11 Things I Learned from Pastors’ Wives

Several months ago, I wrote a post about pastors’ wives. The responses and comments were numerous and incredible. One of the greatest blessings about this blog for me is how much I learn from others. As I read the comments and the interactions, I came away with a greater appreciation for pastors’ wives, as well as a greater concern for these ladies.

I have attempted to summarize the primary issues the pastors’ wives discussed. I am sure I’ve missed something. For now, here are eleven things I learned from pastors’ wives.

  1. The number one challenge for pastors’ wives is loneliness. That issue arose again and again. Many of these ladies have no true confidants. Some have scars from bad relationships. More than a few have experienced depression. Some still are.
  2. These ladies need to know they have the love and support of their husbands. Some frankly feel that their husbands have a mistress – the local congregation he serves. A pastor’s wife can endure much if she knows of her husband’s unwavering and repeatedly articulated love.
  3. A pastor’s wife does not want a church member to tell her what her “job” at the church is. She would rather serve the church according to her gifts and calling, not according to some false sense of expectations.
  4. She would like church members to understand that neither she nor her family is perfect. Allow her to make mistakes. Let her children be “normal” children. Don’t call out family members every time one of them does not quite reach perfection.
  5. The pastor’s wife does not want to field complaints from church members about her husband. She is not a conduit or a complaint desk. She loves her husband, and it breaks her heart to hear negative things about him. 
  6. The pastors’ wives who entered ministry with no forewarning about the issues they would face were the ones who stressed the most. It’s not only the issues themselves, it’s the surprise factor they often bring. Many of these pastors’ wives had no idea what some members would say, what some expectations would be, or how much the glass house syndrome is a hard reality.
  7. She does not want to be told she needs to work to support her husband and family. If she chooses to do so, that is fine. But she does not want church members paying her husband minimally with the expectation that she will make up the shortfall in income.
  8. While most pastors’ wives affirm their identity as a wife in ministry, they do not want that to be their only identity. Many of these women spoke about their ministry, work, and gifts well beyond that of a pastor’s wife. They would like to feel free to express their own identities.
  9. Many pastors’ wives believe they need training for their roles. They have been both surprised and ill prepared for the issues that came their way. They needed either formal training or an informal mentorship to face all the challenges that are common with a pastor’s wife.
  10. These ladies want to be reminded again and again to keep their focus on Christ.  Of course, this reminder is something we all need. But as one pastor’s wife expressed, only by remembering what Christ did for her could she face the challenges of her role.
  11. Many pastors’ wives want a means where they can support one another. Some of them longed for a mentor or someone they could mentor. Others said they would like a forum like my blog where they can share with each other without the fear of reprisal. I wonder if I can do something with the resources I have available to make this request a reality. Let me know.

I look forward to hearing from you. I learn more from the readers than I could ever give back. Thank you.

photo credit: girish_suryawanshi via photopin cc


  1. says

    So good, Thom. Especially #3. Can’t tell you how many times someone has invited my wife to lunch so they could tell her what she’s doing wrong–in a role that has no job description or support!

  2. julie says

    Being a part of my states ministers’ wives network has been a blessing to me. We meet a couple of times a year, but social media is where we get to know each other better. We have a private Facebook page where we can vent about what is happening in our church or give praise for how God is working. We also have a blog written by ministers’ wives for ministers’ wives. Floruish.me. is an excellent blog for ministers’ wives, Kathy Litton is an excellent resource for Southern Baptist wives.

  3. Bob Ward says

    My mother and grandmother were pastor’s wives, they could have written this decades ago.
    This spoke to my heart as a pk.

  4. says

    There is a protected online forum/safe place for ministers’ wives called contagious joy. Started by ministers wives. It’s full of articles, support, places to vent and find encouragement/advice! It is wonderful!!!!

