I’m only one wife to one pastor. And since it’s safe to assume that every single pastor’s wife is different from the next, it is clear I cannot in any way write this for the whole lot of us out there.

I honestly believe there could be way more we pastor wives have in common than some might guess, but the goal in this post is for me to be as open and honest as I can be about myself, not any other woman.

So, here are my 15 “confessions” pertaining to my role as “pastor’s wife”…and feel free to comment below if you have some of your own confessions or feedback to share as well.15 confessions from a pastor's wife

1. my husband and i are not gifted in the same way. 

We are so different from one another. He’s the one on stage, not me…and that is on purpose. Yes, we are married. And, yes, two have become one. But we are in no way whatsoever the exact same person. The things he is good at are not things I am good at. And vice versa. I have different talents, different giftings, different preferences, different skills, different strengths, and different weaknesses.

15 confessions from a pastor's wife

2. i’m human. 

I have fears, weaknesses, shortcomings, insecurities and struggles just like everyone else. At times I get sick, I get hungry, I get scared, I get tired, I get stressed out and I get overwhelmed. I don’t have it all together and I battle many of the same issues every other woman battles: marriage issues, extended family difficulties, finances, motherhood issues

3. i’m not unapproachable

I can’t speak for every pastor’s wife because we are certainly not cut from the same mold…but I am an introvert.

There I said it. Deep exhale.

I enjoy being in the background. I get a little nervous to talk to strangers and I have a very difficult time remembering names…which I feel just horrible about. I dislike small chit chat and would rather sit down to really get to know you instead of bouncing around from one person to the next.

But I’m not mean. I promise.

Don’t ever be afraid to come talk to me. And please let me ask for your name again without getting mad at me.

15 confessions from a pastor's wife

4. i guard family time like hidden treasure

Many pastor families speak often of having to cut vacations short or rearrange family evenings, or give up their days off for the various crises of church members, middle of the night emergencies and regular interruptions. My husband is essentially on call 24/7. So if there comes an evening or a day when he is unable to be reached, it is most likely because I have purposely left his phone in the car…or I have “accidentally” thrown it into the ocean. I’ll let him come back, I promise, but for his sake and mine sometimes I need to just shut it all off.

5. some seasons are harder than others. 

You know that saying: when it rains, it pours? Yeah, well ministry is seemingly always like that. There are times when I have a lot to offer others. I am able to reach out and I have the capacity to pursue, to counsel, to be present and to make time.

But there are other times when I just don’t. Whether it be the needs of my own home, struggles I am going through, or the demands on my schedule there are most certainly seasons when I am spread far too thin. A longstanding prayer I have is that I could do a better job in the midst of those seasons to communicate that with others. I desire to do all I can to help the people I love so dearly not be confused, offended or hurt by these seasons.

 

6. i often struggle with trying to be all things to all people

I truly enjoy making people happy, but sometimes I take that too far and say “yes” way too often. I worry at times about offending others. But, at the end of the day, I cannot sacrifice my main priorities to always include the preferences of everyone else and am deeply convicted for the times I have done so.

I am learning more and more to say “no.” I must be content with those times, and even the consequences, when I have to kindly decline. Please know it’s not easy and it’s certainly not a personal offense toward any specific person.

My husband, my children and my sanity must come first.

15 confessions from a pastor's wife

7. my life isn’t perfect. 

I’m not perfect, my husband isn’t perfect, and my kids aren’t perfect. I know this, but I really, really need others to know this. If there is a misconception that I have it all together, then others will likely either silently judge, quietly gossip or remain far off.

I’m so normal. Like really normal.

And my kids are too. They fight, disobey, and get messy just like normal kids do…because…drumroll please…they’re normal kids. We have to learn to walk by faith just like everyone else and we won’t turn away any encouragement, compassion and love to do so.

15 confessions from a pastor's wife8. ministry is different than friendship

Ministry is a lot of listening and a lot of question asking. It’s a lot of pouring out, pouring into and praying for. Ministry is service and care, concern and empathy.

Ministry can also feel very lonely at times.

I absolutely love getting to know you, but I deeply long to be known too. I desire friendship just like the next gal. I promise I won’t be offended if you ask me things, in fact, I’ll love it. I give you permission to jump right in anytime.

9. no church is perfect

I believe this goes without saying but, just in case, I’ll say it again: NO church is perfect.

Sometimes I think through what a public apology on behalf of ALL churches could look like. (Maybe some day I’ll actually create one and post it on this blog.)

