Love Your Pastor’s Wife~ Way 17
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.
1 Thessalonians 5:12,13
This is the post that I don’t really want to write. Of all of the ways to appreciate your pastor, talking about loving his wife seems the most awkward for me and to be quite honest with you, I want to run far away from this post and not write it at all.
But I know how crucial it is. I have watched pastor’s families fall apart when the wife has walked away. I have seen hearts break when the wife was not loved. And I have watched pastors leave the ministry, because their wives could not handle the pressure.
Loving the pastor’s wife is incredibly important. And so, I feel compelled to write this post, even though I don’t want to.
Pastor’s wives are just normal people. For many of us, we didn’t grow up wanting to be a pastor’s wife. And for some (including me!), it was exactly what we didn’t want to be.
But when God calls a man to ministry and you are the woman who loves him, I believe that you are called as well.
Every church that my husband has worked in has been gracious to me as his wife. But this is not always the case. I have heard stories of how the pastor’s wife has been criticized for how she planted flowers, how the congregation was disappointed when she didn’t live up to their expectations, how she was expected to dress well, but not too well, how everyone felt free to comment on her parenting, and how her choices were scrutinized.
It all goes back to this “fishbowl” living and it can leave pastor’s wives feeling disillusioned about the church. I have heard many pastor’s wives say something like I didn’t sign up for this!
What the pastor’s wife did sign up for and commit to is to love her husband in sickness and in health, in prosperity and in adversity, and for better or worse. This role that the wife plays in her pastor husband’s life cannot be downplayed. When the wife is loving her husband well, he is free to love others well. It follows that if the church is loving the pastor’s wife well, they can have a direct impact on how the pastor feels appreciated.
One of the most difficult parts of being the pastor’s wife is when church members have an issue with the pastor and come to the wife to discuss their issues. There will be times when people are disgruntled or frustrated, but hearing negative things about your husband can be heart breaking.
In our experience, we have faced criticisms that were valid and that God used to change us and mold us and make us more into the ministry couple he desired us to be. I am thankful for those criticisms. But I have also had to listen to negative opinions of my husband that were completely unfair. I have heard things that I wish I could unhear.
Loving the pastor’s wife means that you get to know her, not try to fit her into some-perfect-pastor’s-wife-mold (there is no such thing!). Loving her means that you will seek to point her to truth and to Jesus (and then trust God to change her heart where it needs to be changed). Loving her means that you will not be unreasonably critical of her husband (and if you have an issue with the pastor, you will go to him, not to her).
To my Orchard Community Church family,
Thank you for loving me well. I am amazed by how thoughtful you are, how you genuinely love and respect my husband and how you love me for me. One of the things that makes the writing of this post so awkward for me is that I don’t want any of you to think for a moment that you need to improve in this area. In truth, it is quite the opposite. I am overwhelmed by how well you love me! You are all so thoughtful, so gracious, so patient, so loving.
I am blessed beyond words and I am convinced that if all pastor’s wives had congregations like you, our world would be a much better, more God-honoring place.
Way 17: Love Your Pastor’s Wife