4) “It is OK and welcomed to have conversations with me about things that do not pertain to church, or even Jesus. There I said it!”
They have a variety of interests. Believe it or not, many pastor’s wives went to college and had full-time careers before becoming “Mrs. Pastor’s Wife.” They have hobbies, likes and dislikes, and though they often serve beside their husband, they are individuals with their own unique gifts. Do not make the mistake of assuming your pastor’s wife has the same personality as her husband. One wife shared that as newly weds when they announced their engagement, people regularly commented on how good of a singer she must be (because her husband-to-be was a music minister). When she shared that she sounded more like a dying cat than an elegant song bird, the shock on their faces was evident.
5) “Sundays are sometimes my least favorite day. Wait—am I allowed to say that?”
Sundays are hard. And long. And there is no rest. To the pastor’s wife, Sunday means an early morning of rushing around to have the family ready in their “Sunday Best.” Although you may not see your pastor’s wife on the platform, rest assured, Sunday is equally tiring for most (all) of them.
6) “It’s hard to not harbor resentment or to allow your flesh to lash out at members who openly criticize his ministry.”
They hate church criticism more then anything. It’s hurtful, offensive and, yes, it’s very hard not to take it personally. It is one of the most damaging things they witness regularly inside the church, whether it be through emails, social media or gossip. They wish people understood how serious God’s word speaks on the danger and power of our words. And how much it injures the pastor’s family.
7) “Please don’t look down on me or assume I don’t support my husband just because you don’t see me every time the church’s doors are open.”
Most wives are not paid staff. They are wives, mothers, and some are employed outside the home and need to be allowed the freedom to pray and choose ministries they feel called to.
8) “I wish people knew that we taught our children to make good choices, but sometimes, they don’t.”
Jokes about pastor’s kids should be avoided at all costs. The risk of rebellion in a “preacher’s kid” is no secret. They aren’t perfect and never will be (are yours?). They have to learn to walk in their faith just like other children and need encouragement and love to do so. Again, extend grace.
9) “What I can tell you is I have been blessed beyond measure, I have been given gifts, money, love and prayer, so much prayer … by so many.”
They love their church and understand the role comes with special challenges and special blessings; it is fulfilling and brings them great joy.
One Extra Thought
Though it was not a common response, there was one that stood out. The top of the list of one seasoned pastor’s wife simply read, “I deleted my number 1.” Some secrets are so difficult to share, even the promise of complete confidence is not enough to bring them out.
These godly women have something they want us to know, and as a body of believers working together toward the same goal, I think we might gain a better understanding of how to appreciate our leaders by listening. All of these responses point to a singular truth. The pastor’s wife is a human being who desires to be known, just as you do.
NOTE: This article about the pastor’s wife originally appeared here on the Shattered Magazine site.
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