Judy Patrick, guest blogger today, and pastor’s wife for over 35 years, does know “how it feels.” I wonder if you have ever identified with any of these feelings written below? If so, perhaps you might want to share this with your husband!
Honey, I know you’re busy—preparing sermons; visiting; attending deacons’ meetings; and the Johnson’s need marital counseling. This is just the beginning of your long “to do” list for the week.
I understand why your mind is in another world most of the time. But, I want you to know how I feel about being a minister’s wife. David once said, “My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue. “ (Ps. 39:3 NIV) David understood that suppressed feelings can ignite a fire of bitterness. I never want a fire of bitterness to flame up and destroy our marriage. So, here’s how I feel.
I feel Joy in being your wife. God has ordained our marriage. It is a joy to know I am called to minister beside my husband.
I feel imprisoned and trapped when I’m confined to a stereotype. Comments such as, “I didn’t see you at church. . . “; or “But you’re the preacher’s wife. . . “; make me feel trapped and lured into a prison of expectations.
I feel loved when you show appreciation for me. I feel loved when church members welcome me into their fellowship rather than treating me as an outsider.
I feel “showcased” when you use me as an illustration in your sermons–all eyes turn toward me and away from the pulpit. I feel showcased when I step into the church building. Just once, I wish I could go to church and be a “regular” person!
I feel respected when you and the church seek my counsel. I also feel respected when you and the church give me freedom to “just be me”.
I feel a loss of Identity when you and the church fail to recognize my giftedness. Please allow me to do things that enhance my Spiritual Gifts. Do not expect me to do things that do not align with the Spiritual Gifts God has given me.
I feel a sense of worth that I’m part of the bigger picture in God’s Kingdom. My sense of worth comes from my relationship with Jesus Christ. What an honor to know that, “. . . our God would count [me] worthy of this calling . . .” (2 Thess. 1:11 NIV)
I feel lonely when often I sit at home alone watching TV to keep my mind occupied while you are away. I also feel lonely sitting by myself in church. Why won’t someone invite me to sit with them?
I feel a sense of pride when you stand before God’s people to proclaim His Word, and when church members say kind words about you.
I feel helpless when you repeatedly talk about negative issues. I know nothing else to say to encourage you. Weighing me down with negative issues regarding the church causes me to build resentment. I also feel helpless when church members make unfair comments about our family. I want to lash out at them. I dare not!
I feel special when you listen to me. I feel special when church members say kind words to me.
I feel hurt when you say ugly things to me. Sometimes, you let out on me your frustrations toward the church. I feel like a target on a target range—bull’s eye, you got me! Church members also hurt me with their cunning remarks. Don’t they know I have feelings too?!
Honey, I love you and want you in my life. I am trying to balance my feelings. Please understand, I just want you to know how I feel.
Judy is the Women’s Ministry Director for the Beauregard Baptist Association in DeRidder, LA. Judy earned her D.Ed.Min degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary specializing in Women’s Ministry and Counseling. She teaches Women’s Ministry and New Testament classes for the University of Mobile and the Baptist College of Florida. Additionally, Judy supports her husband, Dr. Tim Patrick, who serves as a Director of Missions and leads a ministry to ministers and their wives called The Shepherds Connection. The Shepherds Connection ministry supports ministers and their wives through resources, retreats, and confirmation.
Judy has been a pastor’s wife for thirty-five years. She has been involved in Women’s Ministry over twenty-five years. Judy has served as Women’s Ministry Director on the local church and associational levels and has served Alabama and Louisiana state Woman’s Missionary Union/Women’s Ministry. Judy has two grown sons and two grandchildren with another grandchild on the way.