Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How To Be A Preacher's Wife And Like It: Part Two

Under the section titled, Causes for Conflict, Mrs. Parrott writes, "Difference in I.Q. must be considered. Theoretically, the husband and wife have the same native intelligence. However, in actual cases this is not true. Marriage counselors say that greater happiness is often achieved in homes where the husband has a slightly higher I.Q. than his wife."

I read this part to my husband and, with a twisted grin, he said, "That's why we work so well." I shot him a dirty look and he laughed.

It continues, "However, in numerous parsonages, the wife is smarter than her husband. Unless a proper adjustment is made by both the husband and the wife, this can cause serious conflict in the parsonage."

"Oh," I said, "that explains any conflict we have. I'm actually smarter than you."

Later, in the same section, I read, "There are differences in learning. Obviously, there is a vast difference between the serious-minded young man who took advanced training to prepare himself for the ministry, and his young wife whose main interests in college were social."

Oh. Obviously.

Obviously my husband was a serious-minded young man. Obviously my main interests in college were social. Now you're all making snarky comments about how I majored in Theatre and my husband has a Master's in Exegetical Theology, aren't you.

What strikes me about this particular passage is the fact that my research revealed that Mrs. Parrott had, herself, a Master's in Religion. Maybe she went to graduate school for purely social reasons.

Don't think I'm going to leave you without a wise gem. "Even if the pastor is not able to be gone week ends it is good for his family to be away from the parsonage for at least four consecutive weeks once each year. The new perspective, the complete rest, the change of environment can make an appreciable impact for good on the parsonage household. However, I only suggest this an an ideal, for as yet I have never been away from the parsonage for more than two weeks at a time."

This is very wise advice! I sincerely hope that, as time went by, Mrs. Parrott was blessed with the opportunity to be away for a four week stint. I hope Hawaii was involved. Or the Bahamas. I, myself, would be perfectly okay with four weeks of new perspective, complete rest, and a change of environment involving tropical sand, trade winds, and pineapple. Wait, did she not include that last bit in her original paragraph? Huh. Must have been an oversight.


  1. The "four weeks" suggestion is awesome. When our congregation got a new pastor, he found an overworked and exhausted pastoral staff. One of the first things he did was institute sabbaticals. Best thing that ever happened to our church staff. The difference has been amazing.

  2. You know, you've got me thinking: One of my friend's Moms told me that back when she got married and her husband was in, there used to be all this "training" that Navy wives had to go through on proper etiquette and the like. Maybe there are books too. Heck, maybe they'll even have all the answers I'm looking for! Or, you know, based on your experience with this, maybe not.... :)

  3. Maybe Mrs. Parrott hit up Cuba. It was quite the tourist destination back then! :)

    I love reading etiquette and "how to" books from the 1950's or before. The differences in our culture are so fascinating and often entertaining. I have this great etiquette book from 1901 that is interesting. For instance you should keep your gloves on for a short visit and you may or may not choose to remove them at dinner. Although truthfully if we all followed most of the rules in the book, social interaction would be much more enjoyable.

  4. That whole college-for-social reasons bit was painful to read. I want to laugh, I do, but...*sigh* At least I could laugh at your dialogue with your husband hahaha. Thanks for the giggles!