A Pastor’s Wife: Sometimes It’s Just Hard

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Blog by My Wife, Gloria

The tears rolled down my face as I drove along the highway. This was not how I had planned my life to be. I had very definite ideas about my role as a pastor’s wife and a mother that I thought were God’s ideas for me and this did not fit it. How could it?

I was to be a stay at home mother who supported her husband in ministry and helped in what ever way she could in the church.

This was a new journey I was on that would follow me for many years. We had moved to Thornhill for my husband to go to Tyndale University, Ontario Bible College at the time, to get his first degree. We were both convinced that this was God’s will for him and us. We had been on the mission field, we had pastored for a bit, so we knew that God would provide.

But God did not provide a job for Ron! Our rent ended up being paid for by our church because he helped with the youth group which was incredible! But food still had to be put on the table and other bills had to be paid.

So, reluctantly, I started looking for work. I ended up with two part time jobs that could work around Ron’s school schedule. We happened to have 3 children under 5 at the time so we made a commitment that one of us would be at home with them as we couldn’t afford a babysitter. That meant a lot of evening and midnight shifts!

I struggled with my view and God’s provision – the reason for my tears! I loved being home with my children!

What I discovered through all of this, is that our God loves to break down our boxes that we put around him. He loves to show us that we can trust him in the midst of those boxes breaking so we have a better understanding of who He is.

I have worked the majority of our pastoral and ministry careers. Most small churches cannot afford to pay a good salary so many spouses have had to work as I have done to help out financially. Many of us have found work or careers that we have thoroughly enjoyed and at the same time have ministered alongside our spouses within our churches. Many have struggled as I had done.

Many women have to work, either because they are a single parent, or their husbands are hard workers but not a large enough salary, or their spouses can’t work.

My working opened up doors of opportunity to minister to them. I know what it is like to work and keep a marriage together. I know what it is like to come home tired and try to work hard at being a mother. I know what it is like to work at being hospitable in the midst of a busy schedule.

One of the biggest blessings of working outside of the home that I found was I was able to leave the problems of the church, and other people’s problems, including family and just focus on work. Then when I came home, I was able to refocus on them. I also had something else to talk about besides the church with my husband.

The other blessing was that I worked many times with non-Christians and it helped me in understanding the views that they held and how it affected their lives. Hopefully, in the midst of it I was able to be a witness for Christ in how I lived.

I now know that God calls us to be flexible and not rigid in our view of the role of a pastor’s wife.

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