Many churches (and pastors for that matter) do not know what to do with pastor’s wives, how to treat them, what role they play or how important they are. While Revolution (and myself) has struggled just like every other church to figure this out, I believe Katie and I have figured some things out that we have put into place which will prove to be invaluable in the future. While this is not exclusive to pastors, any leader in a church and for that matter, any husband can do better in understanding their wives and how to engage them.
Below is part 4 in a series of 5 posts (Go here to see part 1, part 2 and part 3)
Spiritual warfare always gets mixed reactions when you bring it up. In the church I grew up in, spiritual warfare was something we believed in, but didn’t believe actually happened. We had angels in the Christmas pageant. The pastor preached on the unseen world of angels and demons, but no one actually believe it happened. I have a friend who sees spiritual warfare everywhere. There are angels and demons behind every door waiting to pounce on you. If you get sick, that is Satan.
While I am no expert on spiritual warfare, and admittedly, I’m scared to become an expert on it because I don’t want to have to use my knowledge. But since starting Revolution, I have begun to see spiritual warfare differently than I used to. I believe that both Satan and God are active in our world. I believe they move around, can take up resident in our lives, homes, work places and churches (if you don’t believe that last one, just go to a congregational business meeting).
I also believe, from my own experience, that spiritual warfare comes into your home and family. If there is a night of the week that Katie and I are going to have a fight, it is going to be Friday night. If there is a night that our kids will decide not to sleep, it is going to be Friday night. Now, that isn’t necessarily Satan working in our home, but our own sin nature can very easily give him a foothold into our lives.
A pastor’s wife is most likely to feel the brunt of this. I remember Mark Driscoll once saying that he sees Satan going to Eve first was a testament of how important the role of women are because Satan will go to them first. It is the same for a pastor’s wife. For this reason, while both spouses must be called to full-time ministry (if they aren’t, he shouldn’t be a pastor, but that is a post for another day), he is doing most of the work, seeing the excitement, the life change, hearing the stories. She (in our case anyway) is at home with 3 kids, changing diapers, trying to get kids to eat, take naps, not kill each other and for her to not kill them.
It is easy for Satan to whisper into her ear, “This isn’t worth it.” She has to fight feelings of missing out on something, on a “normal” life, of not being appreciated by her kids, husband or her husband not being appreciated for all that he does. It is easy for her to rationalize why this is not worth their lives.
If you don’t believe me, ask a pastor’s wife. You must be aware of this as a pastor and put some things in place to fight against it. As a couple and as a family, we pray for protection over our marriage, our kids and our house. We pray for the same protection for the other elders and staff at Revolution on a daily basis. We have people praying for us.
We have friends who check in with us on Friday and Saturday night to ask how we are doing and to let us know they are praying for us. I have friends who live on the east coast who pray for us when they wake up and we are still asleep on the west coast.
Pastor’s, ask your wife how she is doing. Does she feel vulnerable? Does she need to be encouraged? Be her first line of defense. Churches, lift up your leaders on a regular basis, but especially on the weekend as they prepare for what lies ahead. I had a mentor tell me that preaching was like “reaching down onto the road into hell and pulling people back.”
So yes, Satan has a lot to say about that.