Seven Inescapable Realities of Being A Pastor’s Wife

By Kathy Ferguson Litton

Flourish Featured Images.0171. Not everyone is going to like you.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked. Yet it cannot be the measure of our success or effectiveness. While many will give you “thumbs up” not all will.

2. Few people will be completely authentic in your presence.

Most of us want to just be “one of the girls” yet many will struggle to perceive us that way. They will be guarded, opaque and sometimes downright fake. Learn to accept this and again don’t take it personally. This is an outcome of misguided religion mixed with weak understanding of the gospel; it is really not about you.

3. The expectations of who/what you should be will be all over the spectrum.

“She’s too quiet.” “She talks too much.” We can’t live and die by conflicting expectations. Some of us play the piano and some of us play softball. Get comfortable in your own skin and listen to the Holy Spirit. Today we really do have a wide berth when it comes to letting us be who we are.

4. You are being watched and your kids are being watched.

Your husband tells a story about you in a sermon—eyes will find you, gauging your reaction. Your 4-year-old son punches someone in the middle of children’s choir concert—no one misses it or quits talking about it. (Ferguson family circa 1990). Develop a thick skin, a heart full of grace and if this goes way out of bounds in completely unhealthy way address it firmly.

5. Others will disappoint you.

We live in community with totally flawed people. They don’t sin because they are bad they sin because they are sinners. Sin is destructive and hurtful. You will see its effects often.

6. You will disappoint others.

That community mentioned above? We live in it as well. And we sin. We will lie, get angry and say things we shouldn’t, be jealous, selfish and spread gossip, etc., etc., and etc. Be prepared to know how deeply YOU need the gospel. Which makes us cling to His grace and to more freely give it to others. Confess and repent. Get familiar with that process.

7. Only God and His love will not fail you.

Learning that all other sources will fail you has been a life-long lesson for this woman. Even the sweet love of my youth died far too young. Only God will not fail. So make HIS love your anchor, your shelter, your security and your constant companion. He knows you best and loves you most.

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalms 143:8

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalms 36:7

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Psalms 90: 14

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Published June 2, 2014

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Kathy Ferguson Litton

Kathy lives in Mobile, Alabama, with her husband Ed, pastor of Redemption Church. Both lost former spouses in car accidents, and God uniquely gave them new love and life together in 2009. Kathy enjoyed 26 years of life and ministry alongside Rick Ferguson. She has three children and ten grandchildren. Presently she serves as Director of Planting Spouse Development.