We have messed up people leading messed up people…and it’s bound to be messed up in some places. Yet if it’s a good church, then your pastor, your pastor’s wife and the people beside you will constantly be pointing you to the only One that isn’t messed up…and that is Jesus.

15 confessions from a pastor's wife

10. we do not share the same pair of ears

His ears aren’t mine. What I mean by this is there are many, many people who have shared a story, experience, or hardship with my husband and then are later surprised when I am not familiar with the same story. Again, I cannot speak for every pastor’s wife, but my husband does not come home and tell me every single thing about every single one of you. He guards your stories and protects your information…even from me. If you’re going through something you’d like for me to know about then please ask him to share with me or come talk to me as well.

My ears aren’t his. What you say to me doesn’t always make it to his ears either. If there are things that you dislike, preferences you have, or issues you feel need to be addressed, going through me is not the answer. I have seen this many, many times when an individual will speak to the pastor wife in hopes of being heard, and then the wife becomes a megaphone to get her husband to do something about it…and it’s almost always a huge, huge, huge mess.

My job is to keep my husband sane, alive, fed, ministered to and cared for…it is not to get in the middle of all the inner workings of the church.

15 confessions from a pastor's wife

11. not everything has to be about church

Gasp! Wait, what?!

Nothing beats a heartfelt, meaningful conversation about good doctrine, sound theology or the work Jesus is doing in someone’s life, but I also love to let my hair down sometimes and relate with people about not-so-spiritual things too.

Yes, I enjoy normal things, not just churchy things, and would love to talk about culture, fashion, art, music, fitness, politics (okay not really so much that one) or food every once in awhile.

I like to have fun and I really, really like to laugh.15 confessions from a pastor's wife

12. i’m not your mom — this one’s for you D.O.!! 🙂 

Look, I get it. I’m the pastor’s wife…but I’m not your mother. There’s a big difference here. Yes, I care deeply about what is going on in your life and whether or not you’re walking by faith, but you’re not going to get “in trouble” if I find out that you didn’t buckle your seatbelt, said a bad word when you stubbed your toe or discover you’ve not cleaned your room. I’m not the principal just waiting to find a reason to send you to after school detention. So please, oh please, don’t respond to me that way.

Be real with me. Be yourself.

I’d love to truly get to know you and I’d love for you to feel free enough to tell me how you’re really doing, and feel free to throw in a joke, a story, and please care enough to let me know if I have something stuck in my teeth for cryin’ out loud! 😉

13. sunday’s are so hard. 

Like really hard. Although I may have showered and my kids clothes match, I have to be honest that some of my all time worst mom moments have been on Sunday mornings. Trying to get five little people with very different wills out the door on time is like trying to find the end of a rainbow blindfolded.

Sometimes I wish we could just skip Sundays (double gasp).

It’s hard work to juggle the needs of my husband, the cares of my children and balance that with being fully present and available to everyone that walks through the door. I often feel like my head is spinning to keep it all in check and it’s not uncommon for me to leave our gatherings entirely exhausted…and that’s only just the beginning of the week.

15 confessions from a pastor's wife

14. the “mama bear” in me is fierce 

When it comes to my family there is nothing…let me repeat…NOTHING that can make me more fiery than when I hear of someone using my husband’s name in a negative way or speaking ill of him behind his back. If I hear of unnecessary gossip, slander, or someone raising undue suspicion about him, it’s all I can do to keep myself in check.

I literally cannot handle it. It makes me incredibly sad, and nauseous and oh so very angry.

I’ll refrain from writing what I really want to here because I think it would scare you. So please if you have an issue with my husband, go directly to him to speak of your concern or by all means close your ever loving mouth.

(insert LOUD roar here)

And don’t get me started about my kids. I love girly and I’m all about classy. But if you have something negative to say about them or to them behind my back, what you will see from me might be less than refined. My husband just laughed at me for writing that, but seriously, please just come talk TO me instead of about me (or my kids).

15 confessions from a pastor's wife

15. i love you dearly

Being a pastor’s wife is hard. Ministry is hard. Church planting is hard. Church is hard. But the reason I do what I do is because I LOVE Jesus and LOVE His people. My husbands’ calling has become my calling. I’ve taken it on as my own.

And you are worth every.tiny.last.bit.of.it. No seriously. I love each one of you.

On the days I feel like giving up, throwing in the towel, signing off and moving far out to the country where no humans exist, it is all of your faces and your stories that get me up off the floor and back in the ring. There is no other aim than the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus and the edification of the church community that I want to pour myself out for.

