Ministry, Pastor's Wife

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

Ministry is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Yet, I am miserable without it.

~A Pastor’s Wife


Pastors’ wives, may you be encouraged in your fishbowls. May you swim freely and hope continually as you embrace marriage to a pastor and a life of grace. When others peer into your fish bowls, may they see Christ.

Church women, may the glass be clean as you peer into the fishbowl. May these secrets enhance your ability to relate to and befriend that mysterious woman in your life- your pastor’s wife. And may your churches be stronger because the pedestal is gone.

1. She is not perfect…in any way.

2. She is a normal woman, like you. She has normal emotions,  interesting hobbies, and  hopeful dreams. She enjoys pursuing interests outside the realm of church ministry…just like you do.

3. She doesn’t have to attend every event, be on every committee, or have her hands in every ministry in order to be a good pastor’s wife. Her husband and children are her priority, and sometimes plans 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 issues that may arise.  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 her deeply. When she is actively involved with ministry events, decisions made by her husband and herself are not thoughtless, selfish ones. They are decisions that are 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.

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, a feeling that resembles being married to a doctor.

9. Her children are just like your children. They aren’t perfect; they are normal.

10. She desires to have spiritual fellowship with other ladies {sharing answers to prayer, ways that God is teaching her, etc.} She does not want to appear “holier than thou” or like a spiritual superwoman- she just wants to sharpen and be sharpened.

11. When a church member passes away, she grieves as if it were a family member. Comforting grieving church members and assisting at funerals are some 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 and delaying her own grief in order 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, tokens of appreciation, and friendly conversations.

14. When you come to her with a problem or need counseling from her, 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 a sinner, a human- and she does fail. No one is aware of this more than she is.

16. Sunday is not a day off. It is the busiest {and sometimes hardest} 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, and not you, because of the calling of God on her husband’s life.  If you feel jealous of her “position” {I use that term lightly}, you probably don’t understand the responsibility that it carries. In most cases, she does not have a thirst for power or even a desire to lead. She doesn’t naturally enjoy being visible and “up front.” She does it only by the grace of God.

19. She loves ministering to women- it is a passion, a drive. She would feel empty 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 a private online Heart-to-Heart group and find hope with other women who are walking the same road that you are walking. Click on “Join a Heart-to-Heart group” on the menu bar and send me a message requesting to join. A group of grace-filled, praying and caring pastors’ wives is waiting for you!

 Photo Credit: OneBodyFoundation

157 thoughts on “20 Things Every Pastor’s Wife Wants You To Know About Her

  1. 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

    1. Hello,
      I just want to thank you for this post. I’m a new Pastors wife of just one week. Although we were members of our church for 5 months before becoming Pastor and family. I’ve wanted to the ladies of our church to know I’m no different now than I was as a lay person! I was wondering if you would mind if I put this on my blog, you will be given the credit for it.

      Thank you,
      Paula Seavey
      Pastors wife of Second Baptist Church in Palermo, ME
      you may contact me at

    1. LEAH,
      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

  2. 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!

    1. Becky! I’m sure you are doing great! I remember feeling that way during my first years as well. And I don’t claim to have all experience, but I do know that as you follow God’s expectations for you, your confidence grows and you will find your place. That place is always changing you, always growing you, and you are definitely not alone!

  3. 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.

    1. Hi Valerie! My husband has mentioned you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing my blog and for taking the time to comment. I hope it’s a blessing to your daughter as well!

  4. 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!! 🙂

    1. Yes, #3 is constantly changing- it’s a tough one. Looking forward to some #6 on Thursday- glad you guys are going to be able to make it!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

    1. GiGi, I absolutely agree, and I personally serve in all of the areas you mentioned (I actually do more in music as a church pianist than I do in women’s ministry). In my article I was mainly focusing on who the pastor’s wife is as a person, and as it relates to ministry in general. Thanks for reading and for adding your perspective!

