The Pastor's Wife
She silently supports her man, cheering him on when it seems like even the gates of hell are against him.
She runs the home, raises the kids, oftentimes homeschools them, is involved in church ministries, counsels many people, sometimes has a side business to fill in the income holes, and then lays in bed at night wondering if she is doing enough.
She is under a microscope.
Some visitors think she is too friendly. Others think she doesn't spend enough time talking to them. Some think she is way too outgoing, others think she is too stand offish.
Some think that her kids aren't well behaved enough. Some think she is too strict on her kids.
Some think that she is too involved, others don't think she is involved enough.
Some think she wears too much makeup. Others think she doesn't care enough about how she looks.
She counsels with those who want victory in their lives, or are going through hard times. Yet, when the hard times come for her, who can she counsel with? She is supposed to be the strong one. The one who has it all together. The one who others look to for advice and support and who is supposed to know all the answers. Sometimes her marriage goes through rough patches, but she has to figure it out on her own. Sometimes she doubts herself, and needs encouragement when going through storms. BUT- She has talked about her problems before with people. And has been hurt when that was used against her. Usually when the family decided they no longer liked her husband or his preaching.
So, she puts up invisible barriers so that won't happen again. Her circle of confidantes is very small. Usually, they are other pastor's wives, because usually you don't know the struggle unless you go through it yourself. This irritates some. Why can't she just be open and trusting with everyone? THEY would never hurt her. But, she is scared. She is scared to be vulnerable, as that vulnerability has been used as a weapon in the past.
She sees and hears lies about her husband, her children, her. She knows how unjust they are, how untrue they are, how blatantly false they are. But she also knows that interacting with liars won't get her anywhere. If she answers or defends against the lies, she is labeled with a name. She has tried it, and has learned to just keep her mouth shut, instead of rolling in the mud and mire of false accusations, lies, and slander. She trusts that God will reveal truth, and he always does, just not usually in her timing. So, she does what she knows to do, day in, and day out, and even when the storms rage on, she ignores it.
She loves the ladies in her church and wishes they knew how much. One of her biggest heart felt desires is that all of the families would be happy, healthy, and fruitful Christians. She strives for everyone to get along at church, and does her best to make that happen. She constantly puts out fires. She looks out for the lonely ones and tries to be their friend. She tries to talk to everyone equally. She tries to make sure that everyone feels welcome. She tries to do all of this while training her kids to sit in church, chasing the toddler, making sure the older kids are where they need to be, and also getting something out of the sermon.
She tries to keep her walk with God first and foremost, because without him, how could she do what she does?
While a 'pastor's wife' isn't an official role, it is a real thing. You have a pastor, and he has a wife. And while there is no salary, no compensation, no 'title', there is much expected from a pastor's wife. While I have always said that the role of a pastor's wife is simply to be the pastor's wife, there are things that come with being married to the pastor. I can't help but want our church to succeed. We have poured our heart and soul into it for almost eleven years now. It seems like there is always a battle being fought- sometimes without the walls of the church, sometimes within. Spiritual warfare is real, and it's something we have to be vigilant about.
The pastor is to be the shepherd, the one who watches after his flock. The one who prays for them, and leads them, and loves them. The wife is right behind him, praying for him and supporting him as he feeds the flock of God.
Pray for your pastor's wife. Go easy on her. She has tough days, and tough weeks. She has storms in her life. She is doing her best. Sometimes she won't have the perfect response, or won't act exactly how you think she should act. She has grace and forgives you, please forgive her.
Remember that if she has walls, it's not you. It's because she has had much hurt in her life. She bears scars and has been through battles. She loves you, and sees you, and cares for you.
I write this, not for me, but for all the ladies out there who have pastors, who have wives. If you have a pastor, he has a wife. Remember that there are many silent burdens that she bears that you won't ever see. She tries to bears it with grace, and she bears it silently. She can't tell you the burdens, they are for her and God alone. God is the one who sustains her through the tough days, the tough weeks, the tough months.
Pastor's wives have to be warriors of the faith; but also gentle, sweet, compassionate, kind, and have a silent strength to carry not only her burdens, but the burdens of many others. They have to have the ability to hear crushing stories, give heart felt, Biblical advice, and then remain tender and sweet. It's a hard balance.
I always knew I wanted to marry someone in the ministry, and I am glad I did. I love church, I love the things of the Lord, and I love God's people. I knew so little going into it, and I have learned much over the last 21 years. I am perfectly suited to my husband and the battles he has gone through, and he is perfectly suited to me. He needed a spunky wife who could handle a lot, and he got one. There is a tenacity and a spunk needed if you are going to go into the ministry. I am still learning just how much.
If I could leave you with one word of advice- just be kind. Everyone is facing a battle, and chances are, your pastor's wife is doing her very best. I wanted to give you just a glimpse into her life. Maybe it's a little different, but chances are, it's very much alike in many ways, too.
Just be kind.