I have recently read a few blogs that have emphasized the point of view of a pastors wife. Giving a church congregation a little insight into what she may go through on a weekly or even daily basis. I really enjoyed reading them and could relate to about 90% of what was said.
In recent days, months, years, I have experienced the highs and lows of being a pastors wife, so I thought why not!! I'll throw my two cents in. I'm hoping this will serve two purposes, one being that this is an outlet for me to express what I am feeling and I certainly am not here to rant and complain about how miserably hard my life is because when it comes down to it there is not one thing I would change about my life. (Remember that as you continue to read NOT ONE THING) My other purpose is to maybe encourage a few of us to be more conscious of what comes out of our mouths. I would say most of what I write applies to all of us at some point or another. I've got a good twelve years under my belt, while some may feel that's just the beginning and it probably is, I feel I've had plenty of experiences to share my point of view.
STOP COMPARING US TO YOUR PREVIOUS PASTORS WIFE!
Did you hear me?? We are not going to be the same. I will not do the same things that your previous pastors wife did. My husband and I recently had a conversation with our daughter about how everyone is different, that we all think, act, and look differently. If we were all the same this world would be boring! Yes I think it's fair to have certain expectations of your pastors wife. For example, does she love her husband, does she support him in his ministry, is she a loving mother, does she show you kindness and love? Those are all great things to expect in a pastors wife. This actually can apply to your pastor as well. There is nothing more frustrating than to hear "well our last pastor did it this way". God saw fit to bring us to where we are so trust that we are working according to God's plan.
Ugh! Where do I begin?? This is the worst, I admit is such a sneaky little creature, I can get tangled in it's crazy little web so quickly without even knowing. I have seen this destroy lives, and destroy churches. It's not pretty, so STOP IT! Do not try to disguise it by using the phrase "we need to pray for..." adding the word pray does not make it free of gossip. Did you know that we can pray for someone and not have to hear every detail of their current situation and past situation that got them to their current situation? SHOCKING!
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Do you know that when you say things in front of other church members about your pastor or pastors wife two things usually happen.
1. It will eventually get back to the pastor.
2. You will have caused serious damage to your pastors wife.
I want to focus on that second one because this I have great experience in. My heart has so many wounds from people who claim they were giving "constructive criticism" or "just speaking in a moment of frustration". I do not claim that pastors wives are the only ones to experience this I'm just merely stating what I have been through. It may all be in my head but I feel that we are looked at as though we should have this magical ability to just let all of that roll off our shoulders. Those are the wounds that stay around, those are the wounds that satan will use to attack your pastors wife. So not only have your words caused damage but you have just given the devil some ammo to use. I know that there will be moments when you will be disappointed in me or my husband, that you won't always agree with what we choose to do. I would just ask that instead of participating in the gossip web go straight to the source of your frustration. Come to us. We want to talk to you.
I feel like we are on some sort of covert operation where the instructions are:
1. Love Everyone
2. Trust No One
Do you know how hard it is to find friends when you are in the ministry?? I mean truly good faithful trusting friends. Ones that take you as you are knowing that you are human and are sinful by nature. Ones that know and clearly understand that just because you are the pastors wife does not mean that you have got it all together. It can be a lonely road. It's not a fun experience when you find that someone you had shared and opened up to was suddenly sharing your struggles with fellow church members.
We have been very blessed and have found very good friends who have been loving, understanding and I would even call them cheerleaders in our lives that have cheered us on even through the lows.
I'm just going to point out that my husband does not sit around in his office all day reading books, playing video games, and just having a good 'ole time. I'm not sure what people think but I get the impression when talking to some, that they are under the assumption that my husbands job is easy and restful.
There are some days when I'm pretty sure that he has spoken to church members, complete strangers and crazy people who just walk in randomly to sell something more than he has spoken to his wife. It's not easy sharing my husband with you all.
One of the things I read in a blog about pastors wives was that they sometimes feel like a single mother on Sundays. Just this mothers day our youngest son woke up with a fever. Unfortunately it's not really an option for daddy to stay home with his sick boy. (maybe that was a bad example because I have to admit staying home for some baby snuggles is pretty awesome) It is however a stressful situation when your son refuses to go into the nursery and you have to drag him out screaming in the middle of a service. Those are the moments I would most like to have "daddy" to take care of it. Sundays are sometimes my least favorite days because those are one of the days where you get to see and hear more from my husband than I do.
The life of a pastors wife is not an easy one. We face criticism not only on ourselves but we hear it about our husband and even our children. We hold in our thoughts and feelings for fear of causing hurt feelings. We walk a lonely road at times and most likely when the church is going through major blessings your pastors family is going through battles. Satan would love nothing more than to destroy a church and there is no greater way than to creep into the lives of your leaders. Just make sure you're not giving him any extra ammo!!
"sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me"
I'd rather be hit with sticks and stones.