But, What Can I Do?

Do you want to be more compassionate? Look at the list of synonyms for this word:

pitying, sympathetic, empathetic, understanding, caring, concerned, solicitous, sensitive, tenderhearted, softhearted, warmhearted, warm, loving, tender, gentle, merciful, lenient, tolerant,

considerate, thoughtful, kind, kindly, kindhearted, humanitarian, humane, charitable, benevolent, 

good-natured, well disposed, big-hearted

My definition includes giving grace. I want to show grace to people, which means I need to think deeper than what I see. A coworker recently came into my office and was concerned that I looked tired – my eyes looked different. I explained that I’d been crying. I was writing a note to my aunt whose husband is dying from cancer.

Aren’t we often like that? Thinking one thing when the truth is something completely different? We often think we are wise in our own eyes and we jump to inaccurate conclusions. This can be true about our neighbors, our friends, posts on social media, or even stories we hear on the news!

Recently, a friend posted a link on Facebook to The Gospel Coalition blog – 10 Things the Woman Married to Your Pastor Wants You to Know.

I encourage you to read through the article, considering your pastor’s wife. Several women commented on the Facebook post citing which numbers they had experienced most. Number 6 – unrealistic expectations was the winner. Do you have unrealistic expectations of your pastor’s wife (or kids)?

The next most frequently mentioned were Number 4 – sharing her husband, number 7 – friendships, and number 8 – criticism of husband. I have a feeling each point has been felt multiple times by every pastor’s wife. Have you thanked your pastor’s wife for sharing her husband with the church?  Have you been a good friend? Have you stayed in touch with your previous pastor’s wife? Do you criticize your pastor? Or do you extend grace? Do you thank him when he preaches on Sunday despite being up all night with a family at the hospital? Or do you say his sermon wasn’t very good?

Do you consider your pastor’s wife as her own person? Have you gotten to know her? Do you realize that she has a calling from God – the same as each of us? Or do you think she’s just there with her husband?

Have you considered that money might be tight for your pastor’s family? Have you ever felt prompted to give a special gift which might be an encouragement? A gift card or bouquet of flowers? Something new that she would or could never purchase?

Have you ever gossiped about your pastor’s wife? Or have you been courageous and stopped gossip by refusing to listen – even telling another to stop?

Are you part of a “wonderful, caring church community” or do you need to be the change? Begin looking deeper and be a more compassionate church member extending grace just as God has been gracious to us.

“But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you[—see that you excel in this act of grace also.”  2 Corinthians 8:7

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About Lynnette Goebel

Lynnette is the Director of Operations at RHMA Headquarters in Morton, Illinois. She has attended the same small-town church for most of her life. She adores her pastor’s wife.