A few months ago I was out to dinner with my family, when a kind old lady next to us got to talking about pastors' wives and she said, "Everyone has always known pastors' wives to be the mean piano players at the church." Taken back, I felt so sad that this is the representation pastors' wives in the past have carried and still hold onto those stereotypes today. I hear pastors' wives say all the time, "Im not your typical pastor's wife..I don't sing or ________(fill in your blank.)
I always leave these conversations so confused, why even we as pastors' wives carry the stereotypes and expectations of who people say we are on the cusp of our sleeves, even if we don't fit that specific mold. Pastor's wife, there is no mold. There is no typical pastor's wife. Just because a few years back several pastors' wives played the piano and sang, doesn't mean that is who a pastor's wife is. Just maybe she played piano long before she ever got married. Just maybe a lot of pastors' wives have gifts and talents in common. But those talents and gifts do not define us. I have struggled with this again since church planting the second time. I said, "I will NEVER sing, because I don't want to be THAT pastor's wife." (As if there is something wrong with that pastor's wife.) I sang LONG before I ever knew the pastor (my husband.) I sang as a little girl, I grew up singing my entire life. I have had a huge passion and love for worship for as long as I can remember. Shame on me for allowing the lies and stereotypes to keep me from worshipping my Savior, out of embarrassment for my reputation as pastor's wife.
For all you who carry this familiar phrase the misguided old lady next to me carries. Pastors' wives live under a magnifying glass. All eyes are on her, and her husband, and her kids. The moment we mess up, have a hard day, say something someone doesn't like.. It goes on display, and gets noted for her and all future pastors' wives to come. My husband preached at a church a few months back, and my oldest was in service beside me. Jim was saying the final prayer to wrap it up, when my son said something to me. However, eyes were on me, and that person told the pastor I had my eyes open during the altar call. (To this day this cracks me up..because not only did the person tattle on the pastor's wife, the person also told on themselves for having their eyes open during the altar call as well.)
Pastors, and their beautiful, amazing, gorgeous, strong, courageous wives are human. We mess up, we cry, we sometimes say/think/do ugly things, we get hurt, we hurt back, and SIN. We all do it. But we don't all sing, play the piano, have a job outside the home, work full time for the church, or ____________(fill in your blank.) We are each unique. We are each loved incredibly well, and deep, and wide by the heavenly Father. Friends, family, congregation, strangers I would encourage you to lay down your expectations, the stereotypes, and the weight you place on the pastor and his wife. Always give them the benefit of the doubt. When negative thoughts come to mind, ask yourself, "Am I giving them the benefit of the doubt? And, am I loving them well?"
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor