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I know I don’t fit the mold, but I am lost. Where do I fit?

I have the great pleasure of being a pastor’s husband. Though my transition into this role has been seamless, sometimes I can only laugh at the humorous moments that come only with being a pastor’s husband.

“Nontraditional career” is a term sometimes used for people of one gender entering a career predominantly held by another gender. Examples include men going into nursing or women becoming pastors. People who choose nontraditional careers have to face some biases and stereotypes, so support groups can be found on Facebook for seemingly every such career— except for one. 

What about the husbands of pastors? Seriously: what about me? I need support. There are pastors’ wives support groups. What is there for husbands? 

When someone visits a male pastor at his house, they will compliment his wife on how great her flowers look, but not once has anyone told me how straight my lawnmower lines are. Other wives will bring the pastor’s wife a pie or other baked goods, but no one has ever brought me a 10-pound brisket to smoke. I know I don’t fit the mold, but I am lost. Where do I fit? I know I can’t sing or play the piano like many a pastor’s spouse, but I do have feelings. I just want to be seen.  

Let me share with you one example of the real struggle of being a pastor’s husband. 

Late last summer, one of the area pastors hosted a cookout at his house for 15 other pastors and their spouses. We arrived fashionably late and entered the house. I walked into the kitchen to drop off the dessert and froze. I literally froze. All the other pastors’ spouses—all women—were in the dining room talking about volunteer opportunities at the local Christian school. All the pastors were on the deck talking about upcoming classis meetings. I didn’t know where I belonged, and I still don’t. Am I allowed to hang with the pastors even though I am not one, or should I stay with the spouses—the only man in a group of women?

My concern is real, but I also tell this story with tongue in cheek. I truly relish my role as a pastor’s husband. I love watching my wife flourish in her position. I actually enjoy being able to prepare meals for her and hear about her day. But the best part of being a pastor’s husband (or wife) is watching God use our spouses to God’s glory and knowing that we can quietly do the little things to support their works.

But I’m telling you: as a pastor’s husband, the struggle is real!

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