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Why Are You Doing That?

“Are you doing that because you’re a pastor’s wife?” My mom was watching me pull a roast out of the oven after I barely caught the boiling pot of potatoes at their overflow point. A family in our church was in need of a meal and I was hurrying to finish when her question caught me off guard.

My mom hadn’t spent much time in close contact with any “Pastor’s Wives” until I became one. I’m putting that title in italics and caps because I think a lot of people tend to label pastor’s wives like a brand. I mean, think about it. Whenever I’m introduced to a total stranger by someone in my church, they typically introduce me as their “pastor’s wife.” How many times have you been introduced to another woman and the person introducing you said, “This is my plumber’s wife” or “This is my accountant’s wife”? You might find out that information later, but usually women aren’t introduced with their husband’s vocation as their label.

Don’t get me wrong. I really don’t mind being introduced that way. I LOVE being married to my pastor. He is my favorite! I get all the perks that come from living with a man who loves God’s Word and I eat it up when he shares what he’s studying or what God is teaching him. I love joining him in ministry and I’d rather be a “pastor’s wife” than anything else I could choose.

I LOVE IT!

But what I’m talking about is this idea that my label (“Pastor’s Wife”) comes with certain expectations from others, or more importantly, that the label determines what I do.  

When my mom asked if I was cooking a meal because I was the pastor’s wife, I turned to my mom and answered her with all sincerity . . . “No, I’m doing this because I’m a believer, and I want to serve a family who is hurting right now.”

I’ve learned though, that her question is a good heart-check for me. It was about twenty-five years ago that she asked me that and I’ve kept asking myself that same question through the years. It’s good for me to ask why.

No matter who you are it is a good question for us all to ask: Why am I doing what I’m doing?  

Why am I visiting this woman in the hospital?

Why am I teaching this class?

Why am I hosting this baby shower?

Why am I listening to this woman pour out her heart?

Why am I cooking another meal for a hurting family?

Am I doing this because it’s expected?

For praise?

For admiration?

To have the favor returned at some point?

Why am I doing what I’m doing?

Or what about these questions:

Would I be doing this if no one else knew?  

Would I serve the same way anonymously?

If I’m living for God’s glory as my purpose and loving Him and others as my motive, only then can I really serve in purity of heart. In order to do that, it helps to continually check my motives and to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

What about you?

Why are you doing what you’re doing today?