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True Confessions of a Pastorís Wife

Erin Davis

Erin Davis | 11.23.10
Twitter: @ErinGraffiti


During a breakout session for pastors’ wives at the most recent True Woman Conference, women stood in line for well over an hour to recount their pain to workshop leaders Kim Wagner and Holly Elliff. At the same time, Dannah Gresh and I counseled emotional pastors’ daughters in the Teen Track. One girl stood in front of the entire group and wept over the loneliness she felt as a pastor’s daughter. Like many pastors’ kids, “pk” had become a label that simultaneously defined her and created confusion in her heart about her true identity.

I’ve cried those same tears.

I’ve been married to a youth pastor for more than ten years. I know all about unrealistic expectations, excess criticism, and the identity crisis that being a family in ministry can cause.

I know that many of you who are reading this blog today aren’t pastors’ wives or pastors’ children. I’ll have a word of encouragement for you on Thursday. But today, I want to write specifically to those of you with husbands or fathers in the ministry.

Right after college, I married my high school sweetheart. We were immediately thrown into full-time student ministry together in the church where my husband served as youth pastor. Church became a huge part of our lives. In fact, church became the biggest part of our lives. Sounds great, right? It wasn't.

In fact, it was very, very painful.

Ministry is messy. Relationships are even messier. Conflicts with fellow church members left me feeling deeply wounded and disillusioned. What's more, my husband was at the church working—a lot. It seemed that he was always gone in the name of ministry. I missed him. I was a new wife who wanted more time with her husband. And I blamed the church for the fact that we couldn't spend every night and weekend together in our new nest.

It wasn't long before a bitter root started to burrow in my heart. I started to resent the church. I resented our pastor. I resented the ministry I knew we were called to do. That bitterness and resentment soon turned into a critical spirit. Before long, I disliked everything about our church. The worship started to get on my nerves. The sermons all sounded the same. My fellow church members felt more like enemies than my brothers and sisters in Christ.

But our church wasn't the problem. I was the problem. I needed God to do a new thing in my heart. I needed Him to give me His vision for the church. I needed to love her like He loves her. I needed God to change my heart.

That's exactly what He did.

Today, my husband is still a full-time youth pastor. He's still gone a lot. We still have occasional conflicts with church members that can be disappointing and painful. But my feelings about the church have totally changed. I don't hate the church. I don't even dislike the church. I love the church. Church didn't change, but my heart certainly has.

Why am I telling you this?

Because some of you are where I once was. I understand the pain that some of you are feeling. The expectations that others have placed on you have become a burden that feels too heavy to bear. This isn’t what you signed up for.

Sweet ones, I know you’ve faced unrealistic expectations, unfair standards, and harsh criticism. Why? Because you are worshipping alongside imperfect people.

For the longest time, I just wanted the members of my church to see me as a human being; not a superspiritual, superhuman woman capable of living the Christian life without mistakes. My heart started to change when I realized that the people in my church who were causing me grief deserved the same measure of grace. They’re human too. God is still working in their hearts. They need His redemptive work in their words and relationships just as much as I do.

And you know what else? They are not my responsibility. God has called me to submit my own tongue, my own actions, and my own heart to His lordship. For me, that included letting Him show me how to fall in love with His bride (even when she doesn’t behave perfectly). 

Will you let God do a work in you? Will you let Him present the church--His bride--to you as He sees her, pure and blameless? Will you stop hating the church and start loving her because He does?

Topics: Relationships with Others, When Life's Hard


  1. Excellent post Erin! I've been an assistant pastor's wife and a pastor's wife. The roles are different with their own twist and turns but the choice to do it all for Jesus doesn't change. The truth of God's Word has to be an anchorl. Another thing that helps is to focus on the good things that come with the position. There may be some critics but their are also many encourager's who are working right along side you to do what God has called them to do as a lay person. Focusing on the blessings helps a lot. As a child my life was changed by faithful people in a very small church....so I'm always encouraged to remember that when a day get's tough.
    posted by Susan McCurdy
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 7:31 am
  2. I'm not a pastor's wife but I am the deacon's wife and have felt like a pastor's wife for sometime. Because our church is very small and has gone through several pastor's in the last 10 years (most of them being very elderly), my husband has had to step in and be the "go between" for the denomination and the congregation. He gets most of the criticism and he is gone alot.

    My biggest problem comes with the criticism. No one knows how much my husband does for the people at the church and yet, he comes under constant criticism. It is just one couple in the church and they really get on my nerves. If anything is going to be said, it going to be said by them. No one else has a problem but them. I want to tell them to leave and go somewhere else. I don't open my mouth but I do pray that God will grant to me a heart like His that will love people no matter how unloveable they are. I'm praying for love.
    posted by Jodi C.
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 8:54 am
  3. I don't know if I can put into words all that I am feeling right now but am writing anyway just in case someone may see this and pray for my church and my husband who is a pastor there. We as a church are in deep, deep waters. Mountains are falling into the sea. My husband is being attacked and feels like walking away. There is much that is so dishonoring to Christ. Please, please pray that God will direct us in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. It seems as though Satan wants to sift us as wheat. Pray that Christ will intercede for us and that He will be honored as He deserves. We bear Christ's name, pray that He will cause us to act like Him.

