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Ukulelemike

Resource for Pastors' Wives

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1 hour ago, Brother Stafford said:

@Jim_Alaska @Salyan Do you think it would be better to close this thread and remove the above long post by whisperingsage?  It seems like there has been quite a bit more personal and specific information has been added and may be turning into a gossip thread.  If anyone else from that church were to read it, they would certainly know about whom this is being written.

This thread is in a private forum within a private forum... the odds of anyone from their church finding it is pretty unlikely (and we'd know they were coming!). The purpose of this section is for encouragement and advice... let's give it without nitpicking how it's being asked for or shaming someone for venting a little. If it bothers anyone, they are free to not view this thread.

Let's move on from this now.

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I'm asking for help. I'm dying here. I thought I had my adrenal and thyroid back on track and because of this stress I had to go back on my Adrenal and thyroid pills. I can't function due to the health issues this stress is causing. It's not a simple matter of me being mean to people. I am a nurse. I was a CNA for 10 years, 8.5 years in one nursing home. Dealing with sick people , stroke and dementia patients is really hard, but it helped me develop character. I know how to deal with difficult people, and I know how to love them. Some people, who are more able, don't want help, and there is nothing you can do with them. They make their choices. But in 2003 I became a Pastor's wife and found out I had no voice. I was 41 years old. I am 54 now. If I don't get some decent advice here, I can get sick again, because it will be internalized. That is a real thing.

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2 hours ago, whisperingsage said:

Sorry, I just need to beg for some help because Mike's Sending Pastor died and his other older Pastor soon after, the son left the area, and there are no IFB Pastors around here that we could counsel with. I know it sounds like dirty laundry and complaints, who wants to listen to those? But we are at our wits end. Normally we could resolve long term troubled and roubling people with prayer, but these folks are constantly demanding , constantly texting, wanting rides back and forth from the pot growers house on church day, just yesterday to get to church. They live a block from the church meeting house. But somehow managed to get to the pot growers house OK. I have asked DH to put boundaries on their texting times, say, not before 6 am and not after 9 pm. And please not the Saturday before church when he has to do his lesson. But they just don't care. They just violate their agreements all the time.  I used to be able to drive them when DH was at his secular job, but we couldn't afford the fees and couldn't get my Jeep legal, so I have been grounded since November. Now Dear husband has to waste his days off taking people shopping, or they conveniently demand he take them to their dr appointments. For awhile, they would make these appointments during the week and ask him to take a day off from his secular job to take them. recently they have been making their appointments on his day off, Friday. But still, they like to say they don't do this anymore, but then they do. As a matter of courtesy, we take our charges out to breakfast at least, because we need to eat too, and it would indeed be rude to not feed them. But there is no kicking in for gas or helping out with a tip or anything.

I just see this as abusing Mike's good nature- I did this for YEARS before him ( with many people) and finally, all my patience coupons were used up. The book was empty. And I began to say "No" to people like this. But he still has patience coupons in his booklet. And he just thinks it's mean to say no. He thinks it's unbiblical to set boundaries.

 

 

No names are being used. In the medical field, case studies are referred to all the time, and not using a name is standard and considered a legal and ethical way to teach about how to approach illness or as a Continuing Ed class, or in medical books.

Why do you keep referring to me as "DH"? Just Mike is fine, everyone knows you're my DW, lol. You make me sound like Kim Jong Mike, "Dear Husband". I'll make you call me that at home now.

 

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2 minutes ago, Ukulelemike said:

Why do you keep referring to me as "DH"? Just Mike is fine, everyone knows you're my DW, lol. You make me sound like Kim Jong Mike, "Dear Husband". I'll make you call me that at home now.

I had to look up what "DH" and "DW" meant.  So, whisperingsage is your wife, Brother Michael?

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3 minutes ago, Brother Stafford said:

I had to look up what "DH" and "DW" meant.  So, whisperingsage is your wife, Brother Michael?

