Miniblog #220: I’m a Pastor, But Don’t Treat My Wife Like a “Pastor’s Wife”
I’m a campus pastor with InterVarsity. While my ministry context thankfully does alleviate a fair amount of the pressures placed upon the spouses of local church pastors, some of it remains. Therefore, I feel the need to make a statement for the public record: I have little patience for, and absolutely will not cater to, the absurd cultural expectations placed upon pastors’ spouses. No, seriously, have I made myself clear? I’m not going to deal with this like so many pastors who passive-aggressively gripe about this all the time as they only partially shield their families from this toxic influence. Instead I’m going about this in an assertive, healthy manner. When it comes to my ministry, this isn’t a two for the price of one deal. I have my career. She has hers. I expect her to have no more participation in my career within vocational ministry than she expects me to have in hers as an English professor. I will not be asking her to perform extra little tasks like folding bulletins nor cooking potluck dishes, let alone leading a women’s Bible study or attending every last worship service. And if she does come to any InterVarsity worship events, let me just point out that this isn’t a performance. As a pastor, I’m not there to entertain people like an athlete or musician. She should be there to worship God and not to support me. In fact, if she ever does come to support me, I’ll tell her to go home. Precisely the same thing I tell everyone else. I will honor my wife and insist others do the same. My expectation is that she will exercise her gifts and be part of the community just like anyone else. Nothing more. Nothing less.