    Thank you for the post. May God use it to soften my heart towards those who are causing so much pain. I pray that I will not dishonor Christ by not forgiving when I have been forgiven of so very much.
    posted by Helen
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 9:21 am
  4. I desperately needed this today. Thank you, Erin. I'm a worship pastor's wife. The church we are at has been very challenging. Helen, I will be praying for you. Our first pastor was attacked from every angle. I've never seen a pastor treated that way. My husband and I are very close to him and his family, so it was hard to see them suffer through so much. He and his wife handled the situation with so much grace and dignity. They left us with a beautiful example to follow. Hang in there, Helen. I pray that the Lord will sustain you with His grace and give you a heart of forgiveness and love for the people you are called to serve. I know your frustration, I have to pray that for myself everyday.
    posted by Krissy
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 10:11 am
  5. It helps me to remember that the people who attack others are usually in pain themselves and only the love of Christ can heal them. But , yes, it's a struggle to give them extra doses of love when they've hurt you and they really don't deserve it. But Jesus has done that for me. Oh, to be like Him!
    posted by Rhoda
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 10:36 am
  6. helen, i have walked where you are walking now...stay in the word or get in it. God's word is what will sustain you, give you hope and give you the "STANDFIRMNESS" that you need. i personally love the O. T. because of the stories of God's amazing faithfulness to his people. check out II Chron. 20 and see God's amazing deliverance. you can stake your claim on it!!!!!!!!! i have liken this road that you are traveling to "spiritual boot camp". in the last 1 1/2 years we have just come out of 5 years of "boot camp" ourselves and God has changed us and has given us a people that we are finding rest in, they love us like no other church family has. it has been amazing but God had to do a work in us. it is the crucible of your faith and God is using this class room to teach you about your faith and that He can be trusted. a. w. tozer once said that God can not use a man until he crushes him first. i say amen to that. we have been crushed and oh that is a good place to come from. this is possibly the only "class room" where you can learn certain things. i know that after my husband got fired from a church, we had to move into my mom's house for 15 months. (all 6 of us!) one of the reasons God did that was because i needed to learn to "stick up and honor" my husband where my mom had run over him. so God used that 15 months to refine me. mind you it was awful, but i needed to say things to my mom that i would never have otherwise and we all have a better relationship because God forced me to deal with my sin against my husband that was long overdue.

    my dear helen, i pray that God will teach you to get on your belly in your bedroom or wherever and learn to cry out to our God. it is a place of great worship. don't get up until you have poured out your heart and he has spoken to your heart. you may need to do that daily until this storm is over, but you will grow in your faith like no other because God tells us that when we draw near to him, he will draw near to us. during our time in boot camp i read the life of moses. he was a great man of God and he lead a very unlovely group of people. there were verses in there and other places in the old testament that i began to pray for my husband like...Exodus 11:3 "the LORD made the egyptians favorably dispose toward the people, moses himself was highly regarded." Gen.50:19-20 "you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good!". II Chron. 1:10 "give me wisdom and knowledge, that i may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?" these verses and many others i prayed for several years, but you know....my husband is now highly regarded by the people that GOD has given us. it is so awesome what God has done that for us! "STAND FIRM girlfriend and fellow pastor's wife!" feel free to e-mail at ps115_3@yahoo.com i would love to walk through this with you.
    may our God deeply love, comfort and give you hope in his word this day. lovingly, rhonda
    posted by rhonda schueren
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 10:46 am
  7. I experienced the deepest pain of my life while serving as a leader in childrens' ministry at a large church. When God released me to walk away, He also showed me that He was allowing me to be crucified (emotionally) for a number of reasons: to strip away lies I had believed about Him and convict me of my sin, to allow me to identify with Christ who suffered at the hands of those who considered themselves holy, and to open the eyes of others who would come in and breathe new life into a ministry in the church that was being sadly neglected by the pastors and elders. Though the cost was high and journey felt painfully long (about 2 years), the resurrection on the other side has been glorious for almost everyone who was involved.

    I praise my Lord for trusting me with the pain that accompanies a deeper understanding of the sacrifice Christ made for us, not just on the cross but every bit of judgment, misunderstanding, accusation, persecution, loss of reputation, loneliness, and betrayal. I know it's hard to think of that when you're in the midst of the storm, but remember that God is always sovereign, always loving, and more passionate about His church than we are. I never would have chosen the cross He gave me to carry but neither would I trade the lessons learned for anything.