    • says

      Thank you Kelly for recommending our site. We have taken a break for the past month but are gearing up for a new and important year. The one thing that we have discovered about all other sites including Facebook is that while you might be posting on a private, membership site, most if not all that we have tested DO NOT have the back door closed. In other words, as a ministry wife anything that you post via Facebook or in other venues can be captured by search engines. While many and most wives have nothing that they do not mind being “captured” some of you need to be aware that when you are sharing your personal information and intimate details on other sites you are at risk for discovery. Our Forum is unique in that we have CLOSED the back door and work diligently, regularly to maintain the security of our site. Our site has a certified, licensed counselor – who just happens to be a church planters wife – watching and ready to answer and to pray with you. BUT maybe what most ministry wives need is community of other like minded ministry wives where they can share their victories, struggles, fears and even express doubts, frustrations, anger, loneliness with other women who either are on the same path or have traveled the road already and have invaluable wisdom that is only gleaned from the school of experience.

      The purpose of Contagious Joy is to connect ministry wives around the globe for the purpose of prayer, encouragement, awareness, accountability, bible study and friendship.

      We are actively planning a Bible study for the ministry wife taught by a seasoned pastor’s wife in the coming weeks in our forum. You will be able to log in and then join us and participate weekly for a study in the area of “spiritual warfare” and your need for readiness and maturity in this area.

      When signing up for membership. Please create a username that is unique to you.
      Our membership coordinator and myself are the only one’s that have access to your information. We will verify your information and if necessary contact you to make certain that the integrity of our site is maintained. When you are verified and approved you will need to sign in and change your password from the temporary one we assign you. After this you can go to the forum and start a new topic or post comments.

      In addition we have 15 writers who are ministry wives across the nation – literally from the East to West Coast and Canada. We send out a weekly newsletter and desire to bless the ministry wife tangibly. We do this by giving the ministry wives opportunity to win prizes throughout the year.

      In 2014 we will be meeting four times this year in small groups with a maximum of 10 wives. Face to face ministering to the wife for encouragement and empowerment.

      I hope to see you there and please know that we are praying for ministry wives daily!

      • Kelli W says

        Thanks to Kelley’s post I just registered with Contagious Joy! I serve as the wife of the Student Pastor and work part-time with Children’s Ministry at our church. So excited for this resource!

  5. Jill York says

    Thank you Thom. I will be sharing the link to this article. You’ve captured the feedback very well. I wish that I had been part of a conversation like this 20 years ago.

  6. Scott Newman says

    A word of advice to younger pastors from a guy who’s been a pastor for some time now: Protect your wife. When a church member steps over the line and mistreats your wife (or kids) then don’t wimp out. Confront the offender diligently and with an appropriate level of disgust. I know anger is tough to hold in check, but listen guys, you can let a lot of silliness role off your back when it is directed towards you. But, when your wife and kids are involved, then you have to be the one to step up to the plate on their behalf. Involve your elder team if need be. But address the issue. Put a stop to it. Don’t put up with it.

  7. Stephanie says

    Thank you Thom! I appreciate this post so much as a future pastors wife. My fiance and I are both in seminary pursuing MDIV’s. Your article a few months back and this one are eye opening for me. It’s nice to hear it all and know what to expect.

    I do however have a concern and questions. Is every single church like this? Is it always this bad every single week or Sunday? Do pastor’s wives have anything positive to share about serving as a pastor’s wife? It’s a little disheartening to read posts like this but to never see the other side. Surely, its not always bad all of the time.

    Also, I love the idea of number 11. Having some place for pastor’s wives to write out what is on their hearts in a safe, protected place. Maybe it could be a password protected website that you must fill out something (some kind of online form that asks for identification and such stuff) and be given approval before granted access. Maybe that’s silly. Just something running through my mind. Anyway, thanks for your posts!

    • Thom Rainer says

      Stephanie –

      Every local congregation is different. Some are largely very loving; others not so much so. But even in the best of churches there will be an occasional negative experience for the pastor’s wife. My counsel is to expect the best but don’t be surprised when something negative takes place. And thanks for the recommendation. I’ll be looking at different possibilities shortly.

    • Elisabeth says

      It’s not bad all of the time. :) I’m a pastor’s wife, and I would say that most of the time it is wonderful. Sure, there are rough seasons of ministry and tough issues to work through, but it is such an honor and privilege to be on “this” side of church. It is an honor to serve by my husband’s side – to be called to be a pastor’s wife. It’s a humbling thing. It is a privilege that no one else has – to be the wife to my pastor. Just knowing ahead of time that Christians don’t always act like Christians can get you through a lot. I keep in mind that there are believers in this world who have faced and are facing true persecution. And even though it is not fun and can hurt my feelings to have church people not like me or my husband, I’m in ministry to glorify God and because He called me to it. If you keep your eyes on Jesus, you can survive, and even flourish as a pastor’s wife.

