I never actually hear anyone saying these words: “well, that’s ’cause you’re the pastor’s wife” – yet at the same time, I always hear everyone saying these words: “well, that’s ’cause you’re the pastor’s wife”. I’ll explain 🙂
Certain expectations are made of me because I’m the pastor’s wife – and that’s an observation, not a complaint! The design was not to be the pastor’s wife – the design was to be Michael’s wife, but the two came together and it’s been a pretty neat package deal! My life isn’t without the usual (and sometimes unusual) set of struggles, but it’s pretty happy overall! I’m rambling – sorry! Getting back to it –
Sometimes when I speak (whether from the pulpit or in conversation), I sense people thinking: “well, she has to say that – she’s the pastor’s wife” or “well, she has to read her Bible every day – she’s the pastor’s wife” or “well, she can’t cuss because she’s the pastor’s wife” or “well, she is supposed to” or “she could never because” fill-in-the-blank-with-your-own-expectation-here. That comes along with the territory. Everyone has certain expectations made of them – the doctor, the lawyer, the teacher, the garbage collector, it doesn’t matter what position one holds. However, expectations can dangerous.
The truth is, I don’t “cuss” – but it’s not because I’m the pastor’s wife. I don’t cuss because I’m a disciple of Christ, and the Bible says that “dirty stories, foul talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, remind each other of God’s goodness, and be thankful” (Ephesians 5:4 TLB). The truth is I do have to read my Bible everyday, but it’s not because I’m the pastor’s wife. I have to read my Bible every day because I actually have to – it’s my lifeline, it’s where I find instruction and my identity and my healing. Jesus was right when He said, “the Scriptures tell us that bread won’t feed men’s souls: obedience to every word of God is what we need” (Matthew 4:4). What came to your mind when I said fill-in-the-blank? Yeah, I probably don’t do that either – but want to know something else? Maybe you shouldn’t do these things either. (sorry – did I write that out loud?)
You see, it isn’t people’s expectations of me that keep me faithful to God. It’s God’s expectations of me that keep me faithful to God. The Bible didn’t offer different sets of rules for different types of people – there isn’t a rulebook for the pastor’s wife and a separate rulebook for the lawyer and a separate rulebook for the garbage collector and a separate rulebook for the stay-at-home-mom or any other fill-in-the-blank-that-describes-you-here. The rules are the same for all of us. The Bible says, “he who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:6 NKJV).
Just as He walked. Just is an adverb here, a descriptive word describing the action word walk. You know what just means, but let’s say it out loud anyway: exactly, precisely, absolutely, completely, totally, entirely, perfectly, utterly, wholly, thoroughly, in all respects the same. Anyone (the pastor’s wife, the teacher, the doctor, the cashier) who says they follow Jesus ought to do life just as He did. That doesn’t make it easy, but it does make it simple – much simpler to understand and to follow than a different set of rules for every individual.
Sometimes I miss it (lots of times, to be honest), but just like everyone else, I’m trying my best. Not because I’m the pastor’s wife, but because I am His child.
St. Augustine is quoted as saying, “ let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.” Let the root of love be within you, no matter what your position is. Realizing that you don’t have to live up to the expectations of people – that’s a relief. Realizing that it’s possible to live up to the expectations that God has of you – that’s a treasure. All He wants is for you to be His and accept His love. Praying you will live in this freedom today!