3 Surprising Positives on Being the Pastor’s WifeBy Stacey Weeks
May 17, 2022
When I tossed out a question to a few fellow pastors’ wives, asking what surprised them about their role in ministry, I admit that I was a bit afraid of what they might throw back. I learned a long time ago that not all surprises are good. I could write a book about all the unexpected and unpleasant shocks I faced as a young ministry wife. I suspect most ministry wives are like me, and they could fill page after page with the details of how they’ve been hurt. The negative is loud. But what about the positive?
When I was feeling particularly down in our early ministry years, a friend (who is not in vocational ministry) shared her observations on the perks of being a ministry family. Her family was young and pinching pennies. So was her pastor’s family. She and her husband were involved and invested in their church family, and they received generous encouragement and help from the congregation. But the pastor’s family received much more merely because their needs were more visible. A kitchen company renovated their kitchen at a discount. Generous friends outfitted their kids for special events. My friend didn’t begrudge this generosity toward her pastor’s family. She wasn’t jealous. She loved them and wanted good things for them. She merely pointed out to me, who felt sour and disadvantaged, that our life comes with hardships and blessings. It was a correction I needed to hear.
Not all ministry perks are materialistic (although our family has received much practical help). Some advantages are softer. Quieter. They arrive with less flash but encourage just as powerfully. There is a positive, beautiful, and unexpected side to serving the Lord that speaks at a lower volume than the negative voices. I had to train my ear to listen for it because most of my pre-ministry prep was getting ready for the hard. That preparation was valid and needed; however, there is a time to raise the volume on the good. There is a time not just to acknowledge the blessings that come from our unique role in our churches but emphasize them to encourage others.
You’ve seen over and over that God’s grace is sufficient for you.
We weren’t too long in our first church before we realized just how inadequate we were for the task God had called us to do. We feel this weight in a way few others ever do. “Being confronted with sin in God’s people is hard,” shares one wife, “and we often felt utterly lacking.” But a second surprise hitched to that feeling of inability materialized. God’s grace is sufficient. “Every time we feel unable to meet a challenge, we have learned the hard lesson of going to Him. He always supplies the need—always gives where we are lacking.”