“She was a Plain Jane minister’s wife type—you know what I mean.”
That was how one of our parishioners described a visitor they’d had in church while my husband and I were away on vacation. Did I know what she meant? Did I want to know? After all, I am a minister’s wife. I was hesitant to ask.
“Some ministers’ wives are good at it, some aren’t.”
This remark came from a friend and mother-to-be. She was confined to home near the end of her pregnancy, and I brought her a gift, thinking it might cheer her up. Her offhand comment caught me off guard. Did what I see as a simple act of friendship—bringing a baby gift to lift a friend’s spirit—bolster my credentials as a pastor’s wife? Or maybe she didn’t appreciate my visit at all and meant that I wasn’t “good at it”—this pastor’s wife thing, I mean.
“How did the two of you ever get together? I mean you’re so different.”
I was helping set up tables for the annual church bazaar and this question hit me out of the blue. It wasn’t asked with the intent of getting to know me better, or inquiring about my life’s story. It was more of a “That’s weird that he’s married to you” kind of statement. I found myself trying to defend my husband’s and my compatibility, realizing our marriage was under scrutiny by this woman who really didn’t know either of us on a personal level.
What is a “pastor’s wife” anyway? Is it a profession? Certainly more than a few parishioners see it that way. And if my experiences are any indication, there are certain physical and personality characteristics in a pastor’s spouse that people in the pew consider desirable, if not essential.
Click here for more.
SOURCE: Christianity Today
Laurie Carnright Edwards