20 Things Every Pastor’s Wife Wants You To Know About Her

20 Things Every Pastor’s Wife Wants You To Know About Her

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. Because she needs to minister to many ladies and keep many confidences, it may seem at times like she doesn’t want to be as close to you as you want to be to her. But like you, she desires to have close friends. She is honored and blessed if you take the time to get to know her and become a trusted friend to her. In addition, 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. Send me a message {go to the “connect with me” tab up in the menu bar} and request to join a group!

About Leah {Embracing Grace}

Leah Highfill accepted Christ as her Saviour and became a child of God at the age of 18. Originally from the USA, she and her husband moved to the mission field of Canada in 2005, where she served in full time ministry as a pastor's wife for the nearly 10 years. Leah and her family recently returned to NC and are currently enjoying a much needed sabbatical for the year of 2015. She homeschools her children and teaches private piano lessons on the side. She can be found reading, writing/blogging, playing the piano and violin, or ice skating. A friend to ministry wives everywhere, Leah has a passion to inspire hope and to encourage women in their walk with God. Her first book, Expecting Grace, was published in 2013. Expecting Grace is the story of Leah's experience and survival of a life threatening pregnancy, and of many medical and financial miracles along the way. Her second book is currently in utero. :) Join her grace-filled journey right here at Embracing Grace!


  1. Fina Nickerson :

    Well said Leah. You are a delight.
    I am not a Pastor’s wife, but I know enough that Pastor’s wife is human just like us.
    She doesnt process super power, she struggles at times just like any woman does.
    We shouldnt expect more from her than what we would from ourselves. Her kids
    do not have to be perfect, they need to have fun just like any other kids.
    All we should expect from a Pastor’s wife is “She does the best she knows how, not
    perfect, and she looks to Christ for guidance.” Love you Pastor’s wife

  2. So true and so good.

    • marilee matz :

      Although I am not a Pastor’s wife I am the wife of a PK.I lived in my in laws home when my husband was in the service. I saw many tears from my mother in law who was 100% sold out to her God , husband and church family. she would answer the phone be thfirst to hear the good or bad news. She cried a lot prayed more. she raised 4 children , cooked, cleaned just like other home makers .In addition to dealing with upset ladies , who were dealing with sickness, death and family problems . All this she keep in her heart while always trying to console all ladies. and yes there were problems between ladies too .I have the greatest respect for her and loved her a lot.
      I use this as a guide line how I treat our Pastor’s wife , who is a jewel .
      I think you have phrased this beautifully.
      It was my pleasure to know you , your sister and brother as children and see how you all have grown to be such good Christians.
      Bless you and your family .Look forward seeing again

    • Thanks, Lauren. You are a sweet pastor’s wife!
      Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

  3. Thank you for posting this. I have been an Assistant Pastor’s Wife for almost 2 years now but I still feel like I am searching blindly for “my place.” This was a tremendous encouragement to my heart to know I’m not alone in these feelings of often being misunderstood. Thank you again!

  4. Valerie Anders :

    Hi Leah,
    We’ve never met, except through FB. But I know your husband…I was one of his teachers at Wilmington Christian Academy. I loved this blog and I am sharing it with my daughter, Jane, who is also a pastor’s wife. It expresses so well some of the same challenges and joy that she has in her “work” as a her husband’s helpmate.

  5. Thank you for writing this, Leah! We’re still trying to figure out #3, especially since my husband works a more than full-time job. What a difficult balance! I hope to see you Thursday at the p and w fellowship, bring on #6!! :)
    Krystle recently posted..Fear and Faith Can’t Live TogetherMy Profile

  6. Thank you Leah for posting this. So very true, although even more so for the senior pastors wife, but very much the same for the assistants too.
    We do care so much for the people in our church. Probably more then they will ever know.
    God bless!

  7. Thank you for the encouraging post. You might also like “Expectations of a Pastor’s Wife” http://tomyladies.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/to-my-ladies/

  8. Although, I enjoyed this article, I feel you might have solely pegged a pastor’s spouse as only ministry in serving women or solely being involved in women’s ministry. We need to recognize that the pastor’s spouse does serve in many other ways then women’s ministry, music ministry and children’s ministry.

