At ESPS Ministries we regularly come across pastors spouses who still feel an element of uncertainty and confusion as to what their role as a spouse in church should or should not be? It generally seems to be unique to each couple where wives/husbands have to find what works best for them.
I came across this article for pastors spouses with some great reminders for us to shape our clarity at the start of this year. Remember these are just one person’s opinion, but it may help us in forming our own. Be mindful to keep communication lines open with your spouse and both of you share thoughts, expectations, level of engagement, etc together. Pray these through, seeking God’s blessing on all decisions.
Resist letting your spouse, children, or church family push you to become someone you don’t want to be.
Use your best gifts most often.
Do the things you do the best and leave the rest - and don’t feel guilty about it.
Make your priorities obvious.
Let the congregation know what’s important to you. Don’t let the church squeeze you into their mould, and don’t do too much.
Show visible love to your spouse.
In your conversations let people know that your spouse is both special and human. Keep showing the church that you love one another and you care for each other.
Talk about advantages to your children.
Never tell your children they have to do something OR not something because they are the pastor’s children. Help them see how they can play a positive part in your family’s shared ministry.
Take a worship break.
Go somewhere every few months where you can worship as a family.
Don’t spiritualize everything.
Enjoy life - its ups and downs - without becoming so religious in your outlook that you’re no fun to be around.
Learn to laugh at yourself and your situation.
Have a life outside of church activities.
Schedule vacation days and date nights.
See to it that your spouse puts important family dates on the calendar.
Encourage your spouse to find an accountability partner.
Every pastor needs a covenant partner, where “pastoral stuff” can be talked about and burdens understood and shared.
Stay attentive to your spouse’s needs.
Don’t back away. There will be times when your spouse, under the weight of the struggle, will become sullen, aloof, and depressed. This is when he or she needs you the most.
Try doubling or tripling your affection and support.
Commit to self-care. Take care of yourself - spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Continue to mature spiritually.
(Written by H.B. London Jr. and Neil B. Wiseman. )