Post # 1
My FH is a pastor at a local church. Our dating has been very difficult because of that. There are already so many expectations placed on me. Everyone has their opinion on how to be the perfect pastor’s wife and most of the opinions contradict. People actually sit in the church parking lot and watch us garden together! We call it “life in the fishbowl”. Every date seems to be chaperoned by the dozen. It was a struggle but I came to the place of peace about it. He is the kindest, most considerate man and I can’t imagine life without him. I was actually excited about our future in the ministry together.
He told me six weeks ago that God is calling him to military chaplaincy. (He is well into the process now.) Will I support him in this? He won’t do it without me being on board. I prayed. I cried. (Not good at curve balls) But yes I love him. I love God. I can deal with this as long as God is in it. But I have no idea what to expect. Does anyone know what is expected of a chaplain’s wife? Does anyone know how chaplaincy differs from pastoring? Does anyone know what the rules are on a military wedding?
If you have any insight- help!!!!!
Post # 3
I can’t speak from experience on what it will be like as a chaplain’s wife or what is expected of him, but I can say how much a chaplain really helps out the soldiers. It is truly an honorable position to hold. My DH’s chaplain really helped him through some rough times when he was in Iraq. One of my friend’s husband plans on becoming a chaplain. They are two of the funniest/outgoing/crazy (in a good way) people I know.
Post # 4
You don’t have to have a military wedding, just so you know =].
And i totally agree with what JSDragonfly has said–the military chaplains are always the coolest, nicest, friendliest guys. They don’t have that “preacher vibe” around them, you know? They’re soldiers through and through and they help out everybody else SO much. I know Dh appreciated it when he was in Iraq, also. They really end up being psychologists and deal with all walks of life. It’s a very honorable position (pays well, also–military benefits are nice) and I don’t feel like the attitude towards them is very “under the looking glass” like it is in civilian world.
I highly recommend you guys go talk to some military chaplains, though.
Post # 5
Three years ago, my FI (boyfriend at the time) told me that he was going to go do a Master’s of Divinity. At first I wasn’t supportive (he has a degree in politics and economics, and was a bank manager) (this wasn’t what I signed up for, you’re limiting your career options, I’m don’t think I could be a pastor’s wife), he also got the calling to do military chaplaincy shortly after.
Before the wedding, I need to convert to Orthodox. I have found this part, more difficult because of the expectations that will be placed on me (In Orthodox, a priests’ wife has a special title, Presbetera). I also struggle with this because my path with God has also been a personal struggle.
As for the Chaplain part, I think it’s a difficult job, but I am so proud of my FI of finding his way into this career path, because now, I can’t seem him doing anything else. He’s perfect for it, and Lord knows there is a need for more chaplains for both the soldiers and their families. I come from a military family, so I know what I am getting into (moving around and stuff).
If you ever want to chat, PM me! I’m sure we can relate!
Post # 6
I’ve met two chaplains- one was very nice, open minded, friendly, etc.. the other was a complete weirdo.
As for the wife, she was nice- but 99.9% of the women I’ve met who are married to the military are super nice. If you choose not live on base your life will be more private. Living on base people can get in your business. As long as you’re comfortable with who you are and aren’t doing anything you’d be ashamed getting out you’ll be very happy and probably enjoy the tight knitted community.
As for military wedding rules.. they’re like any other wedding.
Post # 7
Both my DH and I are active duty military, and we love our Chaplain! We actually have a female Chaplain and she’s awesome. :). she’s there to listen to us if we have any problems, she likes to talk to people, hang out,and she’s really non-judmental, which we like. she’s even having a christmas party at her house this saturday night! (and she’s doing our wedding, too!). I don’t think people would judge you too much for being the “chaplain’s wife” i think with your husband in the military, you might even be able to breathe a little more, oh, and live off base, definetly! we feel like our private lives are more private b/c of this. 🙂
Post # 8
You guys have been very helpful. I am excited about serving our military families. All of our friends have taken the news well and think we are ideally suited to this particular calling. In church life we can get criticized for having friends of many different faiths. There can be be a lot of “brand loyalty” in the church world. We just love people where they are at. It doesn’t matter if they are Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, athiest, or Christian. If they have any problems we just point them to the One that can help (gently) and support them in any way we can. It isn’t our place to jugde. We simply love people! Our friends think the military is a better fit for us.
We are wild about entertaining as it allows us to really get to know people. I guess I’ve been a little worried about not being able to do this in the military world. Not knowing much about the military I am worried that there are all kinds of written and unwritten rules. I truly want to bless my husband and those he serves and worry about inadvertently offending. So if you are military or married to military please educate me. I have so much to learn!
What do you wish to see in your chaplain and his family? What are major turnoffs? etc.
As to moving every three years- Love it! I have lived in thirteen states and get antsy after four years. Moving gives you a chance to meet new people, make new friends! Though it will make it hard to finish my counseling degree…..hmm. Oh well, life is full of challenges.
Post # 9
Just remember God will always take care of you if that is what he is called to do =) I am in about the same situation right now. I have no idea about the Chaplin deal, sorry. what branch is he going into?
Post # 10
@cyndistar3: He is going Navy.
Post # 11
Awesome =) is he signed up yet?
Post # 12
@cyndistar3: He is placing the waiting game right now waiting for all the paperwork to be processed.
Post # 13
You will be fine! The military as a whole is very open minded. You get folks from a million different racial, financial, and family backgrounds and everybody is very respectful. at least in my experience. Nothing but positive. And i’ve never met a bitchy military wife! It’s a feeling of camraderie and family. I think you’ll fit in nicely. You can get involved on base with the FRG and you can really do a lot of good work for the women who have deployed husbands and who need extra help. I think as a chaplain’s wife, your “duty” is to just do good things like that and spread the love!
Post # 14
Let me say that as a military couple, you do not have to do a military wedding. But, you certainly can if you want to or if you want your FH to wear the uniform.
Growing up near Oakland, MD, yes life can be a fishbowl. I am now a military wife. If you are ok with the moving and changing friends every few years then you will be fine. Some of our best friends are from the military even though we no longer live near them. Yes, you can make new friends and entertain in the military. You will soon find in the military that you aren’t allowed to talk about some things and there is some rank discrimination between enlisted and officer wives. But for the most part everyone is friendly and very inviting to new people since everyone moves frequently.
Your FH will have some changes since the military involves a new set of rules to live by. You will have to learn the military lingo and be prepared to spend some time alone since your FH may be sent places that you can’t follow. I think that you already have a great mindset for the ministry that you meet people where they are and gently lead them.
Since you feel that this is truly your calling then remember “Where God guide, He provides.”
Feel free to message me if you have questions.
Post # 15
I just came across this thread and it made me feel really good I’m marrying a future Chaplain in June!