A Word to the Pastor’s Wife – 10 Things You Should Know

This post: 10 things every pastor’s wife should know.

I am a pastor’s wife. Ministry is my vocation.

Not to be confused with vacation.

It’s my calling. 

Sometimes it’s what I do best.

Other times, I feel like it’s what I’m least equipped to do.

Here’s the Tricky Part

Being a pastor’s wife is hard and wonderful and surprising.

Kind of like hiking up Pike’s Peak on my honeymoon.

The snow-capped mountains in early spring beckoned my young husband and me, promising an epic experience.

Off we went, full of energy and optimism.

We didn’t last a mile.

Why?

We weren’t prepared for the challenge.

No one warned us about the weather, recommended hiking gear, or suggested I not wear my favorite pair of Rothy’s.

And sadly, we didn’t think to ask.

A word to the pastor's wife : these 10 things are part of my life. If you married a preacher, then they'll likely be part of your life too.
Breathtaking + daunting, isn’t it? (photo credit: Holly Mandarich)

Consider This Your Warning

Ministry life is a lot like hiking up a mountain.

Obstacles abound, it gets a bit lonely, and good shoes are essential.

Bottom line: you need a guide.

I still haven’t mastered Pikes Peak. Probably never will.

But I’ve been a pastor’s wife for seventeen years.

Before you haul off toward that glistening peak with your preacher, let me hand over some hiking gear.

The fact you’re reading this post tells me you’re asking.

Here are ten things you need to know.

1. You don’t have to be perfect.

You really don’t.

Embracing transparency as a pastor’s wife is one of my greatest challenges.

After all, who gives us permission to be real?

Bottom line: we have to give it to ourselves.

And give it we must.

Transparency isn’t just about authenticity or saving your sanity. (Although, I feel like those are both good enough reasons.)

But your church family needs you to cultivate a safe space so that they can grow too.

There’s already enough pretense and perfectionism in the church culture; let it end in your corner.

2. You Will Get Lonely

For some reason, this came as a bit of a surprise to me.

As an introvert, I’m not a socially high-maintenance person.

But like every other woman, I long to be known and understood. Those needs are not always met within the context of ministry life.

Sometimes you will feel misunderstood.

Other pastor’s wives may be too busy to listen or connect.

You may experience loneliness in your marriage.

Then there is the loneliness of physical distance from familiar places and family.

A word to the pastor's wife : these 10 things are part of my life. If you married a preacher, then they'll likely be part of your life too.
Yes, you will sometimes walk a lonely road. (photo credit: Bernard Hermant)

Bottom line: we can learn lessons in seasons of loneliness.

–> Here are four things loneliness in ministry has taught me about friendship.

3. Every Pastor’s Wife Needs a Mentor

Remember that guide I mentioned?

You need one.

I like the word “mentor,” but you can call it whatever you want.

Find someone who is ahead of you in life’s journey and heading in the direction you want to take (for example, the top of the peak).

Find a mentor, community or fellow mountain climber… and don’t go it alone.

–> Check out my post, How to Find a Titus 2 Mentor.

4. Dress For Success

How should a pastor’s wife dress? She should dress like a woman who wants to make it to the top of the mountain.

Of course, I’m not talking about pulling on a pair of hiking boots on Sunday morning (unless that’s your jam, then go for it!).

Dress for successlike you mean business and have thought this through.

Maybe you’re a relaxed dresser, and maybe you dress as elegantly as the First Lady.

Bottom line: own your style and dress with confidence.

A word to the pastor's wife : these 10 things are part of my life. If you married a preacher, then they'll likely be part of your life too.
Great for church, not for hiking. (photo credit: Andrew Tanglao)

5. Your Marriage Is a Top Priority

Unlike every “normal” job that “normal” men have, your husband’s vocation isn’t exclusive.

You are part of his team.

Even if your church has a staff, and even if you hold down a job separate from ministry life- you’re still on the team.

Ministry works best when both spouses consider it their mutual calling and vocation.

When your marriage and home life are healthy, you can invite others into that safe place for mentoring and influence.

–> Let me recommend two books:

Bottom line: investing in your marriage is an utmost priority.