    For those who are in hard places: God loves you so much precious sisters! As you surrender to what He is doing in you, your family, and your church He will do marvelous things ... "above and beyond" what you could have dreamed. Choose to believe that His word is true: it is better to forgive and leave the judgment in His care than to hold onto it and cling to the rights you think you have to exact payment for others' sins. Then, take up the cross and follow Him.
    posted by Lauren
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 11:09 am
  8. I am not a Pastor's wife, but I am a Deacon's wife. My husband is often away from our home and there are many Sundays where I sit in the pew alone because he is serving the Lord. I have truly been in the place where I resented the church and God's people and all the drama that goes with being the wife of a church leader. I know that my heart was not right with God, and I asked Him to change my heart. Since God is faithful, he did my heart. He also gently reminded me that it is not about me, it is all about Him! Now I can say that I support my husband and encourage him to glorify God in all that He does. Thank you for this post!
    posted by D Owens
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 11:22 am
  9. I am struggling as a pastor's wife. We have been at our church for 18 years. We are a small church and when there is a problem it is felt by all. Two families have left over different reasons. One over a doctrinal issue and the other for petty things ( my husband goes overtime sometimes) I find myself backing off from ladies meetings and other things. I even feel attacked by Satan with more spiritual struggles than ever before. Nancy's talk on Habakuk was helpful and I listened to everyone. My husband and I are praying for wisdom and guidance in whether to leave or stay. I am dscouraged over people's choices to be more involved with the world than their church. This small church needs prayer and we do too.
    posted by Virginia
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm
  10. Great article today!! I too have been a pastor's wife for several years. The pain, the disloyalty, the wounds and scars are very deep. I am still trying to deal with the hurt.

    The writer said something about loss of identity. So very true.

    I guess if I could sum it all up in the church world today, it would be...where is the love towards one another? I am talking about nonjudgmental, noncritical, true Christ love. I seldom if ever feel it. I give it and I give it and I give it, but, Oh to feel it among God's people.

    Thanks for the beautiful and timely article. Please more on topics such as this for pastors wives.
    posted by Lynn
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm
  11. I am praying for you today, Helen.

    Erin Davis
    posted by Erin Davis
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm
  12. I am not a pastor wife , but a friend to one.

    I have seen the pain that church members can cause to those who are in leadership roles. As a pastor wife you feel like you don't really have close friends who you can share your heart with without judgement.
    Being a pastor wife is lonely, and I feel for mine.

    Please pray for your pastors wives, and show them some kindness this week.
    posted by angie
    on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm
  13. I'm not a pastor's wife, but articles like this remind me of the prayer and concern I must be covering her with. We love our pastor and his wife and have committed to them our support as they stand firm on the Word of God.