  9. Linda Williams :

    I am a pastors wife who can say….it’s true, it’s all true, how I long for prayers and understanding, how I wish I could say, my heart is breaking, to have someone in the flesh I could be totally honest with, someone I could lay my weary head and heart and know it is all going to be alright….just not yet :(

  10. I am not a pastors wife but my wife is a pastor. But if I change the she to a he this works for me also. Thanks for sharing with us .

  11. Melanie Lynn :

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I know that much prayer went into it. It was said in the comments above that there are so many areas in which a pastor’s wife serves as for me it is usually with the children in junior church and nursery. I would absolutely love to have have more of #6. And so true about #’s 1, 2, 5 and so on…

    • Oh my…I prayed so much about this. And had my husband review the wording. :) I prayed that it would be a blessing, but I never dreamed how much. It’s all of God!! Yes, pastor’s wives wear many hats….and there were more things I could have added, but I thought 20 was sufficient…maybe another day after I recover from this one. haha
      Leah recently posted..From My Heart: Every Wall Has A DoorMy Profile

  12. Thanks for taking the time (and incubating the post) to write this. After more than 30 years in ministry, I simply say, “Amen.” In my case, I’ve also been working outside the home for most of those 30 years. God knew this was how it would all have to balance, and I rejoice in His will. But that definitely added some challenges to these, too. :-) You are, obviously, a blessing to many. Thank you for blessing me.

  13. I have often wondered how it works when a married man is called to ministry, especially as a pastor. Does God always call the wife to be a pastor’s wife because I’ve been around some pastor’s wives and they certainly don’t “seem” to have a calling.

    • Glynn, good question! But I’m not sure that I have the answer! I have heard some pastor’s wives say “My husband is the pastor, but I’m not the pastor’s wife.” I think I understand what they are trying to say- perhaps that their first responsibility is to be a wife to their husband, and not ‘the pastor’s wife’. I also know that there are some who wish their husbands did something else because of the pressures. I’m sure we can certainly relate with these feelings at times, yet with this calling comes some responsibilities of Godliness that we can’t ignore. Thank you for your insight and for prompting me to ponder this!
      Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

      • I loved your article! It is so true. I believe that a Pastor’s wife has a calling as well as her husband. I have been a Pastor’s wife for 20 years and my husband was on staff as Youth Pastor at our current Church and the one we moved from when called here. I do believe we have to be careful to keep our priorities in order…God first, husband, then children, and then everything else. God has given each of us different Spiritual gifts to be used for His glory. I don’t believe I received a “calling” identical to my husband’s, but we are in this ministry together. I don’t teach piano, but am the pianist and am involved in the music ministry and teach a Ladies S/S class as well, but only because it is because that is what God has led me to do , not just because my husband is Pastor. I have seen examples of Pastor’s wives who consider the ministry as only their husband’s and it definitely harms the ministry and their marriage relationship in every case. The Bible tells us that when we marry, we become as one. We are to be our husband’s help meet in every area of our lives. I used to be an introvert and would never have dreamed that I would be doing the things that I am and loving it! “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” I hope this has helped in at least some small way. I can’t give a specific verse of Scripture to back this up, but I believe when God calls a husband into any ministry, He also gives the wife a “burden” for and interest in that ministry. I have heard this from numerous missionary wives as well and the flip side also applies. Missionaries have had to leave the field and Pastors have had to resign because of wives whose hearts were not in the ministry in which their husbands were called and that is heartbreaking.

        • Sharon, I absolutely agree!! Thank you for your thoughts. The pastor and his wife do indeed have to be a team or there are problems. There have been a very few times when I felt that I didn’t want to embrace the life of a pastor’s wife (usually b/c of drama or deep trials). I have always prayed in those times that God would renew my desire for the ministry, and God has always answered and restored my soul. I, too, am an introvert at heart but I work hard at overcoming my quiet tendencies. God gives abundant grace and I am doing many things I would have never seen myself doing! And yes, I’ve seen pastors’ families leave churches because the wife was not on board.
          Thanks again, Sharon, for your insight. God bless you!
          Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

  14. Beautifully said :) I have been a pastor’s wife for 15 years. I love my life and what God has called our family to. May God bless!

