The Most Vulnerable Person in the Church

The hand of a woman holding a pink rose

As pastors’ wives we know how vulnerable our position makes us and how we have to take things in stride. A pastor’s wife recently shared a Facebook post with me from another pastor’s wife and I believe it is worth sharing. I know as you read it, you can totally relate.

“No one in the church family is more vulnerable than the pastor’s wife.

She is the key figure in the life of the pastor and plays the biggest role in his success or failure.

And yet, many churches treat her as an unpaid employee, an uncalled assistant pastor, an always-available office volunteer, a biblical expert and a psychological whiz.

She is almost always a reliable helper as well as an under-appreciated servant.

You might not think so, but she is the most vulnerable person in the building. That is to say, she is the single most likely person to become the victim of malicious gossip, sneaky innuendo, impossible expectations and pastoral frustrations.

The pastor’s wife can be hurt in a hundred ways—through attacks on her husband, her children, herself. Her pain is magnified by one great reality: she cannot fight back.

She cannot give a certain member a piece of her mind for criticizing the pastor’s children, cannot straighten out the deacon who is making life miserable for her husband, cannot stand up to the finance committee who, once again, failed to approve a needed raise, or the building and grounds committee that postponed repair work on the parsonage.

She has to take it in silence, most of the time.

It takes the best Christian in the church to be a pastor’s wife and pull it off. And that’s the problem; in most cases, she’s pretty much the same kind of Christian as everyone else. When the enemy attacks, she bleeds.”

I want to encourage you in your role as a pastor’s wife that you don’t allow the stress and expectations to overwhelm you but remember who you are and what God has called you to do. Sometimes we allow others to put unrealistic expectations on us and sometimes we place those on ourselves. Remember the order in our lives should be God, family, and church and when that gets out of order, our lives become chaotic.

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About Rodetta Cook

Rodetta Cook has been a pastor’s wife for 40 years. She and her husband, Ron, have actively served the Lord together in ministry during the entire time and are co-founders of Care for Pastors. She understands the expectations, loneliness and how hard it is to find balance in ministry as a pastor’s wife. Rodetta also leads the pastor’s wives initiative at Care for Pastors called The Confidante and ministers to hundreds of wives each week. She strives to share blogs with other pastors’ wives that will help them in their ministry walk.

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