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Open Letter from a Pastor’s Wife

May 20, 2011


Teri Lynne and I became friends years ago now. Our friendship started out because of one common bond–both of our husbands are in ministry. She has been such a mentor to me in this area. That’s why I choose her “Open Letter from a Pastor’s Wife” as my favorite post from her site.

So often people look at me and they THINK they know who I am. After all, I married a man called by God into His ministry … I must be a super-holy, deeply spiritual person.

Some people think I must have a beautiful voice, be an excellent pianist, and love teaching toddlers in Sunday School.

Others imagine I am a gifted Bible teacher who bakes fresh bread every day and rises at 4 a.m. to pray for each church member by name.

Still there are some who believe my home is always immaculate and I never lose my temper or feel jealous, inadequate, or tired.

And, to be honest, there are days when any one or two of those things might be true about me … but there are never days when they all are.

But here is what I wish you could see …

I’m just a girl like you who wants someone to say they like my new haircut.
I’m just a person like you who is painfully aware of my shortcomings
(and doesn’t need them pointed out!).
I’m just a mom like you who wishes I knew how to handle every situation with my children but spends most of my life wondering if I’m scarring them forever.
I’m just a wife like you who loves her husband but wishes he’d pick up his socks and towel instead of leaving them in the floor.

Most days my life look much like yours … I struggle to find adequate time for prayer and Bible study in the midst of helping with homework, doing laundry, and trying to fix a dinner that is nutritious, inexpensive and everyone will at least try. I wonder why the cleaning fairy never manages to end up at my house, who drank the last of the milk and put the empty carton back in the fridge, and where all my forks have disappeared to. I have a never-ending “To Do” list that always gets lost in the frantic pace of carpools, dance and school, church activities, and grocery shopping.

Most days I don’t do many “spiritual” things … I’m a wife, a mom, a church member, a community volunteer, an employee, and the list goes on ~ just like it does for you. And there are days when I feel very inadequate for every one of those roles.

Sometimes I wish you could just spend the day with me … so we could talk about how hard it is to raise Godly children in today’s world, so we could share how much we long for marriages that reflect Christ’s love for the church, so we could cry over the failures in our past and find joy in the God who takes all our mistakes and molds them into something beautiful to His glory.

The truth is … I need you. I need friends who will window shop with me and enjoy a triple grande vanilla latte with one pump of raspberry (just in case you ever wonder what I order at Starbucks!) as we stroll through shops we could never afford. I need prayer warriors who will hold my arms when I can no longer raise them on my own. I need fellowship and friendship. I need someone who doesn’t need details but whose shoulder can bear my tears.

And you should know this … every note you send to say that you appreciate me or my husband, every time you say how much you enjoy having my child in your Sunday School class, every time you give me a hug and say that you love me … that all matters! I may not always be able to tell you why your timing is perfect but God has used you!

Next time you look at me and think, “She’s too busy,” or “What could we ever have in common?” or “I can’t be myself with her, she’s the pastor’s wife!” PLEASE toss that thought away!!

Yes, my life is full and the seasons of our life may be very different but there is room in my heart for relationships. And I’ve got no illusions that anyone is perfect … I look in the mirror every morning and am reminded of that very truth. But I would cherish time to get to know you.

So, go ahead … invite me to coffee, suggest a new shop I might like, pick up the phone and give me a call.

Yeah, I’m married to the pastor. And yeah, my life is different because of that. But the bottom line … I’m just a girl, just like you.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2011 10:43 am

    I treasure my friendships with my pastor’s wife. However, I was friends with her before was the PW so I think that makes it easier. People are envious at times that she and I are so close and I encourage them to get to know her for her, not who they think she is.
    Love Teri Lynne’s wise words!

  2. Julie Sanders permalink
    May 21, 2011 10:23 am

    Yes. From another pastor’s wife, “Yes.” 🙂

  3. Carol permalink
    May 22, 2011 9:13 am

    Hello. I don’t know you as a person,but if I did I’d come and give you a big hug and take you shopping! Bless you.

  4. May 22, 2011 11:16 am

    I’m not a pastor’s wife, but I have several friends who are pastor’s wives. They are blessings in my life and I strive to encourage them as much as I can. As a woman called into ministry your words ring true. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  5. Shawna permalink
    May 25, 2011 12:59 pm

    Thanks for that post! From another Pastor’s Wife

  6. Mary Beth Northcutt Walker permalink
    June 27, 2011 8:44 pm

    My husband did not enter the ministry until he was 60 yrs. old so I can’t relate with having children as all of ours are grown and have families of their own. What I can say is that you are right about just being another gal in the crowd. Just because we are the Pastor’s wife it doesn’t mean we know more than you, can sing better than you, teach SS and work with children better than you…..we are just like you and would love for you to come to us just as you would your best friend.

  7. Beth permalink
    July 24, 2011 7:50 pm

    Thank you for your open and honest letter. I am not a PW but i am becoming close friends with my PW. I am actually looking for a nice poem to let her know all the members love and apprecitate her. Yout letter is very helpful to me…it lets me know to show her even more love, and that she is just a gal like me. i wish you and all PW the love friendship and fellowship you all deserve…as i am learning PW’s have a lot on their plate, an a lot is expected of them. i hope all the members of your church has read this an know that you are human, just like the rest of us. God Bless.

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