I’ve been thinking about how I’m a pastor’s wife again.
Why are pastor’s wives labeled that way? You never hear someone introduced as a “salesman’s wife” or a “janitor’s wife” or a “truck-driver’s wife”, but if you are a pastor’s wife, you are a Pastor’s Wife first and yourself second–if anyone actually can get past the fact that you are a Pastor’s Wife.
My husband has always tried to shield me from the icky parts of his job, but it doesn’t matter to most people. They can’t see me past the giant flashing letters that announce PASTOR’S WIFE. I’m not the person you hang out with or the one you make inappropriate jokes around or the one you want to get to know.
But you should. Really. If you really knew me, you’d know that I’m just a regular person, like you. I happened to marry a man who is a pastor, but we do not sit around and discuss theology or spend hours on our knees in prayer. (I’m ashamed to admit that, because I have expectations for a Pastor’s Wife, too, and I fail to meet them.)
He doesn’t tell me everything about his day–especially if it’s confidential. Just so you know. If you tell him something assuming that he’ll tell me, you are so wrong.
If you really knew me, you’d know things about me that I am afraid to type on this blog, things that might cause you to judge me because a Pastor’s Wife doesn’t watch that show or read that book or skip church for no good reason. A Pastor’s Wife does not yell at her children or have children that balk at going to church.
I’ve done this pastor’s wife thing at four different churches. Each time I’ve blamed myself for my failure to really connect with people. I was too young, too busy, too shy, or I had a new baby . . . but I have felt excluded and judged and on display everywhere I’ve gone. Maybe that’s my own perception–I do have a little problem with taking everything personally. Okay, it’s a big problem, but awareness is the first step!
And now I’m a Pastor’s Wife again. I hope I will be brave enough to let you see behind the curtain. I want to drop the shield and just be a normal person and hope that people I meet will want to be my friend.
(I feel like I’m in fourth grade when I say that, so I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same. We all just want someone to play with at recess and to know that someone will save us a seat at the lunch table.)