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Friday, June 29, 2007

Marriage in Ministry Statistics

I received an invitation to a seminar in the mail yesterday and although I know that marriage while in ministry is sometimes a rough road, even I was surprised with the statistics!

Those in ministry "are equally likely to have their marriage end in divorce" as general church members.
(Harford Seminary study of 10 Protestant denominations -4,400 people) Ministries Today, Sept/Oct 1995

Second highest divorce rate among all professions.
("The State of the Pastor"- Injoy Ministries- Partners in Prayer Report.)

77% of pastor's wives are dissatisfied with marriage.
("The State of the Pastor"- Injoy Ministries- Partners in Prayer Report.)

Only 24% of pastors have received marital counseling.

80% of pastors believe ministry negatively affects the family.

33% of pastors believe ministry is downright hazardous to marriage.

50+% of pastors wives are severely depressed.
(Dr. James Dobson) and (Pastors at Risk by H.B. Londn and Neil Wiseman)

I think I want to go to this seminar! I'm not one for volunteering to sit in a room for however many hours and listen to someone unless I really want to hear what they have to say. I definitely have an interest here and an interest to have my dh listen too. There's a reason being a pastor's wife is commonly called "living in a fishbowl" - and being a younger pastor's wife with young children is a task in itself.

Any doubt you have about your ability to raise your children is highlighted continously, every church function, every Sunday morning. We used to sit in the very back pew so that I could excuse us from service without everyone's eyes but I move to the front pew so that I wouldn't have to be aware of those turning their heads to look at us (dd7, ds3 and I). Danny and I excuse ourselves almost every Sunday to have correction. I am constantly aware of how we are perceived by church members and I have even had comments filtered through the grapevine, including-"You know why so and so isn't here today right?" A lot of times there is a veiled "dissatisfication" in someone's judgment of either my dh or me in those comments.

My etiquette awareness is more heightened than most around me, I think this is a side-effect of the ministry. Our marriage, hmm. Yes, that is stressed more times than not. I think we'll go to this seminar.



Staci said...

The absolute best marital advice I have have read/seen, anywhere, is Debi Pearl's book: Created To Be His Help Meet.
It is awesome. I am able to better mentor other Christian wives with the inspiration, and sound biblical advice from the text.
You can find it at


5atkins said...

I am surprised at how high the numbers are! I wrote a response to this on my blog if you want to see it. :)

I am sure anytime you and your dh get to spend focusing on your marriage is wonderful! I pray you are able to go!

I also look forward to getting the Pearl book which Staci recommended! I know that I can still be much better!

In Him, Eva

Dawne said...

I 2nd Debi's book! Best 'seminar' ever IMO. ;)

Blogging Helps Me Live said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm very passionate about this area myself!!