Better Half

Family, Life, and Politics from Wifey

I am NOT the Preacher’s Wife September 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — raitking @ 2:21 am

What does it mean to be the “preacher’s wife?”  If you’ve seen the movie with that same title with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, maybe you think it means you are a soft spoken, choir singing, dispenser of sage wisdom.  If you grew up in an old school baptist church as I did, perhaps you think being a preacher’s wife means you wear big, goofy hats and sit on the front row kissing children.  I’ve decided it means none of this!  I’ve decided that it really doesn’t have much of a meaning at all.  At least not one that can be summed up, put in a bottle, and drank by every woman that holds the title.

What got me thinking about this is a comment left by a guy on my Obama post.  He was baffled by some of my thoughts on pastors and scripture.  I said that I don’t take what any preacher has to say at face value because I know that we all bring our own bias to the interpretation of scripture.  I also said that I didn’t think a comment my husband made was worth throwing scripture at.  He was shocked that a “preacher’s wife” doesn’t view every circumstance in life worthy of scriptural recitation.   A pastor I know calls people who have a scripture or a “holy word” for everything spiritual space cadets.  I think I agree.

But back to my original point.  I’ve known since I was a teenager that I would one day be a “pastor’s wife.”  Shaun and I were already dating when he gave his first sermon at the age of 17.  Everyone in our church knew we would one day get married and that he would one day pastor.  So, I set out, right from the beginning, doing the things I thought “pastor’s wives” did.  I bought a pretty dress with a matching hat, and a big matching purse.  I also attended every service he ever preached.  Literally, FOR YEARS, I never missed a sermon. I read books on the subject with such titles as “A Handbook for Minister’s Wives,” and “The Church’s Leading Lady.”  I understand quite well what a “preacher’s wife” is SUPPOSED to be.

Let me assure you, however, that I don’t subscribe well to the “supposed” to be’s.  I made up my mind a while ago, when Shaun became serious about planting this church that I had to decide (with God’s guidance) who I was as a human and spiritual being, and hold firm to that.  What I know for sure is that there is no shortage of church people telling you what you ought to wear, what you ought to say, how you ought to smile, and what you ought to do.  I’ve seen my share of unhappy, confused wives of men in ministry who were lost in everyone else’s expectations of them.  I declare before God and everyone else-that will not be me!

While I take seriously the call to lead the people of God, and know it carries with it many responsibilities, I know that in the end it only carries with it 4 major obligations for which God will hold me accountable and to which I have devoted my whole soul.  These are: to love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul.  To love and support my husband as he endeavors to live out the call that God has set before him (and I think he will tell you that I do this quite well). To nurture my children with all the love I have inside of me, and to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  And lastly my responsibility to the world: to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the sick and infirmed.  That’s my role as a preacher’s wife, AND yours as a Christian.

Any other expectations, you can feel free to stick in your pocket.


13 Responses to “I am NOT the Preacher’s Wife”

  1. Pastor D Says:

    I am digging that blog entry. Sounds good and sounds like you have a grounded grasp of who it is that God called you to be as a pastor’s wife. Good stuff!

  2. Andy McMahon Says:

    I guess spiritual space cadets is appropriate, considering as Christ Followers, we should not be of this world. I think this blog is almost an attack on one person’s opinion, and it’s really turning me off. It’s one thing to post a blog on being a preacher’ wife, because I do believe that there ARE some false beliefs about that “title”. But, if this entire post is to point out and single out one person’s comment, then I think this is tasteless.

    I want to clarify that I am not angry in the slightest bit. And I think that the Obama discussion got too heated and a little out of hand. But, I do wish we could have all let it go there.

    I do believe that the Word was put here to give us something to live by, and quote, every day. I don’t think it’s a convenience book. It’s not something that we should pick up when we loose our jobs, or our dog dies. It is the Word of Jesus Christ, and it should be taken seriously.

