True Companion: Thoughts on Being a Pastor’s Wife {And a Giveaway!}

I’m delighted to have Christa from Brown Sugar Toast guest posting for me today. She is both a pastor’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is sharing some highlights from the book “True Companion: Thoughts on Being a Pastor’s Wife.” I hope it blesses and encourages you today!

AND I have some fabulous news- I’m giving away a copy of this book to one of my readers! Β It’s easy peasy this time- all you have to do is leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post. Β πŸ™‚ The winner will be announced on Saturday, February 1st.

So without further ado, here’s Christa:

Someone once told me that a good book is “one read at the exact time you need it.” I must have needed this book something awful because I found it to be one of the best books I’ve ever read. I first heard of True Companion from the Girltalk blog and immediately added it to my wishlist. Lucky for me, my parents gave me an amazon gift card for Christmas, so I ordered it soon after. Once the book arrived, I read it in 3 days. Did I mention I’m a mom with 3 kids? The fact that I read this book in 3 days tells you this was a pretty great read. While reading True Companion, I felt like I was sitting at the feet of a loving, experienced pastor’s wife. In fact, at times I almost felt like she was reading my mind. Of course, I know that’s impossible. It’s just that people & their struggles are the same – whether you’re in a church of 50 or 5,000. I kept reading chapters and saying, “This one’s my favorite!” Until I would read the next chapter and say, “Oh no – this one is even better!” Eventually, I just succumbed to the fact that the entire book was a keeper and one I would be returning to in the future.

Here are 3 things I loved about it:

  • Written by an experienced pastor’s wife.

The author, Nancy Wilson, has been a pastor’s wife for more than 30 years. She knows her stuff. She’s been through the battles of ministry and still evidences a love for God, her husband, and the church. That’s no small thing. I was frequently impressed with her complete trust in God and found myself wanting to deepen my relationship with Him as well.

  • Biblical.

You won’t find a list of ridiculous requirements here, such as “bring the best casseroles to potlucks” or “lead a women’s Bible study at all times.” Instead, Wilson continually points to the Bible’s definition of a pastor’s wife {which, coincidentally, is the same definition for any wife}: she is designed to be a helper. Specifically, a helper to her husband. That may mean she leads a women’s Bible study. It might mean she serves in the nursery. Or it could be that she stays home caring for her ailing parents. The specific way each role is played out will be different, but the underlying goal is the same: to please God & her husband by being the helper he desires.

  • Both encouraging & convicting.

Sometimes encouragement and conviction go hand in hand, so here are some excerpts that did both for me:

  • “the best thing you can give your congregation is a minister who is content.” (page 67 from The New Pastor’s Wife)
  • “I [am] not in charge of keeping everyone happy. […] I [am] one of the sheep, not a shepherd. Women love to fill a void, but there are times when we absolutely must not.” (page 71 from Your Relationship to the Church)
  • “Don’t return rudeness for rudeness. Let it go. God sees it.” (pages 74-75 from Your Relationship to the Church)
  • “The children should love to see the Lord’s Day arrive, and the mother should do all she can to make it a wonderful morning of getting ready.” (page 90 from Preparing for the Lord’s Day)
  • “His life is your life; his calling is your calling. […] He may be the one up front, but you are the one supporting him and encouraging him.” (page 95 from Bearing Burdens or Heavy Lifting)

And this is a lengthy excerpt, but one that ministered to me most deeply:

“Sometimes the person who leaves most carelessly is the one your husband ministered to in extraordinary ways. This is just one more reason to minister to one and all with no strings attached. We do not go the distance for people because we hope they will go the distance for us. No. We minister in Jesus’ name, looking to heaven for our reward. […] Do not take it personally. Give these people to God and let them go freely.” (page 126 from When Friends Leave)

Although I grew up in a pastor’s home {watching my mom’s example of a gracious pastor’s wife} and have been married to a youth pastor for 5 1/2 years, I found True Companion to be a refreshing reminder of my role. If you are a pastor’s wife, I heartily recommend this book to you. I am sure it will refresh and rejuvenate your heart, as it has mine!

signatureexcellent book written for Pastor's wives - if you're looking for the Biblical definition of a pastor's wife, this is a must read!

*Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! πŸ™‚ And Psssst! Did you notice? Embracing Grace now has a forum for pastors’ wives and women in ministry {single and married}. It is not officially launched yet, but it is open for {free} registration. It is password protected and I pray that it will be a place of hope for many women in ministry- a place to connect and to share each others’ burdens. Just click on “forum” up there in my menu bar! Hope to see you in there soon!

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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 10 years. During their tenure there, they became dual citizens. 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 {Small Son is 9 and Tiny Daughter is 7} 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 process. Join her grace-filled journey right here at Embracing Grace!

82 thoughts on “True Companion: Thoughts on Being a Pastor’s Wife {And a Giveaway!}

  1. I love the ministries that are here for us pastors wives by pastors wives. I always say that I want to hear from someone who has been and maybe is where I am. Very encouraging.

