Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Now that we are in a church where my husband is the only pastor, I am discovering a new burr in my pastor's wife vest: every sermon and every Bible class comes with baggage. I often know what happened this week that inspired the particular angle he takes on the scripture reading. Sometimes he's funny or off-beat and other people think he is so witty and I think I've heard this story/joke a dozen times before.

It's like being at a dinner party where your spouse is amusing and surprising everyone else and it's old hat to you. A dinner party every Sunday morning. He is funny and smart and witty. I'm glad other people appreciate his creativity. But some days I am very aware of the drawbacks to being married to the preacher.

Do any of you pw's have the same feeling?


  1. I sometimes wish I didn't know my husband's theology so well. Most of the time I never learn anything from his sermons because I already know what he thinks about the text.

  2. It is an interesting thing for us PWs! However, I know there are many times when I know he's really struggled with a passage or subject matter and when I hear the finished product and see the affect it's had on the congregation it makes me so proud of him! But, there are times when it's hard to come away thinking I've learned something. I do understand!

  3. For a different perspective:

    Do you guys mind hearing the same Bible passages over and over? Do you cherish learning a hymn by heart, or singing the canticles of the prayer offices over and over? The point of a sermon is not to teach you something (in an intellectual sense) but to kill the Old Adam and to lay Jesus upon the heart. Personally, I can listen to the same sermon over and over.

    IF the sermon is a lecture, if the sermon is about head-knowledge or motivation, if the sermon is a series of stories, then it's going to seem "old" if you hear those bits repeatedly. But if the sermon is about the forgiveness of sins where you hurt, where you fail, where you don't measure up, then it's sweet even if you've heard it before umpteen gazillion times. As my pastor says, we already "know" that our spouse (or parents or best friend or whatever) loves us, but we don't tire of hearing it. The relationship is built by hearing those words of love again and again. That's what a sermon is.

  4. What thoughtful responses! Thank you.

    I know what you mean, Susan. I love repetition that causes me to think about God's love again. When I wrote this post, I was thinking about how, in the last several months, some part of the worship or Bible class has caused me to think of the trauma we moved away from. That my husband is teaching magnifies the effect of thinking about our recent history. I wonder if he is also thinking about it; whether it is painful for him to preach or teach that particular message. That's baggage that only he and I tote on Sunday morning.

  5. What the pastors endure day-to-day certainly affects what they preach. But I've also noticed that the anfechtung that plagues them causes them to need Jesus in a way that sweetens their preaching, and that brings blessing even to those who don't come to listen with the baggage that you know is prompting the preaching.

    And yeah, what I said does not at all lessen the pain and the poignancy of what's being preached.


Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.