The Life of a Minister’s Wife

Part One

The Life of a Ministers Wife – part 1 from stephen proctor on Vimeo.

Part Two

The Life of a Ministers Wife – part 2 from stephen proctor on Vimeo.

Part Three

The Life of a Ministers Wife – part 3 from stephen proctor on Vimeo.

Many thanks to Stephen Proctor for these videos and to Rich Kalonick for our recap video. Thank you for serving us with your gifts!


184 Responses to “The Life of a Minister’s Wife”

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  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    As a ministers wife it is hard to see your husband get in the pulpit and be bathed in the Holy Spirit and know he is speaking from God… but then we get a different man at home. At home he is often angry and bordering on being abusive. Why can’t we get some of the anointed man?

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the post, Amanda- This must have been very special for you in many ways- the quotes made me think about you as a wife and mother and you as a daughter…thanks for encouraging and edifying these women this weekend…that scholarship was surely more than welcomed!!!

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    I have the absolute greatest admiration for pastor’s wives who serve the Father along-side their husbands. Thanks for being so vunerable to share your heart in your comments. May the Lord bless you and undergird you with His awesome Presence today and every day.

  4. 4
    fuzzytop says:

    Wow!! These vidoes have given me great insight.

    Thank you for sharing these with us.


  5. 5
    GentillyIzzie says:

    WOW, As a girl in ministry I can almost relate to some of the comments, but never to the extent of some of them. I have always respected and loved the wives of the pastor’s I have served under, but this makes me respect and love them even more.
    The one comment that haunts me is the wife who says they have been in ministry 25 years and when he retires she does not know if she will go to church agian.
    If that is not a wake up call to the church I don’t know what is.
    Thanks for sharing I know I myself needed that wake up call.

    Running the Race,

  6. 6
    Sara Re-nae says:

    Wow, you’re right, we should be aware of these things.
    I think of 1st Thess. 5:12,13:
    “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Love in peace with one another.”

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:

    My old boyfriend is now a pastor for a large church. Somedays I wish we had stayed the course and gotten married but now I realize that I probably was not up to being the partner in ministry that he deserved.

    I will continue to pray for his family and especially his wife.

    Thank you for sharing this powerful video.

  8. 8
    Lynn says:

    My heart aches for so many minister’s wives who feel alone and judged no matter what they do. One of my brothers is a pastor and I know his wife has told me at times they are both so tired they don’t know how they will carry on but they know they are called and God gives the strength. Seeing the heart of these women reminds us that we need to love and care for our pastors’ families.

  9. 9
    MITZI says:

    Oh my gosh! That was beautiful yet sad. I plan to lavish my pastor’s wife with some lovin and not just for today but for as long as she is in our church body. Thank you for the eye opener to the pain some our dear pastor’s wives go through.

  10. 10
    texatheart says:

    Thanks Amanda for this post. As I read through the comments a lot of them are echoed by women who are in ministry, either single or married. It, too, can be a very lonely place. So many expectations on you and never any time to be fed. I know these women were fed and revived last weekend.

  11. 11
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you…as a minister’s wife who commented on the original blog, I needed that. So many of my feelings now or in the past were echoed. It helps to know you are not the only one.

  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    Oh my….what a beautiful piece. As a ministers wife, I sat and wept….really wept…. as I read each word that scrolled across my screen. I have felt all of those things (and more!) at times, but thought I was “broken” or not good enough…and NEVER dreamed that there were others who struggled with the same things. What a relief to know I’m not alone. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please pray for me!

  13. 13
    Shelly says:

    I am not a minister’s wife, but I am a principal’s wife and I am amazed at the similarities. When we moved to our small town he was at the high school, and gone 4 evenings a week or so. We would go to the football games or church and he would shake hands or hug people on the way to our seats, and no one would even look my way. Now he is at the elementary and the evenings are better and the teachers really appreciate him. That makes it easier to love on them. That should be the case in our churches too–that we should appreciate the pastor and respect his family. Make it easy for them to love us.

    Side note, as one administrator’s family that is likely to move often, please say hi to the new principal’s family when they move to town.

  14. 14
    Anonymous says:

    I’m so glad you posted those quotes, I attended and saw them first hand, it truly spoke for all of us. It made us both laugh and cry however it spoke to us all deeply, knowing that we could identify with all of it. Perhaps if more knew the burdens we carry, there would be more grace and compassion and encouragment. I’m choosing to be anonymous on this comment!!

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    I am not a pastor’s wife, but I work as a lay minister in the church. I see my pastor’s wives go through all that was mentioned and my heart aches for them.

    The comment that touched me most was, “Sometimes sheep bite.”

    Lord, Help me to use my teeth to flash loving smiles that only bless and do not allow me to bite.

    Thank you for all you do, Minister’s Wives. You are loved!