  15. Came across this from Facebook. :) Pastor’s wife of almost 11 years! Love it for it’s ups and downs. I have to admit that I am at an incredible loss when it comes to ministering to ladies in a group. I hope and pray I do ok on an individual basis. Any tips? I’ll browse your blog a little.
    The thing that was the most exciting for me was seeing that you teach piano on the side! I teach too! Pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom and piano teacher all rolled into one, that’s me. :)

    • Shannon, ministering to a group is not my strong point either. I’m an introvert, so I prefer one-on-one….unless, of course, it’s through writing. Then I don’t mind the size of the group. :)
      So neat that we have so much in common! :) I consider it a great blessing to be able to teach piano from home and to homeschool. Of course it’s challenging some days, but it really is a gift. I limit my number of piano students (turned some down this year) so that I can keep my priorities in order. Blessings to you- so nice to ‘meet’ you in this place.
      Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

  16. Susan hageman :

    Beautifully written! Thank you for clearly and kindly expressing so many pastor-wife truths. What a unique situation it is, but a privilege and honor. We have a responsibility to first do no harm, which can be a challenge in overcoming our human tendencies and to let God lead and empower our thoughts, words, and deeds. I pray for more of us to reach higher toward Him to be effective for his kingdom. I’d love to see pastor’s spouses be known as spiritual leaders, mature in faith, kind and loving and wise for the sake of all. Blessings! Thank you!

    • Susan, I was scared to death to post it, but I knew I had prayed over it much and I released it to be a blessing. I’ve been shocked at how apparently needed it was all over the world. Thank you for your words of wisdom concerning our calling- you obviously have a good grasp on God’s true expectations of a pastor’s wife! Blessings to you as well!
      Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

  17. Leah,

    While I am not a Pastor’s wife, I love my Pastor’s wife deeply. She has been my good friend for several years before she became Pastor’s wife of the church. I knew all of these things, but your post reminded me and made me appreciate her all the more. I’m going to share it with the church and God bless you for sharing your thoughts. They were so very good and God knew that some of us needed to hear them.

  18. This is so great… My most recent post was incredibly similar!! Really confirms that the things I have learned about my position God has placed me in is not a place of isolation… Other Pastor’s wives are there with me! I’m so thankful for the growth I’ve experienced, and the grace of God I’m able to drink from daily. Leah thanks for being a real-life Pastor’s wife!
    Shonda Kuehl
    Pastor’s Wife @Breton Road Baptist Church
    Kentwood, Mi

  19. Lisa Carmichael :

    What a wonderful article! I just happen to see it on a friend’s FB newsfeed. I’ve been a Pastor’s wife for many years and your points are so true. I am going to “like” your page so that I can continue to read your articles. Thank you and God bless. <3

  20. I am a pastor’s wife of a new baby Baptist church plant…this is SO good! Even though I have only been at it for a year and a half, this list is spot on!

  21. …and you delete comments that don’t praise you. Truly ‘holier than thou’ attitude. So great to see someone like you in a “chosen by The Almighty” position.

    • I’m sorry I offended you. I deleted it first because it was not kind, and second because I wasn’t even sure if it was a real person, judging by the name and the website that is not valid. You are, of course, free to disagree with me. If you read carefully the context of the point that offended you, you may see that my tone is not hateful, but rather truthful as reflects what pastor’s wives face. I am sorry for whatever you have faced that has caused you pain. I did not mean to add to that. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts!

