BATTLE CREEK, MI – When my husband, Roy, and I married thirteen years ago, being a pastor’s wife was not on my radar. Our plan was for Roy to finish up his PhD and become a college professor. That, however, was not God’s plan for us, and after five years of marriage my husband submitted to his calling to be in ministry. That meant that me, with all my doubts, fears, opinions, and insecurities would stand alongside my husband with a new title of pastor’s wife, and that caused me much uncertainty.
So what is it about the title “pastor’s wife” that caused me, and probably many others, so much doubt and anxiety? I never used to worry or think twice about what people would think, but suddenly my life would be viewed under the microscope with the title of “pastor’s wife”. For example, would others question my motives for working fulltime outside the home? For sending my kids to public school instead of homeschooling? Those concerns (and many more) flooded my mind. I felt that there had been a whole new set of expectations thrust upon me, and I had no idea how to live up to it all. In the days and weeks that followed, I prayed and began to explore what God’s expectations were for me in this new role. Again and again, He revealed to me three simple expectations. Love Jesus. Love your husband. Love His church.
Love Jesus - The first and most important expectation is to love Jesus. In Deuteronomy 6:5 we are told to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and might, meaning that we are to love God with all that we are and all that we have. Our love for Jesus must be the priority, above our families, above our jobs, above our to-do lists. Only when we love Jesus most completely, can we love others most honestly.
Love your husband - As pastors, our husbands are on the spiritual frontlines every single day and they need us to fight for them, not against them. The enemy would love to see a minister of the gospel proclaiming God’s word crumble. We need to love our husbands in a way that encourages, strengthens, and enables them to stand strong. Respect their calling to ministry and support them as they meet the needs of the church, even during those days and weeks when it means we must sacrifice some of our wants. As a wife you know your husband better than anyone else. Love him in a way that points Him towards Christ so that he may be empowered to live out the calling as a Pastor from the Lord.
Love His church - Meeting this expectation can be tough. For so many pastor’s wives, the church has been a source of judgment and pain. There are many demands and sacrifices that a pastor’s wife must make for the church and it can be easy to allow those hard things to get in the way of seeing the church for what it is - the beautifully broken tool that God ordained to use to serve, edify, encourage, and evangelize to a bruised and broken world. So, love His church for what God created it to be. Find joy in being with His people. Forgive those who cause strife and pain, and remember no offense that has been committed against you is more severe than the offense we committed against Jesus that resulted in Him being nailed to the cross.
Meeting expectations is not always easy but we can always meet God’s expectations through His love and grace.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aryn and her family live in Tekonsha, MI and her husband, Roy, is the Senior Pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Battle Creek, MI. She is a mother a three, special education teacher in a small public school, and the women’s ministry director at Faith Baptist.