That's a good point, Pastor Jones. "Reverend" as a noun was derived from the way the adjective was applied to members of the clergy... people were referring to them as "the Reverend Mr. So-and-So" where the word meant "entitled to reverence." There is no precedence for this in the bible... scripture only tells us that "you shall revere your God" [NASB].
"First Lady" and "Reverend" are very similar then, at least in the sense that men decided to adopt them as titles of respect. And while we may risk puffing up the pastor's wife by labeling her the "first," we likewise risk puffing up the pastor by saying he's "entitled to reverence."
Rev Miller if you would indulge me may I direct your attention to the words of the apostle Paul who in writing to his son in the gospel Timothy, penned the follwing: 1This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
The amplified puts it this way:
2Now a bishop (superintendent, overseer) must give no grounds for accusation but must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, circumspect and temperate and self-controlled; [he must be] sensible and well behaved and dignified and lead an orderly (disciplined) life; [he must be] hospitable [showing love for and being a friend to the believers, especially strangers or foreigners, and be] a capable and qualified teacher, 3Not given to wine, not combative but gentle and considerate, not quarrelsome but forbearing and peaceable, and not a lover of money [insatiable for wealth and ready to obtain it by questionable means]. 4He must rule his own household well, keeping his children under control, with true dignity, commanding their respect in every way and keeping them respectful. 5For if a man does not know how to rule his own household, how is he to take care of the church of God?
Notice verses four and five….
While I can agree with you that not many women can deal with being a preacher’s wife or a pastor’s wife. Lets be real for a moment, if a man is honest enough with his bride and lets her in on what he feels is the direction that God is calling him in, he can and should work with his bride to make her into what he needs her to be and give instruction on how she is to carry herself, and even if he doesn’t In the old times and even in scripture older women were told to instruct the younger in how to be good wives. Unfortunately that is not taught across the pulpit and as a result is not happening. The fault for that lays squarely at the feet of those who call themselves preacher and pastor. Should the pastor be fired, I think he should be asked to take a leave of absence to get his house in order, and then and only then if he is not able to comply, then according to what Paul wrote he is disqualified from the pastorate.
Rev Miller I think it is apropos to ask him to take a leave in order to get his house in order, I am only saying he gets shown the door if and only if he cannot get his home together.I refer you to what Paul said paying close attention to verse 5... If he cannot get his house under control, he is disqualified, not only this but he has to have the opportunity to do so without the pressures of the pastorate, His first ministry is at home, and as such his greater obligation is there.
The example you gave is not the same, that was his mother, not his wife, the pastor as well as every man is accountable to God for his wife, and he will be held accountable for how he treats her, in fact as I have pointed out before, his prayers are hindered should he not deal with her fairly. In short there is no ministry that is more important to the one he has been given at home. As Paul pointed out if he cannot deal with his home, he has no business attempting to deal with the church.
I really appreciate all of your input and it is obvious, beyond some of our non-essential details that we all can agree that any pastor should be encouraged to take care of home first, in regards to marriage & family. As a third generation Baptist preacher, I have found it to be true that if you don't deal with home, it will hurt you and your church eventually (possibly even destroy your legacy). We have been called to be husbands and fathers first, although our callings have called us to a level of personal sacrifice. Our home was never a part of that sacrifice, it should be our refuge from the temptations, challenges and constant difficulties of ministry. Without that refuge, we cannot pastor effectively, in most cases. I have known many men who have lost their families because the church was held at a higher priority, they still are in ministry, but a portion of them is broken and they are not as effective as they once were. Don't get me wrong, God can restore them and I believe he will. My statement is why go through this, let's learn from our predecessors and ensure peace in our households, our refuge. I am sure that we can all agree that when our homes are in order, our ministry is more efficient and productive. A supportive spouse is a major help to a pastor, but that pastor must appreciate his help. Sometimes spouses act out in response to neglect and we need to rebuild a bridge of communication and love. If the damage is bad enough, there may be a need for a leave of absence, but we should never let it get that bad. Our marriages are like our cars, they need to properly maintenance it on a routine basis. If you don't do the proper maintenance on your marriage, it will break down. Before anyone who is in Christ (not limited to preachers) considers divorce, we need to cut out distractions and make your strongest attempt to the revival of your marriage. Due to the sacrifices of a full-time pastor's duties (as well as other professions, i.e.doctors, lawyers, executive level managers, etc.), we may need to scale back and spend more time with our families and seek counsel to overcome our breach in communication and love.
Now lets throw some solutions into this discussion, someone please share some exercises that can prevent the breakdown of our homes. I think this will help foster this discussion to another dimension. My wife and I always set aside a time of the week for quality time, this time is mandatory for all members of the household. We usually do something fun and just enjoy each others company. I have found that this calms me and continually builds new bridges of communication and love in my family. I have had to deny engagements to do ministry and extend ministry deadlines to keep this going, but my church understands that I am committed to the betterment of my home, which ensure the betterment of the ministry.
Please share something you do to keep your marriage and family strong...
Well said my brother I come from a long line of pastors myself going back several generations, have seen men in my own family destroy thier marriages and at the end they are left with empty homes, and in the case of my father dying full of regrets of how he treated what he had been given.
My wife and I have always taken a vacation on our anniversary, we go away and get away from all that we know just to be by ourselves, and have pledged that when our children are born that we will involve them as well.
Yes, annual vacation getaways are a must for the Man and Woman of God.
Bro. Anthony is it me or does it seem as though when we get positive and ask for solutions, nobody wants to share any input. I prayer our brothers and sisters are more than just "nay-sayers", but problem solvers. I also undertand many may not understand the importance of a solid marriage, so I will go on anyhow.
Here is another tip, I have found fruitful. I have Bible study at home with my family regularly. My home Bible studies are more indepth and are the introduction to our family meetings. This way my family is enpowered to be solid Christians together in a private setting, where they are free to ask the tough questions. We don't always get that opportunity in church.