6. Your Kids Need a Safe Place

Chances are high that the church is not it

PKs typically grow up feeling like more is expected of them than of their peers.

The most important dynamic is that you are your kids’ safe place.

It’s important to realize that your kids are not “a shining example.” They are kids.

Like all kids they need space to grow, stretch, question, and learn from mistakes.

Make room for your kids’ humanity and personalities.

It’s okay if kids sometimes say they don’t like ministry life.  Who says they have to love it all the time?

A word to the pastor's wife : these 10 things are part of my life. If you married a preacher, then they'll likely be part of your life too.
Stay connected, especially as kids grow into the teen years. (photo credit: Jeswin Thomas)

Give yourself permission to walk a grace-filled journey alongside your children.

(Raising preacher’s kids is hard work!)

Bottom line: preacher’s kids are along for the hike, and they need a patient guide.

7. Control Your Tongue

Preacher’s wives often know too much.

People tell things you wish you didn’t know, and ask questions you don’t want to answer.

Discretion is a concept you need to get acquainted with.

My kids have a running joke in our house about all the times they’d been told, “Don’t repeat that!

Even the preacher’s kids can learn to watch their mouths.

Learn the art of knowing when to hold your tongue, what needs to be said and when to say it.

8. Self-Care is Essential

Hikers are encouraged to keep it light.

Ministry life is anything but lightweight. That’s why you have to learn to let go of what you can’t carry.

Just this week, my husband and I collapsed into bed on Sunday night (Sundays are tough!) and looked at each other with weary eyes.

“Alarms off?” he asked.

That’s his way of saying, We need rest. Sleep in.

I’m a fan of leisurely hot baths, morning runs, and faithful doses of Dove milk chocolate.

Pastoring during the pandemic weighs especially heavy, which makes the habit of self-care even more important.

Talking to a Christian counselor or therapist helps me emotionally “unpack.”

Bottom line: practice self-care so you can travel light.

A word to the pastor's wife : these 10 things are part of my life. If you married a preacher, then they'll likely be part of your life too.
(photo credit: Andrew Ly)

9. You Can’t Save the World

You can’t.

But you will probably try.

And it will probably wear you out, burn you out, and make you crazy.

Because God never called you to rescue everyone or fix anyone’s problems.

God is the only One who can rescue or fix.

It will be easy to try to play God in people’s lives, and sometimes people will expect you to.

Don’t.

Love well. Listen well. Serve well.

But live with healthy boundaries.

Bottom line: let God be God so you can be human.

10. You Are a Leader (Like It Or Not)

Most of us prefer our comfort zone.

As a pastor’s wife, God will allow you to be stretched far beyond your natural level of comfort.

You may leave everything familiar and live among strangers.

You may be asked to lead in some capacity within your church or community. If you are a natural “follower,” this will feel hard.

Conversely, if you are a natural leader following someone else’s lead (sometimes even your husband’s!) might be hard for you.

Whatever your personality, resist the urge to stay in your comfort zone.

They may be God’s tools for cultivating lasting growth in your life.

Bottom line: you’ll never reach the mountain peak if you stay on soft ground.

LET ME SEND YOU A FREE Gift:

Self-Care Kit For the Pastor’s Wife

1. Click here 2. Drop your name + email.

  1. Download the free kit. Join my weekly-ish newsletter and as a bonus, you’ll get the printable!
  2. Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.  
  3. Use your kit to practice nourishing your heart, body + mind (give yourself some time to grow- self-care is a lifestyle).
  4. Keep your kit somewhere handy- tucked inside a pretty folder or journal, for instance, or on your desk next to your favorite pen.

Here’s a sneak peek inside the self-care kit:

 

Self Care Kit for the Pastor's Wife | Simply Kristy Lynn

Your Turn

Are you a pastor’s wife? Introduce yourself in the comments below.

109 thoughts on “A Word to the Pastor’s Wife – 10 Things You Should Know”

  1. So blessed to find this article and page. God bless you real good in Jesus Christ name. I’m a pastor’s wife from Nigeria. Will love to get more of your article on boundaries. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. A beautiful reminder and truly healing words for me this morning!

