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Words of Wisdom to a Wannabe Pastor's Wife

Paula Hendricks

Paula Hendricks | 06.29.09
Twitter: @PaulaWrites678

61 comments

Believe it or not, one of the things I would love to be is . . . a pastor’s wife! Obviously, there’s not much I can do about that. But, I did have fun asking several current and former pastors’ wives to share their words of wisdom with me—just in case God has this in store for me. 

The following letter is from my current pastor’s wife, Holly. I love it. I hope it will help you as you seek to support, love, and respect your pastor and his wife as they shoulder the responsibilities and burdens of shepherding the church daily. So, here you are:

Dear Wannabe Pastor’s Wife,

I think it’s great that you would like to be a pastor’s wife! I consider it a huge privilege to be married to a man who preaches God’s Word week after week. I love my husband and am grateful for the ministry the Lord has given us.

Let me begin by sharing our current ministry circumstances. We’re getting close to completing our first decade in pastoral ministry. Brian is in his second pastorate. We’re in our mid-thirties and our children are currently 7, 3, and 2. So, the things that I’ll share reflect the context of a mother of three small children.

Sometimes there are unwritten expectations that the pastor’s wife will be a Bible study leader, the church pianist, and a great soloist all rolled into one package–oh, and she pulls this off with the kid’s hair and clothing looking perfect at all times! But we will become slaves to people’s opinions if we order our lives to please everyone else. I have sometimes found myself side-tracked with worries that I wasn’t meeting people’s expectations. Keep your eye on the ball (God’s Word)! I find much peace in going back to Scripture and reminding myself that my real acceptance and security rest in Christ’s grace, not my performance.

When we were interviewed before coming to our current church, we clarified what my role and level of involvement within the church would look like. My role is the same as most mothers with several small children. This church has been extremely supportive and respectful of me in that decision. Biblically, the role of a pastor’s wife is the same as every wife’s: love your husband and children, manage your home well, and be an example to women around you (Titus 2:4-5). Though keeping the home running smoothly may seem mundane, this is an important ministry to Brian. We regularly evaluate what I’m doing in the church to ensure that it’s best for our family. I let my spiritual gifting direct many of my choices. I would encourage you to do the same–pastor’s wife or not! My spiritual gift is service, which means much of my involvement is behind the scenes. This, of course, will vary from person to person. We will serve people best if we’ll just be ourselves.

Your main role is to support your husband. This will look different for each family but here are a few suggestions:

1) Watch out for him. You know him better than anyone and have his best interests in mind. If he is overworking himself, lovingly bring it to his attention. Try to find ways to lighten the load. Occasionally, there are seasons where there is no way around the busyness at church. During those times, be his “fun zone!” Be the place where he can relax and not have to fix problems.

2) Give your husband helpful and honest feedback. Brian often asks me for feedback on his messages. When he asks for advice, I try not to shoot off the cuff, but take it seriously. Some Sunday mornings, I am unusually exhausted or maybe one of my children was distracting me. So the problem may have been with me, not the sermon! Take time to think through your opinions carefully to be sure they are wise and accurate.

3) Stand with him when times are tough. Even when you disagree with him, respect him, both publicly and privately. Pray that God will give him wisdom in making decisions. Do not forget the seriousness of his calling. He is bringing the gospel to the church each week.

Here are a few other random thoughts:
• Never gossip. As a pastor’s wife, you will be privy to much personal information. Keep all of it to yourself. Let this knowledge drive you to pray. It is a privilege to have the trust of people and to be in a position to help them. We must guard that trust.
• Grow a thick skin. A pastor almost never gets a 100% approval rating from the church (except maybe during the first month)! There will be criticisms. Try not to take every conflict too seriously. Keep a sense of humor. This is easier said than done, I know. But Jesus will help us when we ask.
• Be careful what you read concerning being a pastor’s wife. There are lots of negative statistics and studies telling how hard it can be. This is not really helpful or useful information. Read people who are positive and offer help for getting through the tough stuff. 
 
I call myself a “weekend widow” because Brian works long hours on Saturday and Sunday! But when I happily “hold down the fort,” it frees him up to do his job. Remembering the eternal significance of what he is doing helps me keep a good attitude.

Thanks for allowing me share with you. If the Lord does indeed call you to be a pastor’s wife, I pray he will give you many wonderful experiences and much joy in it!

Holly Hedges

Topics: Relationships with Others

Comments

  1. So thankful there is another pastor's wife out there with the same sentiments as myself. You are right...it is hard to find women who are serving in this role that are relaying a positive message. The ministry is hard sometimes...but it is the most wonderful hard thing I've done...well, that and birthing babies!! : )

    Thank you for a wonderful letter to all those God may call to the incredible role of Pastor's wife!

