The Pastor's Wife

Has God ever led you to a place you weren’t ready to go?

It happened to me five years ago when my husband announced it was time to leave the comfort of the little country church we attended. He felt our work there was complete and believed God was calling us to plant a church. I was sensing the same thing. I always believed my husband was destined to pastor a church and now it was time to act on that belief.

I rejoiced at the opportunity to follow God’s call and obey his leading in our lives. I resolved to trust God fully and immediately sensed his perfect peace as I let go and totally surrendered myself and our future to him… OH WAIT!

(Scratch that last paragraph and save it for the fictionalized version.)

The truth of the matter was that I was stricken with an overwhelming sense of fear, panic, and terror. I began to question if I was really hearing from God and if it was him, I wondered if he had gotten it wrong.

The irony was that I often encouraged my husband to consider church planting. I knew his passion for ministry and his heart for the unchurched. I believed in him and his leadership abilities but now that it was time to pursue that dream, I choked and defaulted to panic-driven rebellion.

The source of my terror could be identified with one simple question. What qualifications did I have to be a pastor’s wife? Though I could easily picture my husband as a pastor, there was no way I could see myself as a pastor’s wife.

Everyone knows what a pastor’s wife is like, right? A pastor’s wife can sing like an angel and play the piano. She has an advanced degree in sewing, cooking, and homemaking and is a poised and polished speaker who can motivate others and speak authoritatively on just about any subject. She is a tireless volunteer with a calendar full of bible studies, blood drives, soup-kitchen serving days, trips to the senior center, and hospital visitations. A pastor’s wife has perfect kids who have no problems. Plus, everyone knows that all pastor’s wives have the gift of organization. In short, they are just about perfect – OK, they are perfect.

So why would God pick someone like me to be a pastors wife? I don’t have a great singing voice and the only instrument I play is the VCR. I would rather run my fingernails across a chalkboard all day than speak in front of a group of people. I prefer watching movies on Netflix in a quiet and peaceful home to the frantic pace and hectic schedule of an overfilled calendar. My kids are normal with normal problems and as for organization, let’s just say that it is not one of my gifts and leave it at that.

So with all of these thoughts swirling in my head, I was freaking out because I didn’t know how to tell my husband about the tremendous pressure and performance anxiety I was feeling. I was fully convinced that my husband was supposed to plant a church – to be a pastor but I had not a clue as to if, how, and where I would (or ever could) fit into the picture.

My husband laughed when I told him what I was thinking. He helped me let go of my idealized (and unrealistic) picture of what it meant to be a pastor’s wife. He said if my beliefs about pastor’s wives were true that all pastors would be single except for Wonder Woman’s husband (and he’s probably not a pastor). He reminded me that my role as his wife would be the same whether or not he was a pastor.

The good news is that God had a plan that was bigger than my unbelief and he answered all of my questions in wonderful and profound ways. He is still in control and wants to use me just as I am.

Occasionally, my human nature still wants to say, “But wait God, I’m not qualified to do what you ask of me.” But then I remember that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. God always uses imperfect people to fulfill his plans.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9


Charles Stone January 06, 2010  

great thots-my wife probably felt the same when we planted a church over 20 yrs ago

Post a Comment