Friday, March 24, 2006

Preacher's Families

I'm sure most of us have read or heard about the killing of the young preacher in Tennessee by his wife on Wednesday. My son who lives in Florida, called me earlier today and we were discussing how tragic the whole situation is: a 31 year old dead, a wife who now faces the possibility of life in prison, three young children whose lives are forever scarred, in-laws and parents with no sane explanations for the destruction of their children's lives. Can anything be any darker?

Later this evening, my husband and I reflected on the ordeal. We began to speculate as to what would cause a young preacher's wife and mother to kill her husband. We talked of several possibilities but of course, no one knows at this point what caused her to do it. But I said to my husband, I don't think people realize how much stress a preacher's family is in sometimes.

Since I'm a preacher's wife, let me share some things with you. From the time we married, we have lived in a "glass house". Especially when we were younger, in our 20's and 30's; if we wore a new outfit, someone had a comment to make about the expense. If we bought a new car, the eyebrows were really raised. I even remember one brother calling a special meeting to talk about how we must be living a "lascivious" lifestyle if we could afford a new vehicle. One time, we were told that the house we were renting was not nice enough and made the church look bad; it made it look like they did not pay the preacher enough. Well?

A preacher's family, especially in a smaller congregation, must watch every move they make. And, not if, but when they make any mistakes, the consequences can be earth shattering. There is always the fear that something you say or do, or for that matter, something your children may say or do will bring scorn upon you. Other "members" can make the same mistakes and no one even notices. I am not trying to justify sin or errors but I am saying we often judge with a double standard--is that really fair? The preacher and his family are human also.

We do not know what circumstances caused this horrific tragedy on Wednesday. Nothing can justify this woman's actions but, the family is in need of our prayers and so too is the wife.

Dana Burk

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