Allow her personal business to remain her personal business
Back in the late 80’s my husband was on staff at a 10,000+ member church. The associate pastor’s wife had very short, very thin hair. That is until the Sunday she showed up at church with long hair to her waist. Huh? No one had ever heard of hair extensions before. Wanna bet that most people in the church became very familiar with hair extensions soon thereafter? Hair extensions became the hot topic of conversation.
“Do you believe she flew all the way to Chicago to have that done?”
“Well, I want to know who paid for that!”
“Is my tithe money going toward those hair thingies?”
“She must be very vain.”
“Obviously she wants everyone to look at her.”
I know it is human nature to be curious. When we don’t know the answer to a question we tend to speculate. We fill in the blank. The only problem is ~ we usually fill in the blank with the wrong answer!
Now let’s try that again. This time I’ll fill in the blanks with the right answers.
“Do you believe she flew all the way to Chicago to have that done?” Yes. Big deal. She’s a former flight attendant and gets FREE trips – anywhere.
“Well, I want to know who paid for that!” Obviously she and her husband paid for it. From their personal bank account. They did not steal the offering and sprint off to Chicago.
Is my tithe money going toward those hair thingies?” Your tithe money goes towards staff salaries, among other things. What the staff chooses to do with their own personal money is none of your business.
“She must be very vain.” No. She’s just had very fine, short hair her entire life and wondered what it would be like to have a full head of hair, even if it was only temporarily.
“Obviously she wants everyone to look at her.” See above.
Besides the wife of the President of the United States, I can’t think of an occupation where the wife is under constant surveillance, scrutiny, and (dare I say) judgment than a pastor’s wife. Can you? Why is that? We notice where she sits in church and with whom. We notice who she talks to and (more importantly) who she doesn’t talk to. We notice how she’s dressed, the cut, style, and color of her hair, and the type of jewelry she wears. We notice what kind of car she drives. If we’ve ever been invited into her home we notice how she’s decorated the house, how clean or cluttered the house is, and whether her kitchen is spotless or dirty – even if we dropped by unannounced.
Just so you know; it’s okay to notice. We’re all curious to see how other people live. However, when the noticing becomes gossip and speculation, then we’ve crossed the line. When the noticing causes us to make judgments about our pastor’s wife based on no, or very limited, information then we are doing her and ourselves a great disservice.
Can we just agree to allow our pastor’s wife to have a personal life? Is it okay for her to make decisions of a personal nature without the approval of the Board, the church body, or the church old biddy? Can we make a pact to shut down gossip and speculation when we hear it?
One of the very best ways we can care for our pastor is to care for and protect his wife. ‘Nuff said? I thought so.