First of all, pastor’s wives are expected to have opinions and convictions about everything but are criticized if they ever express them. Most churches want their pastor’s wife to be soft-spoken, stay in her place in the background, and attend every session of every ministry in the church, or else she is considered stand-offish and cold. She is to dress well so as to reflect well on the church and her husband, while at the same time stand criticized for her extravagance in clothes.
She is expected to attend all WMU meetings, so as to be up to snuff on all church gossip, but must never share that gossip with anyone. (My wife chose to go to work outside te home in order to avoid having to attend.) Also, she is expected to replenish the nursery by bearing children. After all, any self-respecting wife wants to bear children (tongue in cheek). In fact, Southwestern Seminary is so concerned that women learn how to be good wives to the pastors that they have developed a course of study on the task. That course involves cooking classes, sewing classes, parenting classes, etc. After all, they reason, any good wife must know these skills.
It has been my joy to have known many pastor’s wives. For the most part, these women are real heroines. They will surely have many stars in their crowns on that glorious day.
That brings me to my own pastor’s wife. Holly is a rare gem. Thank God, Holly is a hugger. So am I. We live in San Antonio where an “abrazo” (embrace) is like a handshake. It just wouldn’t be Sunday if I didn’t get a hug from Holly when walking through the entrance doors. She gets to church early and hugs literally hundreds of people, men and women alike, as they come through the door. I have never seen anyone who shows as much interest in the families that come through the door each and every week. She converses knowledgably with one after another, expressing genuine interest in the goings on of each and every person. I am amazed, but she does it week after week after week.
Generally speaking, when someone joins our church, Holly is the first person, other than the minister, to greet them at the front, often with a hug, and helps them fill out their membership cards, and generally makes them feel welcome.
At the end of the service she is always standing at the door with her husband, hugging some of the same people she had greeted earlier. I do believe many people stand in that slow moving line, at the head of which the pastor stands, just to get to hug Holly once more.
No pastor’s wife I have ever known has the unique people skills of our pastor’s wife and she uses those skills to foster relationships with as many people as possible. I have joked with our pastor that if he ever got it in his head to leave us, he could leave but Holly would have to stay. Thank you, Holly, for the way you support my pastor’s ministry and for the way you express love to the fellowship. That’s what a pastor’s wife should do.
God bless all you wives of pastors out there. Here is at least one person, other than your husband, who understands your circumstances and loves you for answering God’s call to you to be the wife of a pastor.