    Ladies, thank you for your ministry to us. It is life in a fishbowl, and that's a very difficult calling. God bless you as you faithfully seek Him moment by moment.
    posted by Kari W.
    on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 6:32 am
  14. Hello again, this is Helen, the pastor's wife who wrote yesterday. I just wanted to thank all of you dear women of God who wrote encouraging words and more importantly prayed. Thank you, thank you for your prayers. God has heard. Nothing has changed in our circumstances but last night God reminded me of His infinite love. He reminded me of the day that He saved me. How He drew me to Himself and caused me to cry out in repentance and forgave me of ALL my sin. I was a new creation! He became my Father and made me His child! God then reminded me that He is the same today. He is merciful and can save. He loves me and is my Father, no matter how dark the road. My husband and I were even able to laugh together last night. A miracle. And much needed oasis from the battle. Again, thank you for your prayers, they were heard. If you think of us, please continue to pray. Jesus' name is still at stake. May He be exalted in all the earth and in my heart.
    posted by Helen
    on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 9:50 am
  15. I am a pk and an mk - my parents moved to South Africa before I was born to be missionaries, and my dad now pastors a church here. I can relate alot to this post - Dad spending nights and weekends counseling and preparing sermons; people putting unrealistic expectations on my sisters and me. But perhaps the biggest drawback for me is not being seen as an individual. I'm just one of the pastor's family, and everybody assumes they know everything about us, and me. Sometimes I feel like people are being nice to me just because of who my dad is.
    But overall, the Lord has blessed me with a wonderful church family and I wouldn't change being a pk and mk for anything!
    posted by Jessica
    on Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 1:43 am
  16. Thank you so much, Erin. I am unable to put into words what this means to me today, but the Lord knows. He has been doing a powerful work in me and causing my heart to fall in love with His bride, the church. He has given me a new heart and a new spirit. He has taught me to 'consider others better than myself'. He has taught me to love. I am so grateful.
    posted by Melanie
    on Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm
  17. Helen, as a fellow pastor's wife ....I will be praying for you. Focus on the opportunity to identify with the suffering of Christ. He was rejected though He loved and gave all. I will be praying for your church members as well.
    posted by Susan McCurdy
    on Friday, November 26, 2010 at 10:54 am
  18. Just what I needed. I was starting to feel like I was crazy. Your blog blessed me and the comments were very helpful.
    Happy New Year~ Rebecca
    posted by Rebecca
    on Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm
  19. I am a Young Pastor's Wife who has been married for two years now. I met my Husband in his church,when I got invited by one of his church leaders.The first year as a member of his Church was not easy because there were ladies who were looking forward to be married by him but somehow by the Grace of God the Elders of the Church accepted me.everything is going fine in Church & after reading all d Posts I'm starting to fear for my life! -I mean I'm only 26yrs old & I don't like Conflicts at all,Hope the Lord will Protect me & make me a Stronger Wife!
    posted by Priscilla
    on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 9:10 am
  20. I'm a pastor's wife and have been for over 13 years. It's a lonely walk if you're not rooted and grounded in Jesus for yourself. I've struggled with gaining my own identity in the church, even though I am the minister of music, Minister of the Gospel, work a part time job, a loving mother of three and very active in the church. I'm on every committee, this list goes on and on. But never recognize or congradulated by my husband, who is the Pastor. When the congregation doesn't see my husband/Pastor recognize me, they won't do it either. So I struggled with that for a long time but God delievered me and i realized I needed to have my own identity in the church and keep it moving. God is evaluating me and I'm loving it...I now realize i don't need people to validate me, as long as God is with me....be encourage ladies
    posted by Lady Melissa
    on Monday, February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am
  21. Absolutely love the transparency of this blog - once was there - God dealt with me as well! Now I am a full time lead pastor's wife.....God is still faithful! xoxo
    posted by His Lady Melanie Thigpen
    on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 10:48 am
  22. I am married to a pastor. I'm done with sucking his identity as my own. I'm not interested in God dealing with me, rather I see Him evolving me more into who I am - and that is not a sweet pastor's wife. I no longer believe the wife "has" to follow her husband/spouse to the church where he works. When your own children are involved, it's unfair to uproot an entire family from their community at the whims of change in any given church. I believe our relationship with God allows us the freedom to choose what is healthiest for any given family - sometimes that means the pastor works at a place, while the family attends another.
    posted by TJ
    on Monday, February 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm
  23. I came across this blog tonight in search of an answer. I am a church musician and husband. Recently I have felt God calling me back to music ministry, although to what end I am not sure. My wife and I have been trying to get involved in a local church (unrelated to music), but today I was asked to submit my resume to another church for a professional opportunity. This church is small, with no programs for people our age, and the thought of uprooting and moving to another church has caused my wife severe emotional distress. When I was single, sacrificing my own wishes in order to go where I felt God calling me was no problem. But now that it may require sacrificing my wife's needs, I'm hesitant. I am really confused, and I need the perspective of others. Have any of you been seemingly forced into a church where you didn't fit, for the sake of your husband's ministry? How did you get through it? I cannot refuse Him, but I don't want to be the husband who drags his wife to churches she ultimately resents.
    posted by Jonathan
    on Monday, April 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm
  24. Jonathan,

    My heart aches for your situation. It is a difficult one. But the solution is pretty simple (but not pain free). The best thing for your wife is to be in God's will. Period.

    Comfort is something we all want to hold on to, but ultimately if it is God's will for you to serve in this new church, being uncomfortable for a season is God's best for her.

    If you want to know the alternative, read the comment just above your own. That is a wife who is bitter about her husband's call and a family that is divided. That's not good for anyone.

    As my husband has served in ministry, I haven't always liked the situations that placed us in, but I did find God to be faithful over and over and over. I think it is fair for your wife to go through a season of grieving...maybe even a long season, but stick together. Minister together. And be each other's greatest allies.

    You aren't dragging your wife to church. You are asking her to follow God's lead. That is a wise choice indeed.

    I am sure you are already doing this, but as her husband it is your job to go to bat for her in prayer during this season. Pray for God to work in her heart. Pray for God to give her at least one strong, encouraging friend at the new church. Pray for God to impassion her for ministry.

    One verse that has often encouraged me as my husband has been in ministry is 1 Corinthians 9:5,
    "Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?"

    This is Paul talking and the fact that he mentions that the other apostles have "believing wives" has always meant so much to me. I doubt that those wives liked the practicality of having husbands who were apostles. Their husbands were gone, in danger, and tasked with a huge mission. But oh what they accomplished for the Kingdom!

