This past week I’ve been counting down the top 10 posts of the year and I’m happy to share with you the #1 post of the year! I’m especially glad to share this post with you because my wife, Lisa, actually helped me write it…hmmm…maybe she should write more often on my blog.
One of the least thought about people in the church today is a Pastor’s wife. While leaders get all the attention and accolades their families and private lives are thought of very little by the public. In fact in a moment in church history where we are inundated with volumes of leadership ideas and training very little is written about pastor’s wives. I recently sat down with Lisa, my wife, and asked her about her experience being married to a full-time pastor for the past 18+ years. Here is some of what she had to say…
1. Every Criticism of the Church is a Criticism of my Husband
Whenever people complain about the church, I feel like they’re complaining about my husband. After all every criticism of leadership is ultimately a criticism of my husband. It could be a sermon series they don’t like, a new building project they don’t agree with, services times, parking, the music being too loud, Children’s Ministry, a staff member they don’t like…on and on the list can go.
2. I wish my Kids were treated like Every other Kid at Church
I wish my kids were treated with the same love, grace and enthusiasm that every other kid was treated with at church. It goes both ways. They either receive preferential treatment because they’re the pastor’s kid or they’re overly criticized for every peep they make in church. They deserve to have the same experience that every other kid who walks in those doors has. I want my kids to grow up to love Jesus and the church not feel criticized by it.
3. Sundays are the most Difficult Day of the Week
I wake up and get the kids ready alone. We go to church alone. I check my kids into children’s ministry alone. I sit in church alone. I come home alone. And when my husband comes home from church, he’s tired because he’s given his all to serve the church that day. It’s tough, because my kids are off from school 2 days a week, and one of those days is a workday for dad.
4. I don’t Always want to be in a Bible Study
There’s this unspoken (and sometimes spoken) expectation that if you’re a pastor’s wife that every time the church is open you should be there and leading in some capacity. Sometimes I just want to volunteer in my kids school and in the community and be outside the 4 walls of the church around people who are far from Jesus. Don’t’ get me wrong, we’re in a small group with other Believers and love it. It’s just sometimes I don’t want to be around Christians, I want to be around people who are far from Jesus, because that’s who Jesus came for
5. Holidays are Lonely
In other words Christmas and Easter. They’re Super Bowl moments for the church. They’re 2 of the most likely times when people will come to church each year. So when everyone else is hanging with family and celebrating holidays together, my husband is at church. We don’t get to travel and be with family. We don’t get to be together on Christmas Eve.
6. I’m not Married to Jesus, my Husband is Human
Believe it or not my husband is not always the same guy that everyone sees on stage. There’s times he’s grumpy, tired, impatient with the kids, and selfish. He has bad days just like everyone else. And he’s not walking around spouting off scripture all hours of the day. We have arguments just like every other couple. Contrary to popular belief he’s human just like every other guy.
Before you think I hate being a Pastor’s Wife: Every wife has things she likes and dislikes about her husbands job, no matter what he does for a career. But it seems like a lot of people think that a pastor’s job is a cakewalk, and that he only works on Sundays. No, he’s not traveling 40% of the nights each month like a lot of men in business world. No he doesn’t commute an hour to work each way, and he doesn’t work 3rd shift. Even though being married to a pastor is not as easy as you may think, it does however have it’s own unique set of blessings. It’s an incredible privilege to be a small part of leading a church. It’s no small thing that people would trust me and that I would have the opportunity to help shepherd and care for people, and see people take ground in their relationship with Jesus. And there is a real sense that I have a huge extended family in the body of Christ. There really are some really sweet people in the church that help take care of my family and me. They minister to us as much as we minister to them. It may not always be easy, but it’s worth it.
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