  22. Hi, Leah! My sister-in-law (a friend of yours from high school) shared this post on Facebook. I really appreciate your posting it — and I know what a challenge it was for you to write and post it. (It’s funny, my husband is a pastor but is not currently pastoring, and I thought it would be a good time for me to post something about how to encourage your pastor since perhaps it wouldn’t appear self-serving.) The words you shared were so important. I think it is difficult for those outside of the pastor’s home to pick up on many of these things on their own. Thanks so much for sharing — and I’m so glad Lora introduced me to your blog!
    Suzanne @ Princapecos recently posted..What’s new: a ministry update!My Profile

    • Oops… just reread what my sister-in-law posted on Facebook — it was a friend of hers who reposted this there. Oh, well, however it happened, all of my other remarks still apply! :-)
      Suzanne @ Princapecos recently posted..What’s new: a ministry update!My Profile

    • Hi Suzanne! Thanks for your sweet comments. Yes, it was a hard one to write, since I wanted it to come across the right way. It was bathed in prayer for a long time before it made it to the screen. I’m in awe of how God has spread it around the world and the web. That tells me that it is meeting a need. I’ve been in an interim time between ministries as well, and it’s interesting how you just never “get over” having a pastor’s wife heart- it’s just who we are. :)
      Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

  23. This post was a blessing to read, and I shared it on facebook. It’s hard to get that balance right, making a distinction between family and ministry. I consider myself to be called, not to the church, but to my husband, to support his calling and help him in it. That means he needs home support, child care and homeschooling support, and in this ministry, someone to help in the music, nursery, children’s church, and cleaning detail, as well as watching over the woman’s ministry in a personal way that he can’t. There will always be people who think a pastor’s wife is a co-pastor who should do all the business and run the ministries of the church, (help us!) and those who resent any leadership on her part at all. She has to make the decision along the way whether or not she’s going to keep loving people and letting them get close, even though she’s going to be judged unfairly. I’ve never known a pastor’s wife who didn’t have to make that decision. Thank God we are only called to serve Him! Thank you for sharing your heart!

    • Sarah, you are so right about having to always make that choice to forgive and to love again even after hurt. I’m so glad that God does that with us! It is a constant choice to open our arms and minister…harder with those who don’t want to let us minister. With #6 I simply meant that we can’t have some ladies that we let get closer (as in, ‘chummy’) than others because it causes hurt and often jealousy. It’s a delicate balance for sure! Thank you so much for your comments. God bless you in your ministry- it sounds like a busy one! :)
      Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

  24. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I am also a pastor’s wife and I am honored to serve God in this capacity. Though, as you so eloquently wrote, there are moments when it can be incredibly challenging. :) Again, thank you for sharing. You have been a great encouragement to me. I would love to repost this if you don’t mind.

    • Lindsay, yes it is an honor to be a shepherd’s wife! Also a challenge, but I’m so thankful for grace!! I’m so glad the article was a blessing. Regarding reposting, because the article is still viral around the world, I had to install a copy protect. I prefer that the article remain here on my website. You are, however, free to link people to the article through your blog, and of course you can print it off as long as the website name is on it somewhere. I never dreamed it would have this response, so it is obviously meeting a need. :) Blessings to you as you minister!!
      Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

  25. I than you for this, it’s my heart and you said all we are wrapped into one. Until recently I was the only pastors wife at our church of 3 pastors. Now we have a 2nd with the new 3rd pastor that has come. I feel so much better now. I sit in front and don’t look around to much. I feel like i’m in the spot light others talk about you, stare etc. I love my church with all my heart and do all I can for every need I can meet and often my needs are always last. But God put His needs last and put ours first when He sent His son. I didn’t set out to be a pastors wife at all. But God chose me as a servant to Him and his preacher and this I am humbled He could have chosen anyone to take care of the preacher but He chose me. I will not take this for granted I will serve my husband through Christ in all I can and the church. In this way I am serving God. Bless you

    • Yes, there’s definitely more ‘security’ when there’s more than one pastor/wife. Teamwork is great! You have a sweet attitude about serving with your husband- it certainly is a call of God. I’m like you- I never saw myself as a pastor’s wife, but I’m so glad God chose it for me. What an honor to be able to serve others in this way! Thanks so much for your input!
      Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

  26. I’m not a pastor’s wife, but the title of PW is not in scripture. The congregation must understand this and not put unnessesary pressure on a pastor’s wife. She needs to exercise her gifts just like any other church member and refrain from exercising authority unless God specifically calls her to do so. What concerns me that there is a “First Lady” status on a wife of a pastor and it can cause pride in her heart or it can become a terrible burden. She should be able to choose her friends in her church and not pay attention to anyone who is envious. Her focus is to be a helper to her husband.