  2. Thanks, Leah for all of your posts. They are always an encouragement to me! This sounds like just the book I need to read. I’ll have to go find it & put it on my Amazon wishlist! πŸ™‚

  3. Looks like a great book! My husband used to pastor, but is now an evangelist. However, our daughter is being courted by an associate pastor and could really use this book. Thanks for the review.

  4. My husband is going back to school to be a pastor. I would love this book as facing my new role as a pastor’s wife leaves me both excited and terrified at the same time!

  5. I love your blog and the encouragement you provide to pastor’s wives. Thank you for all you do! Praying that God continues to bless your very important and much needed ministry.

  6. So many great things here! (Thanks for the review, Christa!). I love the reminder that his calling is our calling. I think this is one of those things that so many pastor’s wives don’t embrace. And we need to! Being a helper to our husband means we share in this ministry- in a huge way.
    Sounds like an excellent book!!!
    (And thank you for your ministry to pastor’s wives- so needed, such a blessing!)
    Becky Daye recently posted..On Being the Wife of the PastorMy Profile

  7. Dear Leah,
    It is such a joy to see how the Lord is using you in the ministry. It truly is a blessing to see the next generation living for & serving our dear Saviour.
    I just read the quote from this book to my husband…with the events of the last two days, it certainly hit the nail on the head. It is never easy to see folk you love dearly leave. It can devastate, if we are honest. God knows the need of our hearts and he meets that need in so many wonderful ways. This book sounds like something we need. Thank you for your ministry to so many. May God continue to bless you and yours above and beyond what you would ask or think!

  8. This was a blessing. Sometimes it’s hard for me as the APW to figure out where my “place” is, so the phrase about my job is to be a helper to my husband really struck a chord with me πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.

  9. This book sounds amazing! I am praying about leading a women’s prayer group at my church that will be praying for our pastor’s wife! I am sure she would be blessed by the book!
    Thank you!

  10. Thank you so much for this post. When we first started in the ministry almost 10 years ago there was very little help available to read or be encouraged by. Most things that I was able to find were 20+ years old.
    I am so thankful for how much social media (with all it’s faults) can be so helpful for connecting when we struggle or just need to hear a reassuring voice.
    I would love to add this book to my shelf and have another resource for myself and to loan to others. πŸ™‚

  11. As a young woman preparing to serve alongside a man in full time ministry, this book seems like it would be a huge help and encouragement for me! πŸ™‚

  12. As a wife who’s husband was just ordained as Deacon of our assembly and with the talk of our currant pastor moving out of the country, and with the possibilty of my husband being positioned as the interim pastor I have been earnestly seeking information on being the best help I can be to him. In my search I found this site. It has been very informative and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  13. I love reading and sharing your blogs! I am a pk and a pw now, so I find it all so relevant and practical! THANK YOU!

  14. Thank you for the posts, they are encouragement to me, my husband has pastored for over 30yrs. and the last 2 have been the hardest, but the grace of the God has got us through. I’m glad I found your sight.

  15. I love following this site on FB-so encouraging for this young Pastor’s wife! This book would be so awesome to read!!

  16. I am always blessed here and so thankful for your much needed ministry! I need this book.. Praying for the giveaway but definitely on my wish list! Thank you so much Leah

  17. This book sounds like it would be such an encouragement to my friend who is going through a rough time as a pastor’s wife right now. Would love to win it for her!

  18. I’m thankful to be a pastor’s wife, and I am excited to read this book. It is nice to be able to relate to someone in this area. The ministry can be a lonely place sometimes and family members are not always understanding or supportive. Thanks for the post. πŸ™‚

  19. Our theme verse this year at church is 1 Pet. 4:10 “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” These gifts belong to the Lord. We are required to be good managers of them by investing in the lives of others (and not just ones who could be potential members of our church!). We leave the results up to God. We should never have the mentality to “find someone new to minister to because it doesn’t seem to be working on this person”. God promises our labor for Him is NEVER in vain. What the recipient does with the Truths you have given is between her and the Lord, but rest in knowing you have done your part. One last thing… discipleship is a life long process. We must consistently be investing in the lives others if we are to be good stewards and followers of Christ.

  20. I’ve got to say my hubby has been in full-time ministry for 20 years this August. 5 of those he was assistant pastor and 15 senior pastor. I was absolutely stricken when I read the quote about ministering to each one with no strings attached because we minister in Jesus’ name. I wasn’t even aware that I might have done that. Need to do some personal evaluation. Thank you for sharing this.

  21. Your last quote about the ones who have been most ministered to leaving the most carelessly is something we have experienced and observed repeatedly through the years. No matter how many times one experiences it, it hurts afresh each time. What an uplifting thought that was!
    This book is now on my To Read list.
    Thanks you for the encouraging posts. God Bless!

  22. I am always looking for books for pastor’s wives ( I have been one since 1985); good ones are few and far between. This one sounds like one that would be so helpful and encouraging. Thanks for sharing it!

  23. So true; so many great ideas even in the excerpts you posted. Thank you for sharing this; what a wonderful reminder.

  24. Being in the ministry requires us to fill all sorts of shoes for which I often find myself unqualified. I am thankful that our Lord doesn’t call the qualified, but rather qualifies the called. Being a missionary’s wife and now a pastor’s wife for two years I know there is so much to learn. A book like this would be a great help to pastor’s wives near and far!

