One of the unexpected developments of my life was marrying a pastor. I have many friends who are pastors, but I didn’t anticipate that my life’s journey would join with a gospel minister.
One of the things I feared before Mo and I got married was the label “pastor’s wife.” I love my husband, I respect his calling and work, and I do my best to support his ministry and help at our churches. But I didn’t like that my identity could potentially be summarized by my husband’s profession.
Thankfully, so far this has not rely been an issue. And I love my role so far. Nonetheless, in an interesting turn of events, Mo was able to experience this identity issue for himself.
While he was at camp meeting last week, he called one evening and told me, “People kept asking me, you’re the guy who’s married to the lawyer?”
I was a little shocked. They were asking him if he was the lawyer’s husband. “How did that make you feel?” I inquired.
“It didn’t make me feel different, because it’s you.” I understood that answer. I think I feel the same way about being the pastor’s wife.
Wondering how far the parallels may extend, I asked him if he thought people expected him to be a certain way because he is married to a lawyer. Mo thought about it for a little while and said he thought people would expect him to be intelligent, professional, rich, and maybe mean. I don’t know where he got mean from.
I wondered for myself what people may expect of him. All I could think is that they may expect him always be well dressed (he usually is anyways).
Finally, I asked if it was weird being identified not by something he does or is himself, but by someone else in his life. He said not really. His dad is a well known man, so he has been identified as his son for long time. “It’s a bridge,” he said, transitioning to being known as someone’s (even a lawyer’s) husband. All of this from the man who once said he would never marry a lawyer.
But it makes sense, right? Part of being married is being identified by your partner. That’s why some people change last names. So I think Mo is okay being known as the lawyer’s husband–and I’m glad to be known as the pastor’s wife.