Let’s have a real discussion about some of the struggles of pastors wives.
Will anyone ever REALLY talk about the struggles of pastors wives? It seems almost every article I find is a pastor’s wife saying how easy it is (FOR HER) to be in the role and how grateful SHE IS God has given her the “position”. Here’s the thing: I feel that way too… most of the time. Still, other times this is just HARD. It’s like having a job you really didn’t apply for, yet, you find yourself in the heat of it trying to figure out what to do and when.
Am I the only one? Just so you know, I am convinced I am not, so, don’t try it.
Speaking of not “trying it”, if you’re not a pastor’s wife, please close this page. It really isn’t relevant to you, so have the integrity to exit left. Thanks! If you like my nutty personality, Please check me and my madness out at www.godsygirl.com. <3
Again, I know I’m not the only one who feels being a pastors wife can be tough at times.
But, I may be the only one writing a blog post about it. Ha!
Hey, years ago, I decided I would be of little use to anyone if I am a phony or a fake. So, I am determined, and strive to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth – at least as it pertains to me and what I’ve my own experiences.
News flash: I don’t know everything in life (nor should I be expected to) but, one thing I’m an expert at is ME! Indeed, I know my experiences, and what I’ve been through, very well.
So that is what this blog post will share. My feelings and my experiences. I pray they bless you, Pastor’s Wife, and give you some solace in knowing it’s not always sunshine and rainbows for any pastor’s wife…not even a smart-mouthed blogging one like me!
Alright. Let’s jump in.
At the very top of my struggles of pastors wives list is the loneliness.
Being alone is one of the common struggles of pastors wives.
If your husband is a driven, ambitious pastor trying to get as many people saved as he can, you likely know what it is like to be alone.
To be clear, some women wear their capes a little differently than others.
There are those pastors wives who are right alongside their husbands in every endeavor, they go on every adventure and they never miss a moment of the ministry experience.
Then, you have others who have children and home and make their priority in the home. I fall in this category in my current season of life. Maybe one day I’ll hop on planes with my dude, but not in this season.
“Because of you, I get to have a family. Thank you, Babe.”
Tears came to my eyes when my husband uttered those words to me not long ago. It came out of nowhere and I couldn’t do anything but hug him after hearing such a sweet sentiment.
He’s away a lot. He’s driven by succeeding in his role and many women wouldn’t make the sacrifice I am making. Not just me! You too!
A lesser woman couldn’t even begin to make the sacrifice you’re making either. It’s because of you, that your husband gets to have the home and the love he has. It’s you and God’s grace on you.
Another reason I am happy to “miss” out on the ministry adventures…
You see, my husband has an almost supernatural energy level. He’s like that squirrel that runs manically across your yard and then darts up the tree before you blink an eye. My man is a mover and shaker and I learned a long time ago, that I can’t keep up with that dude. I don’t even try.
This means I had to carve my own niche out in this marriage and this ministry.
As a result, I release him to do what God has called him to do and I do what God has called me to do.
It all balances out in our home. As long as what my husband is doing doesn’t compromise his physical or mental health, I stand down. This means I’m alone often while he serves the congregation.
The irony is that it doesn’t bother me much at all. Actually, it doesn’t bother me at all.
I have so many interests and such a strong commitment to my teen son, I find myself ok. It also helps that I have a support system. I have friends who hold me up and women in my church, like my ministers’ wives, Eleanor Lisbon, and others who keep me in good form.
My husband can’t be all to me.
On the other hand, if I relied on my husband to fulfill me or give me purpose, I would be an utter basket case.
I’d be jealous of the ministry, sulky, pouty, and I would detonate a toxic bomb-type atmosphere in my home. The end result would be my husband not wanting to come home, nor staying very long.
That would be the equivalent of me tearing down my house with my own hands.
“The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish
one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1
Psst…Listen to my podcast on this subject. Listen here or anywhere you listen to your podcasts.
No. I’d rather build my house up and this is what that means for me:
- It means I define my own existence and find my life purpose with and outside my husband.
- Keep and maintain my home in a way that it’s a place of solace for him – a place he wants to get to and not avoid.
