You know, I have been in ministry for nearly 36 years now. For the first six, I did it alone. They were “good” years, as the One Who called me surrounded me with supportive family, encouraging mentors, and heroes of the faith, all who challenged me in powerful ways. Those were “good” years.
But the last thirty years have been “great” years!
Don’t misunderstand – they have not been void of challenges and even deep, dark valleys. But I have had beside me a partner, encourager, confidant, best friend, and sweetheart. She is that one who God made just for me. There have been many times I have been tempted to walk away, quit, throw in the towel, and feel sorry for myself. It was in those valleys of self-pity that she encouraged, counseled, and even rebuked and chastised. But then there have also been those times that my head was too big, and held too high. It was at those times that she brought me back down to reality, and helped me see that I needed to regain my focus, and surrender my pride to His purpose. It is amazing, that as we get into the car after each message, I seek her affirmation: “So, how was the message?” She always – always – speaks the truth in love. Usually, I get affirmation. Sometimes, she gives gentle, but honest, critique. And that keeps me grounded.
You know, just like you, there are those occasional Sundays that your pastor would rather stay in bed. He has had a lot to carry during the week. He has ministered to various needs (and that is that huge part of his calling, he would have no other way!), and he is weary, worried, and worn. He is spent. And he wonders if there is anything he can say that will sound genuine and inspiring enough to encourage someone else, anyone else. Often, his wife is the one who encourages, nudges, and affirms his need to do it one more time. She reminds him of the divine and glorious calling that God blessed him with. And he gets out of bed, and does what he knows is right. But like you, he is human, and discouragement is real. Thank God for your pastor’s wife.
I cannot imagine doing ministry without Deanna by my side. When things happen in ministry – things I cannot share with anyone else – she is my sounding board, prayer partner, and encourager. I don’t know if anyone else but a fellow pastor will appreciate my ramblings here, but if you attend a local church, there is an unsung hero in your midst in every service. She is your pastor’s wife. Thank God for her. Pray for her. Like your pastor, she gets discouraged too. She bears so much more than she thought she could, when she said “I do” to a man God called to a life of ministry. As for me, my hero is a pastor’s wife… my wife. Deanna, thank you for holding my hand these many years. I look forward to what God still has for us, together.
March is “Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month.”