IMG_3102Father’s Day is coming up, and I’ve been thinking about the particular person who is the father of my particular children. I realize that many of you are not married to people who are dads—some of you are single, some of you do not have children, some of you are married to other moms. Still, I imagine we can all agree that it takes a special kind of person to commit to a Rev. Gal in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, in Advent and in Lent.

So, here is a Father’s Day tribute to my husband, Ryan, and to all those who support us gals in our ministries:

You might be the spouse of a female pastor if:

  • You don’t worry about the door-to-door evangelists because you know that saying, “My wife is a pastor” will disorient them enough to let you politely close the door and get on with your life.
  • You find yourself volunteering to be a trustee and/or Sunday School teacher and/or worship leader and/or greeter and/or any other unfilled volunteer position that is stressing your wife out. Because when her stress goes down, your stress goes down.
  • You routinely pack your laptop on Sunday mornings. Because you’re at church an hour early and you’ll be staying late. And your trustee duties only take up so much of that time.
  • Your family summer vacations are wherever the denomination is having its conference that year.
  • You have triple sermon exposure: you hear all the vague, rambling pre-sermon thoughts, the sermon itself, and the post-sermon processing. You could preach the sermon yourself if need be.
  • Regarding pre-sermon ramblings: you frequently (especially on Saturdays) say things like, “I’m sure you’ll have a sermon ready on time this week—just like you did last week . . . and the week before that.” And, “That’s OK. I’ll make dinner and wash the dishes and put the kids to bed. You just keep writing.”
  • When your wife asks “How do I look?” before heading out to pastor, you have learned tactful ways to express that she looks good—but not too good, not sexy good—just regular pastor good–though you, of course, think she’s smokin’ hot under her pastor-appropriate attire.
  • Even if you are a dad, you have perfected the “mom look” to throw at your children when they are getting out of line during worship. Because it does not go over so well when your wife has to give the “mom look” from the pulpit.
  • “Defending your wife’s honor” is less about barroom brawls with drunk creeps and more about theological arguments with misogynistic church folks.
  • You amuse yourself by applying for the “Seminary Wives Institute” at a local Southern Baptist seminary, explaining that you are, in fact, married to a pastor and would love the opportunity to hear lectures from faculty wives and learn about biblical parenting.

Rev. Joanna Harader serves as pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, KS. (Where her husband is, in fact, a trustee and a Sunday School teacher–God bless him.)

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2 thoughts on “Wits’ Ends Day: You Might be a Rev. Gal Spouse If . . .

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