      • Stephanie says

        Elisabeth, thank you for your reply!! Everyone else’s comments are most helpful along with Thom’s post. My fiancé and I both look forward to graduating and serving somewhere. Thanks again for sharing !

        • Simply new says

          I have been dating the most amazing man I’ve ever met in my life for almost 2 years now who just happens to be a young successful pastor. I realize because he is a man of God, I have been blessed with a genuineness and sincerity with an understanding for how I live my life when dating that other guys could not accept. As we contemplate marriage and prepare to be married I have found myself questioning our lived as one. The loneliness along with the needs of the church not to mention he works as a professor in the local university have shown me that my life as his wife would be difficult in certain areas. Nothing can prepare you for this but having others with experience and insight help. I thought I was selfish for feeling this way but I see I’m not the only one. Thank you so much and God bless each and every one of you.

    • Jan says

      In my personal experience of 32 years in ministry with my husband, yes every single church has had some element of this. Not everyone. But there is just about always someone.
      I’ve been told what I should be doing in the church, what I should be doing outside the church.
      I’ve not been told, but others have at times, and there is even a woman in our community who carries an email she sent about me to others in our community (but not to me) that lists everything I ever did to fail and offend her. This was 6 years ago, and every once in awhile she pulls it out of her purse and reads it to someone that has contact with me.
      Is she crazy? Yes. Is it hard to deal with and hurtful? Unfortunately, my skin is not thick enough and it still hurts.
      What to do? I don’t know. I think the true believers in God who are walking in relationship with Him and are committed to the Body of Christ, merely recognizing the needs of pastor’s wives and pastor’s families is huge for us who live through this stuff. Having someone understand, address these people when they can, encourage, pray and support makes a huge difference in ministry and family life for us.
      I have a wonderful group of 20 women who I share with in a facebook group that encourage and pray for me. We are interdenominational, all over forty, cross denominational lines, and met through a large pastor’s wife forum. We’ve been sharing our lives for ten years now, some of us! And we have even gotten together with our husbands for a week in the summer on a mule ranch of all things! It was a blast.
      There are wonderful things about being a pw even with all the hard stuff. God is ALWAYS good. And I would not trade my journey with anyone for an “easier” life.

    • Kim says

      I have served along side my husband for over 20 yrs now. We have had our ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change anything! God placed a calling on our lives and I find complete joy in fulfilling my calling. I will say this…find yourself! Know who you are, what your talents and gifts are, and use them to the fullest. Learn to say “no” or you will be worn out. If you focus on pleasing Christ, then you will no longer care about pleasing your congregation and you will alleviate the challenges that come with trying to please everyone. When you stand firm in your walk with the Lord, then you can stand firm among your people and they will respect you for it. Most of all, love…love them as Jesus would love them and your joy will overflow!

    • Mom of six says

      By all means, there are wonderful congregations. We happen to be at one of them. Is it perfect? No, but as a whole the congregations has been very good to us. I am now a pastor’s wife and was terrified of being a pastor’s wife, until lady at seminary told me “to love the people, that there are so many people who are hurting, that what they really need is someone to love them.” I remember thinking, “That I can do.” and that is what I try to do, love the people. Remember that everyone has a story, a past and if you can discover what it is, it can go a long way in understanding that person. Difficult people can become your best allies when they are loved.

  8. Kim says

    Possibly a blog by area or state would be good for those that would like to meet or form support groups for pastor’s wives in their area. It’s great to meet and form friendships especially with those pastor’s wives who are dealing with or have come through difficult situations.

  9. Sharon Enright says

    I’ve been a pastor’s wife for twenty years and have learned more about resources for counsel and encouragement by reading your blog than I have in all the time I’ve spent in ministry. Thank you so much, Thom! My very busy husband has me read your articles to him as he moves about the house. Many have made him sit down and take notice. It’s been like “water out of the rock” for the spiritual place we are right now. Thanks again!

