Have you ever said, “I can’t do this any more?” If you have been in the ministry for very long, the chances are, you have. Maybe you haven’t vocalized the words, but you’ve thought them.
Pain is something we all face. The old saying, “Hurting people hurt people” is so true. Our church is a gathering place for the hurting and the broken. No wonder we’ve all been the brunt of a hurting person’s words or actions.
Many times people will take their hurt out on you. It’s not because you are a bad pastor’s wife, it’s simply because you are there. I used to say, “I think I wear a flashing sign on my forehead that says, ‘Tell me what you really think.'” If we are going to be pastors’ wives that don’t fall apart emotionally every time someone says or does something hurtful, then we’ve got to put on our big girl pants and refuse to own their pain.
So how do we do that? First, make sure you are staying close to Jesus through prayer and studying the Word, because that’s where we gain wisdom and strength. Second, find another pastor’s wife or close godly friend that you trust and share your thoughts and feelings with her. Make sure it’s someone who will be able to encourage you and help you see the bigger picture and preferably someone who isn’t in your church.
You are not a door mat for everyone to wipe their feet on. Don’t allow people to walk all over you. I’ve often said, “We teach people how to treat us.” I don’t know who originated this saying, but I’ve found it to be true. Did you notice a couple of paragraphs above I stated “How I use to say”? Well…I don’t expect people to tell me off any more. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen again, but I don’t walk around expecting it now.
Through prayer, sometimes even on the fly, God has shown me how to deal with rude or hurtful comments such as, “You walked right passed me and didn’t even speak to me.” I simply respond in a sweet voice, “Oh my goodness, when I walked passed you, you didn’t speak to me?” It’s amazing the response I’ve gotten when I say this. Usually it’s a little chuckle, and then I say, “Oh sweet friend, I would never purposely ignore you, but it goes both ways, doesn’t it?”
I love the last part of the old saying, “Hurting people hurt people, but healed people heal people.”
If you are still carrying past hurts and need healing, strongly consider seeking godly counsel. The best way we can be a healer is to be healed ourselves. Going to a Christian therapist can help you deal with the pain in your past so that you can be that amazing woman of God you are called to be.
In the video below, Carol shares about a time in her life when she felt enough was enough. She tells about why she and her husband walked away from the ministry and how God brought healing and wholeness to their family.
Encouragement from God’s Word: Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
What advice would you give a pastor’s wife that’s been hurt by a church member?
In the first interview with Carol we talked about the book Toxic Soul. This book helped to bring healing to Carol and Jay. I have personally read the book and highly recommend it to all ministry couples.
Toxic Soul can be found here:
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