I’ve talked quite a bit about my “take” on my role as a pastor’s wife. Truthfully, the role is as varied as there are pastors wives. We are all so different. Our churches are so different. Our husbands are so different. Each affects our experience as pastor’s wives, right? Being a pastor’s wife is complicated. Pastors wife characteristics clearly cannot be a one size fits all situation.
Make no mistake about it, it’s really tough for us most of the time. It’s a life of constant sacrifice. Few can relate to our journey and the ones who can don’t often talk much about it beyond “rainbows” and “sunshine”. In other words, a lot of pastor’s wives are fake with one another and with the world. It’s self-preservation I think.
It seems a lot of us like to keep up the proper “appearances” when we’re together (with other pastor’s wives) and cry like a dickens when we are apart.
Who knows what we’re supposed to do?
Do you know what I think the problem is? It is because we don’t have a scripture to build our experience or ministry on. Deacons can go to the Bible and find out exactly what their role is. So can pastors. Nothing in there about us though.
We can’t find anything in the Bible telling us what to do or be. Actually, I think this is a good thing…and also a challenging one at the same time. Now, there are scriptures about being a “wife”…none about being a pastor’s wife, What do you think?
Maybe that means our biggest role is that of “wife”. I dunno.
Yeah, in my opinion, it’s good we don’t have a “prescribed” set of rules to follow. This means we can craft our experience and ministry for ourselves! Yay! We can live out our life purpose in the context of being a pastor’s wife. That’s super cool!
At the same time, it is extremely challenging to find out “place” in it all because, without any idea of what God wants us to do, we just drift and reach trying to figure out our pastor’s wife’s role. That can be hard because so many people want to “dictate” what our role should be. It can become manipulative too if you’re not strong and have a good sense of self.
People try to influence pastors’ wives.
Folks have tried to “push” me into what they wanted me to be. It didn’t work. They tried to make me do all sorts of things.
“Pastors’ wives should lead choir”
Trust me, you don’t want me to do that.
“Pastors’ wives should play piano”
Oops! I totally missed the boat on that one.
“The pastor’s wife should preach.”
Not in this lifetime …at least not for me.
“Pastor’s wives should work with the little kids”
Get outta here! Too many little kids at one time make my eye twitch.
Yeah, people have tons of ideas about what ministry pastors’ wives should espouse.
Me? I’d rather focus on what God wants me to do. For example, I’m an encourager and super good at keeping secrets. Not everyone can do those things. I’m also an exhorter and find it easy to connect real life to God’s word. These two things make up my purpose. I don’t get a lot of “outside” attention doing them, but that’s just fine with me. God sees.
I mentor women, I write encouraging blogs and I mentor ministers’ wives and pastors wives in small groups. That’s my boogie. It’s what I do.
Married to a Pastor – with Teri
What do you do, Pastor’s Wife?
What comes super easy for you?
Or, what do you find yourself thinking about and dreaming about? This could be your “boogie.” Check out my ministry ideas list!
Who do you have a heart for? For me, it’s women trying to navigate this crazy thing called “life”. Secondly, it’s pastors’ wives like me.
How about you? Where does your passion live? What bubbles beneath your surface? If you journal, take a moment to write it down. Right now. Yeah. Now.
Whatever it is THAT’S WHAT YOU DO! That’s your passion and your call. Do it and use your experience and influence as a pastor’s wife to reach more and more people with it.
Characteristics of a pastors’ wife
Now, let’s talk about my “take” on the components of a pastors wife. Hey, I’m not God, nor do I pretend to be, so take the “meat” and leave the bones, ok?
Here is what is important to me as a pastor’s wife (yes, I know how to add an apostrophe. I don’t on this blog because it helps with search engine navigation.)
Back to the topic: Pastors wife characteristics …
Pastors wife characteristics #1: Saved
You’d be surprised how many folks in the church are not saved. They’ve never accepted Jesus Christ nor made Him Lord over their lives. So, the first characteristic is being a Christian. Duh, right?
Being a Christian is being a “Christ-follower.” Not just a Christ admirer.
You can admire Christ, sing songs about Him and even think He’s cool, but until He’s driving the “semi-truck” of your life, you’re nowhere. Be sure you’re a Christian and a Christ-follower. I’ve met some church-going pastors’ wives who are not really converted. I was shocked!
Pastors wife characteristics #2 Prayer Warrior
A pastor’s wife must be a woman of prayer. Girl, your life is upfront and your position is on the front lines of battle.
You must have a consistent prayer life or you’ll collapse from emotional and spiritual exhaustion. It will manifest as insecurity, bitterness, whininess, anger, and snobbishness. Eventually, it will take a toll for sure.
Prayer will keep you grounded and humble. A “tight” relationship with the Holy Spirit will also keep you from thinking more highly than you ought. He won’t let you.
He’s got “Holy Ghost” bumper rails!
Characteristic of a pastor’s wife #3: a loving nature
Being loving manifests itself in many ways. But, one consistent way is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Be patient with the congregation at all times. Sure, they will want things from you and your family. That’s just the way it is. They want your attention, your time, and even your resources. Deal with it.
Listen. Engage. Be kind to them. They are not an “inconvenience”, they are part of your ministry and part of your purpose. They are also part of your support system – if you will let them. That is unless you have a crazy church family. In that case, just love them and serve them. Get your support elsewhere.
The main thing is to get yourself off your mind and never dishonor them or be angry with them for wanting a piece of your life (within reason).
Cover them by keeping their secrets and forgive them QUICKLY when they hurt you. Believe the best about them and hang in there.
Well, that’s what I think. How do you see your pastor’s wife’s role?
Again, I get it. Being a pastor’s wife can be quite challenging at times. It’s also a blessing being here. This pastors’ wives blog is committed to offering help and support for you.
I’m sorry I can’t answer many emails or contacts. I get entirely too of them. It’s important to pray for a person in your real life to help.
Married to a pastor.com also explores common characteristics of a pastor’s wife while giving a steady dose of encouraging words for a pastor’s wife. The challenges of being a pastor’s wife are not insurmountable. You can make it, pastor’s wife.
More articles online about being a pastor’s wife.
“Pastors’ Wives Face Challenges, Embrace Opportunities”
What is the Pastor’s Wife’s Responsibility to the Church?
Married to a Pastor.com is a blog for pastors wives focused on offering encouragement for a pastor’s wife, as well as insight on being a pastor’s wife…from one pastor’s wife to another