Monday, October 22, 2007

Wouldn't you like to be a minister's spouse?

Wish I could hear all of your answers audibly! ha!

I realized today that in every single moment of my 35 years of life there has always been someone within my immediate family in church ministry.

Wow.

My father pastored the whole time before I married. Then, along comes my Miguel - a student minister at the time. After 11 years of marriage, he entered the pastorate (for those of you not in the church-talk-know, "pastorate" just means that he's a preacher now!).

I'm a pastor's wife. Have you ever just sat around and thought, "I wonder what it would be like to have a spouse that is a pastor?" NO? REALLY? Hmmmm ... I thought everyone did that.

For me, it means a lot of things. It means that you can never guarantee a vacation that will not be interrupted or cut short (maybe one day people will be able to perfectly plan their tragedies and death, but until then ...). It means you have a massive amount of people that enjoy having contact and connection with you, which also means some days you feel completely overwhelmed and pulled in 400 different directions. It means Sundays are one of your busiest days of the week, and Saturday nights can't ever be like it is for most people. It means that people completely change the way they talk and interact with you once they realize what your husband does for a living (that one totally cracks me up - but I also really hate it). It means that some of the people at church only see a tiny portion of all that you do, and always want more from you. It means that you hear all of the bad, all of the sorrows, all of the pain, when people need you most in their lives - some days you think your emotions and your heart can't take it all - you want to turn off the constant stream of news, but there is no off switch.

It means that people love you sight unseen because they already love your husband. It means that you will receive random words of encouragement - just when you need it most. It means that you connect with women of a wide variety of ages (because you "have to") and then you wonder how other women can survive life only surrounded by their peers (because these seasoned woman make a MASSIVE impact on your life). It means that occasionally someone slips your husband a twenty with a wink and a smile and a "take your family out to dinner." It means that you get to pour your life into others and walk along with them as they grow and begin to serve, themselves. It means you get to hear all the good, join in all the celebrations, jump up and down at all the miracles.

It means so much that you could never, ever actually put it into words. It is a very specific calling ... not just to be a minister, but to be a minister's wife. Some would shiver at the thought of basing your life around what your husband does. It's my calling. I'm called to partner with him in his life calling. That's fabulous. A pain in the butt a lot of days, but still fabulous.

It's exhausting, and it's amazing, and sometimes it's hurtful and heartbreaking - but it's always fulfilling. It's always exactly what I am to be doing - all the while just being myself.



12 comments:

angie said...

Christine, I am honnored to be quoted! I was reading over your blog and than, I saw myself! Thank you. If, you don't mind, I am going to put you under my "blogs I love" section.
I liked this post and can relate somewhat. My dad was the Bishop (minister) for 7 years while growing up. From when I was 12-19. I love your attitude and the fact that you know that this is what you are to be doing, your calling, and I love the support you give your husband.

TTRocks said...

Girl, I love it!!!! That was just beautiful! I wish all minister's wives saw things the way you do.

Anne Basso said...

My father was the choir director at our church. I never wanted to be the Pastor's wife because it would mean, like as in childhood, having a front row seat for church politics and drama. It was church politics that pushed me away from Christianity, and I don't know that I'd want to be that close to it again.

That said, I know a pastor's wife who received meals for three months after her second child was born and gosh, that sounds nice!

Amanda said...

aww...this was such a sweet post! I loved it!

Randi said...

I so admire Pastor's wives. Behind every good pastor is a good wife. I can only imagine how life is for you, the good, the bad. Sounds like you deal with it well. And it sounds like a role you take very seriously.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I'm looking over yours and realizing it's one I need to get to know. I'll be back;)

Grace, Every Day said...

Great post. Ought to be required reading at every seminary - for ALL genders, spouse or pastor.

You rock.

LeeJo said...

I have wondered. Thanks for sharing that!

Erin said...

I think that being a pastor's wife is just as much a ministry as being a pastor is.

Mary Beth said...

What a great post! When I was at my last appointment I always tried to be mindful of what an interesting position my husband was in. There is no other job (that I can think of) where my spouse would be expected to be such a huge part of my job. It requires a lot of transparency and it's a lot like living in a fishbowl. It takes a special person to put up with, I mean, find something lifegiving, in all of that.

Sara said...

Very well spoke. I always wondered about the pastors wife at my old church. She was so shy and quiet and her husband was SO outgoing and full of energy and all over the place. We didn't really know her, makes me wonder now...

Joell said...

Sweet post.

As a PK, I am the "daughter of a pastor's wife" and so I totally know what you mean. I've watched the same things in the lives of my parents. I feel incredibly blessed to have been raised in the home that I was...even though I knew it meant that my Daddy was a very busy guy. My dad has served as both a pastor and an evangelist and so he traveled a lot when we were growing up. Now that I am a mom, I appreciate my mom so much more and understand all she did for us. She and my dad are pretty awesome people.

Sarah said...

This is AMAZING -- it's so true! Thank you for sketching a very accurate outline of the role that can truly never be perfectly painted in. Full-time ministry is full-family ministry; I echo Grace's comment -- this should be required reading!