In Praise of the Pastor’s Wife

My wife did not ask me to write this, in fact she will be mad at me because I did. But I accept that fact as I write these words because they need to be said. I was looking at my calendar and next month is Pastor Appreciation month. It is a month I feel incredibly awkward about personally. I kind of feel like weird uncle Larry who gets invited to the party not because anybody wants him there but because he is family and we have to invite him. I also feel strange about it because I get paid to be a pastor. God has blessed me richly with a weekly paycheck to do what I do. So I want to turn the tables for a minute and focus on the greatest volunteer I know in the Church – the Pastor’s wife.

From the outside it looks to be the most incredibly intense volunteer position in the Church. She is an intricate part of my ministry just by being married to me. She didn’t ask for this position, she didn’t apply for the job, she just inherited it by choosing to marry me. As a result of that one poor choice she wrapped herself up in the ministry of the Church deeper than anyone I have ever encountered. She loves and teaches other people’s kids. She tells me I had a good sermon, even when I know it was awful. She learned to play guitar just to help my ministry as a worship leader. She makes sure my children are involved in ministry. She encourages other people every chance she gets. She invites numerous people to Church. She spends her free time listening to me talk about Church and ministry. Her vacations have have often included church conferences or visiting a large Church “to see what they are doing.” She has shared her husband on a thousand nights with strangers whose lives are falling apart. She has never missed a Sunday because she was sick. She has followed me across the country in 6 different ministries. She volunteers hundreds of hours that no one ever sees. She leads, organizes, copies and cleans. I literally could spend page after page telling you of all the wonderful things she does.

On the flip side, for me it appears to be the most inglorious and thankless job on the planet. I have seen her endure things no one else has ever had to endure. I have watched her service go unnoticed and unappreciated for years. I have heard people criticize her without caring how she felt. I have seen her heart get ripped out as people devalued her friendship. I have wept for her as her dreams go unrealized. I have seen the hurt of a thousand disappointments. I have held her when she felt all alone though surrounded by people. Once again I could tell you pages of stories about the pain, heartache and misery she has endured just by being a Pastor’s wife.

I write all of this because I do not need your appreciation. I am called by God into this thing called ministry and Churches have been wonderful enough to pay me. My wife is a volunteer and she did not ask for her position but I thank God daily that I have her by my side. I appreciate and love her and I cannot thank God enough for her. I am sure that every minister feels the same.

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