That is correct. She filled in some details I had not. She's fed up. This is why we're looking for some resource that she can use to find answers-we disagree in some asp[ects-not in all, maybe the delivery. We have agreed to back off on trying to, I guess, seem like we're trying to run their lives, and I have turned the care of his wife completely to her husband-I told him that she was not our responsibility, outside of training in the church setting through the preaching of the word, and that it is HIS duty to learn well enough to be her spiritual head. So we are making headway. But while he is still ill, (he is awaiting a surgery for a hiatal (sp?) hernia, and is down a lot, he isn't much able to give her much direction, and she's rather like a child in some respects, as she was kept medicated much of her youth so her mother could get disability for her-so she is a stunted in her maturity, and she runs around like a kid without guidance. That's part of what my wife was talking about with the 'pot house', a family who grows pot in the backyard, (another issue we have here: the legalization of marijuana and the questions that arise from that issue). So our deisre is that she can find some preacher's wives who have been in the trenches longer, who have had to deal with and put up with troublesome believers, people you don't want to remove, who aren't in blatant sin, but are just, hard cases, that you want to help, but are growing weary over. I have the patience, she has a harder time with that. But then, I'm called to be the pastor, she's called to be my wife and help, and I'm enough trouble as it is.

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"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." Matthew 10:42

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On 3/20/2017 at 1:54 PM, Ukulelemike said:

That is correct. She filled in some details I had not. She's fed up. This is why we're looking for some resource that she can use to find answers-we disagree in some asp[ects-not in all, maybe the delivery. We have agreed to back off on trying to, I guess, seem like we're trying to run their lives, and I have turned the care of his wife completely to her husband-I told him that she was not our responsibility, outside of training in the church setting through the preaching of the word, and that it is HIS duty to learn well enough to be her spiritual head. So we are making headway. But while he is still ill, (he is awaiting a surgery for a hiatal (sp?) hernia, and is down a lot, he isn't much able to give her much direction, and she's rather like a child in some respects, as she was kept medicated much of her youth so her mother could get disability for her-so she is a stunted in her maturity, and she runs around like a kid without guidance. That's part of what my wife was talking about with the 'pot house', a family who grows pot in the backyard, (another issue we have here: the legalization of marijuana and the questions that arise from that issue). So our deisre is that she can find some preacher's wives who have been in the trenches longer, who have had to deal with and put up with troublesome believers, people you don't want to remove, who aren't in blatant sin, but are just, hard cases, that you want to help, but are growing weary over. I have the patience, she has a harder time with that. But then, I'm called to be the pastor, she's called to be my wife and help, and I'm enough trouble as it is.

PArtof the problem is that this isn't just a "women's issue" because the husband is as immature as the wife, he won't read his bible either. (she actually has a better brain and memory- she gets most of the question candy because of this, she just can't/won't apply it to herself). Without reading and study he cannot hope to guide his own home. He is great for  asking questions all during,  and even disrupting service, but the nature of most of his questions shows he has very little understanding of a lot of things. He, for example, thought "humble" meant "prideful".  How do we even attempt to correct something so basic?  If he doesn't understand basic English (and he's a white boy born in the USA) how can he ever hope to understand the KJV? I was homeschooled and taught to read at 3 but there was always a drive to read things beyond my comprehension, and if I understood some of it I was pleased. Most people don't/won't/can't do that today. But he doesn't even really try. He may never be capable. Is it fair to put him in charge when he can't even judge rightly for himself? His best "friends" are foul mouthed older men that appear to use him for labor "paying" him an old piece of junk they were going to throw away. That's the nature of his "work" for them.  That can be a treasure as I have done it myself, but again, he's spina bifida and of a weak constitution. He just can't put in the labor that the average bear can do. It can and has hurt him. When I was his age I was stronger than him. I was stronger than him 5 years ago. But the point is he hangs with bad people, with filthy mouths and doesn't grasp that there is something amiss with that person. We can't be around these people 5 minutes without hearing a slough of curse words spewing forth. And yet the couple tell us no, this man doesn't swear...

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15 hours ago, HappyChristian said:

whisperingsage: I totally get where you're coming from regarding internalizing issues. I'm so sorry for the stress this has put on you. I wish I had a solid "this is what you do" answer, but I don't. However, I do have some thoughts. I'd like to share them, but I don't want them to come across as harsh or finger-pointing in any way...and what I'm saying, I'm saying as a wife. Not as a pastor's wife, but as a wife, since that is what we married women are first (after being Christians, I know).  I see from comments that you both are working on this situation, and that is good and necessary.

