In distant days past, a pastor's spouse could take a course about how to minister as a spouse. The wife (as it was then) was seen as a vital partner and was expected to be a leader in the congregation. This role and responsibility was not taken lightly. And as a result, even today, being a spouse carries certain expectations about an active participation in the church ministry and outreach. While no one raises an eyebrow when Pat Doe isn't there on Sunday, if the pastor's spouse is not at church, you can bet that you will be a topic of after-church dinner conversation.
But despite changes in the church, we spouses are called to be ministers like everybody else in the congregation. We are all called to faithfully serve when we are baptized and become part of the priesthood of all believers. Many of us are laypeople and some of us are clergy; but we are all part of the local congregation.
So just putting up with a spouse who is always on call, really isn't enough to count as your ministry. Although I believe it should count a lot. As Christians, we are gifted and blessed with the Fruit of the Spirit. And when we stand before our Maker, we'll be asked to show our fruit. True, grace abounds and no one can earn their way into heaven, but I think God will be pleased with some of us more than others.
As the new school year begins and people head back to church, I hope you find new ways to serve. This coming Sunday, I'm doing some teacher training and I'm back teaching my Sunday School class again. I don't do these things because they are expected or because I have to. I do them because I'm called-- just like you too.