This post was written by an Anonymous Pastor’s Wife (not me). I want to say thanks so much to my anonymous friend for sharing her heart with you all on my blog. I am posting her words exactly as she gave them to me and even though they are not mine I certainly agree with her!
Pay your pastor.
Most pastors have attended at least 4 years of college, and many have also gone onto seminary, some even have their doctorates. Your pastor has the equivalent education of an attorney and other professionals. Yet he willingly serves you, your family and congregation for not very much money. Pastors have bills, too, including school bills, doctor bills, car payments, and even some stupid tax (as Dave Ramsey puts it). In my mind, pastors should be paid enough to live comfortably in the community in which he and his family serve. And he should be paid enough to have savings and be able to invest some in a retirement fund. And he should have some “margin” for emergencies.
Granted, God provides, and He has for our family. But churches should be ashamed that their pastor’s family cannot afford to get regular haircuts, that they have to rely on friends and family, and their children’s jobs, to put clothes on the backs of their kids. Truly, that is shameful. (The irony here is that some churches expect the pastor and his family to be well-dressed and coiffed.)
And it’s bad for the pastor. A man’s identity is partially bound up in his ability to provide for his family. Of course, he relies on God. But it would certainly be nice if the man could feel that he is providing the basics for his family.
Cut them some slack. Cut their kids some slack.
Pastors are human, and are not perfect. They are just like you, people who need God, and are striving to follow His dictates in their lives. And our children are just like yours. They have good days and bad days, some are outgoing and some are terribly shy. Some are rambunctious, and some are quiet as church mice. Some are smart, some not so smart, some are talented, and others are just paddling as fast as they can to make it through each day unscathed – actually, we’re all just paddling away.
Extend the grace to your pastor and his family that you expect from them.
Know that if your pastor is an extrovert, his wife is probably an introvert. There’s that old opposites attracting dynamic at work, and it’s difficult, especially in social situations. The introvert often gets “peopled out”, especially on a Sunday. Add a potluck to the mix, and the pastors wife is “done”. And it’s not that introverts don’t like people, and they may not even be that shy, but people drain introverts.
And if your pastor is an introvert, he’s probably totally beat by the end of the day , and needs his rest, too.
In practical terms, this means don’t be angry if your pastor’s wife leaves a function early,
A great book to learn more about this is Introverts in the Church by Adam S. McHugh. There’s also an Introverts in the Church Facebook page.
Don’t talk about them, talk to them.