This is a guest post from Tara, a pastor’s wife who blogs at Tara’s View of the World.
Hello. My name is Tara and I’m a pastor’s wife.
*insert women from the pastor’s wives support group saying “hi Tara” here*
I met Shash a few years ago through a pastor’s wives blogroll… we actually haven’t met in real life yet but we will get to finally at the Blissdom Canada blogging conference in Toronto the end of October. I am very excited. We instantly connected because no matter where you are or what church you are from pastor’s wives all have things in common.
A couple years ago I wrote a rant about the seriously unrealistic expectations congregations have of their pastor and his wife. I posted it on my blog and got in a TON of trouble for it. There was even an elder’s meeting where I was the topic of discussion. My rant was considered “behaviour unbecoming of a pastor’s wife”. It was a bad scene.
And honestly I can see their point… sort of. It was rather passive-aggressive of me to post it on my blog. I just figured it was a better option than standing up in the middle of church and yelling at them like I wanted to 🙂 . In my defense I never said what church we were at or even what town we lived in… plus I had serious post partum depression and had totally lost my ability to fake it.
But you know what? I don’t regret it. They were being jerks and I had to say something. We are no longer at that church and I am thankful for that. Our new church has proven that not all churches are the same. YAY!
Now I don’t know if anyone in Shash’s church is being a jerk currently… but on the off chance that someone in the congregation is speaking unkindly about Shash or her hubby I am going to pass this little rant on. Because you KNOW Shash would never be as nasty as me . She is a much better pastor’s wife than I am. 🙂
Here it goes…
I have some pastor’s wife venting I have to do. Try not to get offended.
I am just a tad bit frustrated by the fact that so much of my life’s stability rests on how much other people LIKE my husband. I think the job of pastor is one of the few where you can be axed (or forced to resign) just because people don’t FEEL you are doing your job to their satisfaction. Whether or not you actually ARE doing your job is not the point. It is far too FEELINGS based in my opinion.
I mean, if my husband were a postal worker, or an engineer or something his job performance would be evaluated on the basis of his JOB not on whether he wears a baseball cap or can’t understand everyone he comes across. I just really don’t think people should expect their pastor to be perfect (or nearly perfect). I also don’t think they should expect their pastor to be further along in his or her own spiritual life than he or she is. They are just people and they are learning too. I think it is ridiculous for people to be annoyed at my husband because he acts his age.
If you happen to be one of those people who find yourself uneasy or annoyed when your pastor doesn’t appear perfect then GET OVER IT. NOW. It is unbiblical and hypocritical for pastor’s to pretend they are perfect so stop making them feel guilty for being human.
A pastor should not have to feel nervous about showing his imperfection.
Churches are spouting a whole lot of rhetoric about wanting to be authentic and real but I have noticed that they only want that in some cases. If their pastor is too real then that is proof that he is not suitable for his post. If he admits he hasn’t got it all figured out (from the pulpit no less) people assume he just hasn’t prepared enough. Well let me tell you this people, no matter how much you prepare for a sermon you will NOT have everything figured out. And if you think you do you are wrong. It really is the height of arrogance to believe that we have the corner on truth here people. Only God can say He knows everything and Jesus was the only perfect human on earth. That’s it.
And on an even more personal note I, as a pastor’s wife, should not have to be continually tempted to worry about how people perceive my husband. I should not have to analyze what he says based on how I think other people will take it. My husband should have the right to be himself.
Obviously he should be seeking God…but that is not because he is a pastor, that is because he is a Christian. Obviously he should be spending a significant amount of time in sermon preparation and other church related tasks because he is being paid to and because that is his calling. I’m not saying he doesn’t have a responsibility to his congregation but I AM saying that his first responsibility is to GOD. Then to ME. Then to my KIDS. THEN and ONLY THEN to the congregation. And God, me, and our kids ALL want him to be comfortable being himself and to feel confident in his calling. So STOP putting him down.
If you do happen to not like my husband right now DON’T tell me about it. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t tell you if I don’t like your husband or if I don’t think your husband is perfect.
So if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.