  10. says

    These are all excellent points! Thank you so much for this. I am privileged to belong to a Convention of churches that hosts an annual retreat for Ministry Wives here in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. It’s called Refresh- a perfect name. It’s a gift to be able to meet together with other wives who “get” this unique life. I hope similar retreats are available to others.

  11. Patsy Chacon says

    Thank you for posting all the responses. My mother was a Pastor’s wife and I knew first hand what to expect when I took on the roll. I will admit I didn’t want to because I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. But even knowing what to expect it still is lonely and hurts at times especially when you see your children suffer because of people. If it wasn’t for my relationship with GOD and the love and communication I have with my understanding husband I think I would of fallen into a major depression. I would love for you to put a blog out for Pastors wives it’s nice to hear and see that you are not alone. Sometimes that makes all the difference in the world. God bless you

  12. Tammy Meadows says

    http://pastorswives.proboards.com/ is a wonderful message board where pastors wives can go and talk with other ministry wives of all ages, denominations, and levels of experience. It’s a wonderful place with lots of information and support. To participate you have to register and give information showing you are a ministry wife. Please feel free to pass on the link.

    I appreciate your blog and the things you are bringing attention to! Thank you!

  13. says

    Thank you so much, Thom. Without getting lost in all the juicy details, let’s just say THIS WAS VERY TIMELY… :) I also want to give a shout out to http://www.flourish.me. The goal of this site is to help ministry wives flourish and love their calling…to thrive, not just survive. Being a pastor’s wife comes with such a unique set of issues and I know we all crave for our context to be addressed directly. This has been such a great resource that reminds me I’m not alone!

  14. says

    I’m a pastor who’s going to be retiring soon. It happens that my wife is the pianist at the church, too. Several of these items really resonate with us. My church is in for “sticker shock” when they begin looking for a new pastor, not only because they have not kept up with inflation at all during the last seven years, but because they have not had to pay for health insurance, life insurance, etc. because we have received those through my wife’s full-time work. The church definitely does not realize the time, cost and effort it took for my wife to become a good pianist, nor do they realize the hours outside of the worship service that she spends in practice, music planning, mentoring young worship leaders at our church, etc. All this is time that she COULD be spending resting from her full-time work as a middle school teacher., or other activities.

  15. Ali says

    Wow this really spoke to me! All the things I felt yet couldn’t or was afraid to put into words. Thank you for understanding what pastor’s wives go through. I always wanted the church to see me for who I was, not the title of pastor’s wife. That seemed to make them put on blinders to who I was or what I could do. Often other pastor’s wives wanted a place of power. Not even in my wildest dream would I want that! What I really wanted was the opportunity to serve along side, not from above. The loneliness and depression follow me, even though my husband is leaving the pulpet for a secular job. The trust issues are hard to handle at times. I long for a real friend. Believing in time that God will heal my heart.

  16. Pastor Paul Wilkes says

    It is clear that you have enabled pastors wives to have a place to share. I think it would be good for them to have a forum where they can share with each other so that they know they are not alone.I am not sure how this can be done but you have started the process. Thanks! I know that my wife appreciates having a place to share! It does seem that there is insufficient support. I praise God fro your boldness to share. As a pastor I know that I need to hear and be aware of the pressures on my wife.

  17. Tori says

    I have often said I wish someone would write a book about the life of a pastors wife. It’s def one of the hardest things I have ever done. You hit the nail in the head with these!!

  18. says

    Might be able to add another to the list. For some strange reason many of our people treat my wife as a mobile Q&A. Lots of questions about events, the calendar, and her husbands thoughts and plans. This is frustrating for her because she doesn’t want to be thought of as, or treated like, an information go-to person. She serves in other ways. I suspect other pastor’s wives are treated this way so I thought maybe this would be helpful.


  19. says

    Great post, Thom. As a young pastor (34 years old) with a young wife (also 34), I have thought that the idea of training for future minister’s wives would be very good. I am surprised that there has not been more training and materials for pastors wives up to this point. Thanks for raising the point.

  20. Sandy Bowers says

    I totally agree with these points! Especially #9 & #11. Definitely going to check out some of the resources in the comments. Thank you!

