When I first married my husband he was in ministry. I loved his passion for the Lord and how dedicated he was to serving our King. Before we got married he actually asked me,
“Are you sure you want to live an adventurous life going anywhere God calls us?”
In my love-drunk stupor I couldn’t proclaim “YES” fast enough. But once we were two years into ministry I was rethinking that question a little bit.
I was naïve. I was a fairly new Christian at the time, on fire for the Lord. I didn’t grow up in the church like my husband, who seemed to know something I didn’t. I thought ministry was all daisies and roses. I mean, I love Jesus, I love going to church so why wouldn’t I love ministry?
I never thought about the stigma of being the Pastor’s wife until I was in her shoes. People started assuming things about me. It was like there was a prerequisite to this unpaid role. Life in the bubble was difficult. I felt like all eyes were on me, waiting for me to mess up (which didn’t take long).
I felt pressure to change the way I dressed, spoke, acted. Before long, I felt like I had two different personas. I began to dread Sunday’s and the perfect person that I was trying to convince people I was. I saw the other wives in church that seemed to have stepped right out of Proverbs 31 and I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Regret and shame of my past haunted me. Satan kept telling me I was weak, not cut out for ministry and I began to feel useless.
We are all sinners, flawed and broken. We need the restoration that only Jesus can provide. I was so focused on people’s expectations that I lost sight of what is truly important: Keeping my focus on God and pleasing only Him.
It is God’s grace that overcomes our sin, not our merit or effort to be perfect. And the flawed person who is saved by grace is who we should be. That’s really who we are and that’s what will minister most to people. The sooner we are able to embrace that we are flawed, and be real about it, the sooner we will be able to truly minister to others. Because they are flawed too. People who are saved by grace don’t need another person giving them the false view that they have to be perfect. They need someone to help them see the reality that God can work through flawed people. This is what we can be as Pastor’s wives.
Thankfully God is helping me overcome this stereotype and be set free from the stigma! God created me unique for a purpose and I have a story like no other. I wasn’t created to fill a specific mold or be someone I’m not. God wants us to be authentic, especially if we’re Pastor’s wives.