    All for Jesus!
    posted by Shelley
    on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 9:54 am
  2. There's a great new book just out by my friend Susie Hawkins wife of O.S. Hawkins (former pastor 1st Baptist Dallas and others) called "From One Ministry Wife to Another" You can find it in just about any book store and online
    www.myspace.com/burstingwithsong
    posted by lisa simmons
    on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 10:31 am
  3. Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm not sure whether my husband is called to preach God's word and Pastor a church. We are still seeking God for direction. Your insights are very helpful as I have felt overwhelmed by the thought.
    posted by Isabelle
    on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 10:33 am
  4. Shelley,

    I so appreciate your positive attitude--in fact your gratitude--for this "tough, wonderful" calling. Thank you for echoing Holly's sentiments!
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 11:09 am
  5. Thanks for the book recommendation, Lisa. Here's another book recommendation from Holly Elliff, Nancy's dear friend and another pastor's wife. She told me in an email:

    "When Billy and I were engaged, I was given several books about how to 'survive' the pastorate. These books included a lot of references to fishbowls, expectations, and misery!

    "I was so grateful for a book called High Call, High Privilege that encouraged me with the possibility that God could have a blessing for me as well. I trashed the other books and plunged into my new life without fear about all the un-knowns in my future."
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 11:12 am
  6. Dear Isabelle,

    You might want to check out the book, "High Call, High Privilege," recommended above.

    I pray that you and your husband hear clearly from the Lord, and that once you do, you walk forward in courageous faith, not looking back.

    Regardless of what doors He opens for you, I know that that His grace will be sufficient for you, even--no especially--in your weaknesses. (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 11:16 am
  7. Thank you for the mature, seasoned insight from one who is still young in years! The highest calling of a pastor's wife is to support him , to do what's best for him and your family, and be a godly example to other women. (as per Titus 2). Don't let expectations change you from that. The ministry is a wonderful calling and being a godly wife is a blessing from God!
    posted by Debbie
    on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 12:37 pm
  8. Thank you so much for sharing! I face my toughest challenge yet - breaking the fallow grounds of my heart to being more submissive even when I disagree with him!

    Praying to be more and more llike Jesus in humility and meekness!

    Personally, I still stuggle on the the first 2 bullet points! And I do know it is for the best, and praying to grow more dependent on Jesus regarding these. I need to learn to unburden to God.

    It will be good to hear from other Pastor's wife who do not have children and their experiences as well.

    God bless you!
    posted by amareno
    on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm
  9. Thanks for your honesty about your struggles to respect your husband, Amareno. I know you're not the only one, but I am specifically praying with and for you!

    I love your prayer that you will be more like Jesus--filled with humility and meekness. I was so amazed this morning as I was reminded of the way the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit relate to each other. It was Jesus' total pleasure to direct all praise not to Himself, but to the Father. ("My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.")

    If you can, meditate on these three passages: John 4:34; 8:28-29; 1 Cor. 11:3. I think you'll find them greatly encouraging as you seek to submit to your husband out of love for Christ! Thanks again for commenting.
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 9:18 pm
  10. Thank you so much for posting this. I have so many areas to grow in!!

    Never in my life did I expect to be or want to be a pastor's wife. But, by God's grace and His sovereign plan, that is what He made me--and I love it and thank Him for it! I am so grateful that God rescued us from sin and eternal separation from Himself in 1999 and has brought us to where we are. I am grateful to have a strong spiritual leader in our home for our sons and me. It is my privilege to serve God by serving my husband. One of the things that I have learned from other pastor's wives is to make our home a sanctuary for him. My goal is to have peace in our house when he gets home each evening--I'm clean and in "real" clothes, our boys are clean, the house is picked up (not necessarily clean), dinner's about ready, the house is fragrant (candles--not MY cooking!), and worship music playing. I don't always meet this whole goal, but I try to do at least a few things. No matter what your husband's job is, ask him what he would like to come home to, and try to do it. Another thing I try to do is to build him up publicly--show him and others that I respect him. And finally I try to be conscious of Proverbs 31:12--to bring him good and not harm all the days of my life. Hope this is helpful.

    I'd love to hear other practical ways to support/encourage our spouses...
    posted by Tracy
    on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:52 am
  11. Thanks for the encouragement Paula and praise God for this thread of the blog...it is so needed! I know so many discouraged pastor's wives. I echo whoever wrote about "expectations" . I love the Psalm that tells us that our only expectations come from the Lord. That is where we find our strength, our comfort, our identity, our zeal, our purpose...everything! I have found that walking daily with the Lord and growing deeper in the Word not only supplies all I need as a Pastor's wife...but is also a blessing to my husband. He is studying and devouring the Word consistently. When I am spiritually strong and looking to God to satisfy needs only He can satisfy, it frees my husband up to be "my husband"--not "my saviour". We can have deep wonderful talks about the Word and when he comes to me for my opinion on something, He knows I will seek the Lord and answer from the Word and not my emotions. (I am a woman and I have LOTS of emotions! So, it is important to keep my mind stayed upon Jehovah!). I am not implying that he should never help meet some of my emotional needs...but I think it is important, for a pastor's wife especially, to not be another counselee! He does meet many of my emotional needs...but a gift I can give him is sitting at the feet of Jesus and leaving my burdens there...especially in times where his pressures are great. Not only can our homes be a refuge, but in a sense we are a help meet when he can come home to a woman who is not another "burden". Okay...I have rambled! Thanks again for these posts...I am encouraged!
    posted by Shelley
    on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 8:03 am
  12. Thanks for the words of wisdom! Another insightful resource is the book called, "The Tears and Triumphs of a Ministry Marriage" by Mary Somerville. I found it very helpful in my first years of being a pastor's wife, and now that we're at a new church, I want to read it again!
    posted by Heather
    on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 3:02 pm
  13. This is so helpful! As the wife of a pastor 3 months into his first pastorate, it couldn't be more timely for our family. Thank you!
    posted by Sarah P
    on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 8:54 pm
  14. Wow, Tracy. Thanks for sharing this with us. Your husband must love coming home! Very, very cool.
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm
  15. Shelley,