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  3. Hello Medam greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savour Amen
    My Name will aorae in your emails I ve been pastors wife for 26yrs and I’m also a pastor, Through life challenges my role as pastors wife has ended since my husband is nolonger in ministry but God is opening doors for me to minister to pastors wife’s
    I was blessed to read your article its powerful and life changing and thank you for allowing God to use you in this regard, God’s Kinfom will prevail regardless the challenges through your ministry God bless your good heart thank you

    Reply
  4. Am a Nigerian Young Lady engaged to a preacher….we are getting married soon.

    This post is insightful and educative. Thanks a lot

    Reply
  5. This is just exactly what I need right now. Thanks, am inspire

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  6. I’m having a relationship with our newly ordained Pastor. He’s 24 and I’m just 18 years old. I’m so pressured and stressed at the same time. Can someone give me an advice? thank you!

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  7. I’m So Blessed To Have Have You All To Pray With & Talk With Everyday From TN.

    Reply
  8. Your words are so true. I have only been a Pastor’s wife for a year and a half. We have been married for 16 years and God called my husband to Pastor a church plant after seeking direction on which ministry He had for our family. A seasoned and godly Pastor’s wife who is my mentor told me that it is OK to wear a proverbial “Pastor’s wife suit.” At first glance this seems wrong. She meant that because it is my God given role, I need to have grace and dignity, and don’t rush myself to give someone an answer. I think of it like a thick bubble protecting me from reacting wrong and from getting offended. In my situation this has helped tremendously! I cannot be a Pastor’s wife without my husband’s counsel. My advice is please don’t hesitate to both seek out another Pastor’s counsel together. We did this summer, and I wish we had sooner. It has been such a blessing!
    Thank you for your insights!
    A kindred spirit

    Reply
  9. the post and comments are so inspiring……am 25yrs old and am in love with a single pastor who is 40yrs old and into full ministry……… going into full ministry and making him excel is an additional blessing to me and am happy becos I need to be uplifted spiritually ….but am afraid DT am inadequate to fill this position as a pastor’s wife……help me plzzzz

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  10. Hey Kristy, Do you mind if I email you to ask you for some advice? I found your article very helpful and it got me thinking!

    Reply
  11. i have all along loved to be part of such a great army of pastors wives.
    personally i have been and still pastors a wife for six years now.its such big calling that needs adoption and adjustments.however God richly bless you am happy to part of this.

    Reply
  12. Aunty Kristy am a young a 23 year young lady and have always loved to be a pastors wife.please i may need ur advice tho by grace am performing well in the things of God.

    Reply
  13. Thanks for this post. Am engaged to a pastor that was called into full time ministry some months back. Since then things have not been the same, recently we broke up but He came back apologizing and needs me to be strong for Him, knowing the demands of the ministry on Him. It’s not been easy to understand the gap that the ministry has created in our once loving relationship. Now i see where i was wrong, praying God to make me understand this better. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey. I am very filmiloar with this seniero. I am 26 and dating a 38yr old gull time pastor. The strain it puts on us is hard. Sometimes i feel so alone. But long suffering is fundamental. And we have broke up once. There is much to be learned on both ends. Im sorry you went through what you did. But it blesses me knowing im not alone. Praying for you my sister

      Reply
  14. thank you my dear sisters in Christ, i am to be a pastor’s wife soon and i had many fears concerning ministry, but i believe that this blog will help me get over some of my fears. it is so nice for people like you who take time to train those who are coming after you. may the good Lord richly reward you. i have been really searching and seeking advice because i do not want the work of the Lord to slow down because i married my husband but i want to be resourceful helper and to help lead many to Christ, may you please pray with me.

    Reply
  15. thank you ladies, i am engaged to a pastor and will be getting married soon. i love him so much and he loves me too. i have been excited and afraid also of what will come and what our relationship would be later on. i am afraid of losing what we already have now. please help me pray, so that i get over these fears. i am also happy to help him in his work and also to answer the call upon my life. please just help me pray.

    Reply
  16. I really love this post. My fiance is a pastor and we are trying to get along together. My submission for him is an issue and the demand of d ministry scares me. please i need your advice because i desire to do God’s will to the fullest.