Thank you, from every ounce of my being, for sharing your lives with me and letting me have the undeserved honor of loving and serving you. I am forever thankful and oh so very humbled.

 

oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! psalm 34:3

15 confessions from a pastor's wife

 

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94 comments

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Can I just say lol?!? It is wonderful to find another pastor’s wife be real. That’s my motto….of course it gets me into trouble sometimes 😉😉but we are each a work in progress right? Keep being honest and reject the fish bowl life status. More and more people need to hear real even if they don’t know it yet😉 blessing sister!!

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Yes, a work in progress that’s for sure! Thank you so much for the encouragement!

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Oh my goodness. You must be my long lost twin. I am a pastor’s wife…and i would never have guessed i would be. I’m 24, my husband 26, and we (or rather HE) became lead pastor of a small church 2 years ago, right after we got married. I 100% agree with everything you posted! Now if my church family can read it and understand it too that would be great! <3

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I always wondered if I had a long lost twin! 🙂 And oh wow! Your husband became a lead pastor at age 24! That is so wonderful yet so challenging I’m sure! I’m praying for strength and wisdom as you wear your role of “pastor wife” with all grace and dignity. And I’m praying that your church family supports and loves you! Thank you for reaching out and commenting!

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May The LORD’S most abundant Blessings fall upon your family. While I am not a Pastors Wife I have been honored to be close to a couple of Pastors Wives. Your life is challenged and often unpredictable. I pray you will have someone that helps to fill and encourage as your consistently pulled upon to give out.

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Thank you so much! Your prayer is so sweet and thoughtful. Thank you!

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AMEN AND AMEN — ALL 15 CONFESSIONS!!!
I am a Pastor’s Wife too — almost 40 years. Our 6 kids are all adults now — I have been and still am, in part, where you are!!! The only difference now is that our kids’ problems are now adult problems…….and even we, as Pastor and Wife, have had our problems, too!! YES, WE ARE HUMAN!!!

That is not to discourage you. In every season of life, there will be lessons to learn, and lessons to teach.

God bless you, and THANK YOU for being so honest!!!

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You’re so welcome! And thank you so much for your feedback and encouragement! Grace to you!

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I appreciate this! Being in the ministry for 20 years I have experienced all this and much more!! We all need to pray hard for the wives and children in ministry (along with the men 🙂
Thank you for sharing.

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Thank you for sharing. Yes, praying for one another and spurring one another on toward love is huge! Thank you for your comment.

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With the exception of me being an extravert, this is so spot on! I love reading words that are in my own head! Thank you do much for your transparency!

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You’re welcome! Thank you for sharing! Grace to you!

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Wow.. I ran across your blog and was stopped in my tracks.
I’m a Associate Pastors wife and have gone through so much of what you have commented on and several hurts and some depression and loneliness. I’ve had the privilege of ministry with my husband and have truly been blessed for over 20 years. Now I’m in a season where my children are grown and I am finally finding my self trying to find out the “what now” my journey has been a challenge and joy and Iam grateful for your honesty and candidness regarding this calling on your life. It has not been easy to share with anyone without feeling you should be better or if you are sharing your concerns or hurts because of getting the deaf ear from members because for so long The expectation was “your suppose to hear my problems” it seemed all so one sided. I gave and gave until I gave up. Now I no longer try to “fit the bill” of being a Pastors wife, I just am. I have learned how to say it’s OK to be me or even cry because I’ve had to be strong for so many for so long things seemed to get pushed in the back shelf for me and I allowed it for the sake of ministry. But that wasn’t ministry that was trying to fulfill expectations of others because I did not understand my calling. Now God has used all those hurts and disappointments as a platform as well to share with Women or others his love and his word to encourage in this way and truly it has surprised me how God works and ministers to others. Not because of me but inspite of me for his glory and I’m so happy he has allowed me this privilege to find him in the midst of it all. Thank you and keep sharing your heart as he leads because he knows just who needs to find it written right here. To him be all glory! God bless you.

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Thank you for sharing. Yes, there is no “bill” for pastor wives to fit. We are all different from one another and all different from our spouses. I love that you are learning to find the new you apart from the expectations of what might be “out there” for you to fit into. I have full confidence that the Lord will speak clearly as to what is next. And I know He will continue to give you strength and joy as you love and serve not only Him but His people. Yes, it is hard, and yes there are so many challenges, but love, compassion and care for others must trump our own feelings. Keep pressing sweet sister! And keep looking to Jesus! Grace to you!

