Can Pastor’s Wives Have Close Relationships In The Church?
I get this question all of the time and not just by other pastor’s wives. I also get this question from inquiring minds who want to know if I have close friends in my church. I mean is the pastor’s wife supposed to be close to people in her church? Should she keep her distance? Is everyone just an acquaintance? The answer is yes and no. Yes I have close friends in my church but I also have close friends who do not go to my church. Yes you go deep with some and no you can’t possibly be a good friend to everyone.
Now, let me just say that most pastor’s wives are pretty distant in my opinion. Why? Because some have been taught that it is wrong to open up to any members of the “flock” and others are just afraid to get burned because they have in the past. They don’t want to feel vulnerable. To me a real friendship is not real friendship unless vulnerability is present. I say that not to give you the impression that I started this journey an open book or that my name is Mrs. Vulnerability. It has been a process as I have realized what I have missed out on by not going deep with a few, close friends. I am still processing through this and learning how great it is to have people in my life whom I know will uphold my trust.
So what is the deal with me and my friends? Well, God has sent some really cool ladies into my life and we have a bond that is very strong. We have the maturity to serve God together, grow together and when my pastor hat is on, they get it. You see, I am always a pastor but sometimes my friends just want me to listen, not give them counsel. They need me to love them and just be there for them. At times I find myself wanting to ask, “now do you want the pastor answer or the friend answer?” They usually let me know although the answer to the question might only vary slightly. I also realize that they have just as many vulnerability issues as I do. I mean they have to navigate being my friend at the same time as me being one of their pastors. So, it is not all on me, they have some waters to navigate too and some fears to conquer. But, it is worth it. At least I would hope they would say that!
I have seen a lot of lonely pastor’s wives. I have even been lonely at times but it was out of fear. It was not some holy tribulation that I was suffering because of what my calling in life is. Sure I have to be careful whom I let into my inner circle but don’t you? We all can make the choice to hide and isolate ourselves or we can choose to love and have what heaven is really all about, relationships. Those are all I will take with me, wonderful, terrific, super people!
Hope this meant something to you. Let me know if you have any questions!!!
P.S. If your pastor’s wife seems to be in a shell and withdrawn, please do not go up to her and tell her that you are going to be her friend and be there for her like nobody ever has before. She has probably been told that 1,000 times. Just show her by loving her. Your actions will have a far greater impact. She will come out if she feels safe with you, not by your words.