By Diane Scallon
The news that a beloved pastor’s wife has taken her own life (article) is not only heartbreaking, it unfortunately hits home for many pastors’ wives.
Here are five things that can lead to a pastor’s wife feeling overlooked, uncared for, or unappreciated:
- being told how she should act, dress, speak, etc.;
- being put on a pedestal that defines how she is to be;
- being considered just fine emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc., when she may not be;
- being viewed as having lots of friends, when in reality she has no deep friendships; and
- being judged by how well her children behave.
Churches need to realize a few facts about a pastor’s wife:
- She is human. She needs room to be a real person, with real feelings.
- She is just like any other woman in the church who loves the Lord and wants to serve Him. She needs to be appreciated.
- She desires friendships, just like any other woman in the church does. She needs to be cared for.
- She needs a friend who is honest, caring, and nonjudgmental, one who will grow with her in the Word of God.
Oftentimes a pastor’s wife will push away her own needs to make herself available for other people. Pushing away heartaches or betrayals in order to fulfill the “requirements” is hard, and unfortunately, it hurts deeply. So the pastor’s wife may cry lonely tears and may fear that if she reveals her pain, her words can be used against her or her husband.
So, while the role of a pastor’s wife can be rewarding and special, it can also be lonely. In light of this, please pray for your pastor’s wife, reach out and genuinely care for her, be her friend, and give her room to be a real person.
Pastor’s wife, if you are struggling, lonely, or just need a friend, please reach out! I am here!
Diane Scallon is a member of Grace Baptist Church, Laurel, Md., where her husband, Luke, serves as pastor. She is the author of Against the Tide: Godly Living in a Godless World.