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This spoke straight to my PW heart! Thanks so much!

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You’re so welcome! Keep pressing on sweet sister. And thank you for the encouragement! Grace to you!

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Perhaps from the perspective of a Pastor’s wife to another, this article is encouraging, but being just a Church member this article comes off to me as harsh, and seems to have an undertone of bitterness and resentment against church members. I do not sense a lot of love and grace for the members in this article and I wonder if this article would have been better shared in a forum for Pastors wife’s or is this a disguised scolding for church members? My Pastor’s wife shared this article and that is how I got to read it, while I have never been involved in any of the things you criticized your congregations for doing to you, I know I will never approach my Pastors wife for anything. Ever. I will keep wondering if this is her mindset towards us members – seeing as she felt so strongly enough about it to share your article. I pray God’s on you, and for grace for more love.

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Thank you so much for your feedback. There was not an ounce of resentment, harshness, bitterness or scolding in my heart as I wrote that but I do appreciate the concern and the prayers for more grace and love. Apart from the part of having no tolerance for slander or gossip within the church I am having trouble even re-reading it through the lens of something unloving toward the church. However, I can completely understand, though, how words can be interpreted in an array of different ways, especially given different mindsets, different backgrounds, different circumstances (and the fact that it’s being read on a screen) so there is much compassion in my heart for those who may hear it in a way other than it was intended. Thank you again for your thoughts. Grace to you.

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Wow !! My husband and I have been attending the same church for twenty-two years (van ministry for ten, Sunday school teachers, drug & alcohol rehab teachers and my husband a Deacon and both of us ushers in our church ); I’ve said all of that just to get to this point; We both felt the call on our lives earlier but we got scared from watching everything our Pastor went through and even the things we went through, but it has made us stronger and wiser in the Lord through our walk we have stayed faithful both to Christ and our church we are attending for twenty -two years.; my husband and I have both repented for not excepting the call earlier in life but we have excepted it now because of the urgency we feel in our Spirit; we both love and desire to be used of God and we are not afraid anymore because we know that we know God has called us and equipped us to do His work and we are moving ahead no matter what we have faced or what we will face; we are going to keep pressing on.We both are used differently but our talents and giftings compliment each other and we flow together as one. I too have off days but the burning desire to minister to others keep me moving; it’s great to know we don’t have to answer to people or explain why we do the things we do or say the things we say as long as we do it in love; we have to answer to God and Him alone. We need to love each other and pray for each other especially Ministers and their families.

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Wow! Thank you for sharing! I got the chills reading your comment. I am so encouraged to hear of you and your husband bringing you both to the place where you will remain steadfast no matter the cost. Yes, there will be days you’ll think you want to recant, but what you wrote about God being the one to equip is so true. He will give you the grace, the comfort and the strength you need to endure. And the Body is such a gift too. When things seem to be falling apart He’ll send one (or many) to encourage you in those seasons. Thank you for loving Jesus and loving His people. It is no small thing!

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I’m a pastor’s wife and I completely identify. I also have a life outside the church. Since I work and have a family my husband wants me out of the limelight as much as possible at church. I don’t play the piano. Don’t have a clue how to play the organ. He wants me in the Sunday school class beside him if he’s not teaching, listening if he is. I do work in the nursery occasionally, but even that is carefully guarded or they will schedule me ALL the time.

I’m also an introvert. So identify.

thank you for sharing. L

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Sounds like your husband has a pretty good idea of what it would take to keep you healthy, lovely and sane! I love that! Thank you for sharing!

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Your article ma’am is so honest and absolutely real. Im also a pastor’s wife and i understand your message. It is such a blessing knowing that we felt, heard, experience and saw same things in life. But most important things we had in common is that WE SERVE ONE GOD, WE LOVE HIS SERVANT OUR HUSBAND, FOR HIS PEOPLE IS OUR PEOPLE AND HIS GOD IS OUR GOD AND WE LOVE HIS MINISTRY TO THE LORD

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Yes, absolutely. Love it! Thank you so much for sharing!

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Spot on! All 15! You are not alone. This describes me so perfectly that I could have written it myself, except that I am not so eloquent. I find myself being the most passionate about #4, guarding family time. Sometimes I struggle with finding ways to do that without appearing resentful of ministry. Thank you for sharing your heart and letting me know I am not alone.

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Thank you for the encouragement and for taking the time to share. No, you are not alone! And it is so refreshing to know I”m not either. Yes, it is quite difficult to guard that family time and not risk offending or hurting others. I pray for the grace to be able to communicate in a loving way that others would see clearly, but I also pray for my own heart to not be bogged down with fears of pleasing everyone.

