It’s funny to me how the atmosphere can change instantly when people find out you’re a pastor or a pastor’s wife. That look of “deer in the headlights” comes over some people and if there were a quotation bubble over their head it would read, “Oh crap, holy crap that is, I just cussed in front of the preacher and offered him a beer all in the same sentence!” This is usually followed by a running commentary of the wonderful things they have done in life to date.
Some people feel the need to list their family’s perfect church attendance history from their past life and share their off-the-charts charitable giving. Seems like somewhere along the line everyone’s Granddad’s Granddad was a preacher and so that comes out as well as other Christianly sounding credentials.
If the person had used any colorful language prior to the pastor/pastor’s wife coming out of the closet then it ceases immediately and there is awkward stumbling over words and a lack of eye contact. Many times the conversation ends with “see you at church on Sunday” even though they don’t have the slightest intention of coming to church. And it’s just all around strange.
Annnnnd this is why I don’t always introduce myself as a pastor’s wife immediately. To avoid the weirdness.
I watched a similar scenario go down recently as I got to know a woman over a few weeks. I really forgot about the whole pastor’s wife thing. I wasn’t trying to hide it from her, I just thought she knew. And when I referred to my husband preaching she got the glazed over look and said, “Your husband is the pastor?” I said, “Yeah, I thought you already knew that.” She said, “Uhhh nope. (hits herself in the forehead) Oh blankety blank. Oh wow. I can’t believe that. This whole time we’ve been talking and you just seem so normal and all.”
I thanked her because rarely am I ever called normal. Ha! She had a good nervous laugh and things were only slightly weird for a minute or two. Or so I think. I wondered if she suddenly thought she was a “project” or thought “oh, that explains the interest in me. You’re paid to do this kind of thing.” I don’t know. All I can do is just hope she knows my title as pastor’s wife doesn’t make me any different than the girl who sat and listened to her story because I was genuinely interested and concerned.
I love being a pastor’s wife and I don’t begrudge it for one second but I do hold back sharing my title as a PW in some cases for the sake of avoiding the weirdness and other times I just forget I am one. Because what matters most is who we are not what our position is.