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Let Pastors' Wives Do Their Own Thing

Let Pastors' Wives Do Their Own Thing


Feb 8 2013
And please ignore the ones on reality TV.
Women may possess and exercise any spiritual gift…These gifts are a stewardship from God...The conviction that each believer, including the pastor's wife, is equipped with spiritual gifts from God, endowed and sustained by the Holy Spirit, should be the point of departure for discovering her God-intended role in the Body of Christ.

The attention directed to pastors and their wives, whether followed by TV cameras or not, has grown as American churches evolve. We have more giant franchises and fewer mom-and-pop shops, so to speak—more megachurches, fewer small community-based houses of worship. Big-name pastors with big followings build their own "brands," and this push for success often pressures the pastor to find contentment in how his family looks, acts, and is involved in the church's ministry. We need to allow pastors to be pastors without asking for their families to be perfect, too. They aren't, and to pretend otherwise does everyone a disservice.

Also, as congregants, community members, readers, and Facebook fans elevate their views of a pastor, that exerts further expectations on his wife. We have to remember: it is a job, just like any other job. A person is no more holy for being a pastor than he is for being a plumber, and to value one more than the other is not only foolish, it is tantamount to blasphemy. The more we can understand that, the more we give freedom to the women married to pastors to live into what God is calling them to do with their own unique gifts.

That said, it is not a bad thing to enjoy supporting your husband in his work. It is a good and necessary part of marriage. What I believe is harmful is when a woman's identity gets subsumed by her husband's. One woman I know, whenever she is asked what it is like to be a pastor's wife, replies simply: "I'm not." She is married to a man who is a pastor, yes, but that no more defines her than a woman who is married to grocer or salesman or accountant. She is not the "first lady" of anything. She shrugs off the false pressure. For so many women, the pressure that they feel being married to a pastor is just as much internal as external.

God has given you good gifts to be used for the flourishing of his kingdom. Your primary calling is to be faithful to him in using those gifts, whatever they are, and regardless of what anyone else might try to tell you to do. And hopefully, we can just go back to good old-fashioned doling out roses for reality TV.

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