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I have great respect for your post. I am a PK. I have seen and lived it. Watched my mom struggle all the while. My parents were awesome to all my friends and my dad was their preacher. If more people respected.them as people it would be great. I am very protective of pastors and their families. An advocate!!!!

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Thank you so much for sharing! Yes, these 15 would describe PK’s too! 🙂 I’m so happy you are protective of pastors and their families-the church needs more helpers like you! 🙂

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Yes! Yes! And Yes! I feel like I wrote this article! <3 God bless you.

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Thank you so much! God bless you as well!

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Thanks for sharing! I’m a new pastors wife…we’ve been married 3 years now, dated for almost 5 years…so many of the things you wrote about are so true for me also! Nice to know..

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You’re welcome! I think sometimes just knowing we aren’t alone is the best part!

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Thank you so much for sharing! This goes for youth pastor’s wives too.

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Most certainly! We were in youth ministry for a number of years as well and you’re exactly right! Thank you for sharing!

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Thank you for sharing. I am not a pastor’s wife but am a close friend to some of the best. I hope that I can be an encouragement to others in this field. As a friend and church member I have said much of what you have voiced not from a wife’s perspective but from a layperson’s perspective. I have seen too many that are striving in their walk to comfort, lead, encourage, reach out, and love only to be hurt beyond measure by “well intended” people. This saddens me to no end. I pray for not only those called to lead but for the families that follow them in His service.
Betty

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Thank you for praying for and being a support to those you know in ministry. Women like you are the wind beneath our wings (cue song) and we would not be stable or sane without you! Pain and hurt in ministry is unavoidable, but it’s those who truly “see” others the help spur us on to keep going. Thank you for loving others! You are a treasure.

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Thank you so much for sharing. My husband is an evangelist and although he is not a pastor at this time, that is where he feels his calling is for the future. Ministry is hard, so hard.
But Jesus!! Thank you for showing transparency in being a Christian!

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Oh that I might BOAST (like Paul) in my weaknesses that His strength, grace, mercy and love would be seen perfect! Thank you for sharing.

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Great Blog! I feel exactly the same and people not in the ministry have a hard time understanding some of these.

I would also add to the friend one, that I may not be your best friend and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I don’t like or never want to do things with you, it just means we are not those people who fit together well as best friends.

I know this is something people in our church (of course it isn’t many since people think I don’t need friends ????) don’t understand. They instantly think I don’t like them since I don’t call, text or want to do something with them all the time.

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Yes, you are spot on. We need to be careful who we decide to pour our hearts out to and if it just isn’t “there” we shouldn’t feel the need to force it. But it grieves me to hear of women who feel “less than” because they aren’t best friends with the pastor’s wife. I pray I could still show grace, love and value and build them up as people even though the relationship isn’t at the status they might prefer. Thank you for sharing!

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Love!!! This so describes what I have felt at one point or another! My husband and I have been in youth ministry together for 8 years and we are currently in a season of change as we felt God move us out of youth ministry a year ago and begin the steps to becoming lead pastors.
Thanks for sharing this!

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My husband was in youth ministry for awhile too and that change of switching from youth to adults is exciting and terrifying at the same time. I’ll be praying for you both as you make that transition that the Lord would give grace, wisdom and peace. Thank you for sharing!

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I was a pastors wife for 9 years. I did love the ministry, the 7 little churches we served, and the people. But it was a lonely life for me, with family and friends far away. I especially identified with #3, being an introvert, preferring to be in the background, struggling to remember names, longing for someone to be my friend. But I found I couldn’t confide my struggles with anyone, at risk of ruining my husband’s reputation. Sadly, my husband had issues of his own, and to make a long story short, we divorced after 23 years of marriage and 3 great kids. The problem? He left me for another woman, turns out she was the 5th woman to make a pass at him, because she thought he was so wonderful. Yes Pastors can seem wonderful, but they are only human too. Happily, I remarried, and while things aren’t perfect, and I do miss being a pastors wife, life is better. Blessings to you and all pastors wives, it is a very special calling, but don’t let it become more important than your own family.

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Oh the story of your first husband just breaks my heart on so many levels. I have very close family relatives that have done (very recently) and are doing the same. And it is SO painful. You’re so right that our pastor husbands are human and have the same struggles as any other man. Sometimes we can forget that. Yes, they will be held to a higher standard, but it doesn’t remove the temptation they experience. I am just so sorry for what you went through. While I am thankful with you and for you that God has provided another husband, I am so sorry for your pain and the loss in the first marriage. Thank you for sharing.