  16. 16
    Mich says:

    thank you…

  17. 17
    Meli n Pat says:

    We should know, and it is unfortunate that as a body of Christ we haven’t given these women an extra dose of grace and love. Thank you for this window into the hearts of these women. Thank you to the women who shared their hearts. If it were not for you, we who are outside that circle would never know what you struggle with (so many of the same things “we” struggle with, but so much more). I love my pastors wife! She is a load of fun and I have always enjoyed her. I should tell her more often!

  18. 18
    Kim Safina says:

    The Journey Continues ~

    We MUST keep our Minister’s wives in our daily prayers!

    Infact, all in ministry are attacked in so many ways and unless you have walked in their shoes ~ you have no idea what they go through!!!

    What a touching post you have presented! THANK YOU AND BLESS YOU ALL IN LPM!!!

    I love the scripture ~
    “When you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent”
    Psalm 44 NIV

    When the lights go out at night, that is when the enemy can “try” and attack so many ~

    Let us Be Still…
    With “Heaven Bound” blessings,
    Kim Safina

    PS please pray for the safety of my family as we travel to London, England in flight from LAX.

  19. 19
    Tara says:

    Thank you, LPM, for posting these comments. I am a minister’s wife (but was not able to attend this weekend), and feel like I received a small glimpse into what Beth covered and the struggles that ALL pastor’s wives deal with in ministry. This post was so very true, beautiful in many ways, but very sad in others.

    I am blessed beyond measure, because my pastor husband does a remarkable job of balancing our church and our family. I am thankful too that our church seems to be very different than many out there. God is at work, and I praise Him daily that we feel loved, accepted, valued and cherished here. Of course, we never can please everybody, and there will always be someone who will criticize something that we do. But, in all, I feel like a truly blessed pastor’s wife, who is encouraged weekly by our flock.

    Siestas, if you are a layperson at a church, please take these comments to heart and pray, not only for your pastor but also for your pastor’s wife. These are true struggles, and at times, it is so refreshing to feel noticed, loved, and valued for all that you do in ministry. (Someone sent me a bouquet of flowers this week with a card of appreciation for being the pastor’s wife. It made me cry! Maybe that could be an idea of how to encourage your pastor’s wife…)

    Much love to you all!

    PS. Beth, I know that you are not a “Pastor’s Wife” but being in ministry, I know that you deal with many of these same things. I want you to know that I pray for you often, asking for His anointing, refreshment, and peace on you!

  20. 20
    Joyce says:

    What a truly moving piece…thanks for sharing and for the reminder to treat those in ministry with love and compassion.

    To the anonymous minister’s wife who asked for prayer please know you are being prayed for today. Blessings to all who serve in this often uanppreciated role.

  21. 21
    Lara Harris says:

    Thank you for posting those. As a minister’s wife who commented on the original post and who also had the tremendous privilege of being at the conference, thank you again. I could have read those for hours. They were so meaningful and telling.

  22. 22
    Susan B. says:

    Thank you so much for this post. It helps us as members see and better appreciate what our ministers and their spouses are going through. Maybe now we will stop and think before we assume or jump to conclusions. Maybe now we will be more loving and understanding. Maybe now…

  23. 23
    Strad says:

    As someone who grew up in a ministry family, it not only struck me how much of what was there I understood from a different perspective but also how much more I had not even realized.

    My Dad was first a pastor, and then my parents went on to become missionaries internationally and are now serving as missionaries here in the US. There is so much pressure to be perfect or at least not ever screw up…and any mistake you make can ruin everything your parents have worked so hard for. That said, I wouldn’t trade being an MK for anything!

  24. 24
    ocean mommy says:

    To that first Anonymous comment..sweet friend..I am praying for you right now and will continue to.

    The comment “Sometimes sheep bite” brought tears. So true. I remember several drives home from church (as a Preacher’s Kid) where my parents were just spent. They were exhausted and yet that phone would be ringing with a rabid sheep needing to share something.

    If these videos don’t change our hearts and attitudes toward our pastors and their family…then we must have very cold hearts.

  25. 25
    HisTreasuredPossession says:

    oh my goodness. I just saw the first one and am about to break into tears! Oh that I will be more faithful to pray for my Pastors’ wives.

  26. 26
    rooney says:

    Thank you for this post. I was moved to tears. I more fully understand now my own pastor’s wife. I have heard some of these same comments from her occassionally and i’ve known her path is not an easy one. I ask God to bless her and all the others abundantly.

  27. 27
    Jill Robinson says:

    Thank you. As a minister’s wife, these videos hit home and have encouraged me so much today.

  28. 28
    Christy says:

    Thanks for sharing this.

  29. 29
    Emmy says:

    That was powerful… I am not a ministers wife… but my Dad was a minister… so I am a preachers kid… I understand… I have so much respect for my Mom… for you all!