    Reply
  17. This is great indeed. I will share them with my fiancy, I know she will find it interesting and helpful.

    Reply
  18. I’ve only been a Pastor’s wife for a year. phewwwwww. it’s been so difficult. truly thrown into the deep end. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to quit, to a point of wanting to die. I mean it. I am not exaggarating. everyone I turned to said to me PRAY, PRAY and PRAY. What also helped was the teachings I got from my husband, about understanding the office of the Pastor, the ministry of the Helper. I don’t prophess to have arrived, but at least my relationship with God has dramatically improved, I no longer visit His throne, He is my habitation, as it ought to have been and that takes away my attention from so many things that would have otherwise disturbed me. the Ministry of the greater One who lives in me, I cannot even begin to appreciate His role. I have had to allow me, my flesh to completely die and allow the Holy Spirit in me to take dominion. Long story short ladies, I had to work on me, my relationship with God and intensify my prayer life. I thank God for leading me to the right people, and blogs where I could receive Godly Counsel. be blessed in His service.

    Reply
    • Thophi, I so appreciate what you shared here. I’ve been thinking along these lines lately, and your words really resonated with me. Being in the role of a pastor’s wife does not automatically make you a “spiritual” person, but it DOES thrust you into the place where you have to learn, grow, and draw closer to Jesus Christ in order to survive! We all have the choice to become either bitter or better… I want to be a better Christian woman, and ministry is definitely a “boot camp” for that!

      Reply
  19. This list could work for the wife of a man in the military (in particular an Officer). All these I found applied to me as well! My husband retired after 22 years of service and now I feel a tad lost and unsure at times how to exactly stop being what I was!!! Connecting with others has been hard as most people don’t get it and even in the military there is a difference from those who constantly rotate and deploy verses those who are rarely leave their families!

    Great read!

    Reply
    • Wow, Anita, I had no idea! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences as a military wife. Blessings to you, and thank you for your family’s service to our nation.

      Reply
      • I’m so afraid of becoming a Pastors wife. This is very helpful. My husband is currently an interim Pastor and I believe soon to be the new Pastor. Please pray for me. I’m excited also but afraid at the same time

  20. My husband has been a minister for 20 years and he is a finalist to becoming a pastor… I’m nervous about the interview process for me as becoming a first time Pastor Wife! I love the Lord with everything inside me! I love, honor and respect my husband and I absolutely adore our children! Please pray for me! I’ve never been good with any type of interview. Thanks

    Reply
  21. I have been a pastor’s wife for 12 years yet this is a good reminder. Thank you for sharing.

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  22. I’m a Pastor’s fiance and we are marrying next year, i have fear of what is going to happen in the future. I know as a pastor’s wife, you need to be strong but i need more help.

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    • As a pastor’s wife you will draw your strength from the Lord, Natalia. You do not have to be strong in and of yourself. God will use YOU, with your strengths and limitations, to build His kingdom, but it will never, ever be in your own strength.

      Embrace your future as a pastor’s wife with a reverent fear, but not an intimidated or overwhelmed fear. My husband has been a full time pastor for ten years now; if I could give just one “tip” to new and younger pastor’s wives it would be to simply cultivate a deeper love for Jesus Christ and for people. That is the heart and essence of every other virtue you will need as the wife of a minister.

      Blessings on you, sweet lady!

      Reply
      • Hi Kristy

        Thanks for your advice and ofcourse i seek more as i belief to be a pastors wife is a call. My boyfriend wants to start a ministry one day he is a pastor and we are at a stage of talking of marriage. What course would you recomend i study for more knowledge which i may need as a Pastors wife. What other preparations should i take on my journey to be a pastors wife?

        Thanks

      • Joan, I completely agree with you: being a pastor’s wife is a calling… specifically, it is embracing your man’s calling into ministry!

        As far as courses for Biblical training, I attended a year of Bible College before my husband and I married. If college isn’t necessarily what you’re looking for, there are online Bible courses you can enroll in. You might ask your pastor, or another minister in your life, for a recommendation that fits your denomination or faith.