      1. I have reposted your article on a Clergy Spouses Facebook page that I am the administrator and have asked other clergy spouses to add their points.

  7. 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 🙁

    1. Oh Linda! Your comment brought me to tears. I understand exactly how you are feeling! And I will be keeping you in prayer. Please keep in touch- I’m always willing to listen.

  8. 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 .

  9. 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…

    1. 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

  10. 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.

    1. Kay, thank you for your touching words. It sounds like you definitely have had to balance a lot with both ministry and outside work. I am blessed to work a bit from home through teaching piano, but I realize that it may not always be so easy. Your sweet attitude is a blessing!

  11. 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.

    1. 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!

      1. 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.

        1. 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!

  12. 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!

    1. Lynn, you have double time on me (only 8 years here) and it sounds like you have embraced your calling! 🙂 A blessing to hear!

  13. 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. 🙂

    1. 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.

  14. 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!

    1. 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!

  15. 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.

    1. Valerie, it sounds like you are a great support to your pastor’s wife. Thanks for taking the time to comment and to encourage.

  16. 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

    1. Shonda, what is your blog? I’d love to read your post. And yes, we need to know we are not alone. Our people also need to know how very much we care about them! It really is all about God’s grace. Thanks for sharing from your heart. 🙂

  17. 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

  18. 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!

  19. …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.

    1. 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!

  20. 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!

    1. 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. 🙂

  21. 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!

    1. 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! 🙂

      1. We just started here six months ago. I don’t expect to have complete charge of all those ministries forever. Right now, the people who would be helping me need discipleship more than they need to be in the ministry. What you meant by “chumming” was clear. We can’t have respect of persons, or give one person more honor than another, which is our tendency.

        1. I understand about needing to disciple first. And meanwhile, we have need of discipling ourselves! I’m so glad that God never stops changing us to be more like Him, even though His methods are sometimes painful. It’s all for His glory! Thanks so much for your thoughts.

  22. 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.

    1. 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!!

  23. 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

    1. 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!

  24. 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.

    1. 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~

    2. 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!

  25. 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!

    1. 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. 🙂

    1. Gwen, I’m so glad it encouraged you! That was my prayer long before I posted it. God has answered! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know.

  26. 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.

    1. Cathy, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! Probably one of my biggest concerns is that our children will turn out Godly. They are only 6 and 4, but I pray constantly for wisdom and strength. You are so right- the key is a relationship with Christ, and living it out at home so the children know it is real. I appreciate your comments!

  27. 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. 🙂

    1. Lauren, thanks for your comment. I’m glad the post was a blessing to you. Being a pastor’s wife is sometimes a lonely place, but I believe that God wants to draw us closer to Him as a result. BTW, most of my readers here are pastor’s wives- this is a great place to connect! 🙂

  28. 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.

  29. 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

    1. 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! 🙂

  30. 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.

    1. I’m glad it was a blessing, Alene! And yes, many of the points would apply to women in leadership positions. God bless you in your ministry! I follow your blog, but have to admit I’ve gotten behind in my blog reading. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  31. 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.

    1. Hi Paulin~ thanks for your sweet comments. No, being a pastor’s wife is definitely not easy, BUT God gives us the grace we need! 🙂 We are just normal women with a unique calling. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

  32. 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,

  33. 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!

    1. 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!

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  35. 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? 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 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 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.

    1. Virginia, I’m so sorry for the trials you are facing! You’ve been on my mind since I read your comment and I am praying for you. ((hug))

  36. 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.

    1. 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. 🙂

  37. 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.)

    1. 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.

  38. 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

    1. Heather, it sounds like you are a sweet encouragement to your pastor’s wife friend! I don’t know her, but I thank you for being a blessing to her.

  39. 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.

    1. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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?

    1. Hmm, that’s a tough one Debra! It could be that they just desire a leader for their ministry, but I don’t know your church of course so I can’t say. I do agree that the PW shouldn’t be expected to have her hands in every ministry. That would be a quick way to drive yourself crazy. 🙂

  43. 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.

