We are in a series on the blog right now “On Being A Pastor’s Wife”. This is the first of five posts of things I have learned about how to be a healthy and happy pastor’s wife. Even if you are not married to a pastor, I believe you will be personally encouraged by what I share. Plus it will help you to be a good support to your pastor’s family as well. If you know a pastor’s wife (or anyone in ministry) who could use some practical encouragement, please pass the link to my blog along . . .
Aren’t you grateful for the creativity of God? He has made each of us individually unique! This is true of everyone, including pastor’s wives. Thankfully the days of the stereo-typical pastor’s wife are over. You know the well-dressed, soft-spoken woman who plays the piano. (However, if that is you, be confident in it! -smile-) I have known some wives who are actively involved in ministry, and some who are not. One is not better than the other. The most important thing is that you figure out what God is calling YOU to do as a pastor’s wife and then do it with confidence.
When I was in high school, I attended summer camp with our church youth group. I will never forget the service where I sensed the Lord calling me to dedicate my life to full-time ministry. I sure didn’t know what I was getting into, but I did instinctively know that it was going to be a life-long adventure (and it has been!). I was called to serve the Lord in ministry before I married a pastor. Although being a pastor’s wife is an important part of my calling, I would be in ministry whether I was married to a pastor or not. Therefore, I wouldn’t consider myself your “typical pastor’s wife”, and at times, that has brought me great frustration. Through the years, I have worked hard to accept the calling that God has given me to actively serve right alongside my husband. Finally, a sense of freedom and confidence have replaced many of my insecurities as I have figured out my role in ministry.
In order to figure out YOUR role in ministry, use this little equation:
gifting + passion + opportunity = calling.
What spiritual gifts has God given you? What are your natural abilities? What are you passionate about? What opportunities are available for you to use your gifts and passions? By the way, this takes time to figure out and mostly by trial and error, so don’t be afraid to try new things.
Keep in mind, when you serve in ministry, there will be things you “get” (AKA have) to do that are outside of your “calling” every now and again. That is just the nature of serving. Try to keep a good balance between what you are “called” to do and what needs to be done whether it is part of your “calling” or not, because the bottom-line is we are “called” to serve. However, I have found that serving too much outside of your calling leads to frustration, while serving too much only in your calling leads to pride. Humility happens when you rely on God’s strength to help you serve in ways you aren’t naturally gifted.
Finally, it is important to note that as a pastor’s wife, often your calling/role will be secondary to your husband’s. There has been many times where God has called me to step aside or take a step back in order to support my husband’s role and keep our family healthy. For example, before our second child was born, I was serving as the Children’s Pastor at our church where my husband was the Associate Pastor. I knew that, for our family, it wouldn’t work to have both Mom and Dad in full-time ministry, so I stepped away from two-thirds of the ministry I was overseeing so that we could keep our family a top priority. To be honest, that was a difficult season for me, but I have never regretted one decision that’s been made to keep our family first before ministry. As wives/mothers, these are the sacrifices God gives us the privilege to make.
Remember, if God has called you to be a pastor’s wife, He has also equipped you. Don’t make excuses for or regarding whatever your role may be (especially based on other’s expectations of you). Serve in confidence. With God’s help, YOU. CAN. DO. IT!
Your Friend in Ministry,