Who am I as a Pastor’s Wife? What is the role of pastors’ wives anyway?
Your role is to be YOU! Let’s be clear, I’m never going to suggest you be anything but who you are as a person as it relates to your role as a pastor’s wife. So many people, especially in the Black church, marry someone in church leadership and instantly begin dressing in suits, hats, and all kinds of things that aren’t true to who they were prior to marrying that guy. If you ask “what is the role of pastors wives?”, that has nothing to do with it!
This is fake. This is foolishness. This is pleasing people and I don’t advocate doing that…EVER.
But, it’s not limited to churches of color. The pressure we can feel, as pastors’ wives is real and has no ethnicity. That same pressure is wrapped up in the desire to satisfy the expectations of others and it can plague any pastor’s wife. Do you agree? Have you ever felt the strain to be who the congregation wanted you to be?
The role of pastor’s wives is to be obedient to Jesus Christ and allow Him, through the Holy Spirit, to find and define their place in the Kingdom of God and in the local church.
What got me a-thinkin‘
Today, I was driving to my doctor’s appointment and decided to pop in the YOUversion audio Bible. By “pop in”, I mean I decided to play it and listen to scripture during the commute. Girl, you know I’m old because when I think about listening to music, I still get a mental picture of a CD or even a cassette tape! But, that’s neither here nor there. Ha!
Back to my point. I decided to listen to the gospel of John. This scripture [in John 1] stood out to me as I drove and made me think of pastors’ wives, in general.
Context: John was making some noise in church and folks wanted to know if he was Jesus or not.
Here is the verse…it’s 21:
“They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
I see it here. Do you?
This whole “identity” thing is not limited to us pastors wives!
People are always trying to figure out exactly who other people genuinely are. This is precisely what’s going down here in this scripture.
AND the funny thing is they were trying to compare John to someone who had come before him.
Have you ever felt that way as a pastor’s wife?
Have you ever been compared to the previous pastor’s wife in any way?
I know I have. Before I became the pastor’s wife at my church, Sister Eloise Allen, had been in that role for many many years. She attended a church long before it had a full-time staff or membership reaching into the thousands. They had none of the technology nor resources it has now. This means she had to do and be so much more than I have to do or be. That was her journey; not mine.
I must say she did it all amazingly well and was a great support to me before her passing. I miss her.
Still, she was a tough act to follow because she lived in a different time and had different expectations of her than I do. Compared to all of what she did, one might think I do absolutely nothing! Nevertheless, that’s not my problem at all. Comparisons are useless in a world of individuals. And I am an individual.
So was she. Had I lived in the times she lived in, I would have done so much more than I do now.
Back to John…
Just like the people were asking John if he was the one that came before him, YOU may struggle with people asking if you are like the one [i.e. pastor’s wife] you came after.
Please remember, that is their problem – not yours. Don’t assume the burden of other people’s need to define you or box you into someone else’s journey. Instead, show them who you are. Walk in who you are and be proud of who you are and Jesus! This is what confidence looks like for the pastor’s wife!
Hey, that’s what I do in my life anyway. Honestly, with all respect, Eloise Allen could do many things I couldn’t do. Similarly, I can do many things she could never do! Yeah, I said it. The reason is that we are individuals and God created us to soar and excel in the times in which He placed us. The same goes for you, Girl!
The point of all this: don’t get caught up in comparisons as you think and ponder what is the role of pastors wives. That’s an ignorant waste of time and often a trick of the enemy. He will try to use those things to keep you bound and insecure. Don’t fall for it!
In your opinion, what other bad results come from comparing ourselves to other pastors wives? Share below!
Hmmm..what is the role of pastors wives?
John Knew EXACTLY who he was and so should Pastors Wives!
Christian Sister, in addition to what I just stated, John modeled for us exactly the posture we should take.
Look at his FULL response to those comparison-seekers in the following scriptures:
21 He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
Do you see it, Pastor’s Wife? You got to see it!
After they asked John who he was and even gave him a hint so he could answer the question correctly in their eyes; but, he rebutted it! He said “No way, Stupid!”
Well, he didn’t say that. Yet, what he said is “NO!” I am not these people you keep trying to associate me with. Get outta here!”
He got them checked and he got them checked immediately. In other words, he was not gonna fall for that trick of the enemy I mentioned earlier. He’s not going to try to be someone he was not just because that person was familiar or seemed awesome.
Some people would have been flattered.
Some would have felt the need to say “No, Elijah was too wonderful for me to be HIM!”
Some would have wanted to explain beyond a simple “NO.”
If I try to be sister Allen simply because she was awesome – and she was – I would look like a stone-cold idiot.
We can never be someone else. It never works. Sometimes, I wonder if the reason so many people are walking around depressed and stressed is that they are attempting to be someone else other than their true selves. What do you think?
So, when people try to compare you to someone else, in your mind I want you to say “NO!” Just like John did. God will give you kinder words to reply out loud to set those boundaries. At any rate, on the interior, you reject that mess! Wherever you’re reading this, I want you to raise your hand in agreement!
After you resolve NOT to fall into the trap of comparison, I want you to do exactly what John did in concept. What did he do? After telling them clearly who he was not, he told them exactly WHO HE WAS!
To be clear, as pastor’s wives, we don’t always have to tell people. We just have to be ourselves and let people discover us. Want to hear something funny? Ok, I’ll tell ya. I often think of myself as something of a treasure chest. Not because I’m special or better than anyone else. No way. I view myself this way because I am worth seeking out. I feel am worth getting to know. And, Christian Woman, so are you! You’re SO worth it!
Give people the honor and pleasure of simply getting to know you over time. This is not something you have to prove or reveal all at once! You’ll freak them out if you try that. Just gradually open your heart and life.
The Kingdom is about relationships and spiritual family.
Little by little, reveal your heart to the people at your church through your service or your creativity. I don’t know. God may give you a completely different way to reveal your true self to your congregation. Whatever it is just do it and just… BE!
I hope this encourages you today, pastor’s wife. I hope you’re reminded that the true characteristic of a pastor’s wife is what you make of it.
There’s no REAL written job description or spiritual explanation for what we do.
Look here: you’re being a good pastor’s wife when you’re being true to yourself, growing spiritually and supporting your husband.
That’s my take. What say you? Tell me below!
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