Mark Driscoll did a post on loving the pastor’s wife earlier in the week. Reading through his article generated some thoughts of my own as it pertains to the wife of a pastor.
I have been extremely blessed with a wonderful mate for life. We married right out of college and will celebrate 26 years this summer. We honeymooned in a U-Haul trailer (with all of our earthly possessions) as we traveled from Orlando, Florida to Fort Worth, Texas to begin a seminary experience at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Whether as the spouse of a minister or the spouse of an active church member, she has always served well.
I firmly believe the pastor’s wife deserves to be awarded the volunteer of the year award. She does an amazing amount of work behind the scenes that often goes unnoticed by her family and church. Here are some of the unique facets of the “volunteer” job.
The pastor’s wife:
- Must often serve in ministry areas outside of her giftedness and passion in order to make things work and work well. She picks up the slack well.
- Must often be mute or silent on subjects of controversy or sensitive issues. She’s not often able to speak honestly or address personal or congregational issues for fear of reprisal or repercussion. Sometimes it is hard to stand by your spouse in silence. I’ve never met a pastor’s wife that didn’t want to tell off a few folks in the church, but didn’t want to cause trouble for her husband.
- Must appear to have it all together, be on time, and be dressed appropriately. People will talk about her wardrobe choices regardless.
- Must keep the children in line on Sundays, Wednesdays, and at other church activities. She will have little to no help from her husband due to his congregational responsibilities, but must get everyone to where they are suppose to be and when they are suppose to be there.
- Must “put up” her husband’s long hours, ministry demands, and time away from home including the many emergencies that crop up during the evenings and weekends that take him away from planned and unplanned family activities. She must share graciously.
- Must be strong and independent if she is going to survive and thrive.
- Must possess a similar calling to ministry like that of her husband. A woman called to serve, as a pastor’s wife is one who will survive the darker days of ministry. She will love the church like her husband loves the church. She will be on mission as her husband is on mission because she understands the call.
- Must be comfortable living in a fish bowl. Her life, decisions, comments, attendance, actions, and family are always on display for comment and judgment.
These are just a few of the “musts” for a pastor’s wife. A complete list could go on for pages. I’m proud of this pastor’s wife. She serves well with passion, integrity, and purpose. She is beautiful on the outside as well as the inside – a heart of gold. Best of all, she puts up with me! What a great wife!