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Wow!what a great testimony. I really love it!I am a pastors wife and I always felt that I am a big heartbreak to Him that hinders him from his calling.pray for me that I could have a heart like yours.

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Thank you for your honesty. I will definitely be praying a heart to be supportive. Have you shared that with him yet? I know it is so hard at times and there are seasons I have literally prayed that my husband would find some other “career”, but ultimately if this is what God himself has called him to then I cannot argue with Him. I’ll certainly be praying for you. Thank you again for sharing.

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Thank you so much. I really needed to see this tonight. The Lord is good and I was in need of some encouragement. I wish church members would read this and take it to heart. I am tired and worn down, stressed and and feeling alone. Thank you for your words. I will continue on.

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Thank you for sharing Joyce. Keep pressing on. Keep running the race. You are right that the Lord is good and in His goodness He sees you, His daughter. He knew you needed encouragement and He uses some of the most unique ways to send it sometimes. Might I suggest you read the post I wrote just after this one?! It’s about being awake in the night and it’s called The Best Gift: Awake Again at 3am. It just might encourage your heart as well…Grace to you.

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So very true and completely right on. I have been a pastor’s wife for 22 years and this is our first church. He was a deacon first and was called to preached at the age of 40. (Late bloomers, Lol). Love our church and they are good to us. I would add when we first came to our church we started a WMU and invited someone from the association to come speak to us. She made this remark to the ladies, and I will never forget it, don’t expect your pastor’s wife to do everything!!!!! Love #14. I tell some people I will hold my tongue and stay backed in a corner for a long time but when I come out I will come out swinging. Lol. Keep up the good work. God bless you, your husband and your ministry.

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Thank you so much! Thanks for the encouragement and for taking the time to respond. Pastor’s wives do play a significant role in the church…but that role must first be to care for her husband. And sometimes, that is ALL a wife needs to do. Each church is unique, each family and marriage and staff is unique. Each wife must be led by the Spirit to either refrain or engage depending on His leading and prompting. I think that is so amazingly wonderful that you have been at the same church for so long. Keep running sweet sister! Grace to you!

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So good. So good. So good!

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Thank you so much!

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Being born and raised in the home of a minister when I saw the name of your article I naturally wanted to read it to see if I identified, I did, I do. I went from sitting on the front row to being one of the singers, organist, choir director, Bible teach and on and on and on and then I had a minister friend tell me I had let my ears become garbage cans, I think that has truth in it altho I gelt the people dumping their garbage into me meant catharsis for them and I thought I was able to leave it “at the cross”… I loved reading your thoughts and hope that you get the respect you so greatly and obviously deserve! Thank you for just putting it out there! 🙂

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Such an excellent reflection of who I am as well. Thank you for putting it so eloquently and with love!!!

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This is great! 23 yr pastor’s wife here and I couldn’t have said it better! I would like to add a few! Don’t compare me with other pastor’s wives or the previous one! I hear this so much! I’m different-I am not better or worse than the next PW! I’m not in a competition with other PWs, in fact it would be great to reach out to each other more!
I need encouragement from time to time! My whole family needs it but I need prayers,positive thoughts, and sometimes just a hug! Loneliness is a big one for me. I’m away from my family and I have left friends behind. A little encouragement goes a long way!
Thanks for writing this. It’s good to know we are not alone!

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I love the ones you’ve added! How could I have forgotten the one about comparing! That’s so true! I have most certainly experienced that as well-I will have to add on a “revised” section at the end with all of this great feedback!

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What alot of people do not think about is the fact that the pastor and his wife are at every tragic and heartbreaking thing that happens to the members of the congregation. As we minister in these situations, we feel their pain. We are not at every happy and joyous occasion and that is as it should be, but the burden can relly wiegh on our hearts. Thereforcwe need times away to refresh and renew. People in the cogregation do not always understand this. Thanks for your blog. VICKIE DAVIS

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That is so true. When we carry the burdens of others you are completely right that we need to find other ways to refuel so as not to be crushed by the weight of it. Thankfully Jesus says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light! I love the reminder that He can handle it all even when we can’t!

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Thank you so much for this article/blog! I, myself, am a young pastor’s wife, blessed with an amazing church family who loves and supports us. Sometimes it is good just to know that my feelings are not foreign, but mutually shared by many other pastor’s wives, the young and the seasoned! My favorite is #4… I have done that a few times as well! Thanks again for penning what I never thought I would understand through the eyes of a pastor’s wife!

