At one point, several years back, March was recognized as “Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month.” October traditionally celebrates our pastors for their sacrifice and care for our families in the most significant times of our lives. For our family, we have had a pastor present when we decided to follow Christ, when one of us has been in the hospital, when my husband and I got married, when each of our children were born, and when we needed counsel through some of life’s difficulties. Looking ahead to the future, we will need a pastor for our funerals, as well. And for those of us who seek spiritual leadership by faithful church attendance, he is the one who shepherds the congregation and some day will stand before God to answer for how he led. The hours are long and unpredictable, the stress level is astronomical in scale, and the spiritual warfare is very real.
Behind this man stands a woman who knows her husband’s heart, feels his hurts, and experiences her own share of the sting of criticism. She will adjust her schedule to accommodate the unexpected funerals, hospital visits, and late-night phone calls. She will be the prayer warrior that stands in the gap when the matter can’t be shared. She will walk through life with her family on display, all the while doing her best to live out what she knows to be true. She will field criticism and disdain; and watch those who called themselves friends just walk away without a word. This is the unique world of the pastor’s wife. The list of expectations is endless, and perfection is an absolute must, even if it is impossible. She is the help meet to the pastor that we depend on. She has been equipped with wonderful gifts of grace to serve the Lord with her church family, but her most important role will be to come alongside her husband to help keep his weary arms upheld.
In the church I grew up in, my pastor was not married. Perhaps that is why I am so appreciative of the pastor’s wife that I have now. She blesses her husband and serves our church family with joy. They both readily pray for the prayer requests my family brings to them, and they look for opportunities to bless us and others in so many ways. Even though March is no longer recognized as a month to appreciate the help meet behind our Pastor, anytime is a good time to show appreciation to her and our other ministry staff wives. Tangible gifts are surely appreciated, but as believers, we have something far more valuable to offer. Prayer draws our hearts nearer to those we pray for, as well as lifting their needs to the One who can meet every one. Revive our Hearts has a wonderful list of ways to pray, listed out for thirty days of prayer. I put these into a calendar form and keep them in my prayer journal to use throughout the year. I want to do my part to keep my Pastor and his family before the throne of God’s grace, and in some form, give back a little for all they do for our family and church.
Let me know how you show love and appreciation to your Pastor and his family. I would love to hear your ideas!