Learning To Be Mrs. Pastor: What’s With the Contradictions?

Psst. . . Want to hear a secret?  Most seminary wives are very, very nervous about becoming a pastor’s wife.  We’ve all heard the horror stories–overbearing congregations, stressed out husbands, etc.–and it’s hard not to be concerned about what lies ahead for us.  As a counteraction for nerves and worries, wives often seek advice from current pastor’s wives.  We ask how they balance their husband’s ministry with family and how they would handle such-and-such scenario.  Obviously I have done this too (remember Real Pastor’s Wife, Real Answers?).  Now, it’s good to ask questions and be aware of some of the issues that lie ahead after our husbands receive their call (God willing).  However, after doing about a year and a half of this “seminarian’s wife” role, I have discovered that asking too many different people too many questions starts leading to conflicting answers.  To prove my point, I’ve pulled together all the information I have about being a pastor’s wife, creating some very interesting conclusions.

-Be yourself, unless it upsets the congregation.
-Only volunteer to do the things that you want to do, unless you are going to offend the congregation by not doing something.
-If aforementioned issue arises, then suck it up, put on a smile, and just do what they want because you’ll be a better person for doing it.
-Your children don’t have to be perfect and the congregation understands that they are normal kids. . . unless they do something really atrocious and then everyone knows that you’re a bad parent (because really, the pastor’s wife should have better control of her kids).
-It’s no one’s business but you and husband’s about how you raise and educate your kids, unless your church has a school.  Then it’s the congregation’s business as well.
-You don’t have to be friends with everyone in the congregation but really, you do.
-Family time is family time, period, unless something really, really important comes up at church.  If that happens, don’t be selfish and let your husband do his job.  You shouldn’t expect to be a priority in his life.
-Remember, your husband is the one who receives the call, not you, so you don’t have to love being the pastor’s wife but really, it’s not so bad and if you don’t love it then you aren’t trying hard enough.
Needless to say, things are starting to get a bit confusing.  I would say after this the best way to get information about being a pastor’s wife is the choose a few wives that I really trust and admire and stick with their answers.  Otherwise everything gets into a muddled mess of contradictions, leaving me confused and upset.
(P.S.–I happen to like the wife I interviewed in “Real Pastor’s Wife, Real Answers” so I’ll gladly take her advice. 🙂 You can do with it what you want)
(P.P.S.–I almost named this post “Yet Another Post Exemplifying That I Have A Really Sharp Tongue Which Will Inevitably Get Me In Trouble”)

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