    On your last paragraph. I think it is also your roll to Love others (Even your enemies) as you love Jesus. I think that is one Major thing that has been left off. “Love God, Love People, Prove it.” I think I heard that somewhere.

  3. Simone Says:


    I think this entry is FABULOUS and right on the money! Being a girl who grew up in the church and did everything everyone asked of her, I felt that pressure. Recently a close friend told me he thought I’d make a good “preacher’s wife” and I panicked. I said I’m not giving up my friends, I’m too loud and outspoken and honestly I don’t if I’m “Christian” enough (I think you understand what I’m saying). But the guy that I’m dating made a really good point to me about this “preacher wife” debate I’ve been having. Being a good wife is important and that I possess the ability to do my own thing and support the love ones around me. He said that’s what would make a good “preacher’ wife” and I followed by saying thanks but please don’t take up those deacon offers they’ve been flying at you! LOL
    So thank you for giving a chick a different perspective of a preacher’s wife; you’re a wife who’s husband just happens to be a preacher. There’s no stigma with teacher’s wives because if there was my mother would probably feel the need to change this! (this where my open-mindedness comes from)


  4. Cyndi Says:

    Funny I posted a similiar ( with different issues ) post on my blog recently.

    I can see why you and Shaun are such a perfect match. I am enjoying reading your blog.

  5. raitking Says:

    I don’t get how you see this entry as an attack on one person. What would have been tasteless is if I identified who I was referencing from the Obama post. But I didn’t. And I think it is quite valid to reference his comment as it carried with it a certain expectation of what a preacher’s wife is supposed to be (which is what the post was about).

    I am sorry it turned you off. It wasn’t written in that spirit (although I didn’t write it to turn anyone “on” either). I don’t know you, but I think you’re the guy that lent us the computer? So I think you’re nice enough, and that maybe you’re taking this a little too personally.

    And I hope that you weren’t implying that I use the bible as a convenience tool. As I stated, I live my life by it…my whole, entire, everyday life. I just don’t feel the need to rub it in people’s faces by quoting scripture every 10 seconds.

    My view of what it means to be a Chrisitian may be different from yours. But it doesn’t mean I love God any less. And it doesn’t mean we can’t be friends-just friends who passionately disagree sometimes.

    One more thing, if I had enemies, I hope I would love them, but can’t really make any promises on that one. Thankfully, I don’t have any. Hope you’re not signing up to be my first 🙂

  6. Andy McMahon Says:


    I never said that I thought you were “less of a Christian”. I certainly was not implying that you use the Bible as a convenience tool. I promise. 🙂 What I was saying is, I feel, if someone were to come to this specific post and read either your blog, or my comment for that matter, and may be “Turned off” from the Christian thing.

    In retrospect, I get your side, and you explained it well, and since I am not beyond saying I may have been wrong in some aspects, I “MAY” have been a little over the top.

    You have to understand that the person we speak of is a close friend of mine, going through a VERY TOUGH time. So, at first glance I saw it as an attack, and he may have too. I support you and your husband, and what you BOTH are doing is great.

    I just hope that we can still have agreements and disagreements, without being harsh. I may have been harsh. I apologize.

    I do want to say one thing. Theologies aside, I don’t see how we could have different views on Christ Following – Love. That’s how I try to live, and I think if you try to live that way, most everything will fall into place with Christ’s Teaching.

    Anyway, Great blog! And I look forward to meeting you soon.

    BTW Congrats on the Girl! You could name her after my sister who passed away five years ago. Adrienne.

    Bye Bye. 🙂

  7. raitking Says:


    I can respectfully disagree anytime. I think I was made for it 🙂 I am sorry that your friend is going through a tough time. He is a friend that Shaun also considers a friend (he told me much about him a while ago). I think it is easy for passionate people like ourselves to cross over into the realm of “overly passionate” quite easily.

    And I don’t think we disagree about Love. Although I don’t think Love always means meek.