    Great words to all of us--married or not--to look to God for our delight, fulfillment--everything--rather than to other things/humans (i.e. "idols"). Thanks a lot for sharing,

    paula
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 3:52 pm
  16. Before I dive into my somewhat unrelated question, allow me to thank you for this website. I discovered it a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to go online and see what topic you are chatting about!! You are a blessing to me- thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    My pastor's wife and I are exceptionally close. In fact I was part of their wedding arrangements as the wedding planner- four years ago. She is much younger than her husband- a good 15 years or so.

    I always felt that my role in her life was to mentor, guide and groom her into womanhood- I had this conviction at their wedding ceremony. I am convinced that that is my God given purpose for our relationship.

    Please understand that prior to this I did not know her. We now find ourselves in a rather sticky situation. Congregants feel we are too close and that as a pastor's wife she should not have such a close friend within the church. Is this biblical? Is there substance to this? Does that mean in order for us to remain friends I should leave their church and go fellowship elsewhere?
    posted by Caroline Mary
    on Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 9:18 am
  17. Dear Caroline Mary,

    Welcome to the site! We're thrilled you're here. I'm curious, how did you discover us?

    I'm sorry about the sticky situation you find yourself in. Pastor's wives are no different from the rest of us--they need good friends, too! I absolutely do not believe it is biblical for you to cut off this friendship or move to another congregation.

    However, I would encourage you to be sensitive to her and others by not monopolizing her time or flaunting your relationship in front of others. I'm in no way saying you ARE doing this; just wanting to encourage you to be sensitive to those around you while still continuing your friendship.

    We are definitely praying for you and all those involved!
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 11:45 am
  18. Hi Paula

    I received an email from a friend... praying for your husband challenge. I followed the links voila... I met you all. Thank you for all your input and prayers.

    Thanks for the response and thank you for your prayers.
    posted by Caroline Mary
    on Friday, July 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm
  19. I am a young youth Pastor's wife. We have two young children and I also work outside the home as my husband is full time, but makes a very small salary.
    Juggling being a wife, mom , career and ministry responsibilities along with household stuff.... and also feeling quite lonely (even though surrounded by a congregation of 200) ....the other leaders are older and quite close in relationship and I feel like I'm on the outside.....any advice or encouragement would be wonderful. I'm exhausted and lonely and feel like since my husband came on as full time staff, and more pressure was placed on me I have lost a great deal of my joy.....and I want it back!
    posted by Ann
    on Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 10:27 pm
  20. Dear Ann,

    First, my heart goes out to you. The ROH team prayed for you by name this morning in our weekly prayer meeting. It's no wonder you're feeling exhausted!

    Does your husband know how you're feeling? The church leadership? Is there a woman you could confide in who could support you in prayer?

    It's so easy to feel like we have to keep juggling all the balls ourselves. But, in reality, you need help. As a recovering perfectionist, I often have to remind myself that because of the Gospel (because I'm an imperfect sinner who needed a Savior) it's okay to admit my weaknesses, sins, failures, and limitations to others.

    Is it possible for you to discontinue your "ministry responsibilities" at this time, in order to prioritize your own relationship with God, your husband, and your children? I'd say that should be the first thing to go.

    I'm assuming you have to continue working, but have you appealed to and prayed with your husband about this? Could you possibly cut back on your hours?

    Please keep me updated--in the meantime, I will continue to pray for you as the Holy Spirit brings you to mind--that you will clearly know HIS priorities for you during this season, and that you will find His grace completely sufficient.

    Love,

    paula
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Monday, July 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm
  21. Cool! I hope you stick around, Caroline Mary.

    On a very random note, I'm impressed that you know how to spell "viola." I just learned by misspelling it "wa la." :)
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Monday, July 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm
  22. ahm. lately, i've been taking how hard it would be to be a pastor's wife... but I believe that God would enable me, " if ever i am called to be one". I'm still young and I have a long way to go... The pastor in our church is also young. That's why we are waiting for God's perfect timing.

    The tips that you gave were very practical. Thank you.
    posted by Apple of God's Eye
    on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 1:15 am
  23. Being a pastor's wife for close to 30 years, I can truthfully say that it has been an amazing blessing for the most part. We've had 3 congregations in these pastorate years; the longest service being 22 years.

    The first little bit of any church ministry is, and can be--and should be, a delightful time getting to know the congregation and blending into their lives.

    In the beginning ministry of our last church, FUNERALS were a big part of us blending in quickly to our last congregation, but it proved to be a good thing because we got to know extended family members; it helped us gain great insight into the precious lives of those whom we had known only for a short time. As time went on, of course, the hurt of losing a member became more profound because a relationship had been formed and nurtured. I personally would encourage, if at all possible, for the pastor's wife to be a part of funerals. If you have small children, then strive to make some sort of contact with the grieving family at a time that would not put undue stress/hardship on the family; (finding babysitters is not always possible or economical--not having family around to ask favors of is something to take into consideration.) This will bind you to them, and them to you. They will greatly appreciate it.

