From my many years of experience, I can tell you being a pastor’s wife can be a challenging and rewarding role that requires a unique set of qualities. For me, some of the qualities are naturally part of my personality, and others, I’m learning to cultivate day by day. What can I say? I’m a work in progress! See, the Holy Spirit works on me – just as He does you – to conform to the image of Christ. In His image, we can’t help but be amazing pastors’ wives! In this post, I’ll explore the top 5 qualities of a pastors wife I think are important or that have been important to me so far.
Read this: If you’ve read my blog before, you know I often eliminate the apostrophe from “pastor’s” or “pastors” wife. It helps me with the search engines. Please ignore it, if you can. 🙂
Quality 1: Strong Faith and Commitment to God are important qualities of a pastor’s wife.
Oh, this one is first on my list, and also first in the Kingdom I think.
The most important quality for a pastor’s wife is a solid strong faith and commitment to Jesus.
This means that she is dedicated to living a life that reflects her Christian beliefs and is willing to support her husband in ministry as she does.
I often say I have to be the same Christian woman at Walmart that I am on Sunday mornings.
This means I smile at people in an effort to show kindness – just like on Sundays. It also means I exercise patience and strive to be the best Christian ambassador possible.
I think it is easy to be a good Christian on Sundays. It’s the other days that challenge us!
An indicator of strong faith and commitment to the Lord is when we walk like Jesus and walk in love with others.
It also means I spend time with Him when it’s just He and I. Regular prayer and Bible study – are a MUST to grow in the Christian faith and be a committed Jesus-follower!
A pastor’s wife with a strong faith can be a source of inspiration and encouragement to the congregation (and Walmart!)
It will help you as you assist your husband navigate the many challenges of pastoral ministry. You can challenge him like no one else. When your advice is rooted in God’s word, you’re going to be a good pastor’s wife.
For sure, you gotta be connected to the true vine to be a good pastor’s wife. What do you think? Do you agree with me?
How important are your personal prayer time and Bible study to your walk as a pastor’s wife? This scripture will answer that:
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. Source: John 15: 4-5
Quality: 2. A Supportive and Encouraging Nature
Don’t you think a pastor’s wife must have a confirming and reassuring nature toward her husband as well as the congregation? Occasionally, there can be some duality. I think it’s true for all Christians.
Again, it’s often easier to be loving to a bunch of strangers who don’t leave the cap off the toothpaste in the mornings than it is to our imperfect husbands.
Still, I think one of the important qualities of a pastor’s wife is being just as patient with your husband as you are with the church members on Sundays.
I’ve learned that I can go all “wife” on my husband and often forget there are times I need to handle him gingerly with extra tolerance.
For me, it means having some long-suffering with him when he offends me. Or assuming the best intentions when he fails me.
After all, our husbands don’t want to fail us or fall short. They don’t wake up with that on their “to-do” list.
Wait, I tell him what he needs to know!
To be clear, I do tell him when things are not working, but often, I let the man slide.
He’s carrying a load I cannot begin to fully comprehend.
I try to give him the same grace he needs in private that I would give a church member in public. Easy? Nope, but I try.
Quality 3. Good Communication Skills and the Pastor’s Wife
One of the top qualities of a pastor’s wife on my list is good communication skills.
You should be able to effectively communicate with your husband, the congregation, and other church leaders.
Know who you are as a Christian and as a woman.
Do not shrink away from anyone or any situation to express yourself. Be confident in Christ. You’re no better than anyone and NO ONE else is any better than you.
Back to communication, I think it’s important to learn to listen actively and express yourself clearly.
The active listening part is hard for me.
I am a communicator and a strong leader. So, learning to listen actively has been something I’ve been working on for some time. Here is a great article about being a better listener. It shares 3 aspects of active listening.
Talk to the people. Even if you’re an introvert. Hey, I linked to an article about just that topic for you.
4. Flexibility and Adaptability
Oh, fellow pastor’s wife! This one took me some time.
It was when I was dating my husband that I learned my plans are not “MY” plans. Listen, as you know, at any given moment, someone can need our husbands and we must let him go.
So that is why I listed among the qualities of a pastors wife flexibility and adaptability.
You’ve heard me share my experience, but the truth of the matter is the role of a pastor’s wife can vary greatly depending on the needs of the church.
As a result, in addition to the things I’ve mentioned before, you have to be flexible in other ways.
You may be called upon to lead a Bible study, speak to a large group to express your gratitude, or provide emotional support to a member of the congregation.
Being flexible and adaptable means you’ll be able to handle these situations without losing your ever-loving mind.
Sometimes, as a pastor’s wife and in my life, I have to just go with the flow.
As I type this, I’m in the hospital watching my 87-year-old mother sleep. My day was not intended to go this way. but, it did. I have to just go with it and trust God for the strength I need and trust Him with the outcome. That’s a lot like being a pastor’s wife. We speak faith, make our requests known…then, just trust God with the rest.
Flexibility and adaptability…yes.
"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Source: Philippians 4:6
Quality #5. Compassionate and Empathetic Attitude
This is one some might say they have or don’t have or may be working on.
Either way, you need to embody a compassionate and empathetic attitude.
Wow. How a crucial quality this is for a pastor’s wife!
Condition yourself to truly hear people and aim to understand their needs and concerns.
That is the only way you can support them. Ask Holy Spirit to help you hear beyond the “I’m doing good” answers to discern how people genuinely are doing.
This requires authentic care for others and the ability to put oneself in their shoes.
A book on this subject!
The book, “Emotional Intelligence for Dummies” by Steven Stein is an easy-to-read resource on emotional intelligence.
Stein (2009c) says: “social intelligence is the ability to understand how other people feel.” This does not come naturally to everyone, but it can be cultivated over time.
In his article on Inc.com, Justin Bariso, the author of the book called “EQ Applied” goes into detail explaining how we can boost our emotional intelligence. I think we all can benefit from this information regardless of our temperament.
In the article, he gives us 7 best practices we can use to increase our emotional quotient.
My favorite is to “use the pause” which simply means to slow down before responding.
I’ve learned I can ascertain so much more from people when I just pause my own “start talking” button and chill. Again, check out the article. I think I’m going to get his book.
I’ll let you know on Twitter if I do.
As I finish my ideas of some qualities of a pastor’s wife…
I want to say these are all areas of continuous development.
Sure, your personality may make you more prone to some than others, but still, you will always have areas in which to improve. After all these years, I’m still growing and expanding into the woman (and pastor’s wife) God wants me to be. It’s a slow process because I’m …well, human.
As anyone who has ever been on a diet knows, it takes time because significant changes do not happen overnight on a diet. At least not on the healthy ones.
So, be gentle with yourself. Save a little of the longsuffering I mentioned above for yourself as you develop and cultivate the qualities of a good pastor’s wife. <3
God’s got you and even as you read this Holy Spirit is at work inside you…and me too!
Bariso, J. B. (n.d.). https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/how-to-increase-your-emotional-intelligence.html. Inc.com.
Stein, S. J. (2009c). Emotional Intelligence For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.