I am often asked, “did you ever think you’d be a pastor’s wife?” I’m still not exactly sure why people pose that question–I’m pretty sure people don’t ask my mother “did you ever think you’d be a mechanic’s wife?” Thankfully, I have an easy out for said question. The denomination I grew up in had pastors that didn’t get married….so it never even crossed my mind!

Truthfully though, I wouldn’t trade my husband for anything, and so it follows that even though I didn’t expect to be a pastor’s wife, I wouldn’t have it any other way! But I didn’t always have that opinion.

When I first found out that my then-boyfriend was going to enter seminary, I pretty much shook my head in disbelief. I wanted to have a choice about where we lived and didn’t want to be living in a “fishbowl” as a pastors’ family.

As he moved through his three years of classes and then into his fourth year on internship (which brought me back to my home state, so at least that was good!), I slowly discovered that life as the wife of a pastor can be as easy or as difficult as you make it out to be.

So, fellow pastor’s wife, as I write to you looking back on eight (short) years of ministry, I’d like to encourage you, and possibly challenge you, with three things I’ve learned along the way.

To the wife who didn't want to be married to a pastor - three things I've learned in 8 years of ministry as a pastor's wife

Three Things I’ve Learned in Eight Years as a Pastor’s Wife

Life in the ministry can be good if you allow it to be. As much as I believed I would be constantly living under other people’s scrutiny, it really hasn’t been an issue for me. The first couple of years I was very concerned about this aspect of being a pastor’s family, but we have been blessed with a church that has allowed us to be who we are as a family without watching our every move.

But what if you haven’t been blessed with that type of church? As Chuck Swindoll said, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.” In times that I may have felt as though I was being watched too closely, I have had to evaluate whether or not that is actually happening or if it’s only in my head. And if it does really happen? If we ever do have a circumstance where we really are living in a fishbowl? It is our choice to let that ruin our ministry or to pray through the situation and ask God to show us what to do and how to react. It isn’t a guarantee of a certain result, but it can give perspective to the situation.

We are the greatest support system our husband will ever have. Pastors have the opportunity to have godly friends (fellow pastors, people in the church, etc) but their greatest support is to be their wife! In the first few years of ministry, it was very easy for me to complain about the weird work hours my husband has, the long day Sunday became for me (my husband has two churches so for years I have gotten my kids ready for church by myself and sat alone in the pew), and the strange phone calls he would sometimes get at random hours.But I discovered that by doing that, I was essentially tearing down my husband’s profession and his worth.

I’m not saying it is always easy to live the life of a pastor’s family, but it is not easy to live the life of a doctor’s family either! I say this to mean that we have to be careful not to embrace a “woe is me” mentality simply because we have a husband who is a pastor. Instead, we are called on to be an encourager, despite how annoyed we might feel. There is a time and place for talking with him about our concerns, yes! But it’s probably much less time than we think ;) 

Being a pastor’s family in a church gives you a built-in family. Embrace and enjoy it! No matter what profession your husband chooses, there will be things about his job that bother you. It can take on a more complicated tone when it involves spiritual issues if he is a pastor in a church. I won’t pretend that it isn’t hard at times to be a pastor’s wife, but the blessings that it brings overpower the struggles. Moving to a new town, state or even country can be intimidating for anyone, but if you are a pastor’s family, you immediately have people to ask for help or advice–those that are willing to lend a hand and encourage you! What other profession offers this built-in, instant community?

As you go through life being involved in your husband’s calling (because you are an important part of it!), I’d ask you to prayerfully consider how God would have you embrace the joyful aspects of being a pastor’s wife and also how He would have you handle the difficult ones. He can bring you through the hard times and draw you and your husband closer together as you serve the congregation with each other! I know He has done that for my husband and I, and I pray it would be this way for you as well.

Do you have any thoughts to add? How have you adjusted to life as a pastor’s wife?

This post is part of the Encouraging Wives Blog Hop! Visit all the of the blogs through the posts you see below to be encouraged by their “to the wife” letters!

Follow Jenn T {The Purposeful Mom}’s board Christian Inspiration and Encouragement on Pinterest.


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12 Comments on To the Wife Who Didn’t Want to be Married to a Pastor

  1. Hi Jenn, thanks for your post, it’s very encouraging. We are just beginning this journey and it’s a bit scary. This has helped me.

    • Thank you Ana! God’s got this! Even when it seems hard at times, there is truly a lot of joy in being the wife of a pastor–don’t let self-imposed expectations get to you like I did in the past! Blessings to you.

  2. I just wanted to say this was exactly what I was looking for. I 24 years old and my husband is years older than me. I am new to this new life. I don’t know anyone other pastors wives to even communicate and ask questions. I’m thankful to have found your blog page.

    • Thank you for the kind comment Roxanne! It does take awhile to get used to, being a pastor’s wife, though it truly is a blessing! Feel free to email me at thepurposefulmom at live dot com if you have any other questions! Also, my friend Kristy from Little Natural Cottage has a pastor’s wives page that she manages on Facebook that you can request to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pastorswivesatkristyscottage/

  3. Thank you for this! I am just starting the journey of learning to be a pastors wife. Like you I never thought I would be a pastors wife. The weird hours are hard and feeling like you have to live up to a certain expectation (which I know you don’t) is difficult but I know it will be a great learning and growing time.

  4. i just saw the series posted on Pinterest. i have been a Pastor’s wife for 29 years. It definitely has it’s ups and downs. It took a few years to adjust into a life that most people just “don’t get.” We have only served 2 churches with the one where we are now for 25 years. It definitely feels very normal now. My kids are grown and loved being PK’s. My youngest has autism and our church not only embraced our family in it but have developed a huge heart to reach families with the gospel that are affected by special needs. That is what my blog listed above is about..parenting a special needs child and meeting the challenges. Keep up the good work within the Church, the home and your blogging. Blessings.

    • Thank you for the encouragement Ruth! It’s so wonderful to hear of other pastors families having such a great experience in their ministry. God can definitely use so much in our lives for open doors to serving and loving others. Grace to you!

  5. Jenn, I love this! :-) And completely agree! It took me a couple of years to adjust to life as a pastor’s wife, especially because when I married him he was a teacher! :-) We met doing youth ministry at the same church and the walk side by side in the journey through full time ministry has been a joy!
    Saying hello from the Mom 2 Mom link party! :-)

    • My husband was an accountant before he decided to go into seminary. We were only dating then and I really thought he was a bit nuts ;) But I see now how it was God’s plan! Thanks for sharing your story–I’m so glad you see it as a joyful calling as well!

  6. My Mom was a Pastor’s WIDOW – left at a young age with small children. I have to say, it always breaks my heart to hear Pastor’s wives complain about sitting alone in the pew or about their husband’s long hours. It’s true – there ARE difficult things about being a Pastor’s Wife (as with ANY position in life) – but it is still a Blessing.

    Thank you for offering an encouraging perspective : )

    • I can’t imagine what that must have been like–what a blessing to have her for your mom! I’m learning every day, but I am definitely finding that being a pastor’s wife is much better than some claim it is ;) Thanks for sharing!

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