My Top 6 Confessions About Being a Pastor’s Wife

ConfessionsSo, confessions are good for the soul, right?

Sure, confessions before God rid our soul of sin—forgiveness for our wrongs. Yet, there’s another release when we make confessions before people.

Not only for wrong behavior, but also to let go of struggles.

My family has ministered in eight churches over the last thirty-two years. And my husband, Mike, currently serves as Lead Pastor for Believers Church.

While pastor’s wives often try to live-out the loudest “Amen!” and “Hallelujah!”

Still, we carry burdens.

In addition, we struggle with ministry issues.

6 Confessions and Lessons Learned 

  1. I’m a rebel of the typical-pastor-wife ideology. Trying to conform in my younger years, I fell prey to notions such a woman exists. So, is there a pastor’s wife who exemplifies typical? And who attempted the job description for Wikipedia? Lesson Learned: God alone defines me. I’m not typical. But I’m fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I’ll take my cue about who I am from the great I AM.
  2. I’m oppressed by people’s expectations. I’ll never measure up to everyone’s ideal. And neither will my husband. I’m not the pastor’s wife from your former church or like another pastor’s wife you may know or highly regard. Lesson Learned: Seek to please God, not people (Galatians 1:10). Striving to please God will bring a correct perspective as I lay expectations at the feet of Jesus. Ministry is not about me. But about the One who said, “Follow me.”
  3. I resent when the church becomes about busyness. A pastor bears the spiritual responsibility as shepherd. Ministry can become side-tracked with fillers. When this happens, a pastor’s family will often be neglected. Lesson Learned: Be about The Father’s business (Luke 2:49). Prioritize spreading the gospel and making disciples. Don’t misunderstand. Fun events are good. Yet, we can fill church calendars with no thought to our number one mission of sharing Christ. Church programs that fill empty spaces will never fill empty hearts.
  4. I’m wounded when people are fault-finders. Being approachable and extending freedom of expression are ways Confessions, text courtesy of Adobe Sparkpastors and their wives make themselves available. But, it leaves us open to attack from critics who prey on the opportunity to implement personal agendas. And it hurts when those inside church walls criticize my husband, family members or me. Mean people lurk in every area of life. This includes the church. The capacity for mean is within each of us. Yet, we must guard against it. I hope to never write the article, Confessions of a Mean Pastors Wife. Lesson Learned: Weigh criticism against identity in Christ. The scales will always tip toward “in Christ” where I’m a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We can always improve, yet sift everything with the truth. Instead, Christ transforms us. People do not.
  5. I dislike being under the microscope. I heard this line from a movie, “She hated being a pastor’s wife, it made her feel like a bug under a microscope.” So, while I haven’t loved everything about this role, I enjoy being a pastor’s wife. Loving the man I married and choosing to be in ministry partnership. Pastors and their wives are watched and followed as leaders and examples in the body of Christ. But. We. Fail. Don’t put us on a religious-built pedestal made from idol-worship of men. Lesson Learned: Scriptures do the best job of dissecting my life (2 Timothy 3:16). Still, we won’t get it right all the time—we’re not Jesus. Yet, delighting in God’s Word causes holiness to rise up in us.
  6. I’m discouraged when the pastor is discouraged. Pastors aren’t shielded from mental and emotional down-times—pastor blues. And they’re susceptible to this attack from the enemy. Low church attendance. A lack of volunteers. No unity. People grumble and leave. All factors weighing heavy on a pastor’s heart, thus his wife’s heart. Lesson Learned: Encourage my husband’s heart as Christ shepherds my heart. And God’s the strength of my heart (Psalm 73:26).

Insight and Action

Confessions, text courtesy of Adobe SparkI pray my words give you insight into the burdens carried by those who shepherd the flocks—associate pastors and wives, too.

And not for knowledge alone, but it would spur you to:

  • Love in action. Find practical ways to come along side your pastor and serve.
  • Pray for your pastor’s teaching, anointing, intimacy with God, and against the magnitude of attack from the enemy.
  • Be unified for a gospel purpose. Church, don’t squabble about petty things. Drama and whining show our true character.
  • Encourage your pastor. The forces of darkness come against him. If we don’t realize the depth of spiritual battle our pastor fights, then we need to get our heads out of the sand. We must fight darkness with the light of Jesus.

Part 2 next week: My Top 6 Greatest Joys in Being a Pastor’s Wife

Pray for your pastor's anointing, intimacy with God, and against attacks from the enemy. #pastor Click To Tweet

© 2017 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved

January 26, 2017 at 8:00 am | Uncategorized

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One of my closest friends is a pastor’s wife. I feel protective of her because I’ve seen some of the very things you listed in this article. It helped when I moved to another city and was no longer a member of the church so that we could talk on a different level. A pastor’s wife must be very careful what she says and whom she speaks to, especially in regards to the church and her husband. She can be quite lonely.
My middle son is leading worship at a church and now has decided to go to seminary. I’m praying for him as well as my sweet daughter-in-love.

Thanks for sharing. I hope it sheds some light.

I’m praying for you, your family too, Karen!

Karen says:

Beckie, thanks for commenting and your wise thoughts. Yes, it’s true. I have other pastor’s wives and “counselors” outside the church that I confide it. I help lead the women’s ministry and while the Lord wants us to be authentic, still, even in ministry ares, I must be careful. And ultimately, I run to Jesus. That’s how it should be with each of us. The pastor’s wife role is a unique calling with rocky places. But it’s also full of many joys and blessings that I cover next week in part 2. Blessings sweet friend.

Karen, I have worked in the Ministry/Non Profit Sector for over over 20 years, and it seems no matter what entity or Congregation I have found myself operating in, the things that you have described above has followed me. And, I’m not a Pastors wife. Somehow, I’m prone to believe it’s ministry itself. I can only imagine what you must face and deal with. As a Minister it’s hard. However, God gives grace to those whom He had hand picked. You my beautiful sister are hand picked by God to walk this out and by reading this, your holding your weight. Keep shining for Jesus!

Karen says:

Shira, Amen! Love your words, “God gives grace to those He had hand picked.” God’s callings cannot be reversed or undone. My husband and I both felt called to ministry before we married. But when believers are intentional to walk out our callings for kingdom work, the enemy doesn’t like it and comes against us even stronger. Yet, I’ve been on to him for years and we both know the very gates of hell can’t come against the church or the Lord’s own. So, we can walk with confidence that the Lord will provide the grace you mention and the power and strength to continue our efforts for His glory above all! Blessings! After all, the tomb is empty!

Lauren says:

I sometimes fee bad for my pastor’s wives! People can put others on pedistools and forget they are just people who also love the Lord! Glad I found the right one!

Karen says:

Thanks, Lauren, for commenting. We often forget who we’re following. If we keep our eyes on Jesus and strive to please God before man, we’ll have the servant heart we need to labor in the Lord. Blessings!

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