This is very likely something you've already considered, Mike, but your wife needs pressure removed from her. I think you've made a good first step towards that by placing the reins into the young woman's husband's hands. But there are a few things that concerned me.

First, the texting/phoning. That has to stop, somehow.  It was mentioned that they don't respect boundaries of when to contact you. Those boundaries have to be reinforced, and held firmly by both of you. If this couple texts or calls outside the boundaries you've set up, I would strongly advise that you ignore them. I know that, as a pastor, your ministry is vital. But your marriage is much more so, and your wife's physical/emotional health as well. 

As a wife, I can tell you that it would distress me if people that I knew were simply using my husband were calling and interrupting his much needed sleep or his sermon prep time. And, yes, I internalize things as well, so I know what happens - even if I work hard at NOT reacting or worrying. Shutting down the response to them will cut down on that stress some. I know that it seems rude or possibly neglecting part of your flock to do that, but your wife NEEDS you to do that. Take it from a wife...

None of what I say is meant to criticize in any way, please know that. I admire both your desires to serve the folks of your church - even when it's people who just can't function well. But here's something else that kind of stuck out to me: the dryer. Yes, I know that wsage has it down as to using it. But your wife needs you to fix her dryer. And this might sound like a heretic speaking, but she needs it before you spend more money on something at church. I don't know that she would ever say that to you - and she might not even realize it herself. But I guarantee that's just more stress on her that she's internalizing. Even if she laughs about it or says it's okay. And I don't mean to imply that she's being dishonest. She's being selfless. And that's admirable. But it can also stress a body...

And if there's any way you can get the folks at church to begin giving - the $$ load needs to be removed from you. Because, believe me, that load is carried by your wife as well, even if she's completely in agreement with where your $$ goes. I'm sure you've taught on giving, and I'm not, again, criticizing. Just mentioning some things that stuck out to me.

whisperingsage, it might be a good idea for you not to interact with this young lady right now. Whether on social media, at church, on the phone, etc. I think maybe she knows that she's able to push your buttons and is perversely enjoying it. Sadly, there are people who enjoy making other people crazy. Saying hello to her at church should, IMO, be the limit of your contact with her for now.  I have asked a much wiser head than mine to contact you privately. I'll be praying for you, sage. 

These are just some thoughts that scattered through my brain as I read this. Again, I hope no-one is offended, as nothing was meant to be offensive.

 

Thank you, this is what we need.

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11 hours ago, Rebecca said:

Whisperingsage, since you mentioned you are on facebook, may I recommend the closed group "Independent Baptist Women of Ministry". Perhaps you may find encouragement and advice there as well.

 

Will do.

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3 hours ago, whisperingsage said:

PArtof the problem is that this isn't just a "women's issue" because the husband is as immature as the wife, he won't read his bible either. (she actually has a better brain and memory- she gets most of the question candy because of this, she just can't/won't apply it to herself). Without reading and study he cannot hope to guide his own home. He is great for  asking questions all during,  and even disrupting service, but the nature of most of his questions shows he has very little understanding of a lot of things. He, for example, thought "humble" meant "prideful".  How do we even attempt to correct something so basic?  If he doesn't understand basic English (and he's a white boy born in the USA) how can he ever hope to understand the KJV? I was homeschooled and taught to read at 3 but there was always a drive to read things beyond my comprehension, and if I understood some of it I was pleased. Most people don't/won't/can't do that today. But he doesn't even really try. He may never be capable. Is it fair to put him in charge when he can't even judge rightly for himself? His best "friends" are foul mouthed older men that appear to use him for labor "paying" him an old piece of junk they were going to throw away. That's the nature of his "work" for them.  That can be a treasure as I have done it myself, but again, he's spina bifida and of a weak constitution. He just can't put in the labor that the average bear can do. It can and has hurt him. When I was his age I was stronger than him. I was stronger than him 5 years ago. But the point is he hangs with bad people, with filthy mouths and doesn't grasp that there is something amiss with that person. We can't be around these people 5 minutes without hearing a slough of curse words spewing forth. And yet the couple tell us no, this man doesn't swear...