        You asked, “What other preparations should I take on my journey to be a pastor’s wife?”… (I admire your willingness to learn, by the way!)… Let me throw a few important topics out for your consideration:

        (1) Learn all you can about personalities and understanding people. This helps SO much in learning to deal with, relate to, and truly LOVE the people God will place in your life in the coming years. The Color Code is one of my favorite books on personalities.

        (2) Become a student of personal growth. As a pastor’s wife, you will want to cultivate a life of influence and leadership in order to compliment your husband’s role and headship in the church. Those virtues are NOT inborn- they must be developed! I love the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; every minister’s wife should read it!

        (3) Cultivate a generous and hospitable heart. Ministry is very much about building relationships and serving others. Hospitality is a great virtue for a pastor’s wife to seek out! I love Jami’s blog, The Young Wife’s Guide; you’ll find a lot of great homemaking and hospitality helps there.

        (4) This is for future reference, but if God blesses your marriage with children then child training is going to be a huge part of your life! Keep Sally Clark’s blog and books in mind when you reach this season of life. 🙂

        (5) Last but not least, always seek to cultivate a hungry heart for the Lord, Joan. As a pastor’s wife, nothing else will keep you more on tract than simply living closely in the presence of God. A growing relationship with Jesus Christ will sustain you through seasons of life as a helper to your man, a wife in ministry, perhaps one day a mother, and all the other many roles you will fill as a pastor’s wife.

        Blessings to you, sweet friend!

      • Thank you very much for your advise , u people are the great mentor I really need, and getting married to my fiancé in a year and half , and he is a pastor, I didn’t no what to expact, But u ladies have given me a path to work on, and I pray to God to make me his own.

        THANK YOU!!
        God Richly bless you all.

  23. Hi Kristy, I left a message here before but I’m having another doubt in my mind again about being pastor’s wife. Does a pastor’s wife necessarily have to be a housewife?
    I’m having a great career with all kinds of flying around the world for business purposes, and my boyfriend (he’s going to be a pastor soon) and myself will probably be getting married in the near future. Knowing that he will need a lot of support from me I can see that the demands of my current job will be conflicting with the need of my husband, I get a bit lost now 🙁
    Can you give me some advise? Greatly appreciated!! 🙂

    Reply
    • Kylie, please forgive me for taking so long to respond to your comment. I haven’t forgotten, I’ve just been thinking and praying about your question.

      If it’s okay with you, I’d like to respond with a blog post… I think a lot of other ministry wives (and wives to be) will relate to your question.

      Reply
      • Hi Kristy, sure 🙂 look forward to see your post 😀

      • Hi Kristy were you able to respond in a blog post? because i really need to read that one. And also in terms of finances what if the ministry doesnt have enough cash flow anymore when i have stopped working because my family is sceptical about me marrying someone without a full time job besides ministry

      • Hi Lilian,

        Here is the link to my reply to the question regarding a pastor’s wife being a housewife versus having a career: https://simplykristylynn.com/can-a-pastors-wife-have-a-career/.

        Regarding finances and ministry, *most* full time pastors I know receive a salary from their churches. Obviously there are exceptions to this, and there are certainly pastors who are bi-vocational (they work a secular job in addition to pastoring a church).

        In response to your family members who are skeptical about you marrying someone without a full time job besides ministry: I have heard plenty of comments from relatives about my husband not having a “real job”. I choose to see these remarks for what they are, comments by people who do not understand the eternal perspective of a ministry calling. Yes, you are choosing to go against the grain of the culture when you choose the life of a minister’s wife over a secular career. There will be sacrifices and changes required of you and your family, and that is why ministry *must* be a calling, not simply a career choice.

        I urge you to settle this issue of ministry calling in your heart before you move forward in marriage. Once you set your heart to follow this path in obedience to Christ (if this is indeed His calling for you), you will find more than enough grace for the challenges of ministry life as well as the doubts of naysayers. 🙂

  24. I’ve been saved for 2 years now and almost immediately after receiving Jesus into my heart I met my now husband who is in ministry. learning to be a Christian is one thing but doing it in the public eye is another. one thing I find difficult is submitting and obeying my husband, specifically if what im being TOLD to do is out of my “comfort zone”. Please pray that i become what God wants me to be. i just want to make the Lord happy…

    Reply
    • You have such a beautiful heart, Christa! The Lord is your helper, teacher, and guide… focus on loving Him more and more each day and the rest will fall into place. Being a godly minister’s wife is a learning and growing experience for each of us, regardless of our experience, background, or upbringing. You are on the right track!