    God is in charge of your wives heart, Jonathan. He is able to equip her with everything she needs to support you in your call. Be patient. Be prayerful. Be obedient to God!

    posted by Erin Davis
    on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 8:51 am
  25. My husband has recently been called to pastor a small/medium sized church. The hardest thing for me to do is to sit and watch as people try to put me in a box and force me into slavery. I have no rights to speak, no rights to use my musicianship experience, and no right to offer suggestions. It has been very painful; and we've only been at the church for less than 6 months. I am, and always have been, an avid church worker. I have played for male chorus/choirs, youth, and mixed choirs. Here I am not even invited to sing with the choir.

    God has called me to preach and teach the gospel, but I have placed my calling on hold so that my husband can have time to settle into his new role. Outside the church I am able to speak and play for others. However, it hurts the most that I cannot work in the house God called my husband to be the pastor/leader over. It grieves me that I watch my husband do dual roles while I could support the church with music ministries. I have over a $2,000 music library with no one to play for. I sit in agony listening to choirs attempting to sing well without music, with a musician who is willing to help out. I sit and watch people talk all over and ignore me, and I am supposed to be pleased. I am never asked to do anything inside the church, but when my husband is asked to speak outside of the church, they always ask me introduce him.

    Attacks in church are a common way of life; whether pastor's wife or other officers. If you chose to work and serve God, people will find a way to try to bring you down. It hurts and sometimes you feel like either retaliating or giving up. At this point, I'm not sure which one I thought I wanted to do.

    So I found an outlet for me; I play at other churches for special occasions, revivals, funerals and fund-raisers. I would love to be able to bless the church where my husband is pastor, but God has promised us that our gifts will make room for us. I long to help our music ministry, but I am going to trust God to make that change--if it is in His will for me. But I love my husband and realize that He loves the Lord, so for the time being I'm standing with him and expecting God to bless us where we are. If God says otherwise, we will bless the people and move.

    Please continue to pray for all women and men who have spouses that are the pastors.
    posted by Carol
    on Monday, May 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm
  26. Dear Carol,

    I understand the grief of desiring to use your gifts but being temporarily side-lined. My husband and I have both experienced that at different points in ministry. Now, after more than thirty years of ministry I can see that the times God placed us in a state of "waiting" it was because the waiting period was necessary for Him to do a greater work in our own hearts.

    I want to encourage you to evaluate your perspective of the people in your church. Rather than seeing them as wanting to "place you in a box" or "force you into slavery" remember that God is sovereign and He uses people and circumstances to bring to light things within our own hearts that He wants to deal with. If you allow the hurt you are experiencing to become a root of bitterness, this will hinder both you and your husband's ability to minister to the flock He's entrusted to you (Hebrews 12:14--15).

    If you have humbly offered your assistance to those responsible for the music ministry in your church and they've not yet included you, I encourage you to release that desire to the Lord and ask Him to open your heart to receive the lesson He desires to teach you as you wait on Him. Seek to bless those in the music ministry there by praying for them, encouraging them with gracious words, and seeking to honor Christ by offering sincere worship to Him during the music portion of the service.

    Desiring to use your gifts is a good desire, but when good desires are not released with an open hand to Him, there is a danger of these desires taking root as demands--and that is an indication that they've become an idol in our lives.

    When we view our ministry as simply being faithful to share from the overflow of God's reviving work in our own lives, seeking primarily to glorify Him and bless others, then ministry begins the moment we open our eyes in the morning. It happens as I prepare breakfast for my husband, as I shop for groceries, as I come alongside a friend who is struggling and ask how I can pray for her. As you are submitted to God and the authority of His Word, and are seeking to be faithful in the daily "small" opportunities of ministry, God will broaden your opportunities.

    I encourage you to check out this blog post in reference to viewing your pain through God's sovereignty:


    Also, in reference to using your gifts and ministering (specifically as a woman) within your church, I'm including a few links to articles that address that issue that I hope you'll find helpful:




