As I walked into the classroom for Sunday school, the teacher excitedly welcomed me. My husband had accepted the pastoral position only a few weeks prior. I made my way to an open chair as the nice woman leading the class instructed everyone to open their Bibles to 1 Kings. She admitted that, even after much studying, she just didn’t have all of the biblical kings memorized.
“Our sweet pastor’s wife, however, probably does.”
She paused and, as every eye turned my way, I realized she was serious.
Everyone paused and waited.
Common Beliefs vs. Reality
This teacher was not, in any way, trying to embarrass me or put me on the spot. She just believed that, as a pastor’s wife, it was possible that I had every detail of Scripture committed to memory.
(The reality is, however, that I barely have all of my children’s names committed to memory. I apologize if that disappoints anyone.) The idea that I can quote any passage of Scripture, at any time, is just one of the myths I have encountered as a pastor’s wife.
I’m a firm believer in transparency. Don’t worry, I don’t mean the TMI kind. I’m more into the “I am going to be real so that you have the freedom to be real, too” kind of transparency.
With that in mind, here are three myths regarding a pastor’s wife.
1. A pastor’s wife has everything together.
I wish this were true. But, alas, I have to confess that my children rarely wear matching socks, and I may or may not have served leftover fish sticks for Easter dinner this year. Easter dinner, y’all.
I made a checklist on my phone to keep track of which children have brushed their teeth each day because, otherwise, someone slips through the cracks unnoticed. (In my defense, I have a lot of kids.) I lose track of time and, on a regular basis, have to text my husband and ask him to please bring dinner home.
So, when you see me on Sunday morning and all of my babes are lined up with French braids and sandals, just know that you are seeing one snippet of a much larger, chaotic picture.
2. A pastor’s wife is extra holy.
There is no one righteous, not even one. That’s what Romans 3:10 says. I, as a pastor’s wife, am no less in need of God’s endless grace. In fact, I call myself a “grace guzzler” because I’m just that, desperate for it.
I have found that, at times, women are uncomfortable being themselves around me. They stick to what they consider safe topics of discussion. It really is okay to speak about everyday topics with your pastor’s wife. I want to hear about your latest kitchen disaster or thrift store find. I need to know that I’m not the only one with a child who refuses to use the potty!
Do you wonder what topics are safe to discuss with your pastor’s wife? It’s simple. If it weighs on your mind, it probably weighs on her mind. If you saw/read/heard something that made you laugh, share it. She could use a laugh, too.
3. A pastor’s wife knows everything about the church.
I’m not in the know on anyone’s personal business. I wasn’t aware that all of the dry erase markers in room 207 were dried out. I didn’t know that there was a dispute over who should sing the solo last Sunday. I have no idea if childcare is available during basketball tryouts. I don’t know what is being served for Wednesday night supper or if the chocolate cake is gluten-free.
Having said that, I will do my best to find out or do whatever I can to be helpful. I will work and serve in any capacity needed because I love the church and its members. I’m just not always privy to all of the details and, in all honesty, it’s better that way. I have a hard enough time remembering if I showered this morning.
It’s time to let go of all of the preconceived notions you hold about your pastor’s wife. All you really need to understand about her is that she is a whole lot like you.
Article courtesy of HomeLife magazine.
BONUS: 5 Ways to Bless Your Pastor’s Wife
1. Invite her out to lunch or coffee. Many assume that, because everyone greets her, she has an abundance of friends. The truth, however, is that a life in ministry can be lonely.
2. Pray for her. There are constant demands on her time and attentions.
3. Allow her to use her gifts. Don’t assume she will play the piano or keep the nursery. Allow her to use the unique gifts she has been given.
4. Be a positive place for her. Many will come to her with complaints and criticisms. Keep your interactions uplifting.
5. Send her a small gift or card. Most of what your pastor’s wife does is behind the scenes and, often, unnoticed. Let her know that she is appreciated.