  21. Heather says

    For all who are interested in education and preparation for pastor’s wives, Concordia Seminary St Louis has a class called Partnership in the Gospel. My friends and I found it incredibly helpful. I encourage anyone who wants to have a program at your seminary, or have a class with your local wives, to contact Concordia.

    • Heidi says

      Heather, my husband graduated a few years from CSL! We never had Partnership in the Gospel. Sounds like a wonderful class for wives! I would love to hear more. This article has been a blessing. Thanks so much!

      • Heather says

        Heidi – my husband graduated in 2011, so you must have missed the announcement. It was part of the Tuesday night classes for wives, only offered in the spring quarter. When I took it Diane Meyer and Renee Gibbs led it. Two wonderful women! I’m sure either one would send you the outlines if you ask. My last name is McCoy if you want to find me on Facebook. I’m in a couple LCMS wives groups there :-)

  22. says

    Wonderful post! Thank you for your concern and appreciation for pastor’s wives like me! I also wanted to throw it out there that I write a blog for ministry-minded women (www.GraceCoversMe.com) and have written a book for church planting wives that many pastor’s wives have told me also speaks to their role. It’s called The Church Planting Wife.

    The resources mentioned already like Flourish and Leading and Loving It are trying to meet the needs of ministry wives. I’ve found that many wives don’t know about these and even more pastors don’t know about them. I think it is most helpful when PASTORS share these resources with their wives and with each other. Pastors are often the ones who attend conferences and network with each other, but I feel sometimes like pastor’s wives are left out of that process, often because of logistics. They stay home with the kids, etc. while their husbands go to learn and network. I believe most pastors strongly value their wife’s role and want her to be cared for by the church, but are men talking with each other about how to do this best? I think this would help bring resources and training for ministry wives.

    Online, pastors and denomination leaders can invite women’s voices, hear what they’re saying, try to learn about their unique experiences as pastor’s wives, show value to these women (as you’ve done here), and encourage them to connect using the resources available.

  23. Kristie says

    I became a pastor’s wife AFTER we’d been married over 10 years. So, when my husband answered the call, I , too, answered it along side him. I had basically no formal knowledge of how or what a pastor’s wife should be. My husband is not a senior pastor at our church, but one of several. He counsels with people of our congregation and some that are not. As pastor’s wives, we become privileged to some private knowledge, but not all (I would not want to know all of everything that goes on it our church. It would probably skew my judgement of some things and change my views not matter how unbiased I try to remain). With this being said, I must remain confidential with most everything that goes on. It is very hard to have close friends in this situation (#1). Also, as “pastor’s wives” , we, too, have issues within our own lives that we may need counsel without being judged. No! We aren’t perfect, nor do we claim to be. But, who do we turn to? (Yes, I turn to God)

  24. Wife to the Pastor says

    I agree with many of your points. However, I do not believe that I as a clergy spouse should need to take a class in how to be a pastor’s wife. I married my husband for richer or poorer, etc. long before he changed careers to follow God’s Calling to attend seminary and enter the ministry. That is HIS Calling, not mine. I have my own career and Calling. Congregations need to respect that the spouse is not their free pastoral assistant.I married a man, not a profession. If I were a surgeon’s wife would I be expected to take classes on how to remove a spleen? No. Perhaps we could just end all of these expectations by having all clergy spouse belong to a different denomination or church than the one the clergy-person serves in.

    • A Minister's Wife says

      Thank you so much for posting this comment! I agree with you – it is HIS calling and not mine. The church did not hire me – they hired him. Because I love my husband, I will stand by his side and support him, but I have my own full time job. I believe I do have a calling to serve God to the best of my ability, just like every other Christian who sits in the pews with me.
      I have heard friends say they were called to be a minister’s wife – and wonder how that affects their marriage when the husband leaves the ministry (as has happened with someone I know.)

  25. says

    All sounds about right. I also think people/ congregation forgets that the pastor’s family – wife and kids have him as a pastor as well as a family member. I know that I go to church to get forgiveness of sins just like everyone else there and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a sinner and no hypocrite. lol My family needs to be there just like everyone else.