    It’s so funny that you say your sister’s name is Adrienne. It actually gave me chills b/c one of my dearest friends is named Adrienne and she is going through a very difficult battle with cancer right now. She is an AMAZINGLY beautiful person, and I would be proud for my daughter to have her name. My heart has really settled on Savannah, however. Although the timing and spooky coincidence of you saying this name does give me pause to reconsider.

  8. Andy McMahon Says:

    That would be wild! Savannah is a beautiful name too! I will be praying for Adrienne! Looking forward to your next post.

  9. Toby Says:

    I read this one a few days ago and, I guess, had to sit on it for awhile…and think.
    First of all, what I hate most about blogging, or any internet communication for that matter. It’s really difficult to decipher how a person is coming at ya. I have read here that I’m not as “level-headed” as some and while I may say some things to make it seem that way, I find it far from the truth. I did say in my last comment that I was “disgusted”. Well, that may have been a stretch. Surprised, may be a better word.
    Now then….I don’t lay any different expectations on a “pastor’s wife” then I do on any Joe Schmo Christian on the street. It’s the Christian part that brings expectations. I can have different views than you or others, but that doesn’t make me wrong and I am fully aware that doesn’t make you wrong either.
    Andy, i appreciate you coming to my defense, but I’m not sure it’s needed. Again, appreciated though! I wasn’t necessarily offended by the post. I mean, it’s kinda obvious what “guy” you’re speaking about, but I didn’t take it personally. I get it!! You don’t wanna be characterized with the “old church”, preacher’s wives and that’s great. This whole conversation started over something your husband said and, actually, I apologize for directing anything about it toward you. You made a few comments that kinda rocked me, but sometimes I need rocked.
    As far as spiritual space cadets, let me spew some more for ya :-).
    Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-21
    I’m a lil crazy for Ephesians these days…Sorry if that puts me in a cadet category, but kinda like preacher’s wives, I don’t care to be characterized either. I just live my life this way. I try and relate every word that comes out of my mouth to some Scripture. For me, that’s what it’s all about. I can’t stop it and I don’t wanna, I have said some horrible things to many people in my life and back in the day, didn’t give a rip how any of em felt about it. With Christ in my heart and living my life for Him, He makes sure I don’t do that anymore and since I concentrate so much on what I say, it sometimes makes me concentrate too much on what others say. (wow, that was the longest sentence ever)
    Listen, no harm, no fowl. I wish you and Shaun nothing but the best with the church, your children (here and to come) and life. Long comment, but my point was simply to let ya know I wasn’t offended and I didn’t think that was your intention. You have a powerful gift with your words, just like your hubby. I pray you both will continue to bring people to him through whatever means it takes.
    21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

  10. raitking Says:

    Wow Toby, that was indeed a long post 🙂 Listen, I’m glad that you have found a way to live the life you feel God is calling you to lead. I really am. If that means that you use scripture as the basis for all that you say, it could certainly be a lot worse.

    Don’t pay any attention to me with all the spiritual space cadet stuff. It’s just a funny thing to say.

    I wish you all the best as well. And I think I said it in my first comment to you that I sincerely appreciate all that you have done to help as far as the church is concerned.

    I hope you are doing better with the passing of your grandmother. Take care for now.

  11. Andy McMahon Says:

    YAYAYAYA! Love. I hear it. I feel it. YAY.

    Toby, I know I over reacted the first comment as well. I tried to apologize. 🙂 I get all fired up sometimes. It’s easy for me. I’m firey. (sp)

    Anyway. Yes, I love reading this stuff.

    Keep it coming Guys! hehe.

  12. Toby Says:

    Wow, uhhh, I just wanted to point out that my Grandma is NOT dead. She has be diagnosed AGAIN with throat cancer and might not survive the surgery, should she decide to have it done. Your prayers are appreciated though.

  13. raitking Says:

    OMG! I am so sorry. I must have misunderstood something Andy said. Well I’m glad I was wrong.

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