Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What A Pastor's Wife Wants You to Know

If you are a church goer then it is likely you have a Pastor. If you have a Pastor then it is likely that sitting in the front pew of your church (or close) is a Pastor's wife.  She's probably smiling. She's probably looking all put together and calm.  You may look at her and think she is a picture of perfection.  The ladies of your church may put her just under the pedestal that they place her husband on each week, which is scary for her because it's a long frightening fall down off of a pedestal that high.  Because guess what, she is a human person.  A human person with all the feels, with the anxieties of expectations not met, with the fear of letting someone down in her humanness, walking around with the weight of the expectation that goes with her title, she is a real girl with a big calling.  Can you walk with me into this for a little while?  Are you loving on your Pastor's wife? Have you gotten to know her?  Have you placed her on a high pedestal of unattainable expectations?  Let's chat.

Think about getting to church events. You mommas with babies, isn't it the HARDEST feat ever to get your kids up, fed, dressed decently, PLUS getting yourself ready and all out the door in time for church. I mean, exhausting just typing about it right?  Imagine doing that by yourself every single Sunday morning. Along with Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Easter and all the church events in between.  When your husband is called to Pastor, you are called to support. When your husband is at deacons meetings, hospital visits, weddings, funerals, church services, evening service, business meetings, southern baptist convention, pastoral leadership meetings and all the things in between that leaves you running the home.  Imagine doing all that and breezing into the doors on Sunday morning looking perfectly put together like a pastor's wife should.  Then jumping into the role of greeter, counselor and even sometimes mediator.  Imagine all the pressure to attain perfection in this, as the people all watch you waiting for you to slip up.

So, can we just love on these women girls. Can we give them safe places?  So many Pastors' wives are told to live lonely lives, because people are not safe for them.  Because the women in the church expect perfection from their pastors wife and will not give them safe places to be real, and let me just say, how un-biblical is that.  How can we expect perfection for our members in ministry?  That's not biblical at all!  No one is perfect! No one can have it all together all the time. We need ugly cries and real hugs.  We all have hard days, and weaknesses and imperfections of course.  Guess what, our Pastor and his wife are not exempt from that. They are chasing after grace just as we are.  They are called to lead but not to perfection.  They are called to serve but will not always do it perfectly.  Have you hugged your Pastor's wife lately? She needs a real, honest hug. One that she can sink into and breathe out the weight of perfection laid on her by the world, by the church. It's harder than you think.

Ruth Graham is maybe not a well known name in your house.  Maybe you don't know anything about this woman, but she was mighty.  I don't know her personally, but I've heard she was amazing.  I don't know her inner self, but I've heard of her great heart in a life lived serving alongside her husband in ministry. It's funny to say serving alongside, because really she was an extremely important player in the Billy Graham ministry but she was completely behind the scenes.  In order for a Pastor to serve and have a family it seems common that the Pastor's wife takes on a huge support role.  Billy Graham's ministry called him out of their home with 5 children for many days, many months and many years.  Ruth lived out her ministry role by running their household and supporting her husbands call to Pastor.  Lives, so many lives, have been changed because of the role that she filled. It was a hard, lonely, long role at times.  But she served in mighty ways.

Decision Magazine wrote these things about Ruth Bell-Graham:

Ruth’s rock-solid support of Billy’s ministry and her ability to manage their household on her own earned the respect of his Team. “There would have been no Billy Graham as we know him today had it not been for Ruth,” said Billy’s longtime assistant, T.W. Wilson. '

“What I missed!” he wrote in “Just As I Am,” his autobiography, “And what Ruth missed by not having me to help her. Whenever I did get home, I got a crash course in the agony and ecstasy of parenting. If Ruth had not been convinced that God had called her to fulfill that side of our partnership and had not resorted constantly to God’s Word for instruction and to His grace for strength, I don’t see how she could have survived.”

Our Pastor's have amazing, God honoring, exhausted, poured out women serving alongside them.  Helping them get up to the pulpit each Sunday.  Praying for them, lifting them up, and walking through the messy of ministry because lets face it they work directly with humans and we are messy. Let us love our Pastor by loving his wife like Jesus does, fiercely and with abundant grace.  Let's let them be real people doing real life things for we are all FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made in his BEAUTIFUL image.  Grace upon grace abounds... Go hug a Pastor's wife this week!

Much Love,

PS- More than 80% of Pastor's wives feel unsupported, burnt out and unappreciated by their Church. Here is a great little blog that tells you how you can support and care for your pastor's wife.
and also here is a 30 days of praying scripture for your pastor's wife:

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