Hello again, friend!
Over the last week, have you been counting your blessings or dwelling on the burdens of pastor wifehood?
Recently I attended a conference for pastors & their wives on behalf of Married to the Ministry and the LWF Podcast Network. Hanging out at our booth in the exhibit hall, I connected with so many sweet ministry wives! I tried to start conversations with them like this:
Can you tell me something you love about serving where you are now?
What’s one aspect of ministry life that blesses you?
Most of those ladies quickly shared wonderful stories about loving people or thriving churches. Many of them just lit up with joy talking about what was happening in their ministries. They inspired me to count the benefits I’ve experienced being married to the ministry!
So, here’s my list of 10 ways I’m blessed because I’m a pastor’s wife.
Blessing #1: Prayers
My first thought? People who pray for me and my family. Before we became a ministry family, friends would certainly pray for us if we had a specific request or need. But church people didn’t normally stop me in the hall to say, “Hey! I prayed just for you and your husband this morning.”
Many church people love to pray for their pastor and their pastor’s family! Often before services folks will share with me how they prayed for Greg and me that week. We’ll sometimes get a text like this: “I’m praying for you–anything specific you want me to ask Jesus for?” Some of these pray-ers might not even know us very well, but they feel called to encourage us through through time on their knees. Holding a position in the church where people regularly lift us up in prayer is a huge blessing.
Blessing #2: Accountability
This may seem like a weird perk, but it made my list. Since I’m a naturally lazy, undisciplined person, I’ve come to appreciate a certain degree of spiritual accountability as a benefit of being married to the pastor. I can’t (or shouldn’t!) just stop going to church when someone hurts my feelings or we sing songs I don’t like. As a pastor’s wife, I want to be prayed up and in the Word because other people will look to me for spiritual maturity and biblical wisdom.
You may be thinking, “But wait–that’s not fair!”
Yes, I agree that ALL members of a church family should be walking with Jesus and growing in Him. ALL members of the Body of Christ should be engaged in discipleship and stirring each other toward love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). But, just like my friend who’s married to a corporate vice president is expected to attend and host certain types of events with her husband, I believe my own spiritual maturity is another way I can support my husband’s ministry.
Blessing #3: Transformation
Don’t you love watching God at work in the lives of your people? Lots of times when you’re in the ministry you’re more aware of God moving in your church or community and transforming people’s lives. People sometimes share with us private information that helps us recognize spiritual movement in different situations. Seeing God at work around me in other people’s lives builds my faith, especially when I’m not feeling as strong a connection to the Lord as maybe I used to or as much as I want to. When I struggle with questions like–Is God working in my life? Am I letting Him transform me? Do I have sin in my life that’s hindering His work in me?–seeing evidence of Him working in others encourages my faith. I’m reminded that if God can transform him or her, then He can do that in me too. Witnessing God’s activity in the lives of others is always a blessing!
Blessing #4: Travel
Do you enjoy visiting new places? Travel may be my fave perk of pastor wifehood. We have moved several times for different ministry jobs, and some of those locations were wonderful places to live. Other towns were wonderful places to leave, haha! Being married to the ministry oftentimes means moving a lot, which is never fun. But moving stretches our world and increases our capacity for ministry.
I’ve also traveled to some awesome destinations because of our work in ministry. My first visit to California was for a singles ministry conference. That’s where I met Famous Amos, who had been down in the hotel kitchen baking cookies and was passing them out in the halls. Ministry also took us to Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Argentina, and even Paris! I love to travel and I love that ministry allows travel. It’s probably my favorite blessing!
Blessing #5: Love
Pastor Rogers used to say that when he and Mrs. Joyce came to Bellevue Baptist Church they jumped into an ocean of love and they were still wet. Greg and I have experienced that with our church families as well. Some people love to love their pastor. Not all will, but many do. How humbling and overwhelming it can be when people show us unconditional love (even before they know us!) simply because we are married to their minister. It’s just a wonderful thing to have people loving you because of your calling to ministry. Do you consider this to be one of your best blessings?
Blessing #6: People
“All the wonderful people!”–the usual first response pastors’ wives blurt out when asked about their favorite part of ministry…and I agree! Ministry life introduces me to people I might not encounter as a regular church member. How many remarkable Christians do you know? Selfless people who love the Lord and invest their lives in serving His church and building His kingdom?
