The other day I was contacted by a friend on Facebook with the following message (names have been taken out to keep her privacy):
“So I was wondering if you may be able to help me out… I am after some advice on dating a pastor and potentially becoming a pastor’s wife haha. I happened to see RANDOM NEGATIVE NANCY EX-PASTOR GUY (name clearly removed) and he found out that I was dating a pastor and didn’t have anything positive to say about it which left me feeling quite unsure and discouraged. I was just wanting to know what your thoughts are on it and to see if it’s really as ‘bad’ as he was saying!”
This was the response I sent to her yesterday:
1. People who have had a negative experience will always expect everyone else’s experience to be the same as theirs – this is not true. This, in fact, is completely unfair and selfish to fling that expectation on you. You can choose to be happy and have an amazing experience.
2. Each “Pastor’s Wife/Pastor’s Girlfriend” is different to the next. Their level of social maturity, their commitment to their relationship, their spiritual growth and journey is so different from the next girl/woman. We cannot be expected to fit the same mould – I struggled with this BIG time in my first year of marriage.
3. God will not ever put you in a situation that He hasn’t equipped you to handle. This includes, pressure from friends, family, church members etc.
4. In the Bible, it says that we as Christians are called to ministers because we “believe”. Simply, some of us have Pr in front of our name and some of us don’t. We all have the same calling, it just looks different and comes in different packages.
5. Communication is key. If you are looking at going down the engagement path, I would encourage you to start having chats about expectations etc. Ask yourselves questions like
“What would it be like if…”
“What would you expect of me if…”
“How would you feel supported if we did this…”
I always said to Richie that our church should offer “Pre-Engagement Counselling”. I really wanted it before we got engaged, but we had some excellent “Pre-marital counselling” before we got married and it gave us incredible opportunities to talk about things we had never addressed (the unspoken stuff), or even were aware we needed to address.
6. There needs to be a level of independence in a Pastor’s Wife. I have some friends who can’t handle having a night where their husband is out or away. Try not seeing him for a week when he goes on school camp or even overseas to a speaking engagement. Potentially you will find yourself alone and you need to be comfortable with that. You will need to be able to make decisions and also have the confidence to release him to do the job he has been called to.
I love being a Pastor’s Wife, it is exciting, adventurous, and unpredictable.
I learnt quickly that it does not define me as a person, it is simply one of my many roles in life which God has called me to.