As a pastor’s wife I know I have a lot of influence. My words hit harder, my actions speak louder, my encouragement means more. And we all know that with great power comes great responsibility (thanks Spiderman). But that power or influence was never so apparent to me than on Sunday morning a few weeks ago.
I sit on the front row during the Sunday morning service. I choose to sit there so that I can support and encourage my husband while he preaches, so people can see that I’m there (it’s a big deal to some), and because it’s too distracting to sit in the back. A few weeks ago I was sitting in my usual spot on Sunday morning and it was a little stuffy. So I pulled out my bulletin and started to fan myself. Apparently, the sound guys noticed my flapping and they turned on the ceiling fans. Glory! What a relief! As the cool breeze washed over my warm self, I ceased fanning, placing my bulletin back in its rightful place inside my Bible. A few minutes later, though, I glanced up and noticed that the ceiling fans had stopped spinning. So out came the bulletin. I had barely started fanning myself when the ceiling fans kicked back on. I stopped fanning and the fans turned off! This continued for the rest of the service! Who knew I had such power! It seems the sound guys were either very tuned in to my personal thermostat or they were messing with me, but for the rest of the service my own needs determined what the rest of the people in the room got!
No pressure! 🙂
Sometimes the spotlight or fishbowl or glass house can get overwhelming. I can be intimidated by the fact that people are watching. I can be overwhelmed by the pressure of perfection. Or I can have a different perspective. This life in ministry does come with a lot of pressure but it also is quite a privilege! What other job contains such influence in light of eternity? What a joy to live my life in front of people so that they will see my good works and glorify my Father in heaven! (Matt. 5:16) Paul even said “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1)
People will go to the movies I recommend. They will notice how I raise my children. They will talk about their husbands the same way I talk about mine. They will feel free to wear jeans to church because I wore them first. I used to resent the spotlight, worrying that critics would steal my joy when they discovered my imperfections. But I’m learning to live my life solely for God’s approval. When I’m obeying Him, nothing can take away my joy & peace! And if people want to follow me, that’s OK because if they’re following me, then they’re going to also be following Christ.
So, if you’re a pastor’s wife embrace the “pressure” and live a life of influence! God is honored when we lead by example, using our influence for good.
And if you’re a member of my church please forgive me when I’m not perfect. But feel free to sit near me during the Sunday service. I’ll help keep you cool!