    • AMEN! Denise 100% spot on! It gives us instructions for how the leaders wives of the church are to conduct them self. No title needed and I find those self pride titles as revolting just call me Carisa- servant of God, husband and ministry~
      Carisa recently posted..dramaticMy Profile

    • Denise, thank you for your thoughts! I have often pondered the fact that a pastor’s wife is not mentioned in Scripture. I consider the pastor’s qualifications (as listed in Scripture) to be applicable to the wives as well (the ones that apply to females, of course :)). And it would be wonderful if everyone viewed it as you do! I don’t think that the ‘first lady status’ mentality comes from the pastor’s wives- it often comes from the churches in general who DO place unrealistic expectations on pastor’s wives. In society, pastor’s and wives are considered to be professionals, and as such, a certain code of conduct is expected. With that often comes misunderstanding of who they really are. I am in agreement with you- I have no desire to be ‘above’ anyone else. The intent of my article was to show others that we pastor’s wives are just regular women. But we do face some unique challenges along with that. Thanks so much for your input!
      Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

  27. I’m glad you posted this. I’m a pastor’s wife and am encouraged by what you have written. These things are so true! One thing I would truly love is that other Christians view me and other pastor’s wives as “regular” people. We’re no different than anyone else. God Bless!

    • Sarah, thank you for reading and commenting! Yes, and that was the main purpose of the article- to give others a glimpse into who we are- that we are just normal women with a unique calling. So glad it was an encouragement to you. :)

  28. Thank you so much,this was such a Blessing and encouragement to me.

  29. Leah,
    I have been a pastor’s wife for 9 years and I do appreciate your post. I have said some of these things but never posted them. The advice I had from the previous pastor’s wife involved not putting the ministry before your family (which you mentioned) and although you can feel guilty about it I am so glad I was given that advice. It is hard sometimes with all the pressures but don’t give in :). I was at a pastor’s wife conference where a woman was speaking about pk’s rebelling. When she finished she asked all the pastor’s wives in the room who have experienced this first hand to indicate. I was surprised to see almost every single one respond. At the time my husband was not the Senior Pastor and I purposed in my heart that if my children rebelled it would not be because I treated them any different than I had before the ministry. The Lord has blessed us with our first 3 and I continue in prayer with my 11 year old. Things that stood out to me is I could use your thick skin :), and I really appreciate your heart. The key is relationship with Christ, wife, mother and then whatever ministry we find ourselves in. MAy the Lord continue to bless your family and husband’s ministry.
    Cathy recently posted..New Classes at TidewaterMy Profile

  30. I’m an assistant/youth pastor’s wife and while these things aren’t as true about me as they are our pastor’s wife, I know where you’re coming from. A good friend of ours recently told my husband and me that I need to have close friends in other churches. I’m just now starting to see how true that is.

    Thanks for this post. :)
    Lauren recently posted..Simple Crochet Baby BlanketMy Profile

  31. This is an amazing list. It helps me to look at my pastors wife in a new light. She already is a faithful servant of God. Thank you for this.

  32. Jody Drinkwalter :

    Hello, my boyfriend is a pastor and sent your link to me! Thank you! I have been really nervous to become a pastors wife. Right now I am recovering from trauma and God is cleaning house! This man has loved me through it all! Please pray for me and thank you for your honesty! Jody

    • Jody, thanks for your sweet comment. The nerves are normal, but you will grow into the calling as time goes by and as God shapes you to be more like Him. There will be hard times and happy times, and there’s grace for all of it! I’d be so glad to add you to my prayer list for pastor’s wives. Stick around here and you might meet some new friends- most of my readers are pastor’s wives. We can learn a lot from each other! :)
      Leah recently posted..Give the Gift of Prayer~ A Free Printable Calendar for WivesMy Profile