    If I made a mistake by taking our two children to a lot of funerals, the Lord will have to redeem it. (Their views on attending so many funerals has NOT been a positive one.) At the time, I felt I wanted to be present at the funerals and burials. Truthfully, I also felt it was expected. Yet, I desired to be alongside my husband as he delivered a funeral message and I wanted to be teamed up with him for encouragement and support of the grieving family.

    Probably the most stressful thing about being in a pastor's family is not having our own family nearby for support. Every pastorate, every community is so different and what you experience at one church may not be what you experience at another as far as "family atmosphere." Pray for discernment in this area. As the conversation pointed to in above posts, there is a jealously issue that can happen if relationships with church members become too out in the open. No one intends to flaunt a relationship, but if someone is jealous, then they're going to "flaunt" their opinion--and usually those "opinions" are shared in the heat of any undercurrent that might be brewing.

    I think the article above is excellent in directing a pastor's wife to not gossip. Keeping a confidence is of upmost importance. We must watch our body language, as well, when listening to someone confide in us. If you tend to shake your head up and down while someone is talking, it could be interpreted that you are agreeing with what they are saying. It is best to verbally say, "I hear what you're saying." Or, "What I hear you saying is...." Or, "Be assured I will covenant to pray with you over this matter." Church members can and will confide in you for serious concerns; others may do it to pull information out of you. Be wise!

    Above all,
    * Cultivate a rich bond with Christ; seeking to please Him as you feed your soul on His Word, and as you tend to your family in a Godly way.
    * Be your husband's encourager; he doesn't need you as enemy under the pretense of being His Holy Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit do His work; you do yours. Listen to his heart, just as you would want to be listened to by him.
    * Share NOT with your husband every rumor you hear. (Trust me when I say this, he is not sharing every rumor that he hears.) Rumors are just that--things said with an intention to arouse a negative response. If you feel you need to approach someone to get something straight, or accounted for, then do it quickly. Tracing back the source of a rumor is not as difficult as you think. I think its important to let a gossiper know you "have heard" their opinion. Be gentle.
    * Be focused and purposeful in ministry. The more we do this, the more "self" tends to be put in the right perspective; otherwise "self" can take over and Satan's now has reign of our thoughts. That's not a good place to be!
    * Love, love, love, love your congregation.

    My last statement is this: Repeat to yourself often,
    "It's not all about me."
    There's a Gospel message to get out, and God has unbelieveably chosen US to fulfill this Great Commission in this capacity. Why? I have no clue, other than He really, really wanted us to be blessed.
    posted by Jeannie
    on Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 1:31 am
  24. I've been dating a minister for about a year..we broke up once when I got really ...hmmm...for lack of a better word...jealous..of all the time he spent with the ministry in one way or another...then add in geographic distance and his college age child...and it spelled trouble....after a couple of months we realized we really love each other and we started seeing each other again.

    While I've been to his church several times...it is large enough that no one realizes the relationship at all....

    2 questions: Any advice on how to introduce the relationship....I know it is his call but lately I notice his associate pastor looking at me a bit strange and I wonder if she is figuring it out...

    and next question.....if it's this hard to date...would it really be better if we marry....I can't imagine having less time than we do now!

    Thank you for your site...and for your answers
    posted by annette
    on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 10:18 pm
  25. Hello women of God

    My name is Valerie and although I am not a pastor's wife I have been ministered/prophesied to on more than one occasion that I am going to marry a pastor. My concern is that I don't think I fit the bill spiritually. Although I have been saved for over 20 years I have really just been a church goer but full of faith also. I live by the principle of faith. My question is should I be preparing for this role in my life or should I just wait until it happens & be led by the spirit. I would appreciate all spiritual advise.
    posted by Valerie
    on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 9:40 pm
  26. Dear Valerie,

    Hereís a question for you . . . How would preparation for being a pastorís wife look different from the path youíre currently on?

    Though we donít know specifically what the Lord has for us in the future, we do know His general purpose/intent for our life. Therefore, itís always right to focus on thatóthings like: Developing deeper intimacy with Jesus in the Word and in prayerólearning to hear His voice and respond in obedience. Things like holy living, ministering to the saints, and using your gifts to build up the Body.

    The Lord is always weaving together the tapestry of our lives, and He doesnít waste any season/experience. We donít need to know what lies ahead, but to walk intimately with Him through each day. To say wherever/whatever, Lordóyou lead, Iíll follow.

    Hope that helps a bit,

    paula
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 3:24 pm
  27. Dear Annette,

    Do you have an older, godly woman who knows all the facts and can ask you questions and give you insights? This is vital, especially as I only have a few of the facts . . .

    That said, here are a few questions/thoughts:

    If ministry/work/time issues have arisen in your dating relationship, what steps have been taken to bring these issues into a more healthy balance? Have you seen change in these areas?

    Youíre right . . . he does need to lead in this relationship. If youíve been in the relationship for a while, why donít his friends and co-workers know about it? Have you talked to him about this?

    I encourage you not to run past the cautions/concerns the Holy Spirit may be bringing to your mind.

