From time to time, you might hear about how pastors and their families live in a glass house. There is no hiding your life when it comes to pastoring.
For a pastor's wife, the "glass house living" is feeling like everyone is watching you, and you certainly feel the expectations. The expectations can be from what you do in ministry, whether or not you preach, the demand for you to be everywhere and do everything, or even feeling comparisons with other women in ministry.
As a pastor's wife, we do everything we can to support our husbands in what God has called him to do. Whether you work with your husband in the ministry, stay at home or work outside the home, you still carry the title of "pastor's wife."
In 20 years of ministry, I have spoken to many pastor's wives, and these are five challenges I hear most of the time:
- My husband is never home.
- It's hard to find a balance.
- Now that our ministry has grown, can we slow down?
- I'm not sure what my purpose is.
- I wish I had more friends.
These are normal challenges, and I have felt the same way many times. I am so grateful that I have gained so much wisdom through the years, and now I am seeing all of this from a different perspective.
I have not conquered my thoughts completely nor have I arrived. However, I have learned a lot that I share all the time with pastor's wives. The reality is everyone has daily challenges, so we are not alone. I sometimes think about women married to professional athletes, actors or CEOs of companies. We are all trying to get a balance.
I don't think everyone has perfected it or can say things don't get chaotic. I think they do—it's life.
I am in the process of writing a book for pastors' wives, and for 20 years, I have researched everywhere for answers on how to do this and how to find the balance. I found some things that helped, but what I really found was a bunch of pastors' wives who are trying to live it out and don't always have the confidence to speak out on the realities of their life to help others.
I get it—you are told early in ministry, "You live in a glass house, so be careful what you say so people don't judge you or hurt you." I'm not trying to expose my whole life, but I feel that I need to help encourage pastors' wives by keeping it real. Other women need to know they are not alone in their thoughts, what they feel and what they are going through.
You are not sinning for asking the questions and feeling frustrated—God wants your honesty. When you can talk about it, share it and go to God, He will send people your way, provide resources and give you answers. Through my upcoming book, I want to encourage pastors' wives to find their purpose in the glass house without feeling guilty, by being honest and by getting the support they need.
Here are five things to help you find your purpose in the glass house:
- Celebrate and embrace who you are as a woman! God made you just the way you are, and the enemy will always try to accuse you of what you think you are not. Don't believe the lies. Don't try to fit yourself in a cookie cutter shape of a pastor's wife.
- Ask God to show you what you do best. He created for a specific purpose, whether that's being a supportive wife or a great mother, or He has given you other gifts that can bless others and build His kingdom.
- Be confident. Your confidence does not need to be prideful; be confident in the Lord. When you trust God and have faith, you can be confident because your confidence is not in yourself.
- Write your vision. Don't be afraid to write a big vision. Sometimes we can hesitate to write something we feel we want to do or that we think God wants to do, afraid it's too big or unthinkable. Write it down! God is faithful, He likes to do the unthinkable!
- Speak it! Stop shrinking back in speaking your vision and confess what God is doing in your life and what He is going to do. Speak the Word of God over yourself, your marriage, your children, your ministry, your job and your finances. Faith is speaking out those things you have not seen yet, but you trust God that it will come to pass.
Don't get stuck in the pit of expectation or guilt. Let the glass house be a blessing, you have a platform and influence. Let the love of God be shed abroad your heart. Your life can be a living testimony. I am not just talking about what you do right, but you what you struggle with that can help other women. I am not afraid anymore to talk openly about some of my struggles, especially if I know it will help other women.
I have shared openly about my struggles being submissive as a wife early in our marriage and in the ministry, how organization challenges me and how we can make life chaotic for ourselves. I never ask myself the question, "What are people going to think of me?" I look at this as an opportunity to turn people to Jesus. We cannot do anything without Him and, if He can use my life with my weaknesses and do something great, then He can do that for anyone who depends on Him! Let God's love spread throughout your heart, and be encouraged; we are in this race and, with faith, will finish strong.
You are special to God, and He has already given you everything you need. Just believe!
Along with her husband, Pastor Luis Reyes, Tricia Reyes is the co-founder of The New Church Of Joy in Waukegan, Illinois. She is a blogger, author and helps manage her daughter Madison's (Maddie Rey) Music Ministry. She is a devoted wife and mother to Madison and Matthew and loves the Lord with all her heart! To learn more about Tricia's ministry or to book her for a Women's Event/Conference visit her website at triciareyes.com or thenewchurchofjoy.com.
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