The Pastors’ Wives Episode – Rainer on Leadership #054

Podcast Episode #054

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I’ve written on pastors’ wives a few times here at the blog and every time I do, people flock to the posts. So this week, we looked at these posts and discussed all things related to the pastor’s wife: expectations, loneliness, parenting, friendships, the desire for mentors, and so much more. Here are the points we covered:

Seven Things Pastors’ Wives Wish They Had Been Told Before They Became Pastors’ Wives – April 2013

  1. I wish someone had told me just to be myself.
  2. I wish someone had prepared me to deal with criticism of my husband and me.
  3. I wish someone had reminded me that my husband is human.
  4. I wish someone had told me that others were watching us (the glass house syndrome).
  5. I wish someone had told me there are some really mean people in the church.
  6. I wish someone had told me how much my husband needs me to build him up.
  7. I wish someone had told me that my schedule will never be normal again.

11 Things I Learned from Pastors’ Wives – January 2014

  1. The number one challenge for pastors’ wives is loneliness.
  2. These ladies need to know they have the love and support of their husbands.
  3. A pastor’s wife does not want a church member to tell her what her “job” at the church is.
  4. She would like church members to understand that neither she nor her family is perfect.
  5. The pastor’s wife does not want to field complaints from church members about her husband.
  6. The pastors’ wives who entered ministry with no forewarning about the issues they would face were the ones who stressed the most.
  7. She does not want to be told she needs to work to support her husband and family.
  8. While most pastors’ wives affirm their identity as a wife in ministry, they do not want that to be their only identity.
  9. Many pastors’ wives believe they need training for their roles.
  10. These ladies want to be reminded again and again to keep their focus on Christ.
  11. Many pastors’ wives want a means where they can support one another.

Twelve Reasons Pastors’ Wives Are Lonely – February 2014

  1. Superficial relationships in the church.
  2. A busy pastor/husband.
  3. Mean church members.
  4. A conduit for complaints about her husband.
  5. Broken confidences.
  6. Frequent moves.
  7. Viewed as a second-class person.
  8. Lack of support groups.
  9. No date nights.
  10. Complaints about children.
  11. Husband does not give the wife priority.
  12. Financial struggles.

Episode Sponsor

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If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here at ThomRainer.com. If we use your question, you’ll receive a free copy of Autopsy of a Deceased Church.


  1. Steve Miller says

    Great episode. What is the checks and balances system for a pastor’s wife? What do you do when the pastor receives bad advice from his wife which would lead him away from ministry and doing God’s will so her will is done instead? What is the correct safeguard against spousal manipulation so the sins of the wife are not passed onto the church? I’m thinking of an instance where a pastor’s wife refused prayer or biblical counsel because she stated her mind was made up and she did not care what her closest friends were telling her.

    • Christin says

      Steve Miller, you missed the point of this podcast!

      Guys, thanks for seeing the problems and encouraging change for the better through love and support!

        • Steve Miller says

          Perhaps my question was poorly worded. Maybe this clarification will help. Because Christians are prone to idolize good things over the great, we can elevate something very good to a place where it has more influence or power in our lives than it should. It is easy to point to inherently bad things and cast them away as idols so things like drugs, porn, and pagan divination are readily identified as being bad, but good things like family and career can also be idols and harder to set proper boundaries around.

          It is difficult to see our own idolatry when it involves something which is basically good. The big idols for Christians are: men often struggle with making an idol of their career and women often make an idol of the family. Furthermore, married Christians (especially in “good” marriages) are prone to make an idol of their spouse. Luke 9:57-62 and Luke 14:25-26 are just two of the many places Jesus claims the highest place of priority over everything even good things. When we discuss pastors’ wives we are in the eye of the storm when it comes to the idols Christians struggle with: career, family, and spousal commitment.

          We must neither devalue pastors’ wives nor elevate them too highly. There are times in a pastor’s life where his calling will take precedence over the nuclear family (for instance missionary work which can involve anything as minor as missing a child’s ballgame to actually putting one’s life in danger for the Gospel.) So I was asking how do you safe guard the church from a pastor or pastor’s wife who have elevated their own family over the Kingdom of God. How as a pastor or pastor’s wife do you create a checks and balance system so you are purposely not above reproach or acting as a law unto yourself? The podcast offered some good advice, but it did not discuss the boundaries or checks and balance system when the advice is not followed and corrective actions must take place.

  2. Kyndra says

    Thank you for this post. Being a Pastor’s wife, Many of the things have been struggles for me at some point. One thing I have to remind myself of is that every wife struggles regardless of what her husbands calling is. I’m not special and I’m not a victim. I think sometimes the worst thing we can do is set ourselves apart from the other women as if we have it harder than any of them. It is a huge responsibility and privilege, but so is the role of any wife of any man. There are no verses I scripture Abt our role, bc it is the same as every other woman…Titus 2, 1 Peter 3…etc. This is a great and true list, I just think it applies to most women on some level supporting a husband on their mission together. The mistake we make is assuming we’re different.

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