Challenge number 4 in being a pastor’s wife: You r identity is not being a pastor’s wife. As far as I know, only one person has refered to me as “that Preacher’s wife.” We had a good laugh at that one with some friends because that is not “who” I am. I am jennifer, redeemed yet flawed, growing and struggling, not yet arrived. A “preacher’s wife” to me has big hair and a lot of make-up on the billboard with her husband, an untouchable, someone you cannot see as real. If people laud you or your husband–or tear down you or your husband, do not believe the hype. There is nothing that separates you from other people in God’s eyes. You are called to the same obedience and given the same grace. You are special in God’s sight, but you are not God’s gift to humanity! He can do it without you or your husband–period. When we start to think we are indespensible in any role–watch out because a humbling dose of reality might come our way! I am thankful for this. The pressure is off.
Challenge number 5 when your husband is a pastor: Who do you talk to when you have had it with your husband and your marriage and your children are struggling? That’s a good question. I realize that many people feel very much alone in this. First, you talk to God and realize that He is your One true joy. Secondly, I think it is important to pursue friends that are in the same situations as you–perhaps friends in ministry in different places who understand that pressures that come. There may be people in your congregation who are safe for you–and there are certain people who are not. People who are not safe are those who are not “real” themselves–those who wear a mask of perfection or expect your family to wear one. Look for older and wiser women–pray over time for this gift. Being real doesn’t mean that you spill your stuff everywhere. We know that there are women who are gossips and not safe. There are many women who have been deeply hurt in these kinds of relationships. Seek to be the type of person you want to be befriended by–real, honest, trustworthy. I have found that you can be authentic and yet have boundaries. There is a way for you to let others know that everyone’s life has challenges–marriage and child-rearing are hard no matter what your husband does for a living–we are all in process and God is the superintendant. A very helpful thing for me has been that we meet as Pastor’s wives on retreat and for brunch within our body. It is a safe place to share struggles and ask for prayer and just be. This has been a gift.
Enough about what my husband does…I really love who he is! I like that we can laugh together. Hopefully in a month full of stress with school starting back and other weights, we can take time to laugh and enjoy one another purposefully.