So, confessions are good for the soul, right?
Sure, confessions before God rid our soul of sin—forgiveness for our wrongs. Yet, there’s another release when we make confessions before people.
Not only for wrong behavior, but also to let go of struggles.
My family has ministered in eight churches over the last thirty-two years. And my husband, Mike, currently serves as Lead Pastor for Believers Church.
While pastor’s wives often try to live-out the loudest “Amen!” and “Hallelujah!”
Still, we carry burdens.
In addition, we struggle with ministry issues.
6 Confessions and Lessons Learned
- I’m a rebel of the typical-pastor-wife ideology. Trying to conform in my younger years, I fell prey to notions such a woman exists. So, is there a pastor’s wife who exemplifies typical? And who attempted the job description for Wikipedia? Lesson Learned: God alone defines me. I’m not typical. But I’m fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I’ll take my cue about who I am from the great I AM.
- I’m oppressed by people’s expectations. I’ll never measure up to everyone’s ideal. And neither will my husband. I’m not the pastor’s wife from your former church or like another pastor’s wife you may know or highly regard. Lesson Learned: Seek to please God, not people (Galatians 1:10). Striving to please God will bring a correct perspective as I lay expectations at the feet of Jesus. Ministry is not about me. But about the One who said, “Follow me.”
- I resent when the church becomes about busyness. A pastor bears the spiritual responsibility as shepherd. Ministry can become side-tracked with fillers. When this happens, a pastor’s family will often be neglected. Lesson Learned: Be about The Father’s business (Luke 2:49). Prioritize spreading the gospel and making disciples. Don’t misunderstand. Fun events are good. Yet, we can fill church calendars with no thought to our number one mission of sharing Christ. Church programs that fill empty spaces will never fill empty hearts.
- I’m wounded when people are fault-finders. Being approachable and extending freedom of expression are ways pastors and their wives make themselves available. But, it leaves us open to attack from critics who prey on the opportunity to implement personal agendas. And it hurts when those inside church walls criticize my husband, family members or me. Mean people lurk in every area of life. This includes the church. The capacity for mean is within each of us. Yet, we must guard against it. I hope to never write the article, Confessions of a Mean Pastor’s Wife. Lesson Learned: Weigh criticism against identity in Christ. The scales will always tip toward “in Christ” where I’m a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We can always improve, yet sift everything with the truth. Instead, Christ transforms us. People do not.
- I dislike being under the microscope. I heard this line from a movie, “She hated being a pastor’s wife, it made her feel like a bug under a microscope.” So, while I haven’t loved everything about this role, I enjoy being a pastor’s wife. Loving the man I married and choosing to be in ministry partnership. Pastors and their wives are watched and followed as leaders and examples in the body of Christ. But. We. Fail. Don’t put us on a religious-built pedestal made from idol-worship of men. Lesson Learned: Scriptures do the best job of dissecting my life (2 Timothy 3:16). Still, we won’t get it right all the time—we’re not Jesus. Yet, delighting in God’s Word causes holiness to rise up in us.
- I’m discouraged when the pastor is discouraged. Pastors aren’t shielded from mental and emotional down-times—pastor blues. And they’re susceptible to this attack from the enemy. Low church attendance. A lack of volunteers. No unity. People grumble and leave. All factors weighing heavy on a pastor’s heart, thus his wife’s heart. Lesson Learned: Encourage my husband’s heart as Christ shepherds my heart. And God’s the strength of my heart (Psalm 73:26).
Insight and Action
I pray my words give you insight into the burdens carried by those who shepherd the flocks—associate pastors and wives, too.
And not for knowledge alone, but it would spur you to:
- Love in action. Find practical ways to come along side your pastor and serve.
- Pray for your pastor’s teaching, anointing, intimacy with God, and against the magnitude of attack from the enemy.
- Be unified for a gospel purpose. Church, don’t squabble about petty things. Drama and whining show our true character.
- Encourage your pastor. The forces of darkness come against him. If we don’t realize the depth of spiritual battle our pastor fights, then we need to get our heads out of the sand. We must fight darkness with the light of Jesus.
Part 2 next week: My Top 6 Greatest Joys in Being a Pastor’s WifePray for your pastor's anointing, intimacy with God, and against attacks from the enemy. #pastor Click To Tweet
© 2017 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved
January 26, 2017 at 8:00 am | Uncategorized