Sadly, a great many younger adults are in the boat of lacking understanding. But here's the thing: you and Mike can only do what you can do. Neither of you are called to change this man...that is the Holy Spirit's job, and He is quite capable of working on the man even if he's partially or completely illiterate. You, my dear sister wsage, are not called to deal with this man, nor to take the burden upon yourself (so, it should never be "how do we attempt" to do anything regarding him). Your hubs is the one called to work directly with him. As Mike's help, you pray for Mike - for wisdom, for strength, for guidance, etc. AND you pray for this man - to learn the things he needs to learn so that he can begin growing in Christ. (AND you pray for the young woman, that she will realize that knowing the answers for candy rewards is not the end of things, that she, too, will grow in Christ...).

As to your question "is it fair to put him in charge...": GOD put him in charge. You didn't. Mike didn't. Mike is not the head of any home represented in your church, except yours. Hands off should be the policy, other than Mike working with him in regards to spiritual things. And associations do fall under that category, but rather than pointing to specific people, the principle of proper companions should be taught. These two folks are adults. Granted, immature adults. But it is NOT your job nor Mike's to raise them.

Here's one thing you could consider: start a "school" for an hour a week, where folks who want to learn grammar, vocabulary, etc. As an outreach of the church, a ministry, so there would be no charge. Offer it (Mike would do the offering) to any members who would be interested. But I wouldn't even consider doing something like this until both he and she really realize that your hands are off their lives.

I hope this makes sense...

 

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He, for example, thought "humble" meant "prideful".  [1]How do we even attempt to correct something so basic?  If he doesn't understand basic English ([3]and he's a white boy born in the USA) [2]how can he ever hope to understand the KJV?

[4]...he's spina bifida

  1. You correct it by teaching him.  If you taught him the meaning of that word, now he has a better understanding of the English language by one word.  Some people need to take one step at a time.
  2. How can he hope to understand the KJV?  With the guidance of the Holy Spirit and, perhaps, your husband (or someone else)  could sit with him and teach him; knee to knee, one letter at a time, if need be.  
  3. What does being "a white boy born in the USA" have anything to do with it.  Would it make more sense if he were black or hispanic?  If a person is illiterate or if they have a shallow understanding of the English language, it is because of the simple fact that they never learned it properly.
  4. He is not spina bifida; he has spina bifida.  He is a human being.

This is not meant to be unkind and please forgive and correct me if I am wrong, but as someone on the outside of this, you come across as bearing a great deal of resentment and disdain for this couple and I am guessing that they are probably picking up on that.

Might I suggest you revisit 1 Corinthians 13?  Here is the definition of charity from Webster's 1828 dictionary:

  1.  In a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men.

Also, remember what Jesus said to Peter and the disciples in Matthew 18:21-35 and Luke 17:3-4.

One of the cliche's they used to use in the church in which I worked, was that some people are EGR; "extra grace required."  If they are suffering from physical issues with their brains, they may need more guidance and patience than others; they may not comprehend things with the same ease and clarity as others can.

Have you ever considered taking her out shopping for an appropriate outfit?  Tell her how wonderful she looks in it and buy it for her as a surprise gift.  Perhaps you could make it an afternoon for just the two of you and try to really connect with her.  Apologize for any past wrongdoings and misunderstandings and show her that you are genuinely  interested in her.  

Contrary to popular belief, we can learn to choose our feelings and we can learn to feel affectionately toward people that we may have even hated previously; just as we can choose to behave in kind ways.  Through prayer and the assistance of the Holy Spirit, I have learned how to do this myself.

Definitely set boundaries with them and limit some of the day to day help, if they are taking advantage.  However, unless they are doing something that meets the biblical criteria of separating from them, don't give up on them.  Maybe even ask them if they could help you and your husband with a small, light duty project at the church; just the four of you.

When I start getting too big for my britches, I try to remember 1 Timothy 1:15.

