But Since You Have Appointed Him: Encouragement For Pastors Wives

Hebrews 13:17, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.  Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

Wives, your husbands have been appointed to a tremendous calling.  As a pastor he is called to lead and feed the flock with the timeless truths of the Word.  What a gift and privilege. 

For you as his wife, you see all the time and effort that he puts into being a faithful shepherd to the flock.  You see the weight that he carries on his shoulders; you see how he pours over the Word to feed the flock.  You see how he shepherds the flock by keeping watch and protecting them from wolves and danger.  You also see the agony that he feels when people of the parish resist the Word that he brings.  Your eyes also witness the pain that he experiences when he, as a messenger, is rejected.  You may think to yourself, How can someone reject, turn away and disrespect the man that I love and cherish?”  As he feels discomfort, you do also. 

As you read this right now, you may be plagued with the reality that someone in the church body is resisting not only the Word that your husband is bringing but also him as a leader.  To make things worse you are in a very unique position.  You aren’t called to be a co-pastor of the church; therefore this limits your reaction and knowledge of the situation that is causing your husband angst.  Even though you may not know the details, you see them on his face.  Furthermore, how do you minister to your husband?  In his nights of tossing and turning in bed are you called to step up into the pastor role and shepherd your husband?  This puts you in an extremely difficult position.  On the one hand you are the wife of the pastor, you love your man and you stand behind him and for him.   There is a desire to get beneath him and with all your strength and might hold him high so that he can be a strong shepherd for the flock in the midst of his trial.  On the other hand there may be a desire to want to alleviate your feeling of helplessness by stepping into his area of calling and fix things.  Though by doing this you find that this may compromise your husband because you are not the pastor of the church and your involvement in the confidential matters of the church is hands off.  All of this can bring about a great deal of anxiety and frustration.  Therefore, how do you support your husband?  Furthermore, how are you to deal with your own emotions that come forth?  You are one flesh with him and as he experiences trouble you do to. 

My dear sister in Christ, I can only imagine the weight that you carry as you see his joy sapped from him parish struggles.  “What happens if my husband can no longer be a strong to keep watch over the flock?  What should I do, what can I do?”  The good news for you as a pastor’s wife is that your husband is not responsibility to bear the weight of being the Great Shepherd, for he is a sheep and that is also true for you.  When the burden of ministry presses upon your husband and you feel as if it is all up to you to prop him up, take comfort for he is also a sheep.  In other words, your husband was not meant to be the Great Shepherd, but an under-shepherd.  As a pastor’s wife you cannot and do not have to carry the weight of the kingdom on your shoulders.  Your husband was not meant to be the Great Shepherd, but an under-shepherd.  When the weight of the ministry become too much for him and you, the good news is that you get to be a sheep of the Great Shepherd, Jesus the Christ.  In the midst of your trials you get to hear, know and receive the Word that says to you and your husband that Jesus is “your” Great Shepherd in your time of need.  By the blood of the eternal covenant He has made your husband and you complete in everything. 

In Christ your husband is not the sole shepherd of the flock left alone to fend off wolves and handle the problem of the flock by himself.  When you and your husband are wounded by the attacks of the wolves and the bites of the sheep, you can know and hear that “you both belong to Jesus and are buried in His wounds together.”   Your husband has not only been called to be a shepherd but you have been baptized into the flock and made a sheep of the Great Shepherd.  Christ is your shepherd and is for you and your husband’s calling.  In Christ you can know that you and your husband get to be His sheep together as your husband shepherds the flock.  God will fight the battles for you; all you need do is rest.