My biggest fear about being a pastor's wife was that I would have to bake cookies for every church function. When my husband Brad and I candidated for our first ministry position, we met one night with the search committee. I wanted to weep when we were presented with a plate of fresh-baked cookies—straight from the oven of the pastor's wife. So it was true! I was relegated to the life of boring Betty Crocker.

My reaction wasn't about the cookies; I actually love to bake. It was about the assumptions regarding what my role would be. Leaving seminary, the expectations of being a pastor's wife loomed large and intimidating as storm clouds.

"Betty" fit the image I had conjured up in my head—a woman in a beige dress, ever-smiling, with a lackluster personality as she scurried to and fro to meet the insatiable demands of a congregation. I feared being pressed into a mold that didn't fit. I wanted life and liveliness in the Lord. How could I have that if these rigid requirements were forced upon ...

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