2.4. Review of Literature
The purpose of this descriptive qualitative phenomenological study aims at establishing the relationship between the roles in and out of the church performed by the Pulpit ministers’ wives and the manifestation of stress and how it is managed. The present study is intensively motivated by previous researches in church activities. Pulpit ministers are commissioned to ensure spiritual nourishment for the Christian followers (Zawadzkiet al., 2019). According to Guzman and Teh (2016), the PMW play a fundamental role in ensuring their husbands’ success in the challenging profession, preaching. Though the role of PMW in the church has attracted significant attention, the impacts of these roles on individual wellbeing have been neglected. Guzman and Teh (2016), creating a research gap that the current study seeks to bridge using participants from the Southwest area of Texas USA.
Guzman and Teh (2016), in their research, investigating the experiences of Filipino protestant Pulpit ministers’ wives while conducting their church roles, established that the PMW were vulnerable to stress compared to other ordinary church women. Their research used questionnaires and interviews and included only five participants. Though the population sample was too small to generalize, the data collection methods provided reliable information that increases the credibility of the findings. When asked how they cope with stress, the PMW revealed that they rely on faith in God, prayer, and social support from family members, including their husbands, Pulpit ministers. Though this research showed that PMW, were more prone to stress than other women in the church, it did not look at the relationships between the roles they perform and stress development. There are many stressors in one’s life, including inadequate resources Guzman and Teh (2016). This research can help bridge the gap to conclude that their roles and how it relates stress will affirm or disapprove the findings of the previous literature works.
Luedtke and Sneed (2018), conducted similar research it revealed that while the pulpit minister has been well represented in research, the PMW have been a silenced population. According to Luedtke and Sneed (2018), the psychological distress and burnout among the pulpit ministers have been critically studied. Their research used a qualitative phenomenological approach to investigate the lived experience of nine Wesleyan pastors’ wives. The work-family agenda was used in the study to establish the stressors among the PMW. The stressors identified in the research were resources, including finance, emotional climate, and lack of job satisfaction. However, the study did not provide the relationship between stress and the role of the PMW in the church. The gap necessitates qualitative research to establish if the roles of the Pulpit ministers’ wives fuels the manifestation of stress. A stressful event is one that features two extremes (Luedtke & Sneed, 2018). An individual such as a pastor’s wives who experiences frequent stress situations is one who has several stressful situations in life (Luedtke & Sneed, 2018). Stress can also be made up of pressures from individuals in the outside world. Those subjected to such have a sense of an inward sense of strain. This is in agreement with the understanding of stress as a mental or emotional event that physically causes anxiety or tension (Luedtke & Sneed, 2018).
Ashley (2020), argues that PMW are blessed by God in several ways, including being Pulpit ministers’ wives. However, Ashley (2020) reports that these women’s role exposes them to considerable stress factors. These stressors include challenges in finding confidants, establishing spiritual networks, and, most importantly, interpersonal loneliness. The elements have a significant impact on the wellbeing of the Pulpit ministers’ wives in relation to psycho-emotional, physical, and psychological health. These challenges motivated Ashley (2020), to recommend a model that will be used to ensure they develop holistically and successfully navigate through the problems they encounter in their roles as PMW. This research is fundamental to the current study as it provides insights into the part of the PMW. However, the authors did not conduct qualitative research to provide evidence on whether the stress of the wives on the study was in any way linked to the roles they carried out in the church. The current study purposes to fill this gap.
Vernon (2020), conducted another essential research that purposed to understand the role of the wives of the black Pulpit minters in ensuring shepherd connection. The study was centered on sixty participants and used open-ended questionnaires that provided room for explanation of the answers. According to Vernon (2020), the PMW had several roles, including women ministry’s leader, worship leader, teacher and leader of the teen ministry and the overseer of the children’s ministry. Further, Vernon (2020), revealed that the PMW were involved in church administrative roles, took part in officiating church functions such as wedding and baptism events which adds stress to them. While the research made a significant contribution in understanding the roles of the PMW the link between these roles and stress development was not mentioned in the study. Vernon (2020), confirms that there is a research gap that needs qualitative study to establish if there is a link between the PMW roles and stress development.
Bowler (2020), did a study on “Preacher’s Wife,” he endorsed that there is a positive association between stress and the church roles of the pastors’ wives. Bowler (2020), used a qualitative research method, which included interviews, he studied 121 PMW coming from four churches in Canada, United States. Out of the 121 research participants, 116 (96%) revealed that their roles increase their vulnerability to stress (Bowler, 2020). However, out of the 116 participants who admitted to experience stress as they execute their roles, 56 participants revealed that the stress was a motivating factor to them (Bowler, 2020). These findings show that some of the PMW not only experience stress in their roles but also consider this stress as a motivating factor for them to ensure their husbands, Pulpit ministers navigate successfully through the storms that characterize the preaching profession (Bowler, 2020). The current study will either confirm these findings or disapprove them by using qualitative data collection methods to gather adequate information from the Southwest area of Texas USA. The findings of the current research will help the Pulpit ministers’ wives as cope with stress if there is a connection if there is a link between the role of PMW and stress. Equally important, by finding out that there is no direct link between the development of stress and the role of the pulpit ministers’ wives, the research will have provided a deeper understanding of the roles of the Pulpit ministers’ wives.
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