This one is for all of the pastor’s wives out there who are, in my opinion, the unsung heroes of the church. Why do I say that? Well, quite often the pastor’s wife is a BOGO or Two-fer. You know, you “buy” the pastor and get the wife and all that she does for free or “Two for the price of one”. Not every church has a BOGO or Two-fer policy, but many do. It might not be explicitly verbalized, but in the minds and hearts of church members it is expected. Is the nursery worker too sick to come to church today? Call the pastor’s wife, she’ll sub. Would the ladies like to put on a Christmas Tea? I’m sure the pastor’s wife would be happy to organize it or at least be a large part of the planning. Does the pastor’s wife organize the potlucks, weddings, and Sunday school? In many churches across the US that is the case. She doesn’t get a paycheck for it either.
Before I totally offend everyone let me say that most pastors’ wives serve the church out of love for Christ and his Bride. She doesn’t expect to get paid, even if the church could afford to pay her a salary. However, some do run ministries in the church and are compensated. In fact, I once served as interim Women’s Ministry Leader for nearly a year, which was a paid position, and I surely appreciated that check each month! However, that was only one salaried job at a church in more than 30 years of ministry. I’m not complaining, I’m just stating facts.
The pastor’s wife also shares her husband. She is often home with the children each evening while her husband is out ministering to others. She sits alone each week during the church service. She invites couples into her home in order for her husband to counsel with them. She is expected to smile at everyone and be gracious and kind even when she’s hurting inside because some church members have been less than gracious and kind to her husband.
It’s a tough gig at times. Other times it is the BEST JOB EVER!
Because you never know what is going on in the life of your pastor’s wife – whether she is feeling loved and appreciated or frazzled and underappreciated – take a minute in the next few weeks and tell your her that you appreciate her and why. Generalizations don’t mean as much as specifics. Be specific. And while you’re at it, ask her if she has any specific prayer needs and then commit to praying for her. She will feel encouraged by your love.
*I recognize that there are many women pastors and that all posts don’t apply equally to men and women in ministry. I try to be gender neutral and when the use of he/she or him/her is too cumbersome we default to the masculine pronoun. The reverse is true for referring to the pastor’s spouse. I hope that you can read past these masculine and feminine pronouns to the spirit behind each post —- creative ways to be a blessing to those who serve us…..and their spouses.