Before you start trippin’ on the title of this blog post, I promise it’s not what you’re thinkin’ so chill. This article is NOT about egalitarianism, but instead about those wives behind the men who stand in the pulpits. It’s about the women who support their husbands, their husbands who are pastors, pastors who labor arduously week after week, to exegete, pray, meditate on Holy Scripture, repent of their sin that their hearts may be prepared to stand in the pulpit to exposit God’s Word and teach the congregation what it means and how it should be applied to their lives.
This article is to draw attention to the women who love God so much, that they support their church by sharing their husbands as he meets with the flock, counsels those in need, meets with and prays with many experiencing brokenness and helps point them to the finished work of Christ upon the Cross. This article is to show those women honor, respect, and recognition for loving their brothers and sisters in Christ by sharing a part of themselves and their lives. May this article also serve as a humble petition for the reader to acknowledge, love, pray, encourage, and support their pastor’s wives.
I have been in Holland, Michigan now for two weeks this month, to finish up my final cohort intensive to prepare myself for finishing up my doctoral dissertation and graduate next Spring. In doing so, I’ve missed my wife and kids so much… I’ve thought of the great sacrifice Edna (my wife) takes on by being ok with me leaving for 2 weeks at a time to further prepare myself, not just for our local church, but to help me prepare to train up other men to plant healthy, confessionally, reformed churches in the hoods of Southern California. She doesn’t have to be ok with that… she didn’t sign up for this when we married (but then again she didn’t marry a man of God, but that’s another story for another time). Some of the men that came with me, men I’ve been helping pour into, they too left behind wives and kids. Back at the home we were staying at for my first week here, all of us could be seen as we called or saw our wives and kids via FaceTime, and it reminded me that even though these men are not yet pastoring, already their wives are stepping up too, in order to support their husbands as they endeavor to prepare themselves for church planting.
Customarily, it is the pastors that are always being prayed for, at least that’s what many say, and the church and its leaders are also being lifted in prayer continuously… but how about the woman behind the man in the pulpit? How often are these selfless warriors for God’s kingdom lifted up in prayer? How about the pastoral marriage or family, how often are they lifted up in prayer? Unless you’re a pastor, you don’t know the challenges we face… it’s like we live in a fishbowl, we are critiqued to no end… sometimes it escapes us, but most often it doesn’t… and we hear about it… and it’s hurtful. So friends… brothers and sisters… please pray for the wives of your pastors, if they’re single, please pray for their future wives that the Lord has set aside for them. Don’t be so quick to criticize out of ignorance, because you just don’t know what your pastor’s wives are struggling with.
Some of these women behind the man in the pulpit are stay at home moms. Some have careers because an additional income is needed, because unfortunately, pastoring requires an education for the minister to be able to serve, but doesn’t pay enough to be able to provide well for the family, at least that’s our case. Pastor’s wives can carry around their own troubles, their own work-related stress, and even family stress… some of that related to being a pastor’s wife. Would you consider being more loving towards them, don’t be so quick to critique them, because you just don’t know their story, but in reality this isn’t something reserved for pastor’s wives alone, this is Christianity 101, right? We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”How much more love and respect should we show the wives of those men who arduously battle on their knees and in God’s Word, taking calls and texts at all times of day and night, who have to carry some of the most hurtful and intimate details about many people’s lives… having to suppress the deepest and darkest sins of people you sit next to in church week after week can get heavy. As pastor’s deal with some extremely heavy issues, their wives are their closest neighbor and those also labor for the kingdom by exemplifying the love that we read of in 1 Corinthians 13 that talks about a love that is patient and kind; a love that does not envy or boast; a love that is not arrogant or rude. Pastor’s wives who exemplify a love for the kingdom and their husbands by perhaps not insisting on her own way; by giving love that is not irritable or resentful, instead they give the kind of love that does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Thank you, dear sisters! Thank you for showing my pastor brothers and I the kind of love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. I know, care for, and love the wives of many of my pastor homies… and I can attest that these are some of the godliest women I know, interceding on behalf of their husbands, their church, and the lost we’re trying to reach. One of my greatest memories EVER is that of waking up one morning, and feeling something on my chest, and as I opened my eyes, I remember realizing that my wife had her hand on my chest and was praying for me. Can we also show them some respect? Can ya’ll reach out to your pastor’s wife and send her a word of encouragement? Can you take a moment to pray for her right now? And can you add her to your regularly scheduled prayer times?
As she lives in the shadow of the man standing in the pulpit, pray for her own emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental health. Pray for her to be in love with God more than her husband, because only by loving Him first can she love her husband best, and the same goes for the husband too. Remember that your pastor’s wife is human, flawed, and needs real friendship, prayers, and encouragement. Pray for her and that God would spare her from discouragement and bitterness when she or her husband face inevitable criticism. Pray that she will be clothed in strength, dignity, and humility. Pray that she would remain in her word and in constant prayer! Pray that she would feel loved, honored, respected, and encouraged. Pray that she would be a woman that others would strive to be, because of her godliness. Pray that she wouldn’t feel alone and instead feel appreciated and truly loved by the congregation. Pray for her!