    Blessings,

    paula
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 3:33 pm
  28. Paula thank you for responding. I really appreciate it the comment.
    posted by Valerie
    on Friday, June 4, 2010 at 8:42 pm
  29. hello
    women of God i love all the comment and i will like 2 lean more about how a pastor's wife should behave
    posted by sarah
    on Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 8:40 am
  30. Hey, Sarah,

    Welcome to the site! While pastor's wives are in the spotlight quite a bit, they're called to the same things all godly women are: to love God with all their hearts, and love others as themselves.

    I'd encourage you to keep reading the posts here, as they pertain to all women--pastor's wives and others alike.

    Thank you for serving God and His Body as a pastor's wife!

    paula
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Monday, June 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm
  31. Oh My Word, i'm pleased to have found this site and will continue to check on more comments.

    I am also a partner to a pastor, really it is not easy with his busy schedules, meetings,conferences. Though we are not yet married i realise the kind of lifestyle and responsibilities we will lead due to his calling, at times im afraid because i'm a young working woman and independant individual. I love this man and i am afraid of not being able to support him should we decide to marry.

    My requset is to ask for prayer from other woman who are supporters to their partners in the ministry. I pray for a good marriage, family and God's eternal presence in my life. I not only pray for myself but pray for each woman in the same situation.

    Be Blessed. Bervalyn, South Africa
    yahoo
    posted by Bervalyn
    on Monday, August 30, 2010 at 9:45 am
  32. Thank you so much for this post! I am a soon-to-be pastor's wife. I have the most amazing, Godly, awesome man of God; however, I have no idea how to be a good pastor's wife or a good wife yet. Its good to hear good *positive* wisdom towards that. Very encouraging! I needed it thanks!
    posted by Heather Nicole
    on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm
  33. I am a pastors wife in AZ. We are in the planting phase of a new work and it is exciting, scary and challenging. God has blessed us more than I could have ever thought possible. When you work in HIS plan and are working in the calling HE has placed on your family your ministry will flourish! I have so enjoyed the posts and will check in frequently to see what is new : ) I think it is a blessing to hear from other pastor's wife's, I loved hearing the expectations of a pastors wife. I have placed several of those on myself and have felt the guilt of not being able to handle it all! But I am encouraged knowing I am not alone and that I do not have to fulfill the expectations of everyone. My husband tells me all the time my greatest ministry is what I do for our home and family. He feels blessed to know that I care for all the things he does not have the time or energy for.

    I am very interested in more study time for myself as well as starting up a women bible study. Does anyone know of any study guides that would be good to start with a group of women that are mostly unchurched?

    Love to hear your thoughts!
    Heather
    posted by Heather
    on Friday, November 19, 2010 at 4:26 am
  34. Blessings to you, Heather. I am sure your husband and your church are blessed by your passion for serving the Lord through your family and your church.

    I am excited for you that you are interested in Bible Study for yourself as well as leading women in studying Godís Word. I encourage you to check out studies through Precept Ministries. If you are interested in no homework but interactive study, the 40-minute studies are great: http://store.precept.org/c-27-40-minute-no-homework.aspx.

    Anolther great study for unchurched women is God, Are You There? Do You Care?...Do You Know About Me? It is described as ďProfound and practical, this quick start 13-week inductive study of the Gospel of John is designed for everyone, regardless of their level of Bible knowledge. Perfect to share with struggling believers and non- believers, anyone longing to know that God exists and cares!

    God bless you, Heather!
    posted by Sarah Krause, Revive Our Hearts
    on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm
  35. Hello :) First, I just want to thank you for this ministry! I have been so encouraged by the available resources, especially the mp3's of the True Woman conference talks. Thank you for being so faithful to teach the Word to women!

    I came across this message feed when I searched "wisdom for pastors wives." My husband is the worship pastor at our church, and I work part-time there in administration. We've been married for almost a year. It's been a tough transition as we figure out marriage, as well as juggling his very busy schedule at the church.

    We constantly feel pulled in a million different directions with ministry and social demands in the church. Do you have any wisdom regarding healthy boundaries we should set as a couple? My husband has evening rehearsals every week, as well as leading worship for the youth group during the week. Any suggestions for a limit we should set on being out during weeknights, especially when sunday and (sometimes) saturdays are workdays? We have committed every friday night to "date night" and don't let much get in the way of that, which I am very thankful for!

    I'll be honest, I'm exhausted, and find myself craving time with him every week. It's tough feeling like I have to share him with the rest of the congregation. Just to be clear, it's absolutely a privilege to support him in what God has called him to!!! I think I just need some encouraging and practical advice for this lifestyle :)

    Thank you so much for reading, and for your wisdom! It means so much to me!
    posted by April
    on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 7:53 pm
  36. Greetings April,

    I can so relate to your struggle. Loving ministry, supporting your husband, stretched by responsibilities and church obligations . . . and wanting to balance it all. Living for God's glory begins first in your home.

    I am a pastor's wife (a little further down the road than you ;-)) and one thing I would urge you to do is to sit down and have a heart-to-heart discussion with your husband about the priority of protecting your marital relationship and also preparing for the possible children you may have in your future.

    I've watched many pastor's marriages and families shipwreck from lack of adequate "home-shepherding." What I mean by that is: the husband is first to be the "pastor" or "shepherd" over his own home. Your marriage (and later your children) must be the first priority in ministry -- which will require TIME.

