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Shhh…I’m married to the pastor.

April 15, 2011

It happened last Sunday during Sunday School. I admitted to not knowing much about the Bible and someone said “but you’re the preacher’s wife”. Thank goodness this person said it with sarcasm.

At my husband’s first appointment I had a very interesting experience. There were times when I would only introduce myself with my first name. I did it as an experiment knowing they’d eventually find out my last name. I had been in Sunday School with a couple who were fairly new. The wife caught me in the kitchen after class and we began chatting. I don’t remember the exact conversation, but it was pretty normal. Then she asked me the question. “Funny, I know your first name, but what’s your last name?” Ahhh… this will be interesting. I watched her reaction as I told her my last name. When she put the two names together there was a moment of “oh, you’re the preacher’s wife”. I could see it in her eyes. In just one small moment I could see in her eyes that she was going over our conversation to see if she had said something she shouldn’t say to a preacher’s wife. And in that one small moment, her eyes told me that I no longer was a member of her Sunday School class. I was the preacher’s wife. As she walked away I knew that her view of me changed. I stood in the kitchen amazed that I could see the change in her eyes as she realized who I was. I left with a shrug of my shoulders.

I honestly have no idea what the members of my husband’s first church thought of me. I’d be interested to know if / or what was said. I knew I would not be the traditional pastor’s wife, but I didn’t know what I would be. After a trying year, I realized my place in my husband’s ministry. My place was at home for the nights after meetings, after phone calls, before hard conversations, etc. I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, I didn’t marry a pastor. Actually, I married him despite his call to ministry. (That’s another story.)

Because I am a pastor’s wife don’t assume I will pray out loud, lead Sunday School, say yes to anything I’m asked to do, know everything Bible related, etc. I don’t have a call from God to be a pastor, go to seminary, play piano, sing, coordinate potlucks (or anything), etc. I am called to love my husband and support him.

*This is my experience so far and subject to change. In no way am I saying this is how it is for every pastor’s spouse. Each of us have our different callings, talents, personalities, etc.

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