I recently read a blog post about how to encourage a pastor’s wife. It was a great blog and echoed a lot of what I’ve said before to Wes, during my short tenure thus far as a pastor’s wife. There were some things that were missed, though, and I thought it would be worth revisiting the topic here…
1. Sundays ARE different for me, but I’m not a single mother. I can appreciate what was implied in blog I referenced above, about how it’s hard to manage the family on my own on Sundays, but I know single mothers. And I’m really resistant to the suggestion that I experience even a fraction of what they face on a regular basis. By all means, tell me that I’m awesome because my children arrive at the church in one piece (I serve an awesome GOD, hallelujah!), but I just have to manage that little feat every now and then. The real ladies needing encouragement on this particular point are the ones who are doing this EVERY DAY. Encourage them — that will encourage me!
2. I know the pastor, but I don’t know ALL the church business. I’m in the loop on a lot of things, but when it comes to times and dates and event calendars? As clueless as the next person, y’all. Sure, I’m going to be involved as much as possible, but I have no idea when that deacon’s meeting is, frankly. On the same topic, I don’t know all that there is to know regarding theology. There was a time when I enjoyed telling people that I had a seminary degree just like the pastor and that I got better grades in seminary than he did (and perhaps I do still enjoy telling them that tidbit, ha!), but now? I’m finding that I’m learning far more sitting under Wes’s teaching than I did in seminary and that the best answer I can give sometimes is, “Wow, that’s a great question for Pastor Wes.” I’m encouraged when you appreciate that I’m learning right alongside everyone else and when you don’t expect me to have all the answers. You keep this nerd humble, y’all.
3. Talk to me. About something other than the church. I love talking about the church as much as the next person, but I do have a life beyond church. I have real interests, real hobbies, real dreams, and best of all, a real walk with Jesus that doesn’t revolve around the life of the church. It’s always so refreshing and surprising when someone talks to me as though I’m Jenn and not just the preacher’s woman.
4. Don’t expect more of my children just because they’re the pastor’s children. From the very first days of their lives, my girls have been at the church. Emma was only four days old when she went to her first VBS, and she was passed around so much that I literally lost count of how many people held her that morning. Ana and Emma have been expected to be polite, to carry on conversations with adults, to hug everyone, and to be miniature grown ups their whole lives. That’s expecting a lot of children already. Cut them a little slack when they’re squirmy or shy. You have no idea how many people they’ve already spoken to that day or how few words they’ve been able to speak to their own father because he’s so busy. Show some grace to them… even if they are little stinkers. (And they are!)
5. Encourage me by speaking well of my husband. Hey, I think the guy’s pretty awesome. And it encourages me to know that YOU think he’s awesome as well. Knowing that the church loves their pastor is a blessing and one that I certainly don’t take for granted.
All that said, we are SO blessed to serve in ministry. I love being a pastor’s wife, and I love our church. Thanks for being such great encouragers to all four of us!