 

Edited by Brother Stafford

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2 hours ago, HappyChristian said:

Sadly, a great many younger adults are in the boat of lacking understanding. But here's the thing: you and Mike can only do what you can do. Neither of you are called to change this man...that is the Holy Spirit's job, and He is quite capable of working on the man even if he's partially or completely illiterate. You, my dear sister wsage, are not called to deal with this man, nor to take the burden upon yourself (so, it should never be "how do we attempt" to do anything regarding him). Your hubs is the one called to work directly with him. As Mike's help, you pray for Mike - for wisdom, for strength, for guidance, etc. AND you pray for this man - to learn the things he needs to learn so that he can begin growing in Christ. (AND you pray for the young woman, that she will realize that knowing the answers for candy rewards is not the end of things, that she, too, will grow in Christ...).

As to your question "is it fair to put him in charge...": GOD put him in charge. You didn't. Mike didn't. Mike is not the head of any home represented in your church, except yours. Hands off should be the policy, other than Mike working with him in regards to spiritual things. And associations do fall under that category, but rather than pointing to specific people, the principle of proper companions should be taught. These two folks are adults. Granted, immature adults. But it is NOT your job nor Mike's to raise them.

Here's one thing you could consider: start a "school" for an hour a week, where folks who want to learn grammar, vocabulary, etc. As an outreach of the church, a ministry, so there would be no charge. Offer it (Mike would do the offering) to any members who would be interested. But I wouldn't even consider doing something like this until both he and she really realize that your hands are off their lives.

I hope this makes sense...

 

It does make sense, but since the man insists he has a BS in biochemistry, and pretends he loves to read, I doubt he will take me up on that sort of class. The wife, she actually is good at reading, so ditto. There is a woman they invited to church that comes about once a month, and she we discovered has a 1st grade reading ability, I set up some phonics lessons for her (I have done this before- got an "LD" student reading, they never bothered with phonics evidently) , and she does well before or after service, but I think she really prefers to get disability and if she could read well, she might have to get a job. Another one that doesn't have a car and we have to take shopping. However, she only comes about once a month and I would have to work with her more often to make it stick. But again, I think she doesn't want to lose her SSI , She's 49. I never can get over the terrible job the government schools have done.

Also Matt 6:21 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

We can tell what's important to them by how they spend their time and money. God , the Bible and learning are not it.

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We have taken them out to shop at thrift stores, in fact, a year after their quickie wedding we helped them buy her real wedding dress for her “real” wedding, (It was $35, a steal!), satin and embroidery and a train and lace. I had to taylor it some to get it to fit right. I was sad and disappointed when maybe 10 people (relatives) showed up. And they didn’t know how to dress for a wedding. Everyone came in their slob clothes. Jeans and T shirts. Maybe two girls in real dresses. It was supposed to be a potluck. One sister brought macaroni salad. That was it. We too late realized we would have to kick in with serious food and special ordered fried chicken from the local convenience store (nearest real shopping 40-60 miles away) enough to feed everyone. We had been accustomed to providing 75% of food at potlucks, but no longer have our church building with oven, so I couldn’t just pop in our usual two giant pans of chicken to roast. If we had been aware this would have been needed we could have planned  better. Also, no one brought them wedding gifts, like they just weren’t aware that was the norm. The groom’s dad gave him a cheap birthday card. That was it. This kind of shows the lack of normalcy.

 

For other clothes, yes we bought her other things, she would wear a time or two and then never see again. Sometimes he shows up dirty and in tank top and has to be sent home to change. It’s funny, they are driven to show up an hour early, but in their rush, say they didn’t have time to change. They are a block away.

I have shared many books with them. We bought them the KJV on CD (the James Earl Jones one). Somehow they still haven’t gotten through it. How much more can we do? They harbored a fugitive at their house and lied to us about it. They almost got arrested for it. The sense isn’t there. The judgement is not there. The desire is not there. I think they come to use us for rides and get what they can.

