“It’s the loneliest life you can imagine, and your very happiest day will be when your youngest child graduates from the school you are serving.” I had asked an experienced friend to give me some advice when my husband accepted his first role as Head of School after 14 years of teaching and administrating.
Her words were heartbreaking to me. I knew we could do better and that surely they had done it “wrong!” I never imagined that I had just become, for all intents and purposes, a pastor’s wife; very quickly her words proved true. Each school we served jokingly commented on the “two for one” deal they got with us, as I spent countless hours at my husband’s side, representing the school and supporting our families well. It was an honor to be there, but it was a great sacrifice as well, and very rarely was that sacrifice acknowledged.
Pamela Neu realizes now, after 30 years of full-time Christian service, that she and her husband, Bob, lacked one thing that would have saved them from so much loneliness and frustration in leadership ...a shepherd. Culture was getting harder every day, and their emotional and spiritual energy was often depleted. They also agonized over their children, as Bob’s leadership role sometimes resulted in their heartache and alienation. Although they had solid friends and family support, Pam and Bob did not have a couple who pursued them intentionally because of the unique roles they held. They consider it a great privilege to now be “that couple” for others.
Pamela graduated from Wheaton College in 1987 and began a career in Christian radio broadcasting and public speaking. She continued her ministry in various states when she married Bob, whose passion was to serve Christian families through Christian education. They have been married over 25 years, have three grown children, and live in Knoxville, Tennessee. They have stepped away from full-time education and broadcasting to “shepherd the shepherds,” eager to share the love and support of Jesus to ministry leaders and their wives!