I’ve been reading a really fun book, Desperate Pastors’ Wives. It has me thinking about the unique position that pastors’ wives are in. I was a church secretary for a number of years, and have been friends with various pastors’ wives through the years.
One of my friends told me that she’s been told several times that she’s “not like a regular pastor’s wife.” She said she wasn’t sure what that meant. Now, this woman is a lovely woman of God. She is smart, funny, and caring.
I know that many churches figure that the pastor’s wife is part of the bargain. She’ll be on certain committees. She’ll hold certain positions. The details vary from church to church, but much of the sentiment is the same. They’re a package deal.
I also know that in a lot of churches the congregation figures that they come first. It’s difficult for many of them to understand that the pastor’s marriage and family should take priority over the congregation. Pastors should be able to take their vacation without being interrupted by routine church business. A pastor should be able to take his wife out to a nice, romantic dinner. He should be able to leave his cell phone off for an entire evening.
Too often, especially in this day of instant communication, we expect our pastors to be at our beck and call. The problem with that is that it can really be a drain on the pastor’s marriage.
I want our pastor to have a rich, healthy, loving marriage. I want him to be able to be an engaged father, especially if he has young children.
Let your pastor’s wife know how much you appreciate the sacrifices they make on behalf of her husband’s position. Give her the respect of allowing her husband to romance her. Yes, emergencies do happen. Just make sure that it’s truly an emergency before you call during dinner or in the middle of the night. And, remember that a good pastor’s wife is an enhancement to your pastor’s work no matter what positions she takes or doesn’t take within the congregation.