A Pastor’s Thank You to His Wife

Sam Rainer

November 8, 2010

Dear Erin,

Few understand the pressures of being a pastor’s wife. Your life is more public than most. You receive more scrutiny than other church members. Many place higher expectations on you than anyone else in the church.

And you love the role. In fact, you thrive in it. Your gracious smile speaks more powerfully than the vast amount of words emanating from my mouth.

I’m learning from you, honey. Learning how to be a better pastor. Learning how to be a better husband. A man more like Jesus. I have no doubt God made you to be a pastor’s wife. But why He chose to bless me with you, I do not know. God gave you this desire for me that is without explanation. Your love for me is a picture of God’s grace in my life.

When we came to First Baptist, people chucked at what they believed to be humility when I told them, “You just wait till you get to know us—you will come to love my wife way more than me.” Many of them came to me a few months later and thanked me—not for my humility, but for my honesty.

Your godly character is filled with desirable traits. This letter only hints at the breadth of your beauty. Allow me to thank you for three characteristics that mean much to me, not only as your husband, but as your pastor.

Tact. You handle the pressure of a pastor’s wife like the skill of a master watchmaker. You understand the intricacies of what makes people tick—and what sets off their alarms. You balance the delicateness of all the relationships in the church, understanding how each gear turns another. I’m learning from you how to have tact in all my conversations.

Grace. God’s lavish grace shines through you as you manage the scrutiny of being a pastor’s wife. Though I do not tell you about every private matter in the church, I count on you to be my outlet for stress. Only God’s grace in your life explains how you can diffuse my ministry stress so that it does not become a problem in our household. Not only do you ease my burdens, you gracefully handle personal and unwarranted attacks on your name. When I want to punch a hole in the wall, you love others the way Christ loved. I’m learning about God’s grace through you.

Fortitude. You got guts, honey. You’ve got a fire about you that does not back down. You stand firm on the truths of scripture, and you live out the higher expectations placed upon you—but not because of what others may think. You live it for Jesus. You’re a godly, stubborn woman. If your smile speaks grace, then your eyes gleam gospel determination. I’m learning from you how to have a gospel-centered fortitude.

I love you, Erin. You make me want to live Ephesians 5:25 boldly.

2 comments on “A Pastor’s Thank You to His Wife”

  1. Rick Nelson says:

    Sam, thank you for being so transparent, honest, and truthful about your wife. All of us who have ever stood behind the sacred desk know the immense value of a great pastor’s wife. Make her, not the church, your primary focus after your relationship with God. You will never regret that you did.

  2. Thom Rainer says:

    You married well son. All of us Rainer men are thankful to God that he gave us better wives than we deserve. Erin is incredible. I am glad you allowed me to arrange that first blind date!

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