Last week my wife and I celebrated 25 years of marriage. As I was thinking about the blessing she is to me, I realized that is only part of the story. I’m a preacher’s kid, so I am intimately aware the unique journey a pastor’s wife makes as she navigates the complexities of being wife, mother, friend, confidant, teacher, counselor, and leader. My mom was the epitome of grace and beauty—singing, teaching, and leading, as well as raising four kids.
My wife started out working full time in order to put me through my Master’s degree program. In the first few weeks after I graduated, she gave birth to our first born, her mother passed away at age 47, and I became the lead pastor at our church.
Through the tears of hardship and the sweat of mothering, she hosted the church at our home with open houses and dinner parties. She continued to serve and lead—starting a MOPS (Mothers of Pre Schoolers) chapter at our church. Four kids later, she started the “sermons-to-go” ministry (remember when you could get a sermon on a cassette?), taught a youth life group for girls, and oversaw life group leaders in our youth group. She spoke at women’s events and gave messages on Sunday mornings—all while homeschooling four kids.
The expectations can be challenging and the unbalanced scale can be isolating. Always hosting, yet seldom being invited in. Always listening, yet seldom feeling safe enough to share deeply. Always serving, yet seldom receiving the same grace in kind.
Still, my wife and I welcome our journey. We have grown immensely closer to Jesus as we have learned to rely on Him. And, we have been immeasurably blessed as we have served one community through the good and the bad.
As I think about the gift of my wife these 25 years I’m reminded that the Pastor’s wife is a unique gift to the entire community. If, as you read this, you are a member of a faith community, then bless your pastor’s wife. Encourage her, spoil her, bless her—for she is a great treasure to your community and to you.