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54 minutes ago, whisperingsage said:

We have taken them out to shop at thrift stores, in fact, a year after their quickie wedding we helped them buy her real wedding dress for her “real” wedding, (It was $35, a steal!), satin and embroidery and a train and lace. I had to taylor it some to get it to fit right. I was sad and disappointed when maybe 10 people (relatives) showed up. And they didn’t know how to dress for a wedding. Everyone came in their slob clothes. Jeans and T shirts. Maybe two girls in real dresses. It was supposed to be a potluck. One sister brought macaroni salad. That was it. We too late realized we would have to kick in with serious food and special ordered fried chicken from the local convenience store (nearest real shopping 40-60 miles away) enough to feed everyone. We had been accustomed to providing 75% of food at potlucks, but no longer have our church building with oven, so I couldn’t just pop in our usual two giant pans of chicken to roast. If we had been aware this would have been needed we could have planned  better. Also, no one brought them wedding gifts, like they just weren’t aware that was the norm. The groom’s dad gave him a cheap birthday card. That was it. This kind of shows the lack of normalcy

For other clothes, yes we bought her other things, she would wear a time or two and then never see again. Sometimes he shows up dirty and in tank top and has to be sent home to change. It’s funny, they are driven to show up an hour early, but in their rush, say they didn’t have time to change. They are a block away.

I have shared many books with them. We bought them the KJV on CD (the James Earl Jones one). Somehow they still haven’t gotten through it. How much more can we do? They harbored a fugitive at their house and lied to us about it. They almost got arrested for it. The sense isn’t there. The judgement is not there. The desire is not there. I think they come to use us for rides and get what they can.

 

The latest in this issue, obviously something they have no control over, this girl's (from our church) mother, who went to jail recently for (supposedly) hitting a local teen with a bat, got out of jail. Well, a little background. She was selling her place here in our town, to move back to Florida to stay with her son. Then she went to jail. She was released on her own cognizance, got all her stuff out of the house, put into storage, put her animals with a friend, then flipped her truck, got ejected from it, and the truck landed on her, and she died from her injuries. She was due to go back to court for a possible 'third-strike' in May, meaning possibly a long sentence if she was convicted. At this point, it all seems odd. Apparently she was pretty serious about her seatbelt, but wasn't wearing it. There is some speculation that she did it intentionally, especially since she was driving on a road with a 35MPH limit, and you can't flip a truck that much at that speed, but of course, who knows? She wasn't a nice person-much of her daughter's issues stem from her mother keeping her on medication to draw disability for her; she came to the church for a bit, but was so clearly trying to irritate her daughter and her husband by bringing friend with her and declaring how nice it was to finally have some family with her, things like that, I finally had to have her leave. So, with everything else, now her mother dies in this accident, something they really didn't need. And of course, who does, right? But if, as many think, it was intentional, it would be in her nature to believe it, because she was very selfish-her whole family was separated from each other based upon who had a relationship with her and who didn't.  Maybe, after the pain, it may allow her family to come back together, we hope.  

On the plau side, being there for them in this time of loss can maybe also help heal some rifts with them-sticking with people through their pain can help form better bonds.

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I've hesitated to put this in writing, but it's been on my heart so here goes...

The Bible tells us "Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease." Prov. 22:10

Honestly, I am wondering if serious consideration ought be given to church discipline with the end view of putting out from membership if the strife does not stop (and from all that you've both been saying, the strife doesn't look to be stopping but rather growing).

This situation does not sound, to me, as a woman against woman issue (and, believe me - a woman would know...). It sounds to me like a situation in which a troubled-and-trouble-making woman has gained the upper hand. Your sympathies are in play, Mike, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. But what is it doing to the church? And to your wife? Both the church AND your wife are more important than one couple who is in the seat of the scornful (which appears to be where they sit right now).

Part of being in the ministry is sacrifice. But that sacrifice has to be tempered. We cannot sacrifice the whole for the part. When someone who is determined to be contentious is allowed to have sway (and when decisions are made in the contentious one's favor, or excuses made out of sympathy to the contentious one, that one is holding sway), chaos reigns because contention brings chaos. And confusion. But God is not the author of confusion, so allowing it to go on is wrong.

So, again, I'm wondering if serious consideration ought to be given to church discipline. For the health of the church and the health of your marriage.

(please don't be offended or think that I am condemning anyone...)

I could be wrong - it has happened before - but I am skeptical of sympathy softening a scorner.

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