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. 151
    Anonymous says:

    I would like to say thank you to all of you out there who are the wives of pastors and to those who serve in the ministry in other capacities. I have been in the ministry on several occasions. first at a camp and then in a church. the camp was awesome — we seemed so unified. the church work was awful. i saw sides to church staff i didn’t want to see. everyone was in it for their area without regard to others. i hated it. i can’t imagine what all you go through and without any affirmation or appreciation, but instead a big helping of judgement! thank you for all you do! Jesus sees every bit of it!

    love in Christ,
    Kimberly, alabama

  2. 152
    Luv2Praise says:


    Who knew. I am so glad that the ministers wives shared their, thoughts, concerns, feelings and hearts with the rest of us. When I read them I saw truth in each comment. It hurts to see how we as the sheep view our shepards and their families. How difficult for them to deal with us always looking for the faults or for their failings.

    I have a whole new respect for Pastors, their wives and their families. My heart goes out to them as well as my prayers.

    Thanks for opening my eyes, and I pray that God’s calling on your lives never dims because of the actions of some of the flock but that instead you see the difference you make in the lives of those who are following God’s plan because YOU are faithful to your calling.

    Thank you and God Bless You all!

    Love, Lori

  3. 153
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much. Being a pastor’s wife, I related to so much of that.

    — Anonymous

    BTW, I’m not surprised at all the comments by “Anonymous.” That’s how it goes with wives like us. And that’s ok.

  4. 154
    Anonymous says:

    What a humbling thing, I cannot even imagine all that ministers wives and their families go through. Thank you so much for sharing with us and highlighting what they go through. Makes me SO much appreciate all the more our own pastor’s wife, whom I already love dearly. She truly has the heart of Christ.

    Praying for you all – with much LOVE in Christ.

  5. 155
    Anonymous says:

    As a single woman, one of my dreams is marrying the man that I will serve the Lord with. At times I have wondered about what it would be like to be a minister’s wife. Thanks for the honest look into what that is like. Beautiful and difficult! I have so much more respect for these wives after seeing their thoughts! Bless you all!

  6. 156
    12-arrows says:

    My husband has stepped away from ministry because of the “constraints” that are placed on him to perform in a way that God hasn’t gifted him too. Churches don’t understand that its not about performing its about participating and it doesn’t always happen inside the church walls. We can’t be all things to all people, yet are expected too! Sometimes I’ve felt that ministry comes first, no matter what! and I wonder, myself, if I would lay my life down for anyone there. Christians “hurt” out of Christian “love”.

    Thank you for bringing out a video of what we truly feel without judgment. . . its a blessing to know that we aren’t walking the journey of ministry alone.

  7. 157
    Anonymous says:

    I have a dear friend who is a Pastor’s wife. She and I worked closely together in ministry and shared our hearts and our lives with one another. She could vent to me about her husband and know my heart would not change toward him as my pastor. She hurt so badly because the pressures on her husband as the Pastor were so great, expectations and demands so high and his well-being so threatened by the demands of being a small town preacher.

    Let’s face it, most Pastor’s are not just under-shepherds. They are expected to be grief, marriage and life counselors/coaches, they are expected to be “in-human” without all the faults, the needs and the messies that make up life for the “congregation.” They make a judgment call or a bad decision and it is up for discussion at the next business meeting.

    I used to cringe when I realized my Pastor was defending himself in a message from the pulpit. Not necessarily because he needed to defend himself, but because the people of our church had left him feeling he needed to defend himself. Sometime the church shoots its wounded, and unfortunately those who are most grievously wounded are those who minister at the top.

    We have since left that particular congregation, but that man and his wife will forever be my spiritual mom and dad. They walked me through growing up in the Lord and some of the stickiest, messiest and ugliest moments of our life in the last ten years. They loved us deep and long, imperfect as they are and they still cheer us on like a couple of their kids gone off to college. They are sweet and precious memories and blessings to us still.

    I recently went to visit her one morning from a prompting of the Lord. I just drove to her house. I went in to share the most wonderful news, but as I did and reminded her of some of the miracles we witnessed together she broke down and cried. She and her husband had come under personal attack (again) and she was under it. So we pulled out the Word and read it… we prayed it and I reminded her the assault was coming because they were doing the Lord’s will. She acknowledged it but she also said it hurt her so deeply.

