Pastor's Wives: Finding Your Place
- Monday, September 04, 2006
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mothers womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. --Psalms 139:13-14
I love this passage of scripture. He formed you in your mother's womb! You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and created by the hand of the Lord. How exciting to know that when God created you, He gave you specific gifts, talents and abilities that no one else shares but you. From the beginning of time, He knew that one day you would be faithfully serving Him... and married to a Pastor! And in His graciousness, He has equipped you for this very purpose and for this very season of your life. Our joy comes as we embrace the place that He has for us. Even as minister’s wives.
So, I was musing the other day, just what are the prerequisites for being a minister's wife? Are the job requirements to be cute, perfect, always smiling, piano or organ player, soprano singer, perfect marriage, perfect children… absolutely not! There is no prerequisite except to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and to love your husband and your children with all your heart.
I recently read a testimony of a young pastor's wife who was in her early twenties and had been at a meeting where women who have been serving alongside their husbands as "veteran" minister's wives shared with the younger women things that would be expected of them. One thing they shared was that part of being a good pastor and a good pastor's wife was having people over for dinner every Sunday after church, setting a beautiful table with fine china and your best crystal and silver. Thank God, I cannot find that command anywhere in the Bible. I am usually exhausted on Sunday after church, so I can not imagine having to entertain and cook for families every Sunday. For me, as for many pastor’s wives, Sunday afternoon is nap time.
If I had an opportunity to talk with this young pastor's wife, the first thing I would share is to love and support your husband and your children. Billy Graham has said: "If we had it to do all over again, we would read more and pray more; we would travel less and spend much more time with our families."
Our schedules are busy, and at times it can seem that we are going in different directions with involvement in church, sports, and social activities. During the busy-ness of life and ministry remember this… your most important relationships are with your family. Take time to ask the Lord how to preserve and protect those family relationships. Ask Him how to fit in more time with your husband, how to make time to spend with your older children and younger ones, how to find more moments to spend with your sons and daughters.
The second thing I would share is to "find your place." There is not a set mold for a pastor's wife. I remember the first church we pastored. I was in my mid-twenties, and we had served as youth pastors before this. As a youth pastor's wife, there were not a lot of expectations on me: I had a young child and people understood the demands of a young mother and a youth pastor. But when we moved to pastor our first church, the rules changed, and no one told me. I was not brought up in a Christian home. I was the first person in my family to come to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, so I did not know the rules for being a pastor's wife. I remember my husband and I being introduced to the congregation as the new pastors. I was excited and a little nervous. All the pastor's wives I knew were much older than I was, and they all seemed to be dignified and talented. I was thinking "what do I have to offer?"
Well that first service went well. I am sure my husband preached a good sermon, I don't really remember. But one thing I do recall - after the service that day a lady and her adult son introduced themselves to me. They were sharing how excited they were to have us as their new pastors. The mother began to ask me what seemed like “Twenty Questions,” to which all my answers seemed to be wrong. Do you play the piano? No. Do you play the organ? No. Do you play any instrument? No. Oh, you must sing? No. After several more questions, the son finally interrupted and asked, "Well what do you do?"
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