    On another note, I formed a private Facebook group just for pastor wives in our denomination. We give support to each other and can all related to the same issues. I encourage pastor wives of other denominations to do the same. If you know of anyone who is a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Pastor Wife you can send them to our FB group and request an invite. https://www.facebook.com/groups/LCMSWivesofPastors/

    Thanks for sharing!

  26. Zan says

    Thank you for this post & the follow-up comments. It is encouraging to know that I am not alone. I am still a rookie pastor’s wife (just 4 short years into our first church assignment after seminary), and this month has been one of the hardest yet. It is clear the honeymoon is over. Someone in the church has recently been sending my pastor-hubby anonymous notes in the mail to our home. It absolutely breaks my heart to watch someone intentionally plant seeds of doubt or criticism in such an unhealthy way. I witness firsthand my husband’s devotion to prayer, studying God’s Word & loving the flock. While it seems that anonymous notes to pastors are not all that uncommon, it has been like a punch in the gut to me. I am angry and hurt, and all of this is compounded by the fact that I was already feeling the weight of the loneliness & financial burden of being a ministry wife.

    • Patsy Chacon says

      Zan, I just wanted to respond to your comment and let you know you are in my prayers. I have had first hand experience with this type of abusive harassment. I’m so sorry and continue to look to GOD. I know you may feel alone but as long as you and your husband are there for one another and have your TRUST in the Lord you will overcome this. I have always reminded myself and I always tell my kids GOD’S heart is broken because of the choices people make and the way they handle situations. Just remember GOD is GOD and people are people they make horrible decisions and mistakes. God bless you

  27. Carlos says

    He seguido su sitio hace algún tiempo y es excelente felicidades.Los mejores parabienes para que continuE su gran labor.Mis oraciones con usted Osnaya+

  28. Carolyn says

    Having been a FORMER Pastor’s Wife, I would have to say you are right on. EXCEPT, I would take it much more seriously had a REAL pastor’s wife written it. Still feels like a man, the husband is tell us what to think of your wife.

      • says

        It is nice when you hear from a woman who actually has gone through this; however, where we are right now, I am glad a man took notice of what we as pastors wives experience. Some husbands need to hear it from a man or they draw the conclusion that we, as women, are crying, complaining, nagging or simply overreacting. Many times I feel slighted. I stay in my prayer closet so that even when someone deliberately does something to me I can still walk in love and not cringe when I see that person. Prayer also helps my heart to forgive. How people could do some of the things I’ve experienced or read about I can’t understand. Thank you for the resources. For years I felt alone in my experiences. I almost convinced myself they did not exist. Now I have ways to safely vent without being judged or have it tucked away to be thrown back in my face at a later time. If I had a hashtag it would read #ihavefeelingstoo thank you Thom for posting this.

  29. Laura says

    All of the points you make are on point. It is an honor to be a Pastor’s Wife. It comes with many blessings and a few not so pleasant moments. Flourish is a great BLOG; not a forum where Pastor’s Wives can connect and discuss an issue they may be facing. Or, find a new ministry friend who lives close by. I think it would be wonderful is each state convention had a ‘Ministry Wives Consultant.’ I would like to see this person organize small events in each region of the state so that we can connect and build relationships among ourselves. I would personally be happy to work in my region to get something like this started if I knew I had support and if the ladies would be willing to attend.

  30. Dawn Cole says

    Thank you for posting this! I have been a student pastor’s wife for 15 years and we are currently in LAUNCH church planting training. I think the biggest key is to remember we are not alone.

    • Nancy Hillard says

      you are not alone as we also trained in chuch planting. It is an awesome experience and one that you will never forget. But I think I must forget that they hired my husband not me as I have been called down for doing to much. Good luvk in your work. God is the one you will please.

  31. alice says

    I am not a pastor’s wife, but I am the friend of a pastor’s wife. Maybe as a word to other laypeople out there–I never repeat anything my friend has told me (unless it’s something like what time a meeting is or other basic information). If she’s called me to share a prayer request about her family as a friend, I never tell anyone else–just pray for it on my own. My friend is very discreet, but if she’s ever needed to vent about something I haven’t told a soul, not even my own husband. It’s a good idea to make sure we can be trusted and not betray our pastor’s wife, even inadvertently. I need friends, why wouldn’t my pastor’s wife?