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You’re so welcome! And no, you’re not alone. I promise. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am so happy to hear about your amazing church and the support you receive from them. I love hearing that!

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Yes! 100 times yes!!

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Thank you for your insights and honesty. I am a pastor and your comments helped me to see life through my wife’s eyes. Blessings.

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You’re welcome! I love hearing how this is impacting people. Thank you for sharing!

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Yes, yes, yes. To all of it. And can I add one? Because I won’t ever get to say this anywhere else. 16. I am sometimes jealous of regular church members. They get him at his best. On his best behavior, with the most patience. They get the mountain top, prayed up, studied up, happiest moments. I get the discouraged, exhausted, frustrated valley. And I’m ok with that. But sometimes I envy the older lady who can ask 6 million questions and still get a patient answer while I can ask two and be accused of being unsupportive.

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Oh girl! Yes! For sure! Thank you so much for sharing! That is so true!

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Enjoyed reading your blog and all the comments. I relate! I’ve been married for 32 years and he’s been a pastor for 23 years. Oh the stories I could tell! Number 8 about friendship is what sticks out for me. Friendship has been the hardest thing to have and hold on to.
Thank you for sharing! Wouldn’t it be fun just to have a pastors wife sleep over at the beach where we could relax, share and encourage!
May God continue to bless your family!

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Yes! Wouldn’t that be fun! And you’re the second person that has mentioned a pastor wife retreat today…maybe that can be something I plan in the future! Thank you for the encouragement and for sharing!

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Love this and so true from my ne Pastors wife to another! I would have to add that maybe….I never once in a million years thought I would be a pastors wife. I some how cringe when anyone calls me Pastor…bc like you say…I’m not the one on the stage. I just love Jesus! I don’t feel very qualified most of the time for wha Gods called me to do at all and ask most ppl to please never put me on a pedastial bc I am no different than the next follower of Jesus. Thanks for sharing this! Explains me 100%!

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That is so true. I fell in love with a man, not a pastor. I never intended to marry a pastor. And it’s crazy to think how little I thought his role would affect me (prior to marriage). I believe that may be the Lord’s grace to not show us all we will go through before we have to do so! 🙂

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As a PK myself, one of my favorite stories comes from the ordination of my pastor for many years, RONNIE Walker with his wife ALICE. A well meaning servant asked ALICE when was she called to be a pastor’s wife? Her response: ‘I’m not called to be a pastor’s wife….I am called to be RONNIE’s wife and his helpmate in all God calls him to do.’ That’s enough.

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Absolutely brilliant! I so wish I were better at speaking on the spot like that! Those types of comments often hit me way afterward somewhere around 2 in the morning! lol! Thanks for sharing!

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From “One Glass Slipper” to the “Mama Bear” I thought my wife wrote this herself an didn’t tell me at first! Lol! Thank you for putting yours and her heart in words and thank you for all you do as a pastor I constantly battle to not give the best of myself to the world and leave my amazing wife what’s left over after I’m exhausted, if you ever need a kindred spirit feel free to reach out and thanks for all you do!

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Thank you for the encouragement! I love hearing I have a kindred spirit out there somewhere! And as far as your role in battling the exhaustion that comes with your steep calling…it is no small thing to keep watch over the souls of many, especially when you have a family. Apart from the strength only He can give I have no idea how you guys do it. I’ll be praying for peace, discernment and wisdom as you continue to balance the unparalleled work He has given you. Grace to you.

In the 40 years of serving the lord and following his calling I have had two pastors wives who did little to nothing in the church. I watched and waited to see whenever she would begin Never happened! She was a beautiful loving person who the ladies needed badly. Anyway after several years we left pray for our big family We will find where we are supposed to be. Christian love to all.

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Thank you for your comments and for reaching out. I’ll be praying you find a church where you feel you belong. Grace to you.

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I understand how that might be frustrating; however, we need to remember that there is no Biblical instruction for the pastor’s wife beyond what any Godly woman is called to do (and just like the rest of the congregation, she is not a paid staff member). People need Jesus, and any one of us can be used as His instrument of mercy and grace. We need to be careful not to assign tasks to people based on our perceptions or desires; our will often is not His will. We do not have His omnipotence. Instead, we can pray that all hearts will be receptive to His leading, whatever that might be, and however different that may look.