      I will pray for you! I am considering starting a Facebook group just for minister’s wives… is this something that might be a blessing to you?

      Reply
  25. Thanks for the encouraging words! I’ve been married and a minister’s wife for almost nine months and it’s very hard…I moved to a town where I have no friends and my family is 5-7 hours away…it’s very lonely because it’s hard to find someone I can trust, some of the ladies in the church don’t always make an effort to reach out, but they are great ladies, maybe they just don’t know how to reach out….it’s nice to know I’m not alone…thanks so much for the encouragement!!

    Reply
    • Tyler, you’re so right: I think many, many sweet ladies simply don’t know how, or lack the confidence, to reach out. I encourage you to not be afraid to step out and initiate friendships and connections with the women in your church. This is totally out of my comfort zone, but it has definitely paid off to cultivate this attribute in my life (and I’m still working on it!).

      Another thing I’ve had to learn (the hard way) is to let go of my expectations of the ladies in my church. They may not respond like I think they should. They may or may not be loyal, or may not “be there” when I need them. Sometimes it feels very one-sided, and that’s okay. Show them by example how to be a good and caring friend, then make sure YOUR heart stays full by spending time in God’s Word and presence, and making the most of time spent with encouraging, like-minded women. I literally prayed mentors and godly friends into my life as a young pastor’s wives! These ladies are not local and I rarely see them, but their lives and friendship mean SO much to me as a minister’s wife.

      Blessings to you, my sister!

      Reply
  26. Thanks for your post! My boyfriend is currently studying theology and he’s going to be a missionary/pastor. We were talking about our future the other day and I was a bit scared of the term ‘pastor’s wife’ after knowing more about the role. I’m a normal girl no different from others, so I’m struggling as in don’t know what to expect after we get married. Your post gives me insights and also comforts especially when seeing many pastor’s wives here to comment, knowing that I’m not alone!;) I will keep praying for God’s guidance and ask Him to give me strength to face whatever happens in the coming days:)

    Reply
    • I’m a normal girl too, Kylie, and every other pastor’s wife is “normal” in her struggles, needs, and fears, as well. The only thing that will make you extraordinary is how you let God “grow” you, and to what extent you let Him cultivate a deep love for people in your heart. He can do ALL that needs to be done in your heart in order to equip you, and He will do it one day at a time.

      Blessings on your future marriage and ministry, my friend. God has great things in store!

      Reply
  27. Thank-you! I’ve been married for ten months and a pastor’s wife for nine months. My husband and I are both learning and this is really helpful!!

    -Amanda

    Reply
  28. I’ve been a pastor’s wife for almost 10 years, and we’ve had our share of ups and downs – but lately it feels like we’ve had too many downs and not enough ups. I’m puttering around on Pinterest looking for some encouragement, and found this!! Thank you! This post was a great blessing to me. So glad to know I’m not alone. Will be pinning & sharing. 🙂

    Reply
    • Aw, thanks so much for sharing, Kim. I’m so thankful this post was an encouragement to you. You’re definitely not alone!

      Blessings to you, my Sister.

      Reply
  29. Great list! Saturday marks 6 years that I have been a pastor’s wife, and these are some great reminders. # 7 is one that I hadn’t thought about and makes good sense. My husband and I read the book for our marriage, but I would do well to apply the principles to other relationships as well.

    My #11 would be to remember that the church hired him, not me and him. I don’t have to feel guilty for saying “no” or not participating in a particular event because my job is to be a helpmate to my husband and church activity burnout won’t help me with that.

    Reply
    • I absolutely agree with your #11. Protecting our role as a “helper” to our husband greatly blesses the church, because it sets a precedence and good example when the pastor’s home/marriage is in order. We can’t lose sight of our top priority!

      Thank you for commenting, Nikki!

