I’ve had this post in my heart for awhile, and it’s finally made it to the screen. (I won’t tell you how long it’s been hibernating in my website dashboard.) I’m posting this at the risk of being misunderstood; so I want to clarify that these thoughts are not meant to be self-serving in any way. Neither has any specific event, recent or far past, prompted this post. It is simply the result of almost 9 years of experiences in being a pastor’s wife and of talking with other pastor’s wives. Perhaps we are some of the most ‘mysterious’ women around, yet we are more normal than people realize. If you are a pastor’s wife, I hope this is an encouragement to you in your ministry. If you are not a pastor’s wife, I hope this post will help you understand your pastor’s wife better.
1. She is not perfect…at anything.
2. She is a normal woman, like you. She has emotions, hobbies, and dreams. She enjoys pursuing interests outside of church, just like you do.
3. She doesn’t have to attend every event or be on every committee to be a good pastor’s wife. Family comes first, and sometimes priorities have to be re-arranged.
4. When she has to confront an issue, it does not mean that she dislikes someone or that she thinks she is better than them. It means she has spent time in prayer and seeking Godly counsel on how to wisely handle the issue. It means she genuinely desires to see people grow in Christ-likeness.
5. While she is expected to have tough skin (and she does), criticism still hurts deeply. The decisions she makes (with her husband) are not thoughtless, selfish ones. They are decisions made through prayer for the good of the church as a whole, and with the future in mind.
6. She desires, like you, to have friends. However, she has to maintain boundaries in order to minister to many ladies. If she seems like she doesn’t want to be as close to you as you want to be to her, it isn’t because she doesn’t need friends. She just doesn’t want to hurt other women by doing so. Some of her best friends are other pastors’ wives. Let her nurture those relationships- they help keep her strengthened and refreshed.
7. When the phone rings at home, she always wonders (on the way to answer it) how that call will change her day…her life. She feels guilty to ever take the phone off the hook.
8. She often changes plans and gives up personal time with her husband because one of the flock needs the pastor. While she doesn’t mind doing this, she has adjusted to an “on call” feeling in the home, much like a doctor’s life.
9. She has kids just like yours. They aren’t perfect; they are normal.
10. She desires to have spiritual fellowship with other ladies (sharing answers to prayer, things God is teaching her, etc.) She does not want to appear “holier than thou”- she just wants to sharpen and be sharpened.
11. When a church member passes away, she grieves as if it were a family member. Assisting at the funeral of a church member is one of the hardest things she will ever do.
12. She has trials and struggles that are not church-related. She often bears those burdens alone, setting them aside to bear the burdens of her ladies.
13. When you take the time to encourage her and to be interested in her life, it means the world to her. She treasures the special notes, phone calls, and tokens of appreciation.
14. When you come to her with a problem that needs counseling, she aches with you. She feels honored to pray with you and to help you. She wishes she could push a button and make everything better. She prays constantly for your success.
15. She does not have a flawless walk with God. She strives to have a close relationship with God, but she is human and she does fail.
16. Sunday is not a day off. It is the busiest day of the week for the pastor’s family.
17. She strives to fulfill the expectations of God for her life. Yours and others’ expectations do not determine whether she is a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ pastor’s wife. If she is being/doing what God expects from her (whatever that may look like) then she is fulfilling her calling.
18.She is the pastor’s wife, not you. It is the calling of God, not a thirst for power. She doesn’t naturally enjoy being so visible and “up front” all the time. She does it by the grace of God.
19. She loves ministering to women- it is a passion, a drive. She would be miserable without ladies to reach out to. This is the heart God has given her.
20. She loves you. More than you know.
Pastors’ wives, do you need prayer support and encouragement? Join one of my private online Heart-to-Heart groups and find hope with other women who are walking the same road that you are walking. Click here to request to join!