I’ve learned more from my sweet wife, Abbi, over the years than I could possibly communicate. I’m certain you’ll enjoy her authenticity and wisdom in this post:
Being a Pastor’s Wife carries with it some interesting challenges. In some ways I imagine it’s kind of like wearing a police badge in public. Some people see that badge and steer clear. Some put on a sweet smile, nod politely or engage in small talk, and save their authenticity for others. Some may hang back, observing every action, motion, and word, quietly deciding if the badge is deserved. And many others know that a badge means nothing more than a role and that the person wearing it is just that: a person.
I for one never thought that Pastor’s Wife would be part of my job description. If you knew me more than ten years ago, you probably thought the same thing. But here I am today, a grown up (which still feels a bit awkward to admit), a mother, and married to a pastor. And as I learn what exactly that means, I have a few confessions.
Being a pastor’s wife doesn’t mean you always know what to do.
I know that my husband is full of wisdom and spirituality, and I am trying to follow Jesus myself; however there are times that I just don’t know what to do. And that’s just it: I seek the Lord just like any other believer that is seeking to grow in relationship with Him. Chris and I don’t have a super-secret prayer hotline that dials straight in to the Father’s headquarters. We use the same lines to reach God and grow closer to Him as everyone else. And a pastor’s prayer (or his wife’s!) is no more special to God than everyone else’s; we are ALL his children and he longs to hear from each of us the same.
Being a pastor’s wife doesn’t mean I always love people.
Just being real here: I’m not always a people person. I am an introvert. I’d be embarrassed if you knew the exact number of times that I told my husband, “But I don’t feel like being around people today!” You’d probably think that constantly loving people is vital to the job description for every pastor and his wife, but that just isn’t true. God calls all different kinds of people into pastoring roles. I do love people and have the desire to see people redeemed and transformed, but I still need time to myself to recharge.
Being a pastor’s wife doesn’t mean that your life is a supporting role.
As a wife, it’s vitally important to support your husband. When your husband is a pastor, it’s even more crucial to be there for him because of the challenging nature of this mission. I believe that one of the most important callings that God has placed on me is to serve my husband as he ministers. However, I am learning that God has a unique mission that is specifically for my life as well. My purpose in life works in concert with my husband’s, and honestly I am still discovering the path God has for me. A couple of years ago it clicked for me in a new way when I realized that when I get to heaven, my husband’s relationship with God won’t be enough; the Lord will ask me, “Abbi, did YOU know me?” That thought revealed to me that I was leaning on my husband a little too much for my relationship with God instead of seeking God myself. If I’m going to receive the full extent of the Lord’s purpose for my life, then I need to spend time with Him and learn to hear His voice. And really, the only way I can truly support my husband is if I’m communicating with God on my own.