One Day at a Time Devotional
Daily works from morn ‘til night,
Perfect children, act just right,
House is always neat and clean,
Company may soon be seen,
Cheerfully at every meeting,
Smiling nicely with her greeting,
Slim, trim and always fit,
Confident and quick with wit,
Thrifty, smart and pretty, too.
Knows the Bible through and through,
Cooks and entertains with zest,
Never worried, never stressed,
Talent, charm and patience, too,
Nothing that she cannot do,
Never existing in real life,
She’s the mythical preacher’s wife.
Taken from the book, “Help! I’m the Pastor’s Wife”
The above poem is an example of how difficult it can be to balance life and meet everyone’s expectations. Today it is my goal to shed some light on the role of the Pastor’s wife. It is a topic that I have prayed over for some time and is a subject and experience that no Bible college can prepare you for. I hope to enlighten my readers today and in future devotionals on this title that carries a hidden job description. It is my prayer that you will have a greater understanding of and burden for the wives of Pastors and in particular, your Pastor’s wife.
To be clear, I am not writing this devotional or any future devotionals for sympathy, to complain, with a hidden agenda, the motive of an outside opinion, or any other reason than the fact that God has given me a burden to teach and pray for today’s Christian women. It is also not my desire for these devotionals to be self-focused, but because this is an area I have been privileged to serve God in, it is very personal and I will share my perspective on this matter. Your Pastor’s wife may not agree with what I have written here or she may have a completely different perspective on this subject. If that is the case, please allow her experience and opinions to overrule anything I have written. It is the Lord that has placed this desire to write these devotionals for the last year and half on my heart and it is through my Pastor’s prayerful permission that I am able to do so.
It was in August 1999 that my husband was called to preach. I remember standing in the front of the platform after the Sunday evening service as many of my friends and fellow church members lined up to congratulate my husband and me, as well as, offer advice for the journey ahead. To be honest, I don’t remember anything that was said, it was such an overwhelming experience and emotions were running high. But I do remember my Pastor’s wife, as it was her turn now to congratulate me, standing in front of me shaking her head from side to side. At the time, I thought it was her way of saying, “You’re not mature enough for this” and to be honest I wasn’t. I wasn’t spiritually mature enough for the job and on top of that I needed some sober-mindedness – or in my case, seriousness and a level head. Well, the Lord had a plan and He knew exactly how to strengthen and mature me in these areas of weakness and for the next sixteen years, that is exactly what He did and continues to do.
It was not the Pastor’s wife that helped me directly to establish a relationship with God, as a matter of fact, in a church that ran over six hundred, I rarely spoke to her. Although, she did indirectly help me by supporting her husband, the Pastor, in his role. I later realized that she filled every available task that no one else would do within the church. She was a teacher in their Christian school, she helped host on a grand level their annual Ladies’ Conference, she baby sat some of the children in the congregation throughout the work week for parents who worked, she managed the soul-winning nursery for a large amount of children, she organized the food and decorations for large dinners hosted at the church, she taught a weekly ladies’ meeting on Sunday evenings, she was her husband’s counselor, confidant, friend, spouse and she raised their five children all at the same time. Now this is not an all-inclusive list for her, but it is only what I saw.
I never realized how wise and spiritual she was, because I really didn’t have anything in common with her at the time. I was more concerned with getting my needs met through the church and I was not focused on how she may need help. To be honest, I don’t even remember if I prayed for her or her family, I am ashamed to say this. I can say now, that I pray for her and her family as the Lord brings them to my mind.
It is often said, “You don’t know what you have until it is gone” and this was true in my case. I really didn’t realize how much my Pastor’ s wife could have helped me and how much she did help me until I left to go to Bible college with my husband. I look back now with regret, realizing I could have done even more to strengthen her and as a result the Pastor and the church. If I could change the past in regards to helping my Pastor’s wife, I would have:
- Prayed for her, her husband the Pastor, and her children.
- Loved her.
- Taken on and kept faithfully more ministries to lighten her load.
- Been more teachable.
- Encouraged her through notes and words of affirmation.
- Accepted her just as she was with no expectations of my own.
- Exhibited patience in my relationship with her.
- Been more understanding of things and circumstances that she could not explain to me without compromising others.
There are many ways beyond the above in which I wish I had supported my Pastor’s wife. My challenge to you is to realize that no one is perfect and there needs to be balance in everyone’s life. Just as it may be hard for you to juggle everyday responsibilities and meet expectations, so it is for your Pastor’s wife. Please help her, and therefore the Pastor and the church, have balance (not just in the schedule) and unity by enlisting some of these actions above into your relationship with her. Her goal is and yours should be as well, to please God and put Him first in everything that is done even when it is difficult and inconvenient.
& One Day at a Time Devotional,
a ministry of Riverview Baptist Church