Survey Highlights Hardships Faced by Spouses of Pastors
Being married to a pastor doesn’t mean that life is full of purpose and joy. In fact, spouses have to undergo a lot more, according to a survey done by Lifeway Research.
The study says that one in four spouses of pastors have a full-time job, while one out of five have a paid position in the house of the Lord. Unlike the spouses of the older generation, the younger ones have a lot more to say about the stress related to their husbands’ jobs.
The relationship they have with their husbands has a negative impact on their finances and friendships. The survey shows that seven out of 10 spouses have only a handful of friends to confide about their problems. A lot of spouses find it challenging to establish an emotional connection with the vast majority of people. On the other hand, spouses are also scared that people of the church will betray them.
Although the spouses have to face problems on a regular basis, they are still happy with their marriages. For the study, Lifeway Research took the opinions of 720 spouses from diverse backgrounds such as Assemblies of God, Lutheran, Methodist, non-denominational, Baptist, Church of God, Church of Christ, Charismatic/Pentecostal, and Presbyterian to name a few.
The vast majority of the spouses who were a part of the study worked for at least 35 hours on a weekly basis. 51 percent of them spent a minimum of 20 years as spouses for pastors. 86 percent of them have a role to play in the church, out of which 19 percent of them are a part of the Church’s staff.
Out of the spouses who love their lives, 93 percent of them believe that the current church is an ideal fit for their husbands. 83 percent of them enjoy working for the ministry, while 79 percent of them are happy with their parts in the church.
At the same time, they also have to face a lot of hardships. 72 percent of them say that their significant others had to face resistance while serving in the church. Only 69 percent of the people have a handful of trustworthy friends to confide in their problems. 59 percent of the participants strongly believe that commitments to the church hamper family time. Also, 68 percent of them keep stressing about whether they have enough money to survive once their husbands retire from the church.
If you want to see how things have changed over time, take a look at this survey on Leadership in 1981.
- LifeWay Research
- Christianity Today -Survey: Being a Pastor’s Wife Is Good for Faith, Bad for Friendship
- Christianity Today -A Survey of Ministers Wives