    One basic practice which will help you stay connected is to commit to having at least one daily sit-down meal together (whether it is an early breakfast, or late night dinner -- make it a priority). I've spoken with pastor's children who've shared with me they never have family meals together, the family is frantically on the run or involved in so many church activities, meals are grabbed on the go.

    My husband (who is also my pastor :-)) uses our meal time together as an opportunity to minister to my soul (as well as anyone else who is there). He says that after I feed him physically, he desires to feed me spiritually. He reads a chapter of Scripture at the end of the meal and it usually leads to some great discussions and interaction.

    Also, we go to bed together. I'm saddened to so often have couples who are struggling in their relationship share with us that they have separate bed times. No matter how difficult it is to rearrange your schedules, I encourage you to not only go to bed together, but to always end your day together in prayer.

    I am so glad you already have established a date night! That is so important -- please guard it, protect it -- you both need that special time together. I encourage you to set a goal together of how many nights at home per week you believe you need in order to maintain the balance necessary for keeping your relationship healthy and strong. Discuss this and work together at protecting the goal you set.

    Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is say "no." I remember a season in our lives (we still had children at home) when we had a church/ministry related responsibility 4 nights of the week -- that is too much!! That was out of balance and I believe pastor's children often suffer as a result of this type of schedule (as well as marriages).

    When invited to another social gathering or asked to attend an extra occasion -- it may actually serve as a teaching moment if you explain your reason for turning down the invite -- share how you've set "time goals" in order to protect and nurture your marriage.

    Just a few thoughts April, hope this helps. Oh and before you have the heart-to-heart with your husband, spend plenty of time in prayer -- ask the Lord to direct your conversation and to lead you to the balance of time and family that He has for you.

    You may want to check out a series I wrote recently on marriage, the last article is posted today, but it will link you to the others:

    http://www.truewoman.com/?id=1558


    May you and your husband enjoy many years of bringing God glory together -- in your ministry and through your marriage!
    posted by Kimberly Wagner
    on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 9:11 pm
  37. Kimberly,

    Thank you so much for your extremely thoughtful, kind, and helpful response. It's so wonderful hearing from a pastors wife who has much more experience than me! I will absolutely be in prayer about this, and plan to share these thoughts with my husband. I'm going to check out your marriage series as well! Looking forward to it!

    Thank you, again, for your time and wisdom. It means so much to me.
    posted by April
    on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm
  38. This website is a great help to every Pastor's wife who feels like no one can understand her. I am actually feeling the same right now. I am engaged (by God's grace) with a missionary Pastor who's 11 years older than me. Before i even met him, i was praying to be a Pastor's wife and claimed it to God.

    I have no problem with him. My main probbem is the congregation. They can't accept the fact that i will be the Pastor's wife because most of them arr older than me and they think that i just don't fit the role of being one.

    I believe God gave me a talent in music ministry and secretarial service but i am introvert and just can't seem to get along with the people there who stabs me in the front and the back. My fiance doesbt want to be biased and wants me to mature in my own way. I feel so alone, misunderstood and rejected.

    From,
    Marie
    posted by Marie
    on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm
  39. i am a pastor's wife and also a pastor. I found out that Iam the one doing all the organisation and brain storming. I thought i was going to be exusted but i asked God to give me wisdom knowledge and His revelation.I quit complaining because I realised that that was why I was married to him: And my husband trust me with this.God help me
    posted by Betty amolu
    on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 9:20 am
  40. Pastors' wives experience unique struggles and challenges that few others can understand, or appreciate. The new book, "The Runaway Pastor's Wife", takes a look, with an inside perspective, at one such pastor's wife and her struggles.
    posted by KM
    on Sunday, February 13, 2011 at 1:23 am
  41. Thank you for posting this letter. My boyfriend (soon to be fiance) is currently in the process of becoming a pastor and I know the duties of a pastors wife are demanding. I really appreciated reading this to soothe my worries and confusion as to what my role will be. I do want to be involved and helpful but I still want to be able to live out my own dreams. This letter is very encouraging and helpful. I know that I can be supportive of my future husband while also being me, living a Christian life.
    posted by Dani
    on Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 2:51 am
  42. I just came across this now and I love it! This is what I really want to be and I believe that God has called me to it. I will have to wait and see what He brings around, but my heart is so in this! Thank you for posting! I couldn't agree more with what was said! Blessings!
    http://singleseasons.wordpress.com
    posted by Brittany
    on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 8:41 am
  43. What an uplifting letter. Thank you for sharing. My husband has been envangalizing for a couple of years now, but has just recently been called to pastor a small church. It will be a new experience for both of us. It is one thing to go from church to church, preach the word, and leave them to digest it. I think it will be quit different to be there week in and out. Please pray for us. I will try to take the sisters words of advice in staying away from negative commentaries and trying to be myself. Thanks again for sharing, may God bless you in all that you do.
    posted by Amy
    on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 10:00 am
  44. AmyÖ

    What a blessed privilege is yours! Being the wife of an evangelist is indeed a blessing, and being a pastorís wife brings great joy and reward. You have the opportunity to share in the lives of peopleósome of their most meaningful moments in life you get to be a part ofósalvation experiences, marriages, childbirth, death of members and family members, etc.