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

  45. 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.

  46. After exploring a handful of the articles on your blog, I seriously appreciate your way
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  47. 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.

  48. 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

  49. 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..

  50. 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!


    1. Katie, I’m glad you were encouraged by the article! You are not alone. God is with you and many, many women are walking the same road of ministry. Hope you’ll stick around and find community here. btw, we are the same age. 🙂 God bless you today!

  51. Hi. I appreciate the sentiment in the message but we need to be very careful. The Bible in no way describes, talks about, even mention this “role.”
    #1 “Pastor’s Wife” is not a calling
    #2 “Pastor’s Wife” is not a position
    #3 There are no requirements for a husbands wife except for that of a Deacons wife
    So many women put this on them as though this is a mystery and believe that they have an appointed Biblical role but it’s just not there.
    I don’t understand why the need for posts like this. You’re not the only one who has ever written on this topic.
    Every Christian woman does have a “call” however and that is to pursue godliness.
    I think someone (not you necessarily) needs to do a thorough intense Bible Study on this topic but there wouldn’t be much to write on because it’s not mentioned.
    The sentiment is sweet and encouraging for women whose husbands are Pastor’s but I just don’t get creating something that’s not there. This thinking has been around for years and I have no idea where it started but we have to look past all of that and acknowledge that the Bible in no way describes the role you speak of. I’m sorry but I just felt conscience bound to express that.

    1. Rose, I think possibly you missed the point of the article. The underlying truth is exactly what you have conveyed- that there are no biblical expectations for pastors’ wives. Which is why I said that I use the term “position” lightly- I don’t think it is a position, but many who are not pastors’ wives DO see it as a position. I’m guessing that you are not a pastor’s wife yourself, or the message here would hit home for you as it is for many, many others who are pastors’ wives. There is a need for posts like this because pastors’ wives in general are misunderstood and are under gravely unrealistic expectations that are not, as you stated, Biblical. There is a lot to write on BECAUSE it’s not mentioned. I hear from hundreds of pastors’ wives and we all face the same struggles in ministry. My passion to write for ministry wives is born out of a desire to encourage them and give them hope through Christ (because many are tempted to walk away) and to level the playing ground between church women and pastors’ wives so that our churches can be stronger. I appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts. I’m pretty sure we are on the same page here! 🙂 Blessings to you!

      1. You are correct in that I My husband is not a Pastor. My husband is a Deacon and as a Deacons wife I can say that I’ve seen and heard from many a Pastor’s wife who do believe that God called them to “only marry a Pastor” “to be a Pastor’s wife” and etc…There is, I believe error in that thinking And on so many levels.
        It can be traced back to what you believe about Church governance. I’d like to see an article entitled, “What Every Lay-Woman Wants You To Know”
        And “The Misunderstanding I Had About Being A Pastor’s Wife.”
        I don’t believe I have ever heard women say:
        I’m a doctors wife
        I’m a teachers wife
        I’m a post man’s wife
        I’m a hamburger flippers wife
        I’m a maintenance man’s wife
        My point here is that I think people can perpetrate an office that doesn’t exist by continually referencing it.
        I know that the devil would like for women to feel alone and misunderstood. I think we can acknowledge that the more and more we can place ourselves in a bubble, the more risk there is for our emotions to tempt us into being vulnerable to the devils schemes. Your husband doesn’t need to be a Pastor for that to happen.
        We can encourage and uplift all women by teaching and then resting on the truths of the Bible.

        1. Oh Rose, I know before I became a pastor’s wife I definitely believed it was a separate office. I honored and valued my pastor’s wife Sandy, and sought her for counsel. When my husband was called, i was scared to death because i couldn’t be like Sandy. She explained we don’t have a Job description, per sė, But rather our job is to support our husband.