  33. So thankful I stopped by from SITS. Love this post. While I’m not a pastor’s wife, I am a women very involved in leadership and ministry at church. These words are spot on. #16 really strikes a cord. Thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom.
    Positively Alene recently posted..the gift of memory keeps me tossing.My Profile

  34. Hi Leah :) I found your blog through SITS and have been enjoying it. Being a pastor’s wife can’t be easy. I don’t think I could deal with all the social pressures but it’s interesting to see you put a personal spin on the demands of this position.
    Paulin recently posted..A High Protein Healthy Salad RecipeMy Profile

  35. I am wondering if I can have your permission to copy this for our ladies here. I am a Pastor’s wife. Such a thoughtful and accurate portrayal of life in the ministry!

    Thank you,

  36. Wonderful Post! I grew up a PK and have been serving alongside my husband on the mission field for almost 8 years. So many of these pertain to missionary wives too because in reality we are Pastor’s wives in a foreign country :-) Thank you so much for sharing your heart!
    Carole recently posted..Blog StuffMy Profile

    • Carole, yes many of them do apply to missionaries as well. :) We are actually missionaries here in Canada (originally from the States). My parents knew you and your family when I was small. I’ll send you a private email- so good to re-connect. I’m looking forward to checking out your blog!
      Leah recently posted..Even Moms Struggle On Mother’s DayMy Profile

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  38. Virginia rhoda :

    Thankyou for those 20 things u mentioned..i so can identify and find myself in tears..we are pastoring for over 20yrs and have 2 children of our own..Lance(21),Jamie Leigh(14)..they are precious. Currently to date we have planted 46 branches thru the Amazing Grace of God..i humbly say.UFWC is throughout South Africa and Zimbabwe and Malawi..and growing to the Glory of Our God, peoples lives are being transformed by The Spirit of God…however, i am so unhappy in my marriage, eventhough i love my hubby sooo much… He is not open to me, i just must follow,demeans me with words like shutup,stupid,dirt,parasite,shut ur mouth,scum,thats just a few i mentioned. He is controlling but so nice and sweet to everyone else.i must say though, that he was much worse..our children witness this and lance speaks not the demeaning words to me, but it borders like his dad.jamie again has inward anger,cos one cant even hug her,she is so defensive and has put a wall around her.we are at my husbands mercy and keeps us dangling and dependant on him.he pays the bills,but moans and moans,its a pain having to ask him even for food money.we both are fulltime and receive one income which he handles.i get a pstors allowance and see to the lady that cleans our home, twice weekly cos we run a busy schedule. He bought us a cadillace, we have a bmw..they are more looked after than us..i have been running birthday clubs and making jewelery and it also goes into the house..i see to jamie especially, lance is of age and a musician,hardly earnimng money…do i deserve my husbands wrath and attitude towards me.i cant cry anymore..this afternoon i had to ask him for money..he kept me hanging and i had to ask him again cos we didnt have enough tea and coffee,milk in the house and he had the church brothers over and i wanted serve them something hot to drink as it was cold outside where they were working.i felt bad,when he through the keys at me after giving me the money..infront of lance and jamie..they both quietly asked..why is daddy so?..is it too much for my hubby,i dnt want to walk out of God’s will as He has blessed us so much since we are fulltime, we have seen His Hand in Supernatural ways..therefore i dnt want to do the wrong thing to disobey The Lord for want of more money to feel better,to provide better,to help my hubby..why did he start treating me bad after our 1st year of marriage..to top it all,i have asked him for us to go for counselling, he said why should he..i am so tired of wearing a mask,tired of this sadness and battle to forgive when i want to hate him..i have turned to many ungodly things and thoughts..but come to repentance before my Jesus..i am constantly being persued by demonic temptations,sometimes i can resist,but other times i just give in..its when i am weak,broken loneley and vulnerable..it pains me to hurt Jesus,it pains me that i sin so bad and deep..its a constant fight.i so need my hubby to love and cherish me with a look a kiss or just a hug or just laying a hand on me and pray.he finds this all too smothering,yet i have soo much love to give to him and i told him.plse help me,plse pray for me to walk a faithful and sanctified life before the Lord.i need prayercovering.