- I actively engage in my own purpose so he is not burdened by my existence, but always intrigued by it and curious about it.
I spend lots of time praying and exploring my life purpose.
“What am I here to do?”
This is the answer congruent with who I was and what I was doing before I even met my husband.
In my humble opinion, one’s life purpose is embedded in their spiritual DNA. It means you know (or have some sort of inkling of what you are here to do.) It doesn’t expire or change much. What do you think? Do you agree?
Your life purpose is that thing that burns in your belly. It’s that thing that “talks to you” when you see others doing it. It’s that thing that makes you excited and motivated.
I’ve heard people with teaching ministries say when they see another teacher, they think of all ways that teacher could have done it better or maybe improve. Interesting, right?
Again, that “thing’ doesn’t go away when you get married. It does not get erased when you marry.
If it does because your husband doesn’t support it, you may be in a manipulation instead of a solid marriage. He should not do away with your purpose, he should help you fulfill it by either supporting it or cheering you, or working with you.
My cousin, Eileen Epps-Hamilton has a teaching ministry called “In The Word Ministries.” Her husband, Ron is always with her supporting her, cheering her moving tables, or doing whatever to help her shine. That’s a supportive marriage. She supports him as well.
Husbands should cheer and support, not interfere with your purpose.
Yeah, one of the struggles of pastors wives is losing themselves in their husbands’ consuming call and busyness. The outcome can be loneliness. I had to learn that too.
Your home is also a big deal, but don’t brace yourself too much for what I’m about to say.
Relax. I’m not going to nag you about keeping a spotless house. Shucks, how could I? I don’t.
Now, my house is what I call pseudo-neat. That means anytime you walk in, it appears to be spotless, but don’t rub your finger across the coffee table. Because you may just see a dust trail. Don’t judge me. 🙂 Heck, I’ve got 3 blogs (GodsyGirl and have written a book. I’m busy! Hahaha
More than a “Better Homes and Gardens” house, you need a house full of peace.
A house that is a judgment-free zone.
Trust me, your husband is fully aware of his crazy schedule, his inability to pick up wet towels on the bathroom floor, and all the other issues he has.
You don’t need to be a voice harmonizing with the critical one in his own head.
If you can’t say anything positive to him when he comes home, then, please, just smile at him. He may think you are planning something heinous, but if he does, tell him to stop watching Dateline. OMG! I’m such a cuckoo bird today!
Back to the subject.
Home is important. I, personally, want to evoke emotions of happiness, joy, and love when my husband walks up the stairs.
For instance, I love having the house smell good when he arrives. I feel like it will trigger a good feeling. So, I’m big on diffusers or those melty wax things. I even like to light candles for when he’s coming home. Beware of that one or you could get pregnant. Ask me how I know.
Click below to see what I’m talking about when I say “diffuser”. I have this one and love it. Although, I use a bigger one in my living room like this one.
Definitely build up your home by making it a sweet place to enter – literally and figuratively.
Last, but not least… GET BUSY DOING SOMETHING!
As for my final tip on some common struggles of pastors wives, you’ve got to find your own purpose. I eluded to it earlier. So, this section is about actually working on your purpose after you discover (rediscover) it.
Make the first step toward fulfilling your purpose TODAY! Stop dragging your feet. I’m challenging myself with this one as well.
To some degree, you’re actually reading part of my purpose.
God created me to encourage, motivate and inspire women. I know that.
I find doing that by way of blogging works for me. Additionally, I also maintain relationships in real life with women who also enable me to be a source of encouragement.
My purpose is clear.
Yet, the medium, or way I fulfill it will change and transform from time to time.
When you figure out why your heart beats, you’ll be less reliant on your husband to give you fulfillment. You need a life outside him and outside your church family. “Periodt” as the youngsters say.
Cool article about the joys and struggles of pastors wives
In her article, The joys and pains of being a pastor’s wife” on “The Christian Post’s” website, Morgan Idleman, a fellow pastor’s wife says:
“I didn’t marry a pastor, I married a construction worker. It was about 8 years later that we entered into full-time ministry.”
This is incredibly common! So many of my friends, who struggle as a pastor’s wife, say the exact same!