    Carol, the team here is praying for you, your husband, and your church family. May God be glorified and many brought to Christ through the ministry of the gospel.
    posted by Kimberly Wagner
    on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 8:06 am
  27. I am not a pastor's wife as of yet, but my husband is currently attending school to become a pastor. We have been married for 6 1/2 years and have been a couple for almost 9. He was my high school sweetheart, and we couldn't wait to get married! I grew up being a catholic, and marrying him I have found my heart and home to be at the Methodist church he grew up in. Both of us had experienced spiritual highs throughout our relationship as individuals, and up until a few days ago I thought as a couple. Traumatic medical issues that happened with me opened his heart to God's will for his life, and I had been so incredibly thankful for that, and I still am. Unfortunately now I am rejoicing with a broken heart. This week he has been at a church camp as a counselor that he grew up going to as a camper. All of the counselor a with him also went as campers with Him. This is the first time that I have not been able to communicate with him throughout the day in our entire relationship. I might get a text or call from him once or twice a day, really not being able to talk. The few times I have actually spoke with him on the phone or he has snuck an email to me have been about his experience with his campers. How amazing he feels with the work God is doing in his teens through him. The spiritual connection and intimacy he is experiencing with God because of these teens and with them. Again, I rejoice with a broken heart. I am so happy for him, but am hurting so badly on the inside. I feel as if that should have been an experience he shared with me before anyone else. I am literally aching inside that I don't even want to talk to him anymore about it. I don't know why exactly, but I feel betrayed. Being alone all week has given me the time to think about all of my feelings, and I've come to realize that I am angry that he would have these feelings with someone else. What kind of Christ like person is angry when the person God has made for them is doing the Lord's work?!? I don't want to feel this way, and I want the Lord to soften my heart so that maybe I can experience that intimacy with him, but I feel completely broken and empty inside. I have no one else to talk to about this, and I feel lost. Has anyone gone through that before as being a pastors wife? I don't know what else to do.
    posted by Diane
    on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm
  28. Hi Diane, I know you posted a while ago, but I know what you were going through. I am a worship pastor's wife, and I get so frustrated seeing my husband pray, and worship with others all the time. I just get a feeling of jealousy almost every week when he is up there passionately leading the church. I don't have any advice other than prayer. I will pray for you in going through this. Ministry can be an interesting thing that comes with a crazy mixture of emotions. But it is also something that has blessed us a great deal. Hang in there. You are sure to see God's blessing.
    posted by Katie
    on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm
  29. This is good stuff! Thank you.
    I've been a pw for 30 plus years and also in professional ministry apart from my husband's.
    While surfing around doing research for an upcoming speaking engagement, I found your blog and it's interesting to see how many of my points are yours.

    I believe not letting the root of bitterness grow and being secure in who you are and Whose you are in your suffering is key to not just surviving life as a pw but in thriving and loving it.

    As Americans, we expect not to suffering. We're taught that it's unfair and not right. But this is clearly not a Biblical position. When we expect to suffer for the cause of Christ, we can not only make peace with it, but rejoice to, as inexplicable as that is to the world.
    (See 1 Peter)

    Anyway, thank you!
    posted by Jan Walton
    on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm
  30. thanx for the forum. of course we have problems in the ministry ranging from pressure to deliver,some belittling us, marital,sexual,financial or even spiritual;but ladies have you heard of something called fatherhood and sonship? this is when you have a strong mighty man of God as your spiritual father and advisor. this might sound trivial but you dont have to fight all the way.you simply have to be taught all the way.His experience you dont have to go through it ,you simply have to submit and move under his anointing. bringing it out on the net is good but only for the 'fatherless'. im a man of God but i have a father.i don't have to be a pioneer in a work that Jesus has done all and gave apostles command to go and make disciples of many nations.some not all of you will see that your husbands are doing all by themselves and are submitting to none,that's why it sometimes gets unbearable.are there no problems ?no! but why suffer with something that someone suffered with and conquered? we should no always suffer like Paul now,he was establishing Christianity among gentiles,there are times when we should simply enjoy what our spiritual fathers have already suffered for.when met a centurion who was unashamed to admit that though he was a man of authority,he was also under some authorities.joshua did well coz was under moses.timothy did coz was under paul,disciples didi well coz they were under Jesus.Jesus did well coz was under GOD,Elisha did well coz was under Elijah,his duty was to pour water on Elijah's and that was enough for him to inherit the spirit,not anointing, of Elijah.Im zimbabwean in zimbabwe,my father is prophet makandiwa of UFI MINISTRIES.u can look him up on youtube. am i pulling you all to him? no,but he is the one who taught me this. he pastors to 50 000 plus congregants every service.ladies and genlemen,dont be a loner when are man of God out there who have conquered your battles for their spiritual kids.i dont mean financial help ,i mean spiritual covering. fell free to contact me on cgumbanjera@yahoo.com or 00263774580977 if you feel we need to go deeper into fatherhood. ref The law of Recognition by Mike Murdock pg 31 to 41.GOD BLESS.

    ps: you will get out of this situation.
    posted by pastor carven
    on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 5:23 am
  31. sorry my comment is marred with typing errors.that other is abut Jesus admitting that he had not seen such faith when a centurion admitted to being under authority. there are those who have manage ministry by a lot of prayer and experience,just submit to them and learn instead of experience time is not on our side,Jesus is soon to come dont waste time.thanx.
    posted by pastor carven
    on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 5:36 am
  32. Hello,

    I love my pastor's wife (PW). At this time the pastor's family is going through a most difficult situation in their family and I fear rocking the boat any more.
    I have just heard that the pastor's wife took over the music worship from the person who has been doing it for years, loves doing it and does a wonderful job. No explanation was given except that the PW said she was being called to step in and take over. It was quite apparent this past Sunday as the PW led the music while the former music leader sat in silence across the sanctuary.
    This breaks my heart. The former music leader also needs the money the church paid her. She is raising her two small grandchildren and is currently unemployed (her son, the children's father was killed in a car accident when they were infants and the mother abandoned them).
    Both ladies are good christian women, one very assertive, the other timid. Several ladies are up in arms and want to meet with the PW over lunch to find out what is going on and on Who's authority she is doing this. They have asked me to come along as I have known the preacher and the PW the longest (he was pastor at a church we used to attend). I too need to know why she would so this.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Praying for an answer.
    posted by Annette
    on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:45 am
  33. @Annette...This is certainly a difficult circumstance. It is probable that there is something that you don't know that has caused this. Is it characteristic of the pastor's wife to act in this way and just take control? Could there be something the group of women don't know on either side of the situation?