  39. Okay, I have to say this article does not at all describe me as a pastor’s wife! Wow, it’s way out there and I honestly haven’t met a single pastor’s wife who is like this either. Most PW I know are, well, normal women. We are not “called” to be anything but wives just because our husbands have received a call to ministry. Besides, how degrading to men who study earnestly for years in seminary for their wives to be given almost equal status in ministering to the congregation members. My husband worked hard for 8 years in seminary. I worked hard getting my education degree and then caring for our children, not studying theology or pastoral counseling. While I can have an empathetic ear to a friend I am not a counselor, I have not been trained for that. How many pastor’s wives do have pastoral or theological degrees? Surely not more than half, and yet the assumption is that all ought to be giving spiritual and personal advice from a position of authority as if they had.

    I mean, to say that all pastor’s wives welcome random women from the church coming to them with their problems is pretty odd. Who likes that!? I think most of the PW I know would run screaming from a church where that happened frequently. I love to help my friends or anyone truly in need but honestly I’d think it very strange if many women came to me for advice on personal matters, I’m 28, what kind of counsel can I give to the women at church, most of whom are older than I am.

    And maintaining boundaries to minister to many ladies? That confuses me. I have friends, just friends. I’m not ministering to them, I’m simply being a friend to them whether they attend my husbands’ church or not.

    I just cannot relate to this post at all. I’d be frightened to think that my husband’s congregation thought this accurately represented me or the senior pastor’s wife. Each pastor’s wife is different. Some have thick skin, others are very sensitive. Some also feel called to ministry in the church and that’s great! But many of us have different callings. I am called to be a teacher and a mother, not a pastor.

    • Amanda, thank you for sharing your unique perspective! Of course we can’t put all pastor’s wives into a certain mold. However, the points that I made in the article do accurately describe a pastor’s wife who is very involved in her husband’s ministry. Unless your church has a different sort of government/leadership other than pastoral, I find it hard to understand who you would expect to minister to the women of your church. It would certainly put our husband’s in some difficult situations if all pastor’s wives refused to do any counseling to women. While we must certainly be friends to our women, we are spiritual leaders alongside our husbands, somewhat by default, and hopefully by desire. It is generally considered unwise to choose best friends in the congregation. I have rarely seen that type of ‘ministry’ to be successful. Again, in the article I spoke to involved pastors’ wives, from personal experience and from the experiences of some of my mentors who have walked this road their whole life. By the way, I do have a theology degree, but even if I didn’t, I would still feel responsible in the area of spiritual leadership. I’m very active in counseling and praying with women, etc. Who would these women turn to if the pastor’s wife turned them down when they needed help? Perhaps it works in some smaller ministries, but I think I can say pretty confidently that it does not work in most ministries that have pastoral type leadership/governing. (I don’t know the details of your denomination/association, etc.)
      I appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts. Feel free to comment here or private message me as well if you’d like to chat more about it. :)
      Leah recently posted..{Part One} Nurturing the Fruit of the Spirit: You Can’t Rush LoveMy Profile

  40. And the flip side of #6: she desires to have friends, just like you. So she appreciates it when you express interest in her as a person.

    (My husband is not in full-time church ministry at this point, but when he was, we were never, EVER invited by anyone in the church to do anything that was not an official church function. Just another one of those things that many ladies in the Church may not have ever thought about.)
    Rachel R. recently posted..Get FREE Books and BiblesMy Profile

    • Rachel, I can definitely relate to your comment. We have experienced as well at times the feeling that we are excluded from events because of ‘who we are.’ I think for some reason it is hard for folks to see us as normal people- just like them, but with a different calling. And yes, we sure do appreciate the ones who take interest in us as women. I am blessed with a few ladies who do that for me, and I treasure it!
      ((hug)) Thanks for sharing your heart.
      Leah recently posted..Why I Love Being A Pastor’s WifeMy Profile

  41. heather (mcghee) reed :

    I love all that was said and my one girlfriend (Kristen Jones)is a pastors wife and I was and is interested in how she lives her life and that was some light into her. I miss her so much but I know she is doing what she loves everyday. I respect her so much that she left and did what she wanted to do and know she has a beautiful family and wonderful life!! I’m just very proud of her just for bring her and doing what she wants to do.

