Saturday, April 10, 2010

Just like on 7th Heaven.

I married a pastor. That makes me a pastor's wife. I know it seems pretty obvious, but people who knew me long before I was married sometimes don't quite get it. In fact, before PC (Pastor Chris) and I were married, people would find out that I was dating or engaged to a guy who was becoming a pastor and far more often than it should have been, their first response was "you mean like on 7th Heaven?". Oh thank you, Aaron Spelling.

Yep, just like 7th Heaven. I have 5 (or even 7 in the later years of the show, wouldn't want to screw up the meaningful name) kids, my children go through disgustingly obvious moral dilemmas and life lessons in each episode day, and my husband regularly inserts himself into the lives of absolutely everyone in town, creating dramatic suspense, and ultimately saves the day.

No. None of that is true. I guess I am getting a little closer now that I am married and have two children. We even live in a parsonage next door to the church. But no, my life is not like 7th Heaven.

Me being a pastor's wife has taken my family and friends a bit of time to come to terms with, and well, I'm still working on it myself. While churches (at least none that you would find PC and I at) no longer expect the pastor's wife to direct the church choir (thank goodness, you would not want me doing this), run the church office, or bring jello molds and casseroles to every event they have (well ok, they might still expect this), being a pastor's wife is an odd role with sometimes overwhelming expectations whether stated or implied.

I recently found this blog which has since moved to hereThe Rebellious Pastor's Wife.  Now, that's the kind of blog I can get behind even if the name is rooted in her self-identity as a sinner rebelling against god (based on Daniel 9:9) and not her rebellion against the traditional role of pastor's wives.  Anyway, she wrote a post about the role of a pastor's wife that really hit the nail on the head for me and had some great advice. 

From this...(bolding mine)

The daily process of being a pastor's wife in and of itself is awkward. I always say the part that bugs me the worst is the ontogeny of it. The very fact that there are 140 people that actually KNOW where I live bothers me. Very few other careers involve having the general public knowing and caring about where your family lives and what happens in their lives....celebrities and big time politicians are the only people that come to mind. I don't even know if my doctor HAS a wife. I don't know if the policeman that pulled me over several months ago has kids....let alone who they are and where they live. For a woman who grew up with a six foot block wall around her house and an unlisted phone number, this can leave me feeling simply vulnerable.
to this...
The man that I am married to has received a Divine Call to provide care to this congregation by preaching The Word and administering the Sacraments and using these to forgive them, guide them, heal their wounds, and admonish them. He is to love them as Christ loves them. I happen to be married to him.
Where do I fit in? I'm his wife. I love him, raise his children, and try to provide a safe (though nowhere near neat) home. I rejoice in his love and honor and respect him. My relationship to the congregation? I'm a member. The things that I do in the congregation I do because I am a child of God and feel that God has given me gifts in certain areas so that I can serve there. However, I am serving God just as much in my home by raising good Christian children as I am by serving on any committee. Even more so.
and oh yea, definitely this....
I also am a rather emotional woman with two rather emotional children. There are Sundays where we wake up and it is clear that it just isn't worth it. I don't make my children go to church because they are the pastor's kids. Somewhere I did right, because they love church.
and finally and absolutely this...

There are definitely days (too frequent to count) where I am brought to tears by this life and that I wish that my husband would find something else. Then I remember the souls that have been brought to faith because of him. I see how much he cares for his flock. I listen to him preaching in the pulpit....and I can't imagine him doing anything else....and until the next storm, I am comforted.
Oh yes, her post sums up so much of what I've thought but not put into words.  Having just (barely) survived Holy Week, the last quote really sums it up. 

We have a wonderful church family who supports both my husband and my family in countless wonderful ways.  My husband works hard to draw boundaries while embracing our family as a part of church life.  We all do a funny little dance that tries to welcome and encourage my kids and myself as active members of the congregation and community while trying to keep our lives separate enough to be healthy and safe.  We attempt to open our home and our lives with hospitality and yet keep a place of refuge and renewal.  It's a strange dance.. for all of us.  Yet, we dance it in the Lord's name... Psalm 149:3.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this insite into your life. Thank you!


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