Confessions of a Pastor's Wife

If you've been following the blog at all this month, you've probably realized that I love the church. In fact, I've been on a little bit of a soapbox about how great it is. But lean in close, I want to tell you a little secret—I haven't always felt this way. In fact, there were many years where I didn't like the church much at all. Actually, to be quite honest, there were years when I downright hated the church.

Right after college I married my high school sweetheart. We were immediately thrown into full-time student ministry together in the church where my husband served as youth pastor. Church became a huge part of our lives. In fact, church became the biggest part of our lives. Sounds great, right? It wasn't.

In fact, it was very, very painful.

Ministry is messy. Relationships are even messier. Conflicts with fellow church members left me feeling deeply wounded and disillusioned. What's more, my husband was at the church working—a lot. It seemed that he was always gone in the name of ministry. I missed him. I was a new wife who wanted more time with her husband. And I blamed the church for the fact that we couldn't spend every night and weekend together in our new nest.

It wasn't long before a bitter root started to burrow in my heart. I started to resent the church. I resented our pastor. I resented the ministry I knew we were called to do. That bitterness and resentment soon turned into a critical spirit. Before long I disliked everything about our church. The worship started to get on my nerves. The sermons all sounded the same. My fellow church members felt more like enemies than my brothers and sisters in Christ.

But our church wasn't the problem. I was the problem. I needed God to do a new thing in my heart. I needed Him to give me His vision for the church. I needed to love her like He loves her. I needed God to change my heart.

That's exactly what He did.

Today, my husband is still a full-time youth pastor. He's still gone a lot. We still have occasional conflicts with church members that can be disappointing and painful. But my feelings about the church have totally changed. I don't hate the church. I don't even dislike the church. I love the church. Church didn't change, but my heart certainly has.

Why am I telling you this?

Because some of you are where I once was. Some of you have been deeply wounded by church members or church leadership and a bitter root is growing in your heart. Some of you just don't get what the fuss is about. You're not passionate about the church (and you're ready for me to move on to a new blog topic). For some of you, church is a place where you've felt more judged than loved. Some of you have walked away from the church altogether with no plans of going back.

Will you let God do a work in you? Will you let Him present the church, His bride, to you as He sees her, pure and blameless? Will you stop dating the church or hating the church or bashing the church and start loving her because He does?

Take it from a pastor's wife. You'll be forever glad that you did. 

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager for Revive Our Hearts, and a host of the Grounded videocast. You can hear her teach on The Deep Well with Erin Davis podcast.