  32. Nancy Hillard says

    Thank you for your post as I have read the last 2. Everything you said is true but I, as my husband started a multiple campus out of a trailer and setting up and tearing down a church in one day is the hardest thing one can do but we did it for 9 months until we found a building. Well that church has become our home as we do everything there. We do not pay for janitoral services, we ask for volunteers and I feel that I have to be there to get people to volunteer or they won’t show up. I get so tired sometimes and emotionally drained that it takes me days to recover. I have several health problems and I will serve the Lord until I can not serve him anymore. I am the hands on Pastor’s wife..I feel that these people come to learn the word of God and also to find peace and tranquility and love from the congregation. I am not sitting in a corner, I am up meeting, greeting, loving and praying over these people. Maybe I am over the top but I don’t understand how wives can just not do these things and I know alot that do nothing but go to church. I guess I need to go back to church planting for more than a week to find out what I am doing wrong as I feel that I am letting God down.

  33. rm says

    what about “most pastor’s wives secretly wish their husband’s would do ANYTHING else but be a pastor:) i know i do:)

  34. Carol Meier says

    So true! Thanks for the reminder!
    We just need to be reminded – they are also human beings and women, just like us- except their calling!
    We are called to love and carry one another’s burdens as body!

  35. says

    I am sad to read how many family members of people in ministry suffer from crude and dysfunctional churches. As a Family Therapist I train Pastors in family dynamics and am stunned that so few a bible schools and Seminaries prepare their people so poorly and denominations have no good training for leaders on these topics. The support groups mentioned are wonderful and I hope church leaders will step up and bring in people like me to train their families.

    I am still offering free materials to any Pastor or family member.

    • Patsy Chacon says

      Thank you Gary for you’re post and your concern for Pastor’s. I’m a Pastor’s wife and I’m very interested where I could get more information on your ministry and the tools you offer. God bless you

  36. Martha says

    I think this list applies to wives of worship leaders as well, and most likely, anyone else highly VISIBLE in church ministry. We do need a safe place to share our concerns. For now, Jesus is my refuge.

  37. says

    Thank you very much for this post.I obeyed the Lord and launched a local church about 3.5years.ago. Although it is still young in yeara of existence, by God’s grace it has grown in membership. I daily concern myself with the impact its having on my children and my wife. She ia fully supportive but I try to make sure I do not place unrealistic expectations not allow the people to do ao either.

  38. says

    Dr. Rainer,

    Thank you for touching this needful issue once again. With one year complete in the MBTS DMin program, I am considering pastor’s wives related topics for my project & dissertation. Are you aware of anyone who has done any similar work to this point?

    I’ve also considered the idea of pastor peer mentoring groups. Both ideas are rooted in my presupposition that healthy pastors are necessary for healthy churches.


  39. says

    The older I get the more I agree with #11. Pastor’s wives need a safe, real place to vent and unload. Sometimes networking with other pastor’s wives is a great way to get things off your chest and receive encouragement and prayer support. But SOMETIMES…we need a little more. I am a huge advocate for encouraging pastor’s wives to pay someone godly, safe and trusted to pour their hearts out to. Finding a good, godly female counselor in your area may take a few attempts, but is totally worth the money and time spent. Just having someone you can vent to about your church or church goers, or about your husband is huge and takes the pressure off your husband. Plus, she is paid to keep her mouth firmly closed. (see sweet smile on my face) Seeking this avenue of self care allows me to be a better wife, mother and pastor’s wife.

    I am also blessed to be a part of our church planting organization’s ministry to planter’s wives called: Bloom. We have a closed Facebook page, newsletter and yearly retreat. Making friendships with these women all over the country who are in similiar ministry positions has been invaluable. I have written a book specifically for pastor’s and planter’s wives called, “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” Available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bloom-Where-Youre-Planted-Planting/dp/1484043073

    The second book is coming out in April at Exponential the National New Church Planting Conference. I will be hosting a workshop there that week as well.

    Blessings to all of you ladies and thank you Thom!

  40. Mrs LH says

    How do you deal with your husband working close to attractive single women in the ministry? My insecurities are killing me.

  41. mary says

    With the number of women now in ministry, why do you assume that the pastor’s spouse is a “wife” — i.e. a woman?

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