To Be a Pastor's Wife

My dad raised me to be a pastor’s wife.  At least, that is what he has told me several times.

So it should not come as any surprise that as a teen, I rebelled and I absolutely was NOT going to marry a pastor.  I was not going to have the perfect parsonage, perfect husband, perfect children, be able to please and make everyone happy, be able to do everything from playing the piano and hostessing to having the perfect husband and children—NEVER!

And then I met Ed...

That blonde headed, athletic build, winsome smile with dimples included, sense of humor, deep love for the Lord…yes, this was the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and to be the father of my children.  And the fact that he was a pastor, well I could excuse that.  After all, I knew how to do that!

It doesn’t matter if you have had years of experience in the parsonage or are coming into the position totally unaware of what it looks like, I don’t think anything really prepares us for much of what happens to so many women who assume the role of pastor’s wife.  Even when you understand the carnal nature of people, nothing prepares you for the crushing disappointment when you see it directed to the ones you love the most.  Church members can be the cruelest because we can’t imagine Christians attacking us.

One time as Ed and I were going through a hard season in ministry, I remember thinking, “All we want to do is love these people and be loved by them.  We want to be able to lead them to a stronger relationship with Jesus.  We want to make a difference.  Why is it so hard?  Why don’t they like us?  Why don’t they love my children?  Why don’t they love my husband?  He’s a great preacher.  We’re not perfect, but we certainly have their best interest in mind.  Why can’t they see that?”

After nearly 42 years of marriage to my pastor husband, I don’t pretend to have all the answers for things that get thrown my way as a pastor’s wife.  I’ve been through good things with my church family and I’ve been through bad.  I’ve done life with them, and they with me.  And really, isn’t that what growing “old” is…life.  I have taken Psalm 73:25-26 to heart and hope you will too.  Don Moen put the verses into a worship song several years ago and they continue to bless me today:

"Whom have I in heaven but You? 
There is nothing on earth I desire besides You.
My heart and my strength, many times they fail.
But there is one truth that always will prevail.
God is the strength of my heart.  God is the strength of my heart.
God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Forever."


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