Thinking Out Loud

January 22, 2016

The Pastor’s Wife as “The First Lady”

First Lady ParkingIt’s spreading like a virus. Calling the wife of the senior pastor “The First Lady.” I think it may have had its beginnings in the African-American church, but it is no longer limited to those congregations. Where did this nonsense come from? Well, I looked it up and there it was:

II Amendations 4:3 The wife of the pastor shall be given a place of honor, for she is more special than the other women of the church. 4 She shall be called The First Lady, and everyone shall bless her. 5 She shall be seated on the front row of the assembly, unless that church has a balcony, in which case she shall sit on the front row there if it is her preference. 6 And if it is the case that she drives to church separately, she shall be given a reserved parking spot, it will be next to her husband’s, and this place shall be indicated by a sign which states, ‘Reserved for The First Lady.’ 7 And the pastor shall make reference to her during his sermon, and if it does not suit the text, he shall refer to her during the announcements.8 And if that service is televised, the cameras shall cut away to a shot of her smiling and shall linger there if she is especially telegenic.

9 Upon her arrival at the house of worship, the women of the church shall take care of her children so that she need not be concerned for them, for they are pastor’s kids and not particularly well-behaved. 10 She shall be exempted from the requirements of the other women, she shall not be asked to bake cookies, serve in the kitchen or the nursery, or make sandwiches for funerals. 11 She shall be permitted to be clothed lavishly, as she is an example to the other women of the church; with fine fabrics and gold jewelry shall she be dressed. 12 The congregation shall shower her with Ministry Appreciation cards on a regular basis as well as small gifts,  13 for she continually must attend to the needs of her husband whose schedule is hectic and whose life is filled with stress. 14 And she shall preach on Mother’s Day; for this expectation she is not to be exempted, even if speaking is not her particular gift.

2 Comments »

  1. Oh! Well there it is, quite Scriptural (after a fashion). I’ve been wondering too. Never was a fan of the idea other than I get that it’s a courtesy to honor your pastor’s wife, who likely makes a great many unseen sacrifices so your pastor can focus on and do the work of ministry.
    We can and should treat our spiritual leaders well. I worry when it becomes a sort of expectation or near-demand, like a rock star’s lists of requirements before they arrive.
    “10,000 green M&Ms. ONLY the green ones. To symbolize spiritual growth of course.”

    Comment by sonworshiper — January 22, 2016 @ 9:11 am

  2. Yup. Another that merits the tag ‘pinnacle of absurdity’. ..*facepalm* Oy!

    Comment by Jesus Wins — January 25, 2016 @ 6:20 am


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