With the knowledge of the day, comes expectation. It's a bit like knowing your birthday is approaching and hoping someone will say, "Happy Birthday" or send you a card.
I have met some pastors' wives whose churches really go all out in honoring their husbands and/or family. Others receive some acknowledgement, while still others receive none at all. I've even met staff pastors’ wives who served in churches where only the senior pastor was honored in October.
So, if no one says how much they appreciate your service to the Lord this month, or even if they do, let me say it to you -- I appreciate you. We're in this together and you are a valuable member of God's team.
I know how you, pastor and wife, pour of yourselves into your congregation. I know how you love them and/or strive to love when some may seem annoying or exasperating. I know how you pray for them in secret and how you do things at church that many may take for granted.
I know how you felt when a church member you considered a friend gave you the cold shoulder because they were upset with your husband.
I know how you've sat on pins and needles, wishing you could be a fly on the wall, while your beloved was in a tough meeting that went long.
I also know the joy you've felt as you've seen the fruit of your efforts. I've felt the amazement you've felt as you've seen God work in situations you'd deemed hopeless.
I know the discomfort you felt when someone came to you for advice simply because you are the pastor's wife, and the elation you felt when God helped you guide them in His wisdom.
And I know the honor and humility you've felt as you've been presented opportunities to serve that are unique to your gifts, personality, and experience. But more importantly than that--God knows, and He's cheering you on.
"For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints." (Hebrews 6:10, NASB95)
Others appreciate you, too. There are Christians all over the world who honor pastors by providing retreat and vacation facilities for pastors, wives, (and sometimes families) at little to no cost. They know your sacrifice, and they are there for you.
We have personally worked with BroomTree Ministries, and it is a beautiful place to refresh and renew. They didn't use the evening meal to pull out the multi-level marketing plan nor the time-share condo opportunity. They simply wanted to encourage us.
While it is certainly neat to be honored and encouraged by other Christians, I think it's even "neater" how much God values your service to Him. Did you know that there's a special crown of honor for pastors? Peter calls it the "unfading crown of glory”. (1 Peter 5:1-4)
So if pastor's appreciation day comes and go without anyone noticing, and if pastor's appreciation month is a bit disappointing, please know that God sees what you do. He sees the love, prayers, and hard work you pour into His sheep; and He says, "Well done."
In the end, that's what matters the most.
"...because you know that your work in the Lord is never wasted." (1 Corinthians 15:58b, NCV)
-rg-About the author:
Ramona Griffith married into the ministry in 1993. Originally from Texas, her family took a step (or a drive, a really long drive) of faith when they moved to Wisconsin a few years ago. Ramona helped Sue Mitchum re-launch PastorsWives.Org in 2003, and later founded PastorsWives.Com to extend that ministry. She occasionally blogs at Ramona Writes, "Again". You can also find her on twitter and pinterest. -- (View all posts by Ramona)