      Reply
  30. I am a new pastor’s wife of minus two years, I would add to my list, Always take time for you and your family together away from the church. It’s so easy to get caught up in the business that being a Ministry family that you don’t take time to get away with your husband especially, and your children secondly. Our Husbands are still our Husbands first and foremost and our Pastor secondly. They still need and desire that time away from the daily grind of ministry to relax and regroup. If you don’t take that time, Satan will use that to drive those rotten wedges that will eventually begin to still up discord, boredom, over commitment. burnt out feelings and so much more. When things at home get out of sync, it effects the work you are trying to accomplish for the Lord. Go on those dates, take the children places and do not feel guilty about saying I’m sorry but we have already made plans this week but would love to join you next time! You will not regret it later, because Ministry can and will consume you! .. Your family or your Husband needs this to continue the Journey with exuberance! God Bless!

    Reply
  31. We have been in leadership for the past 10 years. This has been the most insightful list that I have ever read. It’s so ACCURATE and true. It needs to be presented to every wife new to the pastorate both young and old. It has been my desire to inform these ladies of what is to come. I will add to your list to “Be real and true to who you are.” If you have small children like I did, God has already put your help in place. Remember, He sent you there and He definitely knows what you have need of.

    Reply
  32. Under the part about understanding yourself and others, I would like to add, know where you are gifted. God has blessed every baptized Christian with spiritual gifts that are used to build up the body. Know your own. There are many times as a pastor’s wife that we are asked to do things in the church, not all of them are enjoyable for us. We all ‘work’ in the church, even if we are unpaid and have to do tasks that we are not so fond of. Yet there are times when we get the option of what we would like to do, and if you know your gifts and how you feel energized, you can be doing things in ministry that you are less likely to burn out on.

    And on the thought of burn on, plan family fun days, relax time and vacations, (with in the family budget). It is so easy to get our calendars filled up with work (church, family, career or otherwise) that we forget to budget time for rest. Jesus took time to rest and pray away from the crowds. So should we (as a married couple and as families). Realize, also, that sometimes our husbands need some quiet time with just him and God. Honor that as best you can. And let your husband know when you need time as well.

    Reply
  33. I am really blessed by this. I have been a Pastor’s wife for 7years now and all this points are so real. God bless u.

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  34. You forgot the part about don’t be real. Put a smile on and pretend everything is ok even when it really isn’t because that is what the church expects you to do. The pastor and his family can’t be weak. They at least have to appear to have it all together.

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    • Of course the above comment was tinted with sarcasm, but it is definitely a trap that pastors and families can fall into. The ministry is only as strong as the family. Your relationship with God is first, family second, church/ministry is third. That was the best advise anyone ever gave me!

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  35. My journey as a pastor’s wife officially begins this Sunday. The Lord has given us our first church. The thing that has most been preoccupying my mind is that my 2 very small children and myself are going to be scrutinized. I want to be the very best that I can be and not be a reproach to my husband’s ministry. I can feel the pressure already, and we haven’t even started! I like how you explain that most of the pressure we feel comes from within ourselves. I have found that to be very accurate.

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  36. Thank you so much for this post. It is so true and real. My husband has been in the ministry for 8 years and it has certainly had it’s ups and downs. I think for me, the hardest has been having no family around to help with the kids. Often I feel like a single mom on a Sunday at church as my husband is very focused on his message. Juggling the kids and trying to greet everyone is hard, especially when you have a very busy 3 year old and a little crawler.

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  37. My husband is currently in school to become a pastor. Thank you for being so open and sharing!

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  38. Sometimes it is hard being younger than those in your congregation! We are in our forties, and sometimes the “elders” in the church have a hard time with a younger Minister’s wife. That’s another challenge in the ministry my family and I have faced. Loved your post!

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  39. I was a pastor’s wife for 19 years and you have reached into the heart of finding success in the place God has place you. It’s such a high calling, but starting with “you don’t have to be perfect” we can find joy and fulfillment in the place God called us to. It’s an honor. I wish every young pastor’s wife would read this.

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    • Thank you, Pamela, your comment means so much! It is a high calling. It is such a blessing to have older, godly women in my life who have shown me by their example what being a pastor’s wife should look like.

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  40. Thank you for this! I am about to become a Pastor’s wife and I am very scared!