    With love
    Heather McGhee Reed

  42. As a PK who’s now grown and working toward being a minister myself, I think this does mirror much of what little I got to see of my mother dealing with. My mother was not just the pastor’s wife, but a pastor in her own right, fully ordained and ministering in partnership with my father. My wife and I are lay leaders in our church right now – she’s actually employed as the youth worker for the church – and she is struggling and working through many of these things herself with the added difficulties of a mother who’s not a believer. I’ve also watched some other pastor’s wives as I’ve been out of the house for sometime, and have attended different churches than my home church and would say for outside observation you seem to be in tune as well. Anyone who is a member of the ministry team – officially or by marriage is always doing ministry in all they do, for ministry is a form of worship.

    • Matt, thank you for your comments. And yes, for those of us in spiritual leadership, ministry is a lifestyle! It sounds like you’ve had some great examples in your life. Blessings to you and your wife as you follow the path God has for you. I have prayed just now for your wife as she faces the many adjustments of being a ministry wife. Many do not understand us, yet we can pray for each other and look to our God to lead us! Thank you for taking the time to share your heart.
      Leah recently posted..Why I Love Being A Pastor’s WifeMy Profile

  43. Marisa Barlow :

    This was soooo true. You hit the nail on the head with this one. It’s nice to know that I am not alone with these feelings. Be blessed in the calling of GOD.

  44. Just stumbled onto your blog today.

    I really enjoyed reading this list :-) Thanks for sharing! Being a Pastor’s wife I agree wholeheartedly with what you said. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  45. It is even more difficult if your personal called-by-God ministry is NOT women’s ministry. So many women in the church expect the pastor’s wife to be involved in women’s ministry. I don’t belong to the women’s group or go to their events unless especially invited because I put all my time and energy into the children first and the music program second. I don’t expect them to all be in the choir or helping with Vacation Bible School why is everyone so disappointed that I’m not part of the women’s group?

  46. Love it. God bless you immensely. Nice to know someone else feels exactly the same way. I like the analogy to a doctor on call.

  47. Keep helping the wifes of the Pastors and God bless you for your devine wisdom. By Rev QUAINOO .

  48. Thank you for this insightful post and for your online ministry to pastor’s wives and other women. I too am a Pastor’s Wife, and I’m thankful God led me here this morning.
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  51. Ajibike Moraanugba Meseghanrun :

    I have been a pastor wife since 2010, i want to say it has been very tasking functioning as one. People want to see me act like an angel, look for flaws and what ure doing wrong as if we re different frm them. It has been God’s grace & help. tanx for the write up.

  52. Sharon Benjamin Dupte :

    I am pastors wife.We are working in India .I am encouraged by your post. it’s really a heart touching to know what we are in Kingdom of God.Amen
    thank you very much.

    Sharon Benjamin Dupte
    Good News Church

  53. Tamecia Grant, :

    Thank you, i love the post we are human and we as pastor’s wives have feelings we hurt,laugh,cry,get lonely like others that doesn’t mean we don’t love you. We need time with our spouses as well yes the pastor, our children they’re human too they mess up and not always in a horrific manner so just earnestly pray for us on this journey bc its not easy so when we don’t seem to react the way you think we should don’t take it personal just lift us in your prayers and never forget we have a life too and without god we can do nothing..

  54. Katie Shockley :

    I thank you for this. I am a 32 year old pastors wife and mother of three children. I often feel stressed and alone. Reading this I was encouraged. God bless you!



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  2. […] walked alongside your pastor-husband for any length of time, you have known criticism.  Since this post went viral, I have received scores of emails from pastors’ wives from all over the world. And […]

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