“Teri, I didn’t marry a pastor!”
In other words, they didn’t want this job!
When they got married, they married businessmen, lawyers, barbers, educators, and so on. Many married fellows with 9 to 5 gigs and never feared the dreaded midnight phone calls that would drag their husbands away or crash their family plans all because someone died or is going through a horrible time.
In my case, my husband was, indeed, a pastor when I married him.
For many pastor’s wives, that’s not the case. In the end, I think pastor’s wives in this scenario have more struggles than I did. At least I had some sort of idea of what I was getting into.
Talk about God flipping a script on ya?
May I say I’m sorry that happened, but God is going to bless you for adapting.
It means you have do the work of redefining your marriage, your husband, and your role in it all.
That must be very, very difficult. I’ll bet it takes months and, maybe even years, to reconcile all. But, you can and will. Don’t give up.
Having this sort of “flipped script” is definitely one of the common struggles of pastors wives.
Another common struggle is the judgment of church people.
I’ll be honest, I think some people “pick on” pastors wives because they assume we can’t fight back. They see us as easy targets.
So unfair, isn’t it?
Fortunately, my personality doesn’t afford anyone that luxury.
In fact, I learned years ago, that Jesus had a backbone and it was OK for me to have one too.
Let me digress. To this day, I hate those photos in the museums of Jesus holding a lamb looking like a chump. No, He is the Lion of Judah and there was no Pharisee or demon in hell that intimated Him. In reality, Jesus had so much swag, He called the Pharisees fools
You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? Matthew 23:17
To be clear: I ain’t telling to go call the church folks fools or anything. At the same time, I AM telling you to be confident and not allow them to mistreat you.
I pray you have an incredibly supportive church like mine. If you don’t, do not give away your power. God put you there and He did so for a reason. WALK IN IT!
Do not let everyone speak to you just any sort of way.
Power is often not given in this life, it’s taken. Take yours! Jesus died to give it to you. Don’t fall under anyone’s bondage, OK? Be kind. Walk in love, but don’t become anyone beating post. You can’t lead them if you do.
Here’s a strategy idea to overcome your struggle
So, as you ponder a few of these struggles of pastors wives, be solution-focused. Think about how you can conquer your particular struggle.
Devote a couple of weeks to…
- List your struggle in your journal or on paper.
- Write a few times (several entries) about why it is indeed a struggle.
- Write how this struggle makes you feel.
- Think of three ways you can overcome that struggle.
- I want you to record how you’ll feel when you conquer that strategy (relief, happy, etc).
- Drop to your knees and begin praying for guidance and help to overcome each one of your struggles.
For example, my issue was loneliness in the early years of my marriage. I began journaling about it often.
About six months into it, I got tired of …. myself.
My journal entries seemed to be “whiney” and pitiful after a while. That’s why I want you to write about it. Maybe you’ll see your struggle is a little stupid too. With this discovery, I was able to release it and begin to work on myself.
Continue to write about why your struggle vexes you so much. Ask yourself “Why is it a problem?”
Think about the feelings it evokes.
Mine evoked a feeling of rejection. After some time, I realized that feeling had NOTHING to do with my husband.
That was a problem I had years prior and it was manifesting itself in my marriage. It was my own personal issue. The enemy was using it to sow discord in my marriage. I had to stop that!
I wonder if your experience will indeed give you similar insight.
If it is not, then you must get in “problem-solving” mode.
Dint forget to brainstorm practical solutions you can employ to overcome your struggle. Mine was getting a life. I can vividly remember when that epiphany hit me!
The Lord reminded me I had such a strong identity before I got married. In reality, I had a nonprofit for single moms, I was featured on CNN.com for my work and in local newspapers.
I needed to find that “girl” again. You may need to find yourself again too.
Begin praying about your struggles. Be sure to stay on your knees (figuratively) long enough for God to lead you and direct you through His Holy Spirit.
Look. What you’re going through is likely very common. The best part: it is definitely not insurmountable.
Yes, you have struggles.
Yes, this is very hard and YES sometimes you wanna run! Nevertheless, that’s not an option. Don’t give up on your marriage, your ministry, your church, or your purpose.
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