Thank You Pastor’s Wife

November 9, 2013

Thank you pastor’s wife.

You may have one of the most thankless roles in the world. You receive no compensation, but there are many expectations of you. At times you are expected to be omnipresent; and other times you are expected to be invisible. Rarely at any of those times does anyone express gratitude to you.

Thank you pastor’s wife.

You may have one of the most selfless roles in the world. You are expected to be at the beck and call of church members, regardless of your own schedule. You are expected to adjust your life to the life of the pastor, who just happens to be your husband. You really have no independent life of your own.

Thank you pastor’s wife.

You may have one of the most challenging roles in the world. You are the only person in whom your husband can truly confide. When he is down, you are expected to encourage and exhort him. You try to provide balance for your family and children, especially since some of the church members expect them to be perfect.

Thank you pastor’s wife.

You may have one of the most painful roles in the world. You have discovered how hurtful some church members can really be. You listen to criticisms of your husband, and you are expected to be stoic. And when you are hurt, you think you have to keep it to yourself. You internalize it and hurt even more.

Thank you pastor’s wife.

You may have one of the loneliest roles in the world. People in the church seem afraid to get to close to you. Friendships are rare, if not non-existent. There are times you want to cry out in your need and pain, but there is no one to listen to you. In your darkest moments, you wonder if it’s all really worth it.

Thank you pastor’s wife.

We who stand on the sidelines may not know your hopes, hurts, and needs. We may not realize the depth of your times of pain and loneliness. But we know Someone who does. And He is with you. He is your strength. He is your comforter. He is your confidant.

And one day you will see that Savior named Jesus face to face. One day you will get your rewards for your labor, sacrifice, and love. One day He will look at you with unstoppable love and piercing eyes. One day He will say, “Well done good and faithful servant. Well done.”

And then you will know it was all worthwhile.

Thank you pastor’s wife.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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65 Comments

  • Awesome post. I have a pastor’s wife:) She is awesome and has experienced each one of these. It brought gratitude and some sadness in my heart and eyes as I thought about our ministry serving Jesus together for the last 9 years. I love my wife and want her to know how much I appreciate her and thank God for her.

  • Loved the article and Laura your comments touched my heart as well. Thank you both for the blessing this morning.

  • Mary Bowery says on

    Growing up as a daughter of a preacher and then being married to one, I’ve spent almost 50 yrs in the parsonage. It’s been the best of times and sometimes, the worst of times. But what an adventure!!! Guess that old statement fits here: You can’t scare me…I’m a preacher’s wife!!!! (BTW, I was a counselor in a maximum-security 1900-bed prison and that wasn’t nearly as scary as some business meetings I’ve attended. ‘Nuff said. 🙂
    )

  • Amen. I was a pastor’s wife until about two months ago. The same day my husband resigned, I went into labor with our second child. The pain and frustration of what led to his resignation means I probably won’t ever be a pastor’s wife again. But I thank God for the experience. No matter what church I join next or where I go with my husband, the pastor’s wife will have her biggest cheerleader and defender in me. I will be the one praying for her every Sunday, squashing gossip in the congregation, sending her notes in the mail, dropping by with chocolate, offering to babysit, and talking her up to everyone in the church.

    That seat on the front pew is scary sometimes, and you feel like there are arrows being shot in your back. In our next church I intend to shield that front pew as much as I can.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Laura –

      You are an incredible example of someone who experienced great pain, but used it for good. Thank you. After I finish this response, I will pray for you, your husband, your family, and your ministry.

  • Thom, Thank you! What you shared is so true. I have just returned from a short pre-holiday vacation with my wife where we had the opportunity to just talk to each other. I came away with the realization that I am blessed beyond measure.

  • Thank you. This is exactly what I needed today as I’m stressing about having our Sunday school class to our house and my husband’s at the church all day and kids are crazy. I love this “job” and wouldn’t change a thing, so thank you.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      I don’t know you Beth, but I know you are a blessing to many. Thank you.

      • Bonnie Muir says on

        I was married for 28 yrs to a man who pastored for 22 yrs, had & raised 5 kids – 4 sons & a daughter. I stood by him, faithfully supporting him in every way, only to find out he had been sleeping with a married woman on staff for 5 yrs, He divorced me, the man who took over as pastor officiated the wedding of my x & his new 28 yr old girlfriend. My church did nothing to help me & told people to stay away from me & don’t talk to me. A lawyer from a nearby church helped him take custody of my daughter away from me. I have no home & no family. There should be an advocacy group for pastors wives.

      • So sorry for the pain you went through and lack of support you were given at such an awful time. Not what Jesus would do. Bless your dear heart. My heart goes out to you.

      • Kasey Burt says on

        Bonnie:
        This is a terrible trap that many pastor husbands fall into. The Church secretary or pianist spend long hours together and suddenly she looks better in his eyes. She “ADORES” him and doesn’t lay any of her real life issues on him, making him feel like a king. However, that scenario will change quickly enough when she is no longer treated like a princess and is expected to care for his child, clean the house, cook meals, do laundry, run his errands and deal with her real life crisis. Right now, my husband has a pianist about 15 years younger than him in her sights. It is a troubling road to travel being a Pastor’s wife, watching women throw themselves at a married pastor. The only thing I know to do is pray and talk frankly with my husband about what I see. However, only God knows if I will end up in your shoes. Praying for your comfort in the one who can heal all things. Kasey

  • Amy Schull says on

    I’ve experienced the best & worst, and while I thought I might have to wait till I see Jesus to be valued & appreciated, I found out I was wrong. Leading and Loving It, a community for Pastor’s wives,saved me! No competition, no “this is who you ought to be,” just come as you are and be. As a matter-of-fact we have our 3rd retreat this Tues-Thurs in downtown Nashville! (I’ll be staying right next to the LifeWay bldg)
    Thank you for your words & your example.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      What a great community Amy! Thank you for your life and ministry. Tell the other wives LifeWay and I appreciate them so much.

  • Christina says on

    Thank you for this post. As a young pastor’s wife, I have faced almost everyone of these scenarios. But as the lady before me said, I would not want to be anywhere else than right next to my husband as he lives out his God-given calling. He is my rock, my best friend, and my confidant. I can’t imagine life without him and our ministry.

  • Thank you, Thom. How I wish I could say this myself without embarrassing my faithful wife and inciting guilt among the unaware, (or guilty).

  • Jerry Schoenenberger says on

    Thank you Thom,
    I’ll print out your post for my wife. She probably doesn’t know how much I appreciate her, even though I try to tell her. She didn’t sign up for this, but she’s followed along. I hold her up as a great example of a submissive wife. She isn’t a “pastor’s wife”, she says she just happens to be married to the pastor. May God bless her for her commitment to him and to me.

  • Thank you for this article. It is very true and how I feel many days. The most important part is I wouldn’t ever want to be anything else even on those hard days. I love my pastor!! He’s my husband and my best friend!!

  • David Highfield says on

    Thank you for this. And in my denomination where women are called and ordained, we are also thankful for pastors’ husbands.

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