Christian reflections · Family life

To the Pastor’s Husband on Father’s Day

Wilson Ellis-7

To the Pastor’s Husband,

Thank you for undertaking this journey – a journey that is fraught with both blessing and difficulty. Pastoring is an odd and wondrous calling, and the pastor’s husband is along for a wild ride indeed.

Thank you for all the long hours you supported us during seminary. Thank you for listening to rants about Hebrew, jubilation about preaching, and too many poorly-thought-out pontifications about theology.

Thank you for standing proudly beside us at graduation and smiling through dozens of photographs. Thank you for saying, “I knew you could do it all along!” and meaning it.

Thank you for walking the nerve-wracking road to our first church call with us. For flying in for interviews and holding our hand on the plane. For buying us a trashy People magazine to help take the edge off our nerves. For helping us remember names of dozens of new people. For calming us down. For reminding us that this was all in God’s hands.

Thank you for celebrating our call to a church. For praying over the decision with us. For making the decision together with us. For sacrificing things willingly and graciously so that we could pursue God’s call and our dreams together.

Thank you for walking through the glorious and mundane aspects of ministry with us. For reading many a sermon that “just won’t come together!” late on a Saturday night.

Speaking of Saturday night, thank you for riding out the wave of crankiness that inevitably comes on a Saturday night when we are trying to remember all eleven-thousand things that need to be done before, during, or after the next day’s worship service. Thank you for eventually telling us, gently but firmly, that we should probably just go to bed. That our God is the Lord of the Sabbath, and will be Lord over this next one, too.

Thank you for getting breakfast together and lunch, too (and often dinner!) on Sunday, to make sure that we are fed and watered.

Thank you for putting coffee in our hands as we run out the door to church. Thank you for always using the extra large travel mug.

Thank you for having our backs on Sundays in a thousand ways. For always wearing a smile of reassurance when we look up mid-sermon, unsure of how our delivery is going. For always saying first, “It went great,” when we ask. (Even when it really didn’t, and we both know it.) For giving constructive criticism later, to help us write more clearly, speak more eloquently, and preach more boldly.

Thank you for managing the kid(s) all day on Sunday while we preach, teach, and go out on visits. Thank you for doing this with understanding, grace, and joy, even when Sundays involve blow-out diapers, colic, head colds, or the stomach flu.

Thank you for being man enough to handle the pastor’s husband jokes.

Thank you for the grace you extend to us when our career trumps your own because of a late-night hospital visit, a last-minute church emergency, or a larger-than-life personality.

Thank you for graciously filling in at the last minute when we need a greeter or a lay reader or someone to run the sound room. Thank you for sometimes saying “no” to these requests, and reminding us that boundaries–for you and for us–are important.

Thank you for looking us in the eye when we doubt ourselves, our skills, or our calling, and reminding us that God has called us here, to this place, and that he will give us all we need for each new day.

Thank you for telling us that we are good at what we do.

Thank you for being our husbands – those who knew us before ministry, will see us through ministry, and will be there every day, whether we fail or succeed, whether we are sinners or saints.

Thank you for still believing in Jesus through it all. For still believing in us.

To this particular pastor’s husband – I love you! Happy first Father’s Day!

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