When I think of the privileges I have as a pastor's wife, I am grateful to God for the opportunities He grants me to serve Him. Nevertheless, I also know that along with those privileges come serious responsibilities. The brethren always expect more from me. A smile, a word of encouragement, a cheerful greeting. I try not to disappoint them even though my nature is a shy one. I try to be kind to everyone and show no favoritism to any in the church. There arc times when certain brethren offer to do or give me something. Though I may benefit from such gifts, I always refuse. I feel I would be abusing my position.
The verse found in Matthew 20: 28 comes to mind: "For the Son of man didn't come to be served but to serve." I think it is a beautiful thing to be a leader, but we must learn to be like Jesus in His ministry. He was always ready to serve. He dedicated His life entirely to serving humanity.
An experienced colleague and were once talking and she told me she had a small business. She sold fruit. I asked where she got her fruit. She said she would frequently visit the brethren who had fruit farms and because she was the "pastor's wife," they would give her the fruit or sell it to her at a very low cost. Her story made an impact on me. wondered if what she was doing was right.
I have noticed that in the Seventh-day Adventist colleges there is an abundance of pastors' wives in teaching positions. I have often wondered if many hold their positions because of their intellectual capabilities or because they are pastors' wives. Is their interest to serve because of their experience and capability or are they employed because of their husbands' positions?
As a young pastor's wife, I noticed some of my more mature colleagues in the ministry would often ask favors from the brethren for one thing or another, It seemed to me they were taking advantage of their positions. Soon they discovered the ability God had given me for manual crafts, so it didn't take long for them to ask me to do some of their "work" while they rested from their "labors." I remember asking myself what they had done to deserve those favors? Did being pastors' wives allow them to take advantage of others?
Such an attitude contrasts with Jesus, who said, "But made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even death of the cross" (Philipians 2:7, 8). As pastors' wives, we must take heed and be like Jesus. We should not take advantage of our positions and expect our brethren to bestow undeserved gifts on us. Instead, we should bestow our gifts unto them. We should share our time and talents with them. We should remember what our Lord said, "It is better to give than to receive."
Dear sisters, dear pastoral wives, I encourage you to imitate the example of the greatest of all servants, Jesus Christ, our King. Be a giver, not a taker.