    I encourage you personally speak with the pastor and talk it out with him. He is the spiritual leader and it is not likely his wife is acting outside of his authority (as the women are questioning). It could well turn out badly for you to go with a group to confront the pastor's wife. Don't be involved in divisive conversation. Be careful not to sow any discord among the women by siding with others. "There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies,
    And one who spreads discord among brethren." (Prov. 6:16-20)

    Consider being a help to the woman who used to lead the music. Is there a way a group in the church could come alongside her--emotionally, prayerfully and financially?? Is there someone you could talk with who would be willing to carry that responsibility as a member of the Body of Christ? Talk with your pastor about her needs to see if there is any way he can help find support for her in Christian love. "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; saints, practicing hospitality." (Rom. 12:10-13)

    God bless you, Annette. Thank you for giving us opportunity to speak into your life.
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 11:45 pm
  34. @Helen , thank you very much for sharing your story. Sometimes I felt like I am the only one going through this and I keep on asking myself what is it that we are doing wrong. But after reading your comment I realized that actually am not alone , there are other women who are going through what am going through . And I pray to God that He gives us the strength to stay strong and be strong for our husbands.
    posted by Jostine
    on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 9:52 am
  35. I am a pw and have been for a little over a year. My husband has been in and out of the ministry for years but finally accepted his calling in 2012. We started having service in a small hotel conference room, then blessed with a building less than a year later. The building is located amidst poverty, drug and alcoholic abusers, and many who have never been introduced to Christ. My husband is a young good-looking dynamicpreacher who delivers the Word in a way which is fascinating. He is pulling young men in left and right with his way of teaching. I am very proud and supportive. Right now we have no choir or anyone who can sing but me. I do so in Jesus' name. After a year, we have about 25 members who are faithful and about 15 who makes regular appearances. I am a very passionate person and have embraced our congregation. I love them, feed them and try to nourish them. My issues have been extensive..from one young lady from the neighborhood who started attending but got it in her head she wanted to be first lady. My husband and I had a situation where we separated as a result of him using all his finances to paint and revamp the building. Then he could not seem to ever be home outside of his normal employ. *sigh*...So when I wouldn't be there, she became the proverbial "ram in the bush". Once I realized where this could lead, I hustled my but back to our church. It was amazing what transpired in the 2 weeks I was absent. I walked in Sunday morning to this young woman singing praise and worship. I took the 1st lady's seat and waited for her to complete her song but she quickly jumped into another. Let's just say we ended up doing an impromptu duet before she finally got the picture and the song sung before the sermon was, It ain't over until God says it's over". A discussion took place after church in which I explained the worldly years with my husband and finally he's where God will have him and I give up? No. I kindly reminded her this pastor is married and Im going nowhere. She left a couple of months thereafter. I loved on her as I did everyone else. My husband was very upset saying I was "making folks leave" and I had to explain to himthat Satan sends wolves in sheep's clothing to tempt and attempt to destroy young powerful ministries. He eventually got it once he realized it wasn't jealousy on my behalf. Now we have a couple of elderly people who he's come to love. They reverence him and have the utmost respect for him as a minister. I am tolerated. I made a comment in which they disagreed and I may as well have been damned to he'll. Then we had a disagreement over something so petty til Im still scratching my head. It's so hard being in new ministries when you have elderly people who seems to have and should have wisdom in which to dust and allow a person their own ideals and understand the different personalities. These women are threatening to leave, I guess because of me, and the discouragement I feel is tremendous. I keep looking over each situation and had to realize Satan can come in through anyone. Young, old rich or poor. My heartbreak is my husbands willingness to believe I want our ministry to fail. I am sick to my stomach because we have only just begun and many will enter and exit and I will have to go thru periods of blame when things happen and my husband is not present to witness. Yes..I am outspoken, but humble as a lamb when I should be. I am a serious advocate for my husbands congregation and will fight tooth and nailfor them. This is what we disagreed about causing the rift. I didn't say anything out of order but am being made to feel as if I've caused a scandal. Am I the only 1st Lady who's husband seems to be on everyone's side but mine? I want to quit but know I shouldn't.
    posted by Dee
    on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 11:44 am
  36. Dear Dee,

    It really sounds like your heart resonated with Erinís blog. Iím sorry that you are experiencing the wounds of the people in your congregation. I encourage you to forgive quickly and keep short sin accounts so that bitterness does not take up root in your heart. For you to become a bitter woman could be the death of your husbandís ministry. Bitterness has a way of eating itís way through every relationship we have and you certainly donít want that.