Plus, so many interesting souls make up the Body of Christ! Church people have fascinating stories and interesting experiences to share: World War II veterans. Missionaries. Single parents. Medical miracles. Writers. Builders. Givers. Survivors. Prayer warriors. Musicians. Bible teachers. Entrepreneurs. Movie stars. Nursery volunteers. God uses ordinary individuals to do incredible things. Relationships with Jesus people make ministry life amazing! I just love the variety of people that I’ve been privileged to know and serve with as a pastor’s wife.
Blessing #7: Invitations
The pastor’s wife gets invited to all the good parties! We enjoy attending many various Christmas activities going on in our church and community. Years ago, one of our church members served as Speaker of the House of Representatives for our state. He asked Greg to serve as the House Chaplain and invited us to the Speaker’s Ball, a festive black-tie gala! Because of our position in the church, we’ve received invites to special events around the community, on college campuses, and at our Governor’s Mansion.
Another benefit of ministry is sharing meaningful moments with people we love and serve. Greg baptized our children, as well as some of our nephews and dear friends. He’s ordained friends to the ministry. As a singles pastor, Greg married over 100 couples, and our family enjoyed celebrating with those wonderful people. Greg also performed weddings for our children, our relatives, and our friends’ kids. And may I brag on my hubby for a minute? People love sitting through his weddings and funerals! He’s very gifted at leading personal services for families, even in seasons of sorrow. Walking alongside those who grieve, offering comfort and encouraging them during dark, difficult days are bittersweet privileges of ministry.
Blessing #8: Generosity
Congregations can feel quite charitable towards their pastor and his family. Over the years church members have thoughtfully blessed us with encouraging letters, discounts, clothes, medical house calls, gift cards, flowers, first-class airplane seat upgrades, groceries, patio furniture, and money. Several times we have been surprised at a restaurant when it came time to pay for our meal, only to find that someone else had already picked up our tab. Pastor Rogers used to always say you can’t out-give God, and we have found that God’s people can also be very giving.
Blessing #9: Opportunities
Since we’ve been in ministry, I feel like God has expanded my platform for ministry. As a pastor’s wife, I have additional possibilities for using my spiritual gifts–to lead, speak, write, and mentor–than I did before. You certainly don’t have to be a pastor’s wife to be able to invest spiritually in others; any growing Christian can disciple or teach as a regular church member. But I think we often experience broader outlets for service simply because of our role. We may not always welcome these open doors if they don’t really match our skill set, but my personal platform for ministry has definitely been stretched since Greg joined a church staff.
Blessing #10: Togetherness
My biggest blessing of being a pastor’s wife is sharing in my hubby’s work. As we partner together in ministry, I’m able to see God’s anointing on Greg and recognize God’s mighty work through my husband.
For almost nine years I couldn’t really help Greg in his career. I typed his papers in law school, but I didn’t help him write legal briefs or try cases. But in ministry I can brainstorm with him or give feedback when he needs it. When we work side-by-side in ministry, our marriage can be strengthened as we’re drawn closer to each other through building our part of God’s kingdom together. Not all professions allow couples to work closely like in ministry, so I’m very grateful for this aspect of our journey.
So, what about you?
Do you keep a record of how God has blessed you as a ministry wife? Would any of the benefits I mentioned be on your list? Are you grateful for something I didn’t name?
If you’re in a hard spot right now and problems are all you can see, let me encourage you to write down some positives of being a ministry wife. Keep your list somewhere handy, maybe on your phone or in your prayer journal.
- When you encounter criticism or when Satan tries to convince you that God is not at work in your life or in your church, read over your list. Take your thoughts captive: think about the good parts of ministry instead of dwelling on the disadvantages, which will cause discouragement and resentment.
- During your quiet time each morning, review these blessings and pray for God’s strength and direction in your role.
- Share your list with your husband to encourage him. It’s hard for pastors to fulfill their calling if they think their wives are miserable. I can bless my husband by talking about the benefits of our life together, especially during tough seasons.
Thanks for hanging out with me today, friend! Until next time, let’s keep loving Jesus, loving our husbands, loving our people…and counting our blessings!
Have you checked out the Love Worth Finding app yet? Not only can you use it to listen to the Married to the Ministry podcast but the LWF app has more podcasts for women plus many other resources for spiritual growth. There’s even a special section for pastors! So if you aren’t familiar with our app, why don’t you click HERE to download it now and discover more truth from God’s Word and Love Worth Finding!