    Praying for you girls! You have a HUGE calling… I have so much respect for you! Know it can be tough! You all are amazing!

    God Bless precious girls! Emmy : )

  30. 30
    judith says:

    This broke my heart. My son is a pastor and I just had to stop and call my daughter in law and encourage and uplift her in what she does.

  31. 31
    Anonymous says:

    Wow, I am amazingly moved by the comments the women shared. My heart is in my throat with emotion. I would never have guessed that being a pastor’s could be so hard.

    By these comments I am reminded that a pastor is (often) a man, a husband, a father, a grandfather. A pastor’s wife is often a mother, and sometimes a grandmother. Their relationship and their family are BEFORE their roles in the church. I would imagine the church (in general) doesn’t respect this fact. I want to. And, I’m betting it is hard for a man to recognize that all these things are first – before the church. Yes, the church is a HUGE responsiblity but in the end it is God, your spouse and your family that you want to have remain. I can’t imagine how tough WE make it for them.

    I’m sure I have expectations that are not reasonable of a pastor and perhaps even a pastor’s wife. I probably don’t even know. I did try to reach out in friendship to our new pastor and his wife. I started out only hoping to befriend them and make them feel welcome. To allow them to come to my house and just BE humans visiting with other humans and breaking bread. Especially because we are almost exactly the same age and have young kids close in age. I asked a few times and each time it was “yes, we’d love to, we’re so looking forward to it” but it would never pan out. I started to feel put off and actually rejected. Reading these comments help me put it into perspective. They probably feel a bit like it’s a duty, furthering of their job. Oh how I wish I could tell them I don’t want that from them when I invite them for dinner.

    I appreciate the perspective. I really do and so appreciate the honesty. Thank you for sharing. I hope that I can better understand what I can do to help our pastor’s wife.


  32. 32
    Lauri W. says:

    Thank you for the insight. I agree with Mell in Pat that we should be giving these women an extra dose of grace.

  33. 33
    Anonymous says:

    Wow. I am a new pastors wife and have begun to taste some of the bitter parts of ministry. I was given so many different pieces of advice when entering into this role, and it really is so hard to know how to act, how open to be and how not to just lash out when you get tired of only hearing the negative. Thanks for sharing this! I wish I could have been there.

  34. 34
    Laura says:

    one word that bets describes how I feel after seeing this again:



  35. 35
    revjen759 says:

    I was just sobbing watching these. I am an ordained minister AND minister’s wife for 14 years today. I have not been in my “own” church for 6 years now and I can say without a doubt it was easier to be the pastor than to be the pastor’s wife!

  36. 36
    Bethany says:

    Thank you for sharing that. My husband is a youth minister and I feel ALL those things. The hard part is that he is the fall guy: everything is his fault and he isn’t respected as a “pastor” or “minister” and that hurts.

    However, I know we are doing what God wants and we love it. It makes me want to do better about being an encouragement to him. Thank you for sharing.

    Bethany Jett

  37. 37
    Lauri W. says:

    Thank you for the insight. I agree with “Mell n Pat” that we should be pouring out an extra measure of grace on these women.


    PS…I am now on Google/Blogger and I think I might have already gotten this post thru but I’m no sure…so apologies if this is a repeat…otherwise PTL I’m a bit more technological than before Yea!

  38. 38
    Anonymous says:

    As a former (or not so former it follows me around a lot) PK (preacher’s kid), I have watched my mom, my dad, my family and I go through many difficult things. I haven’t sat under a pastor for over four years. I miss church and I want to go but the pain is still so real. Sometimes it hurts to bad to give it to the Lord and be free. Ah. Please pray for the pastors, pastor’s wives, and their children.

  39. 39
    Beautiful in Jesus says:

    This is so powerful. The comments were so honest and transparent. Looks like it was an awesome event.

    God Bless,

  40. 40
    Lora says:

    I am so sorry minister’s wives, I am so sorry.

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the post Amanda. I certainly have a new appreciation for those wives and women!! I WILL pray for them. To you wives of ministers I have a completly new understanding for so many of you. I pray God will bless your homes, children, husbands and your ministries. Most of all I will pray for YOU!!

  42. 42
    Tamara says:

    Thanks you for posting these. It was an incredible reminder for me of the need to be praying for an encouraging the wives of the pastors at my church.

  43. 43
    Jennifer says:

    Wow, those are wonderful videos. I wept as I read every word. I am a minister’s wife and I have felt and thought most of those things. It is nice to know I am not alone in how I feel, even though many times I feel alone. Thank you for your encouragement to us. 🙂

  44. 44
    Toknowhim says:


  45. 45
    TN Girl says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your hearts and your man.