    Erin referenced a conference session for pastorís wives in her blog. You can read what was shared in that session at this link: http://www.truewoman.com/?id=1459#session_text. Do you know of an older godly pastorís wife that you can connect with for support, prayer, accountability and encouragement? Having someone who has walked in your shoes for a mentor would be a valuable asset to you and your husbandís ministry in the church.

    You are right, Dee, you should not quit your marriage. When you married, you married for your lifetime - till death parts you. I encourage you to humbly pray and ask God for an open door to share your heart with your husband. It may be that you can write your thoughts out in a letter to him. Sometimes guys are more open to listening to us in that way than our emotional verbal conversations. Will you do that? Humbly ask the Lord how to share your heart with your man, how to support him in his ministry, and how to love Godís people in a way that draws them closer to God.

    Iím praying for you right now. God has a way through this, my friend. He can do far more than we ask or think (Eph. 3:20) as we saturate ourselves in His Word and trust Him to work in all situations.

    Serving Him,
    posted by Lorree, with the TW Team
    on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm
  37. I was so glad to come across this post, because Lord knows I needed it! I have been a pastor's wife for 5 years, and a minister's wife for 13 years. I honestly don't think that's a lot of time, but I can say that I have been through it all. My husband's had the locks on the doors to a church be changed all because an elderly couple, who were the only members of a so-called "trustee board" decided that the one of them wanted to be the pastor. Really? God has since blessed my husband to start a ministry with nothing in a reception hall, which has grown to a building. Of course, the attacks began to come and are still coming and we are in the middle of being attacked now. I used to think that the older church members would supply wisdom, and I quickly found out that age has nothing to do with spiritual maturity! I am in a situation where two of the church mothers want to run everything and I hate to say that I am glad when they miss service. Isn't that horrible? For some members, there seems to be this lax spirit where they miss service, then proceed to call my husband later that evening to get a full report on the sermon, as if the man doesn't have a have a wife and children. I am praying because I have started to dislike going to church at times, as well as my husband. Financial stress has us to the point where sometimes, we (both my husband and I) have felt like walking away from church altogether. I have considered speaking to other pastor's wives, but I haven't found one yet that I feel I could confide in.....
    posted by Tami
    on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 1:55 pm
  38. @Tami...Don't give up, sweet friend. I know it is tempting to do so; I know the stress can be very great. But, stay with the church--I'm not saying it has to be the local body you are in, but don't give up on the "church". Jesus died for the church (Eph. 5:25). Do all you can to encourage your husband in this high calling on his life and the lives of your family. How I wish I could tell you the "how" to hang in, but all I can really say is that God is indeed writing your story and He is the One who can and will tell you "how" to do it. The answer is in clinging to Him! "He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure." -Isaiah 33:6

    Can I encourage you to take your eyes off those who seek to undo you. When they call, make a plan with your family the hours that your husband will be able to take calls on Sunday evening. Schedule out times for family dinner, devotional time with your children, and putting to bed. Instead of resenting the time the people take from your husband (not saying they are right to do it!!), get your Bible, or a devotional book and curl up next to your husband and look to the Savior, while your husband talks. It will make a much more joyful home and time the two of you have following, if you are able to do so. Maybe your husband will balance the time by taking calls after your children are in bed. Ask him to do so.

    Is it possible, Tami, for you to find a group of ladies in your community where you can study the Bible with them? Is there a larger church in the area that has a strong women's Bible Study program, or a community Bible study like BSF or Community Bible Study. Sometimes fellowship with other mature Christian women, studying the Word of God together, strengthens our faith and our endurance in this race.

    It would be a great encouragement for you if you could find a pastor's wife or two that you could share with and walk the journey together, praying for one another and encouraging one another. Look to those churches you are affiliated with, perhaps an associational office, and see if there are any gatherings for pastor's wives. Pray about it and see if God would open the door for you to invite a pastor's wife you know to come over for coffee or meet you at a coffee shop so that you can form a friendship.

    Don't give up. "Seek the Lord and His face; seek His presence continually." (Ps. 105:4) Be encouraged that the Lord sees every sacrifice and is using these situations to mold you. "For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His name in serving the saints, as you still do" (Heb. 6:10). You are indeed in a more difficult place than many. Pray that the Lord will give you endurance until you can see your way through these times of difficulty. We are praying as a team that God will move in some way to give financial relief and relief from the attacks. God bless you.
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Monday, June 15, 2015 at 9:05 pm

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