&#160 This last week, on January 5, my lovely bride and I celebrated our 9th year of marriage (by the way, for those wondering, 9th anniversary gifts have histortically and traditionally been pottery and willow Olive Garden gift cards.)

&#160Even though she hates to be the center of attention, I thought, I would write her a poem this year; one that other pastor’s wives could appreciate. She will never know how grateful to God I am for her, as a wife, mother, and partner in ministry.

&#160Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

Tales have been told of great women of lore,
But let me tell one that’s ne’er been told before.
Please come and behold a most glorious creature,
She’s commonly known as “the wife of the preacher.”
This rare specimen who is beautiful, true,
Is sometimes forgotten and overlooked too.

On Sunday, the preacher’s in everyone’s sight.
Where’s she at? Behind him, well-dressed and polite.
She stands ‘neath her husband’s large shadow most days,
But he knows deep down that she’s earned piles of praise.
Nothing, oh nothing, would ever get done,
Of sermons and visits and church errand runs,
If she were not for him, each step of the way,
Supporting and praying by evening and day.

He is, for the people, a pastor and leader,
But she is, for him, his mind and soul-feeder.
The congregants laugh at his jokes, wit, and spunk,
But only she heard the ten jokes that plain stunk.
She helps edit sermons both little and much,
Providing the oft’ needed feminine touch.
She’s never intrusive but always concerned,
Her love and devotion continually burn.

His colorful tie is admired, no doubt.
But what they don’t know is that she picked it out.
That suit, oh, she bought it, the shoes and pants too.
She wants him to look good for Sunday’s debut.
She sits on the front row attentive and meek,
Pretending she hasn’t heard this stuff all week.
That morning, she straightens his collar and hair,
Yet nobody sees these expressions of care.

Knowing the rep that most preacher’s kids get,
She truly wants hers to obey and submit.
Her kids, used to church, run wild on a pew,
She frazzles a bit, but knows just what to do.
A small but firm pinch on their underarm fat,
Will get their attention while she has her chat.
This calms her kids down without making a scene,
She wonders how they’ll be at six- and eighteen.

Here’s something you probably never have known,
About the pastor’s own family and home.
Each Sunday, for her, is the single mom’s plight,
Her husband’s at work, from sun up ’till night.
She dresses and feeds all, for Bibles they search
Her husband can’t help, he’s already at church.
She doesn’t complain, nor gripe, nor stew
She knew this was coming when she said “I do.”
But ever so often, she wonders, no doubt,
What Sundays would be like if he could help out.

Some take her for granted, to this she’s resigned,
“It comes with the job”, she repeats in her mind.
Some days are like living in a house that is clear,
As everyone watches, some boo and some cheer.
She carefully measures her words that are said,
She knows that a wrong one comes back on his head.

He shepherds the people for all of his life,
Yet, the pastor’s own pastor is often his wife.
Whenever he comes home discouraged and down,
Then she is the one who tries not to frown.
“It’s time that we quit,” is what he’s determined,
That’s when she now preaches her own kind of sermon.
She gently but firmly reminds him of all,
The things that he said about ministry call.
“Some days will be tough, while some will be grand,
No matter the day, we must still hold His hand.”
Her hug and her kiss surely lightens his load,
However, she knows that there’s more on this road.

While some would exalt her in months like September,
She’d rather be known as a faithful church member.
There’s much more to cover, that time won’t allow,
So please just consider these final words now.
His sure sense of calling to God will not dim,
And neither does her sense of calling to him.
Their goal is to love Christ and church all their life,
The preacher, his children, and, oh yeah, his wife.