “they” for the minister’s time. Mostly “they” get the best of the deal while “we” get to tiptoe around a collapsed clergyman. The pastor who doesn’t communicate at home how God is using him intensifies the problem. His family can’t even share vicariously in his calling.

Another concept of a couple ministry is that both have full but separate ministries outside the home. He preaches and she teaches the beginners in Sunday school; he sits on the executive board while she rolls bandages with the women’s missionary society; she plays the piano and he does visitation. They go their separate ways instead of bearing together the burdens of spiritual service. He won’t be bothered with her concerns about the four-year-olds and she’s too busy to encourage ...

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