Pastor's Wife Appreciation Month: Whaaaat?
March 2, 2015
As it happens, we are not only in the midst of Lent, but also Pastor's Wife Appreciation Month. Yes, Month. All of this self-sacrifice is too much. Here at Reformation21 we are going to begin a series. Next up: The Pastor's Dog by Paul Levy. Stay tuned.
Now, of course, in one sense I think we should remember the wives of pastors by praying for them, encouraging them, etc. But, of course, we have these specific duties to all who are in the body of Christ (1 Thess. 5:11; Eph. 6:18; Heb. 3:13).
But something about this movement by Crossway rubbed me the wrong way. There's something trivial and unrealistic about some of the thoughts about how to "minister" to the wives of pastors.
First, my wife doesn't wish to be known as a pastor's wife. She's simply an ordinary church member who has certain responsibilities that she, like the other ladies in the church, aim to carry out for the glory of God. Truth be told, she has it pretty good as my wife, just ask the older ladies in my church who think I dress well. Compared to most ladies at Faith Vancouver, she has it real good - probably a lot better than most of the women in our church.
Having just been in South Africa, I can tell you a little about what it is like for the wife of the average pastor in a country where you can't take for granted certain things like a text message!
A text, a cup of coffee, or a Facebook picture of encouragement, pasted on a Wall, isn't going to solve much of the fairly difficult issues that some of these ladies have to deal with.
Some of these women are not that photogenic.
They don't get to hear how great their husband is. In fact, it is often the opposite. They don't get to sit in the front row at big conferences listening to their husband speak. They don't get to stay in 4 or 5 star hotels with all expenses paid, even to the spa!
They do quite a bit of "menial" church work, including stacking chairs, cleaning up vomit (my son recently threw up in a small church in a black township because I'd given him a sleeping pill the night before), ministering to the sick, and preparing food and drinks after the service.
In terms of job security, some women I know who are married to pastors have to take up small jobs on the side because they aren't quite sure what will come to them by way of a pay-check from the church.
What they need, like all of us, is for the church to do what the church is supposed to do.
Personally, I wish we could just do away with all these man-made seasons (Lent, Pastor's Wife Appreciation Month, Easters, etc.) and just focus on doing what the Bible actually commands us to do:
Heb. 10:24-25 "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
Gal. 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
When we start to do the normal, ordinary things well, and often, we'll soon find out that we don't need to concoct special seasons in order to solve problems that require a lot more than a text message or a cup of coffee.
Encouragement, love, prayer, mortification, etc., are all part of the regular Christian life. And that's the daily grind that doesn't require special promotions, but faithful preaching from the pulpit so that people are confronted weekly with the demands of what it is like to live in God's kingdom.
In our church, my wife is treated really well. People care for her. But I'd hate to think people will start to now really care for her - for a month - because they read they should from a website instead of God's word. Because that really is trivial.
Finally, my ruling elders and deacons have full-time jobs that demand a lot of them. But they also have massive responsibilities at the church. Their wives, perhaps even more than my own wife, make sacrifices that go unnoticed as a result of this emphasis on Pastor's wives.
Pastor Mark Jones is looking forward to deacon's wives appreciation month and elder's wives appreciation month and orphans and widows appreciation month...and Youth Leader's husband appreciation month.
Pictured below: Pastor Jones and His Wife...she definitely needs encouragement