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3 Things Pastors (and Their Wives) Should Say Publicly More Often

Dear Church,

I’m afraid you might be getting the wrong idea. I have read so many posts recently about how hard it is to be in ministry, what a trial, what a path of suffering, and I’m worried that you might be reading them, too.

Just the other day, there was a popular one called “10 Things Pastors Hate to Admit Publicly,” and I want you to know it made me sad. I’m tired of reading How-Horrible-The-Ministry-Really-Is-If-You-Only-Knew-The-Truth articles.

You, my church, are not horrible. Nor are you taking years off my life. Nor are you wrecking my family and faith.

I have been a pastor’s daughter since before I was two years old, and now I’m going on 10 years as a pastor’s wife, and I want you to know that serving you has been a joy.

In response, I’d like to offer Three Things Pastors (and Their Wives) Should Say Publicly More Often.

1. I’m sorry.

If you read these articles (and I’m still hoping you didn’t), you’ll notice that they focus on the demands church members place on ministry families. Matt Boswell calls these “expectations buried like landmines through the field of the church.” Ryan Hugely lamented how a pastor’s wife is “saddled with a host of responsibilities and expectations.”

Let me tell you the truth about the out-sized expectations you have for your pastor and his family: Your expectations are always too small.

See, I ought to be conformed to nothing less than the image of Christ himself. And I often fail.

So if you, my church, feel like I haven’t loved you well enough, haven’t cared for your needs, haven’t given you godly counsel, haven’t walked alongside you in your trials, you are absolutely right.

I’m sorry.

And if you feel like you need to, as one post mocked, “leave because the church down the road has Slurpee dispensers,” well that’s partly my fault, too, for not helping you to prioritize the things of Christ.

I have repeatedly failed to love you as my Lord has, by laying down his life for his friends. I’m sorry.

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Megan Hill is a pastor’s wife and writer living in Massachusetts. Her new book is Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer in Our Homes, Communities, and Churches.