    “I won’t trust anyone anymore. I just can’t. You have no idea how hard this is. I just want to walk up to those people and hit him for hurting me and my husband. But, I have to go in and smile and be nice and pretend nothing has happened.”

    My heart broke in two for her. Jesus come turn the tables in houses where the focus is on the external and not the internal. Thank you that you judge a man by his heart and not his outward appearance.

    From this heart please accept my heartfelt thanks as one of many who have been your friends in time of need. “We love you. We appreciate you. We see your sacrifice and hear your heart. I’m so sorry that you’ve been hurt by members of your church like me. That we have thought ill of you, talked about you behind your back and started discensions and misgiving in the congregation. I’m so sorry we judged you harshly based on our standard when our own lives were never up to parr. I’m truly sorry that you have to protect yourself from the likes of me and that you feel you cannot trust anyone at all. I’m sorry you are tired, and threatened by all the people who share your husband’s care and concern. We should consider you more, and I for one will. You bless us beyond measure and you are graceful beyond words. God is so pleased with you and He loves you with all His heart, and I do, too.”

    Blessings to you, My Pastor’s Wife.

  8. 158
    Anonymous says:

    I, too, am a pastor’s wife and can relate to many of these comments. Sheep do bite and sometimes those bites cut deeply and take a long time to heal.

  9. 159
    floridavenus says:

    These words are so true. Watching my mother as a pastor’s wife truly broke my heart everyday. People heap their concerns and criticisms on her, she worked all day, then came home to be additionally burdened by her also stressed out husband and children. With no one to share her heartache with, she spoke only to God and it was enough for her. There needs to be more support in place for the wonderful, lovely ladies serving as “pastor’s wife”.

  10. 160
    Vickie says:

    I am overwhelmed and undone. I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you ministers wives. You are the best! Don’t give up on us sheep, I know you won’t!

  11. 161
    Kristi Stewart says:

    Could you post Tavis’ “Before he speaks” video….

  12. 162
    Missy says:

    Thanks so much for sharing those!! One of my best friends is a pastor’s wife and in confidence she has shared some of those same feelings to me. I copied the linked to that blog and sent it to her to watch. She appreciated it so much and it comforted her to see that other pastors wives feel the same way at times that she does.
    Thanks again!!

  13. 163
    Stephanie says:

    I am not a minister’s wife but I know several, including my minister’s sweet, sweet wife. I can honestly say that, until I read this post and got to know my minister’s wife, that I never gave much thought to exactly what the life of a minister’s wife is like. I can honestly say that this was a HUGE eye opener for me and will help me to better pray for my minister’s wife.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Yours together in Christ,
    Stephanie Barnes
    Douglasville, GA

  14. 164
    Lindsee Lou says:

    Working with many minister’s wives, I can definitely attest to some of these. However, after these videos, my heart so goes out to them. Their lives are truly lived in an unperfect fishbowl that they sometimes want so badly to be perfect. Or really, the outsiders think they should be perfect. How dare us! Thank you for sharing these!

  15. 165
    Pastorswife says:

    After watching these comments and reading the posts I find myself nearly weeping. I can relate with almost every woman here. I too am a senior Pastor’s wife. One of my differences is my man desperately loves me and is the same at home as he is in the pulpit. Had it not been for the humbling of what we call our “wilderness” in the ministry neither of us may be who we are. We have been married in the ministry for 18 years, my husband was in the ministry for about 5 years previous to our marriage. We have experienced that the world comes to church and often still acts much like the world. Lost people act lost. When the Holy Spirit is not welcome in the life of a believer or in His church, He is silent, grieved, but silent until there is sorrow that leads to repentance. We have endured much, lost much, grieved those losses, still grieving some. But this I know; I cannot imagine any other life. When we retire, if we ever do, I think we will still find a way to invest in people even though we will be flat out exhausted. I fight my own insecurities every stinking day and have experienced the pits of my own making and pits I was thrown into and not by my own choice. I am not here without scars of my own. I am flawed and imperfect and so are my children, albeit the most handsome things. But this I also know, I am NOT a victim. I am a victor and I have a choice to make, even in a beaten down place and that is to fight this good fight because it is not against flesh and blood that we war. These people who wound us, it is the enemy, and I must keep perspective. I must bless those who curse me, or my husband or my children and love those who despitefully use me, or my name, or my husbands. I must choose Christ-likeness. He is after all, is why we do what we do. He is worthy and I am honored. And before this sounds like I am being pious, I have not always been at this place!!! It has taken me many hours in His word to heal from the wounds made by others, but He IS healing me. He is the God who sees and He knows and He acts. In His time.

