Well, yes I am a Pastor’s wife. It is exactly that one thing that happened to me which I had neither imagined nor had asked for. I had no clue what it means to be one so I was neither fascinated with it nor repelled towards it. But it did happen and here I was married to a passionate pastor who loves his people and has a great desire to see a transformation in their lives.
Having said that, I also want to thank my husband for being extremely gracious towards me and letting this be my personal journey rather than the one he thought was ideal. His love helped me dwell in freedom of, “its ok to do mistakes” and learn from them. He covered my insufficiencies, weaknesses, stubbornness and goof ups with kindness. He worked on them with me (and he still does) instead of setting standards and then leaving me alone to fulfill them.
So this is what little bit I have learnt when I look at my journey of last one year. Hope it blesses you.
1. You are Chosen Out of God’s Purpose rather than your eligibility.
Initially, I considered myself not a suitable candidate for this role. Especially because of not being raised in a christian household,enemy deceived me into believing that I was going to fail and that God made a mistake by assigning me this role. This didn’t change until the Holy Spirit convicted me from the scriptures (1 Samuel 15:17 CEV, Isaiah 55:8-9 and Psalm 138:8 ESV). These verses when put together in front of me by the Lord compelled me to change the way I was dealing with this struggle. We, as pastors`s wives need to know and be assured that our low opinion of self will not convince God to unchoose us and definitely that we cannot figure out that why did he specifically choose us. While I was failing to find good in myself, He was calling me to rest in the truth that purposes are HIS and He is the one who will fulfill them through me. So I relaxed because I knew it did not depend on my awesomeness, but on my surrender. I have been chosen now. Either I could pick up the mantle passionately or run away!! It was my choice but there is nothing I can do that would make me feel qualified.
2. Beware of Human Praise.
Being married to a pastor had kind of put me in the limelight and good books of people without even doing anything. This constant acceptance did make me feel great without feeling any need of self assessment or God’s discipline for my personal life. My suggestion? Please not let this approval get to your head (John 12:43) This role is not our identity and only being a daughter of God is. Pastor`s wives also will be called out for their character and obedience on the last day just like anybody else who is not in ministry (Luke 8:17). I have learnt to be more genuine in front of God with my struggles with people, situations and have learnt to let HIM guide me everyday instead of just putting up a show on Sundays!!
3. My First Ministry is My Household
A pastor’s wife can be a great counsellor, listener, awesome host, fantastic cook, but if she is not intentionally working towards bringing God’s kingdom of love, honour, forgiveness, peace, grace and so on in her family and household, she is not truly serving the Lord.We cannot skip our families and say Well, I am doing great in church so I am sure I am doing great. And I will let a secret out – It is easier to be a good pastor’s wife than a good wife, mother, daughter in law because our interaction is lesser with the church than your own family. You will be really tested and bear real fruits in your character with family and not just the congregation. You are family to God and see if you really know how HE treats you, and check if that is how you treat or intend to treat your family? (Ephesians 1:5 NLT)
4. Reverse the Equation
Accept it or not,congregation is not our fan following group.The state of people should subtly challenge us to pursue a heart like God`s. I realised my calling is to reachout to the unreached, love the least lovable, honour the most rejected, stand up for the ones who have been given up on, encourage the discouraged, pray for the rebels and a lot more. It is comforting to see the 100 who are coming to church, 50 that are growing, 10 that look upto you but do not forget that one person who is hurting and does not have hope, whose discouragement is overcoming him or her. Leave the 99 and go after one (Luke 15:4 NIV) Jesus had 12 of his disciples glued to HIM but HE never stopped reaching out to the ones dejected, sick, hopeless and needy (Matthew 4:23)
5. Look at the bigger picture
This one is funny and my greatest challenge. I have been and still a proud introvert, so not a fan of small talks, and get exhausted of having people in my space. Initially, I felt like this role of a pastor’s wife is forcing me to change who I was. Well, please allow me to tell you that this is not a change but growth. Let me ask you the same question that once the Holy Spirit had asked me – “Is protecting your space more important than seeing transformed lives?” I knew I was being challenged once again. I slowly started putting the walls around my heart and fears down. The process of being vulnerable is not over yet. God has been giving me the courage to lose my life for my brothers and sisters and dying to myself (Luke 9:23 NIV; Luke 17:33 NIV). Now, I do not try to protect my introvert life but instead focus on being available to people like Jesus is available for me. Not been easy, will not be easy but hey I am growing !!! In the middle of all that I have never stopped respecting my inclination towards introversion and I have my days and moments when I enjoy it.
I know that this role can be overwhelming and challenging. On micro-observation, I have also realised that a lot of times it is not difficult because of people, but our lack of confidence in what God can do through us once we decide to trust HIM to take us through this. Once we muster up the courage to start believing who we are in Christ as women and keep that going in every new season of our lives, including becoming a minister’s wife, we will only go uphill. Trust me, we have nothing to prove to God and only handle HIS business on this earth faithfully for which HE trains us sharply if we agree to surrender.