    My mother-in-law is a minister’s wife, so were both my grandmothers and my mother.

    I know enough to know that it takes a very special woman to be married to a minister. Thank you all for all the sacrifices you make for us, both seen and unseen, on a daily basis.

  46. 46
    Anonymous says:

    I sat here watching/reading these with major tears welling up in my eyes. I didn’t know that my husband was going to come home for lunch today. He did right in the middle of me watching these videos. The timing was truly a God-thing.

    We were attenders at our church for 5 years because my husband went on staff there. This helped the transition because I already had a group of friends who saw me as more than “just the children’s pastor’s wife.” This didn’t help because people who were our friends “turned” on him for decisions that needed to be made.

    I loved the comment, “Sheep bite.” AMEN!!! It is so hard to know what is said to my husband in email and in person and then see those people in volunteer leadership roles. I hate the fact that I want to leave the sanctuary when they are on the worship team for the week or that I position my seat so that they are blocked from my view. It hurts so bad…

    I love my friends who respect me/my husband enough not to talk about church things in front of me.

    I don’t like that nearly every social setting we’re in means my husband will be talked to about church stuff almost the whole time. He does have a life outside of church, too. Can people let it go and not feel the need to tell him “what needs to change at church” at every social gathering or lunch? Do they not think we have feelings about “what needs to change,” too, but have no freedom to share that with anyone?

    Even though it is hard (really hard) and my marriage has been under attack (really attacked), I will never back down from looking at my husband and saying, “This is something we were BOTH called to. Not just you. US. And because of that, I can take the fire.”

    Glory to His name. Glory.

  47. 47
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting those touching videos. It is a reminder for me to pray for my ministers wife and their whole family continually.

    It is a lot for me to think about, as my husband is going to school to become a minister. I am looking forward to being in the ministry, but I also know that it will not always be easy.

    Bless you minister’s wives!!!


  48. 48
    Anonymous says:

    As I read the comments from the ministers’ wives, I could not help but think of Billy Graham and his family. How Ruth Bell Graham handled “giving up her husband” to reach people. How she managed to raise 5 kids on her own and did a good job at it. She always said she clung to the Word of God….clung to her God to the very end…..

    I’m not sure we think of her when we think of ministers’ wives or think of the challenges she experienced over the years being married to Billy Graham and a lifetime of service.

    Is it worth it? I can’t answer this because I am not a minister’s wife. I am a wife and my husband has a different mission in life…one of honesty and caring for people in the business sector. So, I feel like I have experienced some of what these ministers’ wives are expressing. It is not easy living life… is not easy being married… is not easy raising kids….it is not easy working in the corporate world…but we do what we are called to do. Beth tells us we are the generation of today….it is our turn to rise above and do our best….lean on God and make Him Lord of our lives.

    At 40, I have standards, but most expectations are completely depleted because of the world we live in today. My mom and I were discussing just recently that the enemy is really throwing damaging darts at the church today. His full impact is not the non-believers, it is the believers. These ministers’ wives are speaking candidly and seriously to this very reality.

    I’m sorry this is so long, but it breaks my heart to see ministers and their families being attached so blatantly. Quite honestly, it makes me mad and angry to know the enemy is this far behind the our lines!! Oh Lord, our prayer is to keep our eyes on you and live in your Word until you come for us.

  49. 49
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these. I am a minister’s wife and can relate to so many of these. It is a lonely to be a pastor’s wife but very rewarding to be where God wants you. I like the quote “Sheep sometimes bite”. That is true!

  50. 50
    Anonymous says:

    Sobbing inside my soul because of my ability to relate to the fishbowl existence–not as a minister’s wife like my godly, godly mama is–but as a child of one of the most under-appreciated servants of God Most High that has ever lived. The whole family is called to a life of unreal expectations and an impossible high standard that no lay person puts on him or herself. Until we understand Biblical authority and how much Christ esteems His beloved messengers and get some holy fear of God in us, we will continue to attack each other so that Satan doesn’t even have to do it.

    Beth, Revelation tells us that God Himself will wipe away all of our tears one day. What will we our crying be for? Will it be for the superficiality of majoring on the minors and not respecting the authority of the shepherd He put over us? Are we so consumed with ourselves that we cause great sorrow to those who need our encouragement the most?

    My parents have faithfully served their Christ with lives laid down for almost 50 years. The stamina that they have had certainly has come many times from Him IN SPITE of whom they were serving. Jesus, forgive our nastiness, our slander, and our wounding your anointed ones. If we could only see how piercing that is to the heart of God and how it withholds His blessing, we would pray and encourage and fear criticizing those You have ordained for our spiritual instruction. And be with the wide-eyed, precious ones who are living in his home deciding whether this Body of believers is really for real or just phony. And the ones they are looking at are the ones in his congregation–us.

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