By Rodetta Cook

Rodetta Cook has been a pastor’s wife for over 40 years. She and her husband, Ron, have actively served the Lord together in ministry during the entire time and are co-founders of Care for Pastors. She understands the expectations, loneliness and how hard it is to find balance in ministry as a pastor’s wife. Rodetta also leads the pastor’s wives initiative at Care for Pastors called The Confidante and ministers to hundreds of wives each week. She strives to share blogs with other pastors’ wives that will help them in their ministry walk.

    Keep a Soft Heart While Being Thick-Skinned

    Monday, October 12, 2015

    I shared this with you back several months ago and it was so well received, I felt we needed to share it again. You don’t have to be in ministry very long to realize as a pastor’s wife you must become very “thick skinned.”

    I remember as a twenty-year old pastor’s wife sitting in one of our first business meetings hearing a deacon say to my husband, “The problem with you preacher, is you don’t have enough stripes on your back and it is up to us to put some on you.” And they proceeded to do so over the next three years.

    At that same church, when my husband asked the head deacon to step down because his wife had left him, just until they could work things out, all hell broke loose. He had another deacon say to him, “Preacher, you are probably right in your decision, but John has been my life-long friend and I am going to side with him.” Wow, where does the Bible and truth come in? Those were three very long years at that particular church, but we were determined to “grow through them” and not just “go through them.” However, I wouldn’t want to repeat them again.

    Through the 37 years of being a pastor’s wife, I have had some crazy and sometimes cruel things said to me, as I am sure you have as well. We just have to sit back and laugh at these things at times. I don’t think people think before they speak many times.

    Here are just a few of the things that stick out in my mind over the years:

    • Don’t you think it’s about time you start having children? You’re not getting any younger. (I was 25 at the time.)
    • That’s the gaudiest necklace I’ve ever seen.
    • Since you don’t have kids, you don’t have anything to do.
    • One of your husband’s pants legs is shorter than the other. Why don’t you fix that suit?
    • Do you ever wear the same clothes?
    • If you had children, you would understand life more.
    • During the greeting on a Sunday morning, a church member said to me, “You have a big dip in the back of your hair.” Like I was going to run to the bathroom and fix it!
    • Couples without children are not a complete family.

    The list could go on and on and I’m sure you could add several to the list also. My encouragement to you is, remember who you are serving and ask God to help you be gracious to people even when they may be unkind to you. Although we must be thick-skinned we need to keep a soft heart!

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