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  41. Thank you. My husband is currently back in school to be a pastor, so I will be tucking this away!

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  42. LOVE this! As a pastor’s wife I can completely agree to all of these. Thank you for this.

    Jenifer

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  43. I am soon to be a pastors wife, he is in school now and expected to be a youth pastor within 2 years. Number nine I REALLY needed to read. I’m a young wife, young mom, young leader, and have always had very high standards and been a perfectionist. I’m slowly coming to realize how much this steals my joy and really entraps me. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

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    • I totally understand, Rachel. I am a huge perfectionist, too. It has been a long road for me to learn to let go!

      The Lord is very faithful! Just stay surrendered and teachable, and He will help you find balance, joy, and peace through every step of your journey.

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  44. Thank you so much for this. It is encouraging to know that others truly understand the struggles that a pastors wife goes through. We are currently serving abroad and days can get lonely, but I have made many new and lasting friendships here as well. I have many areas to improve in, but there are so many joys in serving Christ. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! Blessings as you continue to serve Christ!

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  45. I love all the things you’ve mentioned, Kristy, and I completely agree (as a fellow pastor’s wife!). One thing I would add if I were making a list of my own is to be careful that I am not considering myself a “martyr”. When I see things on Facebook like “97% of pastors say they have no close friends” and “The role of a pastor’s wife is one of the loneliest lifestyles”, etc, it really bothers me because it’s as if people are using this to feel sorry for themselves.

    If it is our calling to be a pastor’s wife, we can take joy in that, or at least we should ask the Lord to help us do so! It isn’t always a joyful thing and my attitude is far from perfect, but sometimes we can bring grief and joylessness on ourselves if we act like a martyr and whine and complain when we are “persecuted”. Just my two cents, for what it’s worth 😉

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    • I totally agree, Jenn! Jesus is our example of a servant, and He never gives us room to feel sorry for ourselves. Understanding some of the difficulties of being in a pastor’s home and choosing to DWELL on a perceived “negative” are two very different things.

      As another commentor pointed out, there is much joy in a life dedicated to service! I can honestly say that a few of the most joyful and radiant ladies I know are pastor’s wives. Their example is such a blessing to me!

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  46. Thanks for the great words. I’ve been a pastor’s wife for under 2 years. So many of them hit home. Looking forward to reading more!

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  47. I have just been a pastor’s wife for a year now and just pinpointed last week that this can be a lonely role. I found it comforting that you listed the exact thing that I pinpointed. Not entirely sure how to fix this or if it is just what it is. Thanks for encouraging!

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    • New Pastor’s Wife, For me, recognizing the loneliness made me aware of two things: Primarily, that I needed to find my fulfillment in Jesus Christ and not look for it in other people.
      Secondly, it prompted me to reach out in friendship to other women with a motive to bless, not just receive friendship in return. Consider it a catalyst for growth!

      Admittedly, there are times when I still feel “lonely”, but I am able to recognize what to do with the emotions and look to the Lord instead of dwelling on it.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment here, my friend. Blessings!

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  48. What great advice! I am still learning a few things… thanks for speaking from the heart

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  49. This was very well written and truly from the heart.

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  50. Great list. Also, I would add, “Don’t use your role as pastor’s wife as an excuse not to form close friendships.” This excuse is often a cop out and “barrier” that we use for self protection which fuels pride. We are part of the church, and need the daily interaction of others, both giving and taking in order to thrive as a church member. 🙂 If Jesus had friends, then we certainly are not greater than our Master in this area. 🙂 Loved this.

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    • So very true, Sarah! We minister’s wives can easily fall into that trap. Thank you for commenting, and for your friendship and advise in this area! I appreciate you, my friend.

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    • yes! I like to find something outside the church to be a part of. A place to form friendships and not be “the pastor’s wife”. When my kids were small I joined MOPS. Then we home schooled so I joined home school fellowships. Finding a hobby like scrapbooking or quilting groups are a great outlet too!

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    • Thank you so much for the word of encouragement. I want you to be my mentor as an inexperience young pastor’s wife. Thank you ma, remain blessed!

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  51. Good post! After being a pastor’s wife for 10 years I completely agree!!

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