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I’ve been a pastor’s wife for 40 years but have never read a post that articulated my own thoughts so well. #10 really hit me, as people still try to communicate to my husband through me, and I am still not strong enough to stop them. Now how do we get all our congregations to read this together?! 🙂 Thank you for writing this on behalf of so many of us! I am going to send the link to a Christian magazine editor I know and suggest she contact you to reprint it.

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Hi Maggie! Thank you for your encouragement. And thank you for sticking by your husband in that role for 40 years!!! I love hearing how this article has impacted others…and you’re so right about #10…it’s extremely difficult to speak up in the moment. My prayer is that all pastor wives would be compassionately bold to keep the right matters in the right places. Thank you also for passing along my article. 🙂 It’s all open handed to me–I never know what God will decide to do with things…

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I am a complete stranger to you but in real life I am a Bible teacher, pastor’s wife, mom to five (all grown) and writer. Your blog came across my Facebook feed and caught my eye. I smugly rolled my eyes and thought I was about to read some fluff. BUT you are right on girl! Keep writing!! You have a gift.

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Thank you for the honesty! And also for the encouragement to keep going. That means the world to me. Thank you.

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I am not a Pastor’s wife, however I work as a church secretary and I see and hear a lot about what you have just written. I pray for our Pastor and his family daily and I try to encourage them when I can. I try to ward off ill feelings from others when they call or try to say something to me regarding something that did or did not happen to them. People just do not realize what a Pastor and his family go through. We think we have a tough job dealing with life, try dealing with 500 or more families and all of their problems. God knows all our needs and their are many but I for one appreciate our Pastors and families in my church and many from other churches that I personally know.
May God bless you and yours. This is a great calling and our Lord will give you the strength to do what He calls you to do. Many members of your church probably love and respect you more than you know. They just need to tell you 🙂
Have a blessed day!

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Keeping watch over the souls of many is no small task. The fact that you diligently pray for your pastor and his family is a wonderful thing. Thank you on his behalf. When we hear of others praying for us it reminds us of the gift in the Body–how we can depend on, rely on and spur on one another. Thank you for your sweet comments and for taking the time to respond. Your kindness and encouragement is so appreciated.

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My complete thoughts exactly. Thank you for sharing this article.

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You’re welcome! And thank you so much for commenting! Grace to you!

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Wonderful points, all of them!! I have been a “PK” (preachers kid), youth pastors wife while doing our internship before becoming a missionary wife for 12 years before returning stateside. I have now been a pastors wife for the last 14 years to present. I’m more of an extrovert but do not like speaking in front of a group. I know that probably sounds like an oxymoron but if I’m in a skirt, you can see the hem shake from start to finish (no exaggerating). I love doing the behind the scenes, I’m an organized “freak”. I love that what I feel and go through you have penned it down so beautifully! Thank you and may the Lord continue to give us strength and wisdom as we help minister beside our husbands! God bless you!!

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Thank you for commenting and for the encouragement. I love hearing how uniquely each of us are gifted and also learning the ways we are alike. Thank you for serving your husband so faithfully in so many different ways. Grace to you!

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I know you stated that you do not represent all pastor’s wives. I get that. But……….what you said has value for all pastor’s wives, and all church members. What a difficult, stormy, confusing, lonely, joyous, rewarding, and blessed calling. You are doing a great job, I can just tell from your blog. May your life be filled to overflowing with understanding, love and blessings always!

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Wow! Thank you so much! Your comment is so kind and encouraging, thank you!

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I can relate to everything you have written. I was a pastor’s wife for 54 years so I have been there and done that. I would not have had it any different. Being with him in ministry for all those years were so rewarding. But not that he has moved on to heaven I feel lost without all those things to do and be concerned about, My most difficult thing is finding my own identity without him. Sundays are very difficult and will never be the same. But I know that God has always been there with us and will continue to be with me.

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Oh my word. Thank you for sharing. I cannot imagine what you’re going through in trying to re-learn a new way now after being with your husband for so long. I’m praying for you to feel His nearness and His love for you as you navigate new waters. Your identity is no different in that it is rooted in Jesus, but I can definitely understand the rewriting of that now that he has passed. I’m so sorry for your loss sweet sister.

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Thank you for saying most of the things I have also dealt with…and you are right. We are all human and face the struggles that other minister wives face. God bless you and all of the other ministers’ wives.

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Thank you so much for the response and the encouragement!

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You are so gifted with THIS platform./your stage here. Your blog is my escape and I try to sit down and really read it when I have time and just not “on the fly”. I love learning more about you my friend! 🙂

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Thank you so much sweet friend! I always always love your feedback! ????

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