  25. This sure sounds like a book that could and would be very helpful as I have just been a Pastor’s wife for a little more then a year now .. we were in camping ministry “Camp Director” before for just about 20 years so this a very different ministry which we are enjoying ..

  26. Having been in the ministry as a music man’s wife for almost 15 years and growing up with my pastor’s kids I am all too familiar with the joys and heartaches that a pastor’s wife faces. Your heart for others Leah is a real encouragement to me!

  27. Sounds like a great book and something I need to read. Thanks for a great post! ((Hugs)) and prayers for you, Leah! I appreciate your labor of love and encouragement!

  28. Leah, thanks for letting your readers know about this book, it looks like a great read, one I would love.

  29. Thank you for your posts. They are encouraging. I have been a Pastors wife for 34 years and yes, I still feel burned out at times. I need this book! Thanks!

  30. These quotes are excellent. I can’t wait to read the book. Sometimes being a pastor’s wife is lonely. It helps to read things like this.

  31. This book sounds like a really balanced “treatise” on being a PW…having lived my entire adult life as a PW, I know the blessings and challenges. Each has been lovingly fashioned and perfectly timed to show me my limited love and God’s infinite grace, and to mold me, step-by-step, into the image of Christ.

  32. I would love to revive this free book. I’m not only a pastors wife but I am a pastor with The Salvation Army. Our calling requires us to wear many hats. I am a wife, a mother, a pastor, a business woman, an event planner, volunteer coordinator, community leader, fundraiser, educator, activist and at times have the privilege of running a cold night shelter for women. My biggest role is being a child of a mighty God who somehow gives me the strength to do all these jobs. I love what I get to do and although at times feel overwhelmed, God is right there assuring me that it’s His strength that carries me. So, I thank you for considering me.

  33. Thank you for this ministry. I saw it on Facebook from a friend’s post and am looking forward to reading your blog. I have been in difficult places in ministry and am looking for some online encouragement. To be honest, I like a Facebook format better most of the time, as I am working full time as a nurse.

  34. This sounds like just the book I need to read! My husband has been an associate pastor for two years and was just called to be senior pastor this past week. Our pastor retired and his wife was a wonderful example and mentor for me. It concerns me that people are going to expect me to be just like her, which I cannot. Thanks for promoting this book! Even if I don’t win, I think I will get a copy.

  35. That sounds like a great book! My husband has been in the ministry our whole marriage (10 1/2 years). Would love to read it!

  36. I do hope the book will go to the person who is greatly in need of encouragement in the ministry & of helping her husband and ministering to families in their church. It is a life of giving of yourself and loving people where they are. Things are not always easy, but God gives us the grace to do , and to care, and to encourage those of different walks of life. The book sounds wonderful!

  37. This book sound like it would be both an encouragement and a challenge to a pastor’s wife. Truth is in the balance of both and I would love to glean both if I had a copy of this book!

  38. What an encouragement just reading the parts of the book you shared. Your posts always bless my heart. Thank you!
    jane, blessed to be a Pastor’s wife

  39. Hi, I am new at all this Pastors wife thing. 2 years in and feeling like giving up. We only have a small church but its mainly full of old people, whom I love dearly. I don’t feel cut out for this job, I know its the job that God wants me to do for now but I feel so inadequate and overwhealmed a lot of the time. I have 4 children whom I homeschool and sometimes it just so hard to be everything that people need.
    Anyway I’d really love and appreciate a copy of your book. We are struggling financially at the moment, its looking like we won’t get to have a holiday this year but I wouldn’t usually tell anyone that, so a free copy would be such a help.
    I am so discouraged and embarrased at my lack of coping ability at the moment that I haven’t even posted on here with my real name.

    1. ((hug)) Thank you for reaching out for encouragement! I am totally fine with you not using your real name- actually quite a few of my readers do not disclose their real names. You are among friends. πŸ™‚ I think my recent post “What Happens When a Pastor’s Wife Gives Up” would be an encouragement to you. (The link is up in my left sidebar). I’ve been in that place before too. You are not alone. Hang in there and stay focused on God! He wants to use you, but satan wants to distract you and isolate you. Don’t let him. πŸ™‚
      Leah {Embracing Grace} recently posted..Stories of Grace: “Just a Plain Ordinary Person”My Profile

  40. What an encouraging post, as so many of them are! Thank you for caring about pastor’s wives. I would love a chance to read this book.

  41. I would love to read her book – it’s been 30 years for us in ministry, so it will be interesting to see if we have have had the same experiences!

  42. Thank you for the book review, have been waiting to purchase and would love to win a copy. I only discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and have been so encouraged and blessed by it. I , like Tricia x, am a pastors wife who is really struggling. I have been blessed and encouraged by past post, and look forward to each day to see whats new. Thank you for your ministry and the way that the Lord is using you to minister to other pastor wives.
    Blessings!
    Donna Irvin

  43. I would love this! My husband has been Pastoring a Spanish ministry for 11 years. Still feel like there is so much to learn.

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