Jump directly to the content
Let Pastors' Wives Do Their Own ThingTLC
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.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Comments

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

orSubscribeor
More from Her.menutics
The Universal Call to ‘Mothering Like Christ’

The Universal Call to ‘Mothering Like Christ’

Childbirth illustrates the life-giving sacrifice of body, mind, and soul that applies to us all.
Don’t Call Me the Best Mom Ever

Don’t Call Me the Best Mom Ever

Why it's time for Mother's Day to retreat from the extremes.
I Forgave My Teen Daughter’s Killer

I Forgave My Teen Daughter’s Killer

The gospel taught me that forgiveness is not a pardon.
Why We Want to Return to Stars Hollow

Why We Want to Return to Stars Hollow

The weirdest part of the Gilmore Girls hometown? How they did community right.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

My Son’s Autism Changed Everything—Even Our Church

I came to see special needs families as an unreached people group.

Twitter

  • RT @michellevanloon: A sneak peak at #MomentsAndDays: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith! https://t.co/LKGxysHZc8 @NavPress https://2026
  • RT @KatelynBeaty: Sarah Arthur's (@HolyDreaming) "Top 10 Tips for Getting It Done" ("it" = "all the writing") belongs on your wall: https:/2026
  • "Partnering with God to nurture others extends beyond biological parenting" https://t.co/LkbJyaavGp
  • The gender gap is more powerful than the God gap for a Trump/Clinton election https://t.co/jWa6DWvg62
  • The experience of labor and mothering, in their reflection of the incarnation, reflect a life we're all called to https://t.co/LkbJyaavGp


What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
Let Pastors' Wives Do Their Own Thing