Everyone who goes to church can be helped or hurt while they are there. No matter who they are, saint, sinner, preacher, old timer, newcomer or child. Everyone is vulnerable and should be treated respectfully.
The pastors wife is not excluded from this and yet many churches treat her as an (unpaid) employee. She is almost always a reliable helper as well as under appreciated. You might not think so but she is the most vulnerable person in the building.
She is the most likely person to be the victim of gossip, impossible expectations and pastoral frustrations. The pastors wife can be hurt in so many ways-attacks on her husband, her children and herself. Her pain is magnified but one HUGE reality: She cannot fight back. She cannot tell them how she feels when they criticize her husband or children.
She has to take it in silence, most of the time. It takes the best Christian in the church to be a pastors wife and that's the problem: she's really just like everyone else. When the enemy attacks it hurts her too.
The pastors wife holds no position and was not voted on by the church. And yet, no one person is more influential in making the pastor a success of failure. She is expected to dress modestly but not too ornate. She is expected to be the perfect mother with well behaved children, her husbands biggest supporter, prayer warrior, attending all church functions and of course a great cook.
She is expected to understand he husband could be called away at all hours of the day. If she complains about him being on call 24/7 she can expect no sympathy from the members. If she does say anything they will only remind her this is why they pay him a big salary. "Well you married a preacher what did you expect?" The pastors children usually suffer in silence as they share their daddy with all the church members and can do little about it.
How can you help your pastors wife?
-Allow her to be herself and to serve where she is gifted. Don't tell her how to raise her kids. Do not try to get to her husband through her with your helpful suggestions.
-Show her love and appreciation.
-Pray for her and the pressures inside the pastors family. Pray for her as she supports her husband. Pray for protection against the adversary, their health and safety.
-Offer help with her children or extra funds for a family vacation.
-Sometimes she just needs a friend to take her side. She will be criticized and to some she can't do anything right. Be the voice of appreciation. Most people won't say anything when someone is criticizing the pastors wife, but you can speak up for her.
Most wives to pastors feel inadequate. They want to be supportive, keep a clean house and have perfect children. But there are only so many hours in a day and she is not superwoman. They feel guilty for being tired and worry what others think about them.
Be an encourager. Find the good things in others and pray for the rest. Remember how hard it is to change yourself before you start trying to change others.
This is a spiritual battle we are in and we cannot allow the devil to steal our JOY!
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