Change happens to everyone. Lately, I’ve been feeling like my life is a set of dominoes set side-by-side in a long line of twisting and turning rows. Then, God touched the first one and they all started falling.
One of those dominos was my pastor becoming my boss. I did not change jobs, so you can deduce that means my pastor and pastor’s wife are leaving their positions. On a happy note, I’ll still get to see them, even more!
You can also deduce that my church will be searching for a new pastoral couple. As I was pondering this change, I wondered what many people would write as a job description for a pastor’s wife. Here are a few of my ideas:
- Must play the piano. Well. Really well. Please submit a video of your last performance at Carnegie Hall.
- Must homeschool her children while they attend the local public Christian school.
- Must have a Master’s degree in leading Women’s ministry, including writing curriculum, Bible Studies, speaking, and humor. But not too much humor.
- Must be able to sing. Beautifully. And know every hymn and praise song ever written.
- Must be the mother of 3.5 perfect children.
- Must have a thick skin. Like an armadillo. Should not be hurt by any off-hand comments or criticisms.
- Must be very similar to our last pastor’s wife. (Her biography will be provided.)
- Must be the exact opposite of our last pastor’s wife.
- Must never need encouragement. Or to be paid.
- Must always need recipes. And zucchini.
- Must be able to leap tall buildings with a running start. Or a single bound.
As you know, everyone has differing expectations of what a pastor’s wife should be. Some expectations are right, like growing in her faith; some are wrong, like being everything to everyone; and some are ridiculous, like having 3.5 children!
I challenge each of you to check your expectations about your pastor’s wife. Are they realistic? Make a list – then think about it. Do you expect too much of your pastor’s wife, who just happens to be a real wife, mom, friend, and person – just like you? Do you speak harshly to her but don’t expect her to mind? Do you criticize and then wonder why she has tears in her eyes?
Do you remember to encourage her? Do you remember to pray for her? Are you a true friend, who doesn’t require anything in return?
Would you apply for a position if this were the job description?
“Forgive us, Father, if we have been too demanding of our pastor’s wife. Remind us that she is just like us. She feels heartache, sorrow, criticisms, and harsh words just like we do. Her tears are salty and fall frequently, just like ours. Give us words that heal. Words that encourage. Spur us to be a better friend. Help us grow to love her, because of who she is.
Thank You for bringing her to our congregation. All things are in your control, and we know You chose her and her husband to serve in our church. You don’t make mistakes. Let me glorify You by serving and loving Your servants.
Give joy and comfort to pastors’ wives today. Amen.”
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