  16. 166
    Go-Between says:

    Thank you to all who made this post possible. It was very profound and touching. May we always lift our dear sisters up in prayer and show them our love and support for a tough job, well done!
    Praise God – for a weekend jsut for them!

  17. 167
    A Pilgrim says:

    Beth, I hope you will do this again because I missed it! I would LOVE to go to a conference like this and hear you and Travis, etc…!

  18. 168
    Anonymous says:

    I am a pastor’s wife. I laughed when we were dating and he said he was feeling “called” into the ministry. My girl friends would joke that I would marry a youth pastor some day. I never thought I would (he was a business major so I thought I was “safe”). I honestly had to think about if he was the one for me after that. I am so glad that I said “yes” when he asked me to marry him 10 years ago. Our life has not been easy, but it has surely been blessed by more better days than bad days and a peace in the middle of all of it. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness towards your servants!

  19. 169
    Anonymous says:

    As a pastor’s wife, I can relate. However, my prayer is for my kids. As much as I am under a microscope, so are my precious little boys. Little boys who never asked to be in this position where people feel they can correct their behavior without consulting me or my husband first. Sundays are the hardest day for me. While my husband is doing his job, I am basically a single mom in charge of 3 little men who just want to be normal, not perfect. Sometimes it would be nice for someone to just ask “can I carry something for you?” (all the sunday school papers are the hardest to corral) While being a pastor’s wife is hard, God and I can handle it. I just want my boys to find joy in being at church and not pressure. Please pray for PK’S.

  20. 170
    Anonymous says:

    First off, I’d like to say Thank You to all of you who have expressed support for your pastor’s wife. You truly brought tears to my eyes, and hope to my heart.

    I’ve been a full-time PW for the past 6.5 years, and I’m 49. Obviously, my husband hasn’t always been a pastor.

    These have been the hardest years of my life and of our marriage. We are currently in counseling to help us save the marriage and his ministry. At one point, it was the ministry or me. Thankfully, we have come a long way in just a few months.

    My practical advice: please cut your pastor and his wife some slack (it’s called grace); and pay your pastor well, including benefits.


  21. 171
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for posting this–it brought tears to my eyes. So encouraging to know that I’m not alone in this contradiction of loving what God has called us to and at times feeling so unfit and tired.

  22. 172
    Texas Girl at Heart says:

    I sit here with tears streaming down my face. I am a pastor’s wife who didn’t get my comments in on time but as I read the comments left for the video , I saw what I wanted to say over and over and over. It’s Sunday afternoon. My children and I just had lunch alone because my hubby had to stay after church and prepare for an afternoon meeting with some very bitter and biting sheep. I keep waiting for this to get easier…it doesn’t. And I too wonder what God is trying to teach us through this. I thought my prayer life increased by leaps and bounds when my children first started driving. That increase doesn’t even compare to the power of my prayer life for a husband who is so often bitten by his flock.

  23. 173
    Anonymous says:

    What an amazing weekend! As a sr pastor’s wife, what a true blessing every last thing was. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard for us and for all the prayers that went up before and during the event. And let me just say….It was truly “vintage” Beth Moore. What a WORD! Love you!

  24. 174
    Little Steps Of Faith says:

    I loved reading all the way through this, and I quickly sent a link to my Pastor’s wife. Thank you all for sharing your hearts! It was an amazing read, God bless all of you!


