Saturday, March 31, 2007

TIME and All Eternity

Howdy everyone. Some of you might remember a comment posted a while back from a Time journalist who said that she was writing an article on pastor's wives. That article came out today, "What God Joined Together," and I think that Lisa Takeuchi Cullen did an outstanding job. (I got a mention in the first paragraph on p.2!!!)


kj said...


I just read the Time magazine article and glanced at some recent posts. I certainly relate to being an unconventional pastor's wife -- intellectual, introverted, not at all domestic, and chafing at times at not being able to express my opinions on many things, religious, political, and cultural, that I care deeply about. But I fear from what I've read below, that openness may be limited to cheer and jeers on the so-called conservative side of the fence. Yes, I'm an unrepentant liberal, but I'd like to think an openminded, complex, and thoughtful one, and I have lived, worked, and worshipped all my life in bright, crimson "red" areas of the country, mostly in the Midwest (though I'm old enough to remember when no one thought in terms of red and blue, just different philosophies about the role of government in dealing with economic and social programs). It seems to me that church is the first place where we should work at freeing ourselves from misconceptions and fears about those who hold views different from our own and learning to focus on the many things we do have in common, if we'd just do a better job of listening to one another.

That's a tough job sometimes, and it is sometimes harder for the pastor's spouse and children. But sometimes, I think the restrictions on us can be liberating in the sense that it helps me keep my tongue and stand back and really try to think through and feel where someone else is coming from. The entire congregation, not just our family, should be coming together as followers of Christ regardless of our personal convictions about social and political issues. I would hope that a community of pastors' wives could do the same.

Blessings to all this Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

Sam @ said...

I think Lisa Cullen is a wonderful writer as well. In fact, I began licensing parts of her book, Remember Me, for my website,

In her book she writes about modern day funeral rituals that America's baby boomers are starting to remake, things like "Green" Burials, At-Sea Burials and the emergence of cremation as potentially surpassing the traditional whole-body-in-casket disposition.

She is funny and very insightful.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

My wife (also a PW) latched on to this article. She identified with the isolation and loneliness -- and our current congregation is great. But, it is difficult. Thanks for sharing your story.

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Pr. Cornwall,

You are right, no matter how great the congregation (we are at a very good one, too), the life is can be very challenging.

God bless

Susan said...

And the broken record says again....

A pastor's wife needs a pastor who is not her husband. The article mentions the frustrations and the loneliness and the struggles that she can't share with her husband. But God's Word and God's support and God's absolution are available through a man with a voice, in the Office which God has provided.

Friends are a blessing. And computers & telephones provide us access to friends that aren't local. Hooray for that! But what we need even more than that is the ministry that comes from Jesus through the ordained men He has provided.

If pastors' wives had faithful father-confessors, it would be a good thing.

[The broken record is being unplugged now for a bit.....]

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...


thank you for your post...while I am an unabashed theological and political conservative (I posted earlier, and since I've been driving all over the state of Michigan for the last few days, my fingers were way behind my thoughts and I typed that I was I deleted that message! You probably already guessed that).

I hope what you saw wasn't cheers and jeers, because I really do try to encourage polite, respectful dialogue and not try to put people into corners...because I've never found a corner that fit me. Sometimes, I've been more comfortable around liberals than conservatives, even when I didn't agree. You've lived in the Midwest...I've lived in California.

I agree that sometimes being a pastor's wife does help make me a little more likely to watch my tongue and take the time to empathize.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...


A broken what? You mean like in sports or in the Guinness Book? ;) (I'm not THAT young)

Keep talking about it. It is important for pastors wives to get pastoral care from someone other than their pastor...and for the pastor as well to have someone he can go to.

Unfortunately, most denominations do not carry on the tradition of confession and absolution as we do in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (and individual is still not often observed, but is incredibly healing, since it is a confession of guilt and a pronouncement of forgiveness, which sometimes we need to hear. NOT dependent on penance, since so many view the practice as being Catholic.

But that kind of care is important. It puts the husband and wife in unusual predicament and one that they can only fulfill with great difficulty if her husband is also her pastor.

Dr. Luther in the 21st Century said...

Good stuff, I know that my extremely introverted and opinionated wife can sympathize with you.

BTW, I have linked to this article and your propaganda post.

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

LOL...I also notice that the title of the article has been changed since Saturday. Maybe since the article addresses former pastors' wives by various means.....

Cathy said...

I just found your blog...and I want to thank you for it and for posting the link to the article. I am a PK, adopted daugher, named Catherine, not to mention a divorced mother, and a knitter. There's a few labels.(the knitter label is the only one I can claim for myself.) That article, is the first time I could really relate to so many issues. I saw my mother in it, I saw myself in it. Not only can't the wives confide in fellow church members, neither can the children. Heaven help us when we go through horrible divorces and try to go home. I thought during my teenaged years all eyes were on me on Sunday mornings. I had no idea how many more eyes would be on me when I went home from California to Michigan post divorce. Thank you for opening the dialog.

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...


You make an interesting point about PK's (pastor's kids) not being able to be themselves, either.

95% of the time (a good, round, Lutheran number), my kids feel perfectly at home at church and don't realize that they are being watched as strongly as I feel that they are being watched. They couldn't imagine being anything else.

I don't know the circumstances of your divorce, but I am sorry that the comfort of going home was tainted by the pain of being observed. It is really hard when we have our sorrows out in the public eye.

Thanks for your comments. I've really enjoyed hearing from you all on the article. I hope to hear more!