    Know that I have prayed for you this night:

    "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospelÖAnd I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus ChristÖAnd it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." (Portions of Phil. 1:2-11)

    May God bless your husbandís pastorate and shower your home with grace and joy.

    Blessings in Christ!
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm
  45. I am dating a pastor and it seems like we may be moving into getting married. How do I mentally prepare for this change? How do I make sure that he knows I support what he is doing in ministry?
    posted by Sandra
    on Monday, September 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm
  46. SandraÖ

    How exciting! Being a pastor's wife is a wonderful "profession".

    Your call is to the man, not to the ministry. When you support him as a spiritual leader and the husband God has provided for you, you will be supporting his ministry. Beyond that, how he would like you to be involved is really a matter of his preference and your responsiveness to the needs of the ministry where God calls you.

    You might want to visit with a pastorís wife you admire and respect and ask her to share with you her advice on being a pastorís wife. There are a few books out about being a pastorís wife that might be helpful. In general, for ministry, you might want to read Nancy DeMossí Lies Women Believe and Anne Ortlandís Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman.

    God bless you!
    posted by
    on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm
  47. "Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is say "no." I remember a season in our lives (we still had children at home) when we had a church/ministry related responsibility 4 nights of the week -- that is too much!! That was out of balance and I believe pastor's children often suffer as a result of this type of schedule (as well as marriages)." ---- As a P.W. (Pastor's Wife) of 10 years, I couldn't agree more. I would also not hesitate to say that there is a constant need for communication - open, truthful & continual. I would also say that you too have needs & desires and those ARE important, and many are God -given. I spent years denying my existence outside of a wife & mother, burying deep inside the callings and desires Christ had given me. It IS possible to to be a P.W., a mother, and still be yourself - who Christ created you to be. How? Marriage, no matter if you are a P.W. or not is a partnership. Equally yoked. You both have to communicate and pray about what God is calling you to. I've known too many pastor's wives who are reeling inside & felt jaded by this life and didn't know if they could talk to their husbands. The answer is to talk and pray together. I also believe your congregation can be one of support & community. You may not be able to be at every function, but that in no way limits the contribution or impact you have on those around you. I have found that zooming out of the small situations, looking at the bigger picture will help to remind us all that this walk with Christ is a journey, there is a season and a purpose under Heaven. This has been a great encouragement to me.
    posted by LRC
    on Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 8:25 am
  48. Wow - I just stumbled across this site via google. What a blessing. My husband and I have been involved with youth ministry for some time now, but he has just been asked to consider working for the church part-time and taking over as youth pastor. There is so much to think and pray about with this for me, especially what my role will be in the ministry, but also how being married to someone in the leadership team of the church will change how I "fit" into the church. Then finding that balance with everything else - marriage, our two young children (and thinking about number three), that I work part-time in a business I am a part-owner of.
    Your website has just helped me refocus on the important stuff and get a handle on what is really the key issues. Thank you.
    posted by Susan
    on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 4:30 am
  49. This blog has been very encouraging! As an 18 year old young lady, I feel as if I am called to be a preacher's wife! I need all the prayers I can get! This information has been so helpful! Thanks again!
    posted by Sarah
    on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm
  50. Thank You sooooo much for this. We have been in ministry for 5 months and it's been a challenge already. God Bless you!
    posted by Lauretta Baldwin
    on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm
  51. Would it be possible to reproduce your original article? We have a newsletter that goes out to a group of ministry wives in our area and I think it would be helpful to our group.
    posted by Virginia Lee
    on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm
  52. @Virginia...Thanks for your interest in this blog post for your group of ministry wives. You have permission to use the blog post. Just be sure to credit the author and the website. Here's an example of an appropriate credit line: Taken from Paula Hendricks' blog post "Words of Wisdom to a Wannabe Pastor's Wife" www.TrueWoman.com. Used with permission.

    God bless you, Virginia.
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Friday, April 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm
  53. This is really a blessing to this generation
    I am a lady who is abt to enter a relationship with a youth pastor that is 13 yrs older than I am,I'm still a student nd he is ready 4 marriage nd I dnt think I am because of responsibility ahead.
    Pls I need your advise as soon as possible

    Thnks and God bless your labour of love
    posted by mary
    on Friday, September 13, 2013 at 9:22 am
  54. @Mary...we encourage you to get wise counsel before entering into a marriage relationship where you feel you are not ready. Is there someone there close to you that would know the situation and you? Someone like your pastor, your mother, a godly woman in your church? Without knowing more of your situation, we are not able to advise. But we can entrust you to the Heavenly Father, asking Him to lead you and guide you: "Show me the right path, O Lord;
    point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You." (Ps. 25:4-5)
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 10:02 pm
  55. Hello there! Well, I have been approached mainly via facebook by a number of pastors lately. All of them were handsome and seemingly had their things in order. But what Iíve noticed after the initial request of friendship on there, they no longer have been communicating. Each one! My facebook page is very tastefulÖmany inspirational and spiritual quotes and daily events and some very tasteful pics even. Grant it, I do not chase them and I do not contact them all the time, as I figure that they very busyÖbut Iíve sent some messages and nothing back in return. The only pastors (in person) that talked to me, all they wanted was to sleep with me and they were very worrysome! I had to STOP talking to them!lol Well, now there is a new one, I heard he MAY have a girlfriend but nothing serious. I attended a family & friends day at his church yesterday and decided to reach out and find him on facebook and friend him. Well I did, and sent him a lighweight message in which I see he checked however he didnít respond nor did he accept my friend request. What gives here? I am a single, employed, attractive Christian woman with no kids and cannot seem to get further with these men! Please help!
    posted by Jo Anne Hall
    on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 9:14 am
  56. Dear Jo Anne,

