Last week I served in the chapel service for Higher Things in Fort Collins, Colorado, and watched all of the other pastors assist with Holy Communion. At this Higher Things event there were somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred pastors present. It is one of the more unusual blessings, that HT has so many pastors able to come, teach, preach, assist with services in various ways, and in a phrase, to be there.
The sacrifice isn’t really theirs, however. It is their wives (and children) who most often make the sacrifice.
Between serving in three districts, working in admissions, and graduating from both a seminary and a Concordia prep school (Go Seward Bulldogs!), I know a lot of pastors, and with that, a lot of pastor’s wives. Now my lens is clearly shaded toward that most awesome of all pastor’s wives, namely, my own wife. She has been by my side for twenty-one years, and almost all of those years have been while I was serving as a parish pastor. She is beautiful, passionate in all things, and is awesome. I have, however, seen these “patterns of awesomeness” repeated many, many times over the years, by lots of pastor’s wives. Here are just a few character traits that come to mind today. We could talk about each one, but the list will start to give you the picture:
We pastors are not always the wisest when it comes to how we use our time and energy. There are many times when my wife and family seem to get the left-overs. But through it all, God is merciful, the pastor’s family somehow stays together, and there is still food on the table and a bed to sleep on at night. And so much more. The only way I am able to serve the people whom God has entrusted to me is because my wife is by my side.
St. Paul says that an overseer must be the husband of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2), and Solomon asks the question, “An excellent wife, who can find? She is far more precious than jewels” (Prov. 31:10). As I looked out over the thousand young people, pastors, chaperones and others in Fort Collins, it reminded me once again that the Ministry of the Word is never about one person. My wife isn’t a co-pastor or minister in some kind of cheesy way. She is much more than that. She is the one who serves, who loves, and who does all these things without anyone even seeing it, for the most part. That makes it all the more amazing.
Yes, I know pastor’s wives are sinners. Yes, I know sometimes they are a burden, just like everyone can be at some point or another. But generally speaking, husbands will serve their wife and family better by holding one another up, and by covering one another’s sins. I’m pretty sure that’s in the Bible, even.
So there you go, Wives of Awesomeness. You know who you are. This pastor salutes you, as do your husbands, and the whole church. And if anyone ever makes light of the burdens you bear and the sacrifices you make, send them to me. We will straighten them out real quick.