  25. 175
    Anonymous says:

    Reading the comments just brought me to WOW!!! I'm not alone… I'm not crazy, and It's not just me…
    As a minister and a Pastor's wife, I must say… The last few years have been very trying. Personally & spirturally… I had so many questions as I seen things from my prior leadership-how he treated people so wrong and how he abused and took advantage of the church for his own personal needs. Things that just weren't right, and there where so many things that where just carnal. My resentment wasn't toward him, but toward God. That our God of the universe sat back and allowed this disfunctionality in the church. Af Many people have fallen away and many people just don't attend church due to the pain/hurt of one man. My husband who is now the senior pastor, is humble and so different in many ways. Now as a Senior Pastor's wife, I am very concerned for the sheep that's wounded and hurt still from previous leadership. I haven't found my position fully. As a minister for many years, I resigned all to stand byside my husband. When I did that, it seems all hell broke lose in my personal life. I am thankful for my husband and my family. And thankful that God has been patient with me during these times/seasons of my life.
    Please pray for me.

  26. 176
    Anonymous says:

    I pray I never forget the reading of these comments. I pray that I never take my lovely pastors’ wives for granted again. I pray to be a blessing to them.

    Oh Lord, let this be seared in my brain.

    Cathay, ND

  27. 177
    Jan says:

    Thank you for sharing the hearts of these pastors wives. I’m to tears. Oh, Lord bless them. I have a friend who is a pastor’s wife and over the years she and her family have taken GREAT hits. I’m thankful that you have reminded me to pray for my pastor, his wife and family. Just seeing all those women in the video that serve along side their man touched my heart.

  28. 178
    Siesta Maddy says:

    THANK YOU Amanda, Beth and Lproof for giving us a glimpse into the world and heartache of a minister’s wife.

    As I sit reading the comments I am bawling my eyes out. I had no idea. Yet shame on me for not knowing. Have I ever asked? Noooo. It is easier to remember to pray for your Pastor but rarely think to cover in prayer his wife and the PK’s. My heart is absolutely broken over the post “after 25 yrs when hubby retires I may never go to church again”. I am praying right now for that dear wife. The comment “Sheeps sometimes bites” boy howdy do they ever.

    As a layleader I can relate to so many of the comments having experienced some myself. When you add the dynamics of the Pastor is your hubby you want to protect, defend, nurture etc. This posts was totally eye opening.

    I will do something with the knowledge of the pain, frustration etc. to let my Pastor’s wife know that they are really appreciated for the tremendous sacrafices they make.
    God Bless Minister’s Wives. I think He my have an extra large mansion with many crowns and jewels in heaven for them. Know that you are loved even if we don’t say it often.

  29. 179
    too_i says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! It was great just to read the comments and say "Amen!" with these precious women! I'm doing Beth's Esther study & "It's tough being a woman married to a minister!" I was greatly encouraged through the videos though! Thanks, Amanda for letting us have a voice. I love God and I love serving Him! That's the only reason I've hung with this for so long, because the Body of Christ is so beautiful, but it can be so hurtful as well. …to know the fullness of Christ. That is the reward..Jesus Himself!!!! Girls, don't look to the Church to sustain you! It's ALL AND ONLY JESUS CHRIST that can sustain!

  30. 180
    Anonymous says:

    This is overwhelming. My heart has always ached for pastor’s wives being a pastor’s daughter. My mother will be 89 next week; a pastor’s wife for 55 years. She could not have a close friend because confidence would always be broken; she shared Dad with every beautiful and broken woman; we were raised to put church people first, our family second.

  31. 181
    Rachel in Louisiana says:

    Reading these comments made me cry. Having a mom and a niece who are pastors’ wives, I know life can be more than tough at times. Praise God that there are ladies out there thriving in their roles.

  32. 182
    Anonymous says:

    I want a bumper sticker that reads “Sometimes sheep bite!” When were are out in our car we can give a friendly honk and know to pray… I guess we need to remember that those sheep are biting because of the enemy.

  33. 183
    poison_ivy777 says:

    Wow these videos just brought me to tears. I am a youth pastor’s wife and did not grow up in ministry…so have only been at it for four years now. It has been a huge change and challenge to learn a new way of life pretty much. These videos truly blessed me I can’t tell you what it meant reading through them. Thank you for sharing that.

    P.S. I started reading through some and just to add to a couple of the anonymous posts – not all pastors are different at home I know several including my own who are the same preaching as they are at home – I love my husband and am so incredibly proud of Him and how he serves the Lord with all his heart and has brought so many into the kingdom and yet always makes sure he has the family time we all need! We truly feel like his first priority! Thank you Lord for wonderful men of God like my husband!

  34. 184
    Charlene says:

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