    If these men were the ones God had for you, they would be pursuing you. I encourage you to pray and entrust your future to the Lord. I also encourage you to find an older godly woman in your life that you can share your struggles with. Let her look at your Facebook page and help you evaluate whatís appropriate and what's not. She can pray with you, encourage you and walk with you through this season of your life. While I donít know that this is the case, it may be that the men are turned off by your advances. Iíve paused and prayed for you today, Jo Anne, and have asked God to lead you to the right woman and that she would have discernment and wisdom in guiding you and mentoring you. I encourage you to join me in this prayer and then follow through on the Lordís promptings. May He go before you, protect you and pour out His grace on your life.

    Serving Him,
    Lorree
    posted by Lorree, with the TW Team
    on Monday, September 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm
  57. What a fruitful site, I am in a relationship with a pastor for 2 and a half years now. He is a full time pastor and we are doing very well, cause I give him my full respect, support and very submissive to him and the ministry. Now the problem is that he separated with his wife 4 years ago and their devorce is not final yet, because she does not want to sign the divorce papers.

    what frustrates me the most is that, I do not know where is this realtionship leading us to but he always promise that he will marry me soon. Its been long now, I think he is relaxed about this divorce issue, he spent most of his time in church. He has introduced me to the elders of the church already and I do sometimes visits church services there, is it wrong or right?

    Pls help, what can I do in this case, i love him and i know he loves me too, please pray for us to get through this situation so that we will be able serve God.

    thandeka
    posted by thandeka
    on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 7:38 am
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  59. Oh wow!!!!!!

    Hello and I thank God for putting this great pastor in my life!!! He encouraged me to do a little reading and may even have to change my circle!

    I am dating a pastor and he brings up marriage quite a bit and I am so nervous that I wont be all that I need to be for Gods' people as a leadernot to mention a pastors wife! Im afraid to attend his church because we have not officially came out with it but all of his close friends and family know. My question is whats the best way for me to be when he decides to introduce me? I dont know if I should jump right in or be a little behind the scenes being that he did divorce his first wife and he is still with the same congregation.

    Thanks for the encoura ging words!
    God bless!
    posted by nikki
    on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 6:24 pm
  60. Nikki,

    The best thing any of us can do in life is to be students of Godís Word and choose to walk in obedience to what He tells us there. Itís the way to be the best wife, the best leader and the best woman we can possibly be for Christ. It also helps to have an older godly woman to walk with us and keep us pointed in the right direction. I wonder if you know of an respected pastorís wife in the area from whom you can seek guidance and help in walking through this?

    While I donít know all the details about this pastorís divorce, I do know that God has a much bigger plan for marriage than we do. Marriage is representative of His love for the church which is an unending covenant (Eph. 5:31-32). The best thing we can do is to trust Godís wisdom and follow His plan and principles for marriage found in 1 Corinthians 7. Divorce is not Godís best plan as it does not line up with His covenant love. Scripture tells us that God hates divorce (Mal. 2:15-16). He says He allowed divorce because of the hardness of menís hearts (Matt. 19:3-8).

    Iím praying that you will be willing to listen through this series from Revive Our Hearts on marriage: http://tinyurl.com/p9c7p3r; as well as read and pray through this article: http://tinyurl.com/muqdax7.

    I realize that this information is probably not what you want to hear, Nikki, but it does speak truth according to Godís Word. We encourage you to take the time to look up the Scripture passages and let God guide you in the days ahead. We would advise you to take your time and not rush into this relationship any deeper. It would be better to step back from your relationship with this pastor as you seek Godís will than to plunge on ahead and then live with regrets.

    Iím praying for you, Nikki. Iím asking God to give you wisdom through His Word and courage to obey Him even though it may be very difficult. Stay in the Word, my friend! It is the lifeline for your soul!

    Serving Him,
    Lorree
    posted by Lorree, with the TW Team
    on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm
  61. hello everyone,
    am ellen 27years now and about getting married to my fiancťe. He recently told me he has the strong calling of becoming a preacher/pastor in the nearest future when we are married.am so afraid about the whole idea because i never imagined myself becoming a pastor's wife one day.i fear if i can carry out such duty as a pastors wife. I fear if i can be happy since it wasnt the kind of life i have dreamed of.i dont know much about the bible because am not a church goer and this makes me even more scared. My dressing style i love will all be different if i accept to proceed marrying him to be his wife. Am so confused. Stories i read up on the internet dont really say much about the joy or happiness most pastor's wife experience and this all scare me the more.if there is anyone out there reading this post kindly tell me your frank opinion or advice. My wedding is months from now and i dont know whether to proceed into it or to leave him. The thought of leaving him brings such pains to my heart and the thoughts of proceeding to be a pastor wife bring such fear within me.
    posted by Ellen Gordon
    on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:41 am

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