          The way we do this can make our destroy a ministry. The fact is we are looked upon as that wise Titus woman. We are expected to be as good a cook as Paula Deen, and keep house like Martha Stewart. We are expected to Super Nanny Our children, while also participate in minIstries and events.

          Plus We are thought top know The Bible as well as our husband, and know The church calendar.
          The first time i heard that i was actually able to decline an invitation without feeling guilty. .

          But the position (not used lightly) is akin to the president’s wife. She have a “job” but I guarantee she is working her bottom off.

          1. So true, GM! It is a “position”, but not one that sets her above anyone else. She is a fellow believer who faces unique situations. And like you said, she is not paid, but she works pretty hard. 🙂

        2. Rose, I see where you are coming from. It can seem on the surface as a question of identity (who’s wife am I?). But the fact is- there are many things that pastors’ wives face that are unique and foreign to other callings. If my husband was a car salesman, it doesn’t change who I am, but my life won’t be wrapped up in his job quite as much. If he has a meeting at work, I wouldn’t be required to go to it. No one at his work would care what I wear or what kind of house I have, etc., and they wouldn’t criticize me openly or even care who I was for the most part. But in ministry, people place expectations and opinions about tons of little (and big) things on the pastor’s wife…and she is not even paid staff most of the time. I would love to see our churches reduce their expectations of pastors’ wives so that there weren’t so many identifying qualities that seem to create a divide between PWs and church women.

  52. thank you so much for this article. I have been a Pastors wife for 25 years and have always been very involved with my husband’s ministry. I believe the pastors wife is called also because I couldn’t do what I do without that call. Our son has resented being. PK saying he feels like he lives in a fish bowl, we have not always been places where they were kind to him. Because of some health issues for me, I have had to scale back on my involvement in the programs of the church and hand the reins over to other people and our church has been very understanding with all this. I enjoy church ministry and being able to help.

  53. 1) He’s not perfect–DUH! He’s a guy for heaven’s sake.
    2) He’s a normal man, and just a clueless as the rest of you fellows.
    3) He doesn’t have to attend every event. Like, he has a job, and may need to go to a basketball game, so butt out!
    4) When he has to confront an issue, he’s likely to say the wrong thing or shoot from the hip, but he can apologize. If he has to.
    5) Criticism is no big deal, unless you’re criticizing his wife, the pastor. Don’t expect pansy words when you attack the lady.
    6) He needs guy friends, and likes to talk about all kinds of things, not just church.
    7) When the phone rings at home, he wonders which telemarketer it is this time.
    8) He’s okay with you calling the pastor when you need her after hours, and he may come along on hospital calls just to spend time with his wife.
    9) If you gripe about his kids, he’ll point out your kids are no prize either.
    10) He enjoys spiritual fellowship with other men, especially if someone else is leading the devotional.
    11) He feels awkward at funerals, but will do his best to comfort family members, because he really does care, whether he seems to or not.
    12) He has a real job outside the church, and won’t whine about it to church members. He also doesn’t want to burden his wife, the pastor, so he may be silent without an explanation.
    13) He likes words of encouragement. Just don’t get gushy about it.
    14) If you come to him with a problem, be prepared for him to tell you to suck it up. Then he’ll meet you for coffee, and might even treat.
    15) He knows he isn’t perfect, and thinks you should get over it.
    16) Sunday is a really busy day for him, but he’ll do whatever he can to support the pastor’s ministry, including making her sermon slides, going for doughnuts, and even teaching Sunday School if he has to.
    17) He’s trying his best to be a good Christian, no matter what you think.
    18) He’s the pastor’s husband, not the pastor. He has that straight, and you should work on figuring it out, too.
    19) He likes being with other guys, in ministry situations, and wants to make sure he is relevant in the church’s mission.
    20) All in all, he thinks you’re all right. As long as you don’t mess with the pastor.

