I don’t know if a “Pastor Husband” is at all like a “Sister Wife”, but I do know that having a husband who happens to also be your pastor is unique. October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and what better way to appreciate my pastor than by writing a letter of thanks for all that my husband does…as I see it from my inside perspective.
Dear “Pastor Husband”,
Words cannot express how grateful I am for you, not only as my husband, but also as my pastor. I am perhaps the most opinionated and verbose member of your congregation. I know that I often critique the sermons and have my own lengthy speeches about where God is leading the church. So, thanks for putting up with me. I appreciate that you listen to me, value my insights, and treat me (as hard as it may be sometimes) as a valuable member of the Body. I also thank you for not always doing as I suggest. I am thankful that while you listen to me, Jesus has the final say. I greatly appreciate your leadership and ability to filter through the Spirit.
Thank you for not only leading the church, but also leading our family. You are not only the lead repenter in the pulpit, but also in our home (usually around kids’ bedtime:) ). Thank you for teaching us about grace, humility, and trust. We are grateful that what you say on Sunday morning is a reflection of what you say Monday through Saturday at home. We love seeing Jesus work through you and “on you” as you prepare to teach others about Him and love others as He does. I wouldn’t know what to do if the man I saw on Sunday was someone other than the man I see brush his teeth every morning. Thank you for being authentic and letting your call to be a pastor start with your call to be in relationship with Jesus, followed closely by your call as husband and father.
From my seat at the dinner table, I see day in and day out, that your job is more than mere means to put food on the table for us. You carry the weight of the world on your shoulders through the work that you do. The compassion of Jesus flows through you, and the people within our church are not simply coworkers, clients, or consumers. They are family. Their troubles and trials often don’t leave your mind once you come home at the end of the day. It is the Jesus in you, that makes your job a 24-hour-on-call vocation. Sometimes even when your body is present, your heart might be engaged with the hearts of the people. Let’s be honest, I am not always appreciative of this. But, I take this opportunity to acknowledge that this challenge comes with the job, and if you didn’t struggle to stop caring for others, I’d probably find that alternative pretty disturbing. 🙂
Thank you for loving our church in this way. And as your wife, I thank you for loving our marriage, our children, and our family at home even more. I know the sacrifices you make to serve the church…I often experience them with you. The struggle is real, and I acknowledge that your call to love the church and to also love your wife and family can get complicated. I thank you for turning to Jesus in these times. I thank you for not abandoning us–trusting Jesus with His church–and in turn, being faithful to your call as a husband, father, and pastor.
I get it, Love. I’ve not just seen the emotional roller coaster that is full-time ministry, I’ve been along for the ride. And I am proud to sit next to you as the ups and downs come. I am thankful that while it gets scary, challenging, stressful, and heavy-hearted at times, we are still able to hold hands and scream a little. It’s tough, but you are doing an amazing job simply holding on tight to Jesus as the ride continues. He has joy for you on this ride…He really, really does.
Be encouraged, dear “Pastor Husband…”
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
For the days when you feel God’s call is too heavy, too great, or too much, know that as your wife and children (and congregational members), we stand with you. Know that when your spirit is grieved by the sins of the church, of your family, or your own failures, there is always hope for God’s people. The Israelites acknowledged their sin and asked their leader Ezra to make a covenant with the Lord on their behalf, promising to turn from their sinful ways. They said to Ezra, “Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.” (Ezra 10:4). Thank you for being our Ezra, for having the tough task of leading us to repentance and helping us have hope in the promises of Jesus. Thank you for being strong. Thank you for doing it. We stand with you. We love you. We thank you for answering His call.