Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What's it Like?

Occasionally I get asked, "What's it like being married to a pastor?," or maybe, "Do you like being married to a pastor?"
I never know quite how to answer this question. I'm an only child, and growing up I got asked all the time, "Do you like being an only child?"
In both cases, I don't have anything to compare it to; in my past life I was also an only child and married to a pastor.
I'm kidding. I was definitely a celebrated singer/songwriter with an impressive shoe collection. And great hair. And a year-round tan.
Ok, I'll stop.

Seriously, though, I got to thinking about it, and what I would like to tell people who ask, "What's it like?"
I would tell them that I have the same struggles and hang-ups and feelings that they do. I get tired. I struggle with my self-image and my worth. Sometimes I get lonely. I feel overwhelmed at least once a day week. I need encouragement and girl-friends to call up when I'm threatening to drop my kids off at a 'Safe Haven', or I find an Anthropologie dress at Goodwill with the tags still on.
I love my family and cherish the times I have with them, washing the cars together, taking an impromptu day trip, visiting someone in the hospital, or sneaking in an episode of Duck Dynasty before tucking the kids into bed.
There are things unique to being the wife of a pastor, as I'm sure there are things unique to being the wife of a chef, a doctor, or a fireman.
There are expectations put on me and my family, and sometimes I have to evaluate if I'm doing something out of obligation or personal conviction. I've done both. I've done the right thing for the wrong reason. I'm learning.
I have been called to partner with my husband in ministry. He's 'the face' of the ministry, but we're a team. I love the students and want to see the body of Christ grow and succeed. I want our home and our family to be a safe place for students and friends who need a little love. Or a lot of love. Or maybe just a good meal.
I'd tell them that I consider my position an honor and my desire is to love and serve with a joyful heart. I don't always succeed in this, because I'm far from perfect, but I have a God who's perfect, and while I have no idea what it's like being the wife of anyone but a pastor, I do know this is what God has called me to, and I will seek to honor and glorify Him in all I do. Hopefully, just like you.

Alright, pastor's wives, what would you tell people? I'd love to hear from you.


Kristen Eddleman said...

I love this! SO true :) Thank you for sharing honestly from your heart with such grace and humility!! So thankful for the example I have in you!! You are one incredible wife, mom & minister! LOVE YOU!

Unknown said...

I really appreciated what you had to say about the difference between doing something out of obligation or personal conviction. It's tough to be a member of an organization/community that employs your spouse. Imagine you were a member of your local YMCA and your spouse was running the Y. After lots of thought, prayer, and consideration it is obvious that the swimming pool is going to have to close at 6:30. It used to be open until 8. The decision may not be popular but there is a laundry list of reasons why it should happen. You secretly with the pool would stay open until 8 yourself. You enjoy staying late. But your spouse is the one making the decision so when other members of the Y ask why the change is being made you need to supportive and explain how the decision is best for all the members despite your own personal sadness about the change.
This doesn't happen every week or month. It doesn't even happen every year. But when it does happen it can be tough as a member of the church who is not staff but also not "just a member".

Amy Frans said...

this is an excellent example. thank you for your comment!!