  54. re: 20 Things Every Pastor’s Wife Wants You to Know about Her
    I haven’t taken time to read all the comments, but noticed a couple about this same issue. I am a pastor’s wife, and I don’t want anyone in my church to read this post – #6 & #19 made me pause and right away question my ‘call’ and my ‘performance’ as a pastor’s wife. It is not a passion of mine to minister to women – is that what I’m supposed to be doing because I married a pastor? I believe God gifts everyone with certain abilities and ways to bless God’s people – I do not believe that God gifts every pastor’s wife with the ability or desire to minister to the women in her church. It’s taken me a long time to allow myself to be ‘me’ in our church family, to let the expectations of others & myself go – this article, with the premises of #6 & #19 caused anxiety – no pastor’s wife wants to feel more anxiety about their specific role in the church.

    1. Yvonne, I’m sorry that this article caused you anxiety. I think if you remove the “pastor’s wife” from the issue and just think in terms of us as believers relating to one another….do you reach out to others and serve others? If so, then you are displaying Godliness in that area. I don’t think that pastors’ wives have to necessarily be busier than other people are when it comes to reaching out and loving others. But as pastor’s wives, we have that special group of ladies that we love and enjoy ministering to- in a variety of creative ways! Sometimes it is simply through prayer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be speaking or teaching, etc. but just loving one another as God demonstrates His love to us. Hope that takes some of the pressure off! God bless you for the ways that you do serve others by ministering to your pastor husband!

  55. I grew up in a Pastor’s home and have been a Pastor’s wife for almost 25 years. I’ve never read another blog as accurate as this one. Thank you for sharing – I feel these 20 things are definitely my life in a nutshell!

  56. Thank you for this article. I have been a pastor’s wife for 20 years. I am a people pleaser and struggled with this in the early years. Finally I learned that pleasing God is what matters and this does not mean everyone will always be happy. I look forward to future posts.

  57. I am new to this First Lady position as my husband just answered the call to become a Pastor about 4 1/2 weeks ago. He and I both have always said we were not ready more like have been in denial that Gid was choosing us to do so. For myself I have always said “I am not First Lady ready, material etc. but God called us to call us out and now I have to walk by my husband as he follows, obeys, yields to God. I can only continue to pray, seek God and allow God to continue to shape and mold me to become that Virtuous Woman as in Proverbs. My prayer is that I do all to please God, work on one accord with my husband, serve others and make a difference in the lives of those who God is going to send.

  58. Dear Leah, I found the link to this post on my associate pastor’s wife’s FB page, such an eye-opener! I’m not a pastor’s wife either, so I appreciate the insight into the support my pastors’ (senior and associate) wives need.

  59. I’m a pastor wife and i need people to see that im stil the same person im not different.

  60. Thank you for the insights, it helps a lot to our church’s members understand the rule of a pastor’s wife. God bless.

  61. […] /2013/03/20-things-every-pastors-wife-wants-you-to-know-about-her/ Pastors’ wives, may you be encouraged in your fishbowls. May you swim freely and hope continually as you embrace marriage to a pastor and a life of grace. When others peer into your fish bowls, may they see Christ. […]

  62. I really love your write up and this has gone long way to teach people much about pastor’s wives. Try to improve more on this lecture God bless you.

  63. Hi Lea. Thanks for this. I am a pastor’s wife of 10 years and for more than a year, I was so depressed. It was after coming back from a sabbatical leave. I drifted away for more than a year and i just came back last April. For more than a year, I attended first service and after that I quickly go home with my daughter who is 2 yrs old then. During that time, I did not involve myself in the church. I stayed at home and loss interest in church life. I guess it’s because of disappointments, conflicts with other church staff, loneliness made me to stay away from the church and also had bitterness in my heart towards the church. However, last April, I made a decision to come back and be actively involved in the church. Step by step, I started to renew my commitment. to the Lord. But these past weeks ago, I felt so lonely. I am longing for my husband’s time. Our church just have a new senior is his 3rd year now and I guess i feel we are still in the transition time.

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