Marriage Missions International

Groomed to Be First Lady in the Church

UnknownGod works in mysterious ways! He does the opposite of what we want, and yet as we yield to His ways, He turns that situation around to help us to line up with His will, and eventually even be happy about it! He truly IS a miracle worker!

Lois Evans:

“readily admits that her initial years as first lady of the church she founded with her husband, Tony Evans, were two of the most difficult seasons she’s live through. To Lois Evans, the senior Pastor’s wife was a very isolated, much unappreciated role; a stifling position that a loving supportive wife accepted as her lot, even as she mourned the slow death of her own gifts and talents. “

It was something she never wanted for her life and she told the Lord just that! “At the age of 15 she told the Lord her heart was open to do whatever her to do —except be a pastor’s wife.”

And yet, that’s exactly what happened! She eventually became a senior pastor’s wife, even though her husband Tony, had told her at the beginning or their lives together that he wasn’t interested in being a pastor.

But through a turn of events, the Lord eventually helped her to do what she needed to do through those first years and then brought her to a time in life where she was able to bloom where she was planted.

To read more, please click onto the Charismamag.org web site link below:

GROOMED TO BE A FIRST LADY

In addition, we found an article written by Dr Gary Chapman that can be helpful for those of you who are married to a minister. In this article, Gary gives “7 things minister’s wives must know to truly love their husbands.” Please click onto the Crosswalk.com web site link below to read:

Gary Chapman Shares WAYS MINISTERS’ WIVES CAN ‘LOVE A LEADER’

Also, focusing on the Book of Galatians, author and speaker Beth Moore, lays out “six pairs of what she called ‘aggravators’ and their ‘alternatives’ associated with being the wife of a minister in today’s church.” To read this Baptist Press article, please click onto the web site link below:

PASTORS’ WIVES CALLED TOO

Advice given from another Pastor’s wife can be helpful, as you will find in the following Lifeway.com article written by Grace Clausing. Please click onto the link below to read:

ADVICE FOR MINISTERS’ WIFE FROM A MINISTERS’ WIFE

And then there is an article edited by Whitney Hopler which can help you to find the “freedom and joy God wants you to have as a Pastor’s wife.” Please click onto the following Crosswalk.com web site link to read:

PASTOR’S WIVES: ENJOY YOUR LIVES

This article was written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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Comments

42 Responses to “Groomed to Be First Lady in the Church”
  1. J says:

    Thanks for the article. My husband is an associate and I hope senior pastor is not in our future. I tell God and others I’m not pastor’s wife material :) He’d be great but then there’s his wife. I’m not saying this in a demeaning way toward myself. I’m just a bit too feisty and mischievous. People really think I have an extra serving of grace and that my husband is a somehow different. We both struggle and we struggle with each other. Sometimes I feel like I just want to come up for a breath of fresh air. Thanks Lori Evans for being willing to state what we all share… it is difficult and we have to walk through it with God, alone.

    • Penny says:

      (USA)  Thanks for sharing. I am struggling with accepting this role. My experience with 1st ladies I’ve encounted has not been positive. My husband is called to pastor and I’m the hinderance for getting it started. Can you help me? I know that God does not makes mistakes. I don’t feel qualified for such a position and don’t want to hurt anyone.

      Also, I’ve learned to be a loner and like it that way. In the position I will have to deal with others. At the present I’m not sure how well I will do with that. Thanks

      • Cindy Wright says:

        (USA) Hi Penny and J, How I hope I can convey what God has put into my heart for you and that it will help in some way. I can well understand your struggle, because I’ve been there and have done that — it’s not that I’m a pastor’s wife, but my husband has been in full time ministry for over 30 years. As a result, there are many situations I’ve been put into that I didn’t feel adequate at all to do.

        But what I’ve learned through the years is that God does not call our husbands into something that He will not also call us into as well, in some supportive capacity (and visa versa). It would be against God’s nature to split a marriage like this where the husband is called to be a pastor but the wife is not called to be a pastor’s wife.

        It may not be our “comfort zone” to do what He’s called us to do, but isn’t that like God? He stretches us beyond ourselves. And God may be stretching you to the point where it hurts. But trust Him — He knows what He is doing.

        I remember years ago, “struggling” with many issues that involved being in the “spotlight” because of my husband’s position. And then I heard Elisabeth Elliot say that when you struggle with something, it is usually because of delayed obedience. I knew she was right. I was not looking through God’s perspective on these things. I needed to surrender and say “Here am I Lord, send me.” “I may not speak so good, but I’m willing all the same.”

        I’ve always been a quieter person, not liking to be out in front for all to see (and many to judge). But I realized that God was asking for my obedience and my trust that He would help me in the ways I needed it. He was asking me to participate with Him and trust Him for His empowerment when He called me to do something that I felt inadequate to do. My calling as my husband’s support partner is every bit as vital as his calling is as well. And I’ve come to know that God and I can do this together as long as I focus on what GOD can do and not on what I don’t think I can do.

        As a result, I’ve had some amazing experiences and have watched what God has done through me (and sometimes in spite of me). I’d have missed all of that if I would have kept my eyes on my inadequacies instead of God’s amazing power.

        Please don’t keep embracing what you think a pastor’s wife should be. You limit the ways that God wants to use YOU. I’ve seen pastor’s wives that do almost everything positive in the church that you can imagine a pastor’s wife could do. I’ve seen pastor’s wives who are quieter supports and have been a huge blessing as well in the ways that they allowed God to use them. And I’ve seen pastor’s wives who are “feisty” and fun and do God’s work in a totally different way. And they’ve all done just fine — better than fine, because they never denied God anything and God has used them in amazing and different ways.

        Penny, you may like being a “loner” (I do too) but it could be that just like Moses, He doesn’t want you to spend all of your life that way. Life isn’t about making our lives work for us, but to join Him in Kingdom work — in whatever way He knows is best. He may want to stretch you, and yet you’re struggling. I’m not saying that God is going to have you in a highly visible leadership capacity, but who knows? God does. Seek His heart on this.

        He may not have you “deal with others” to the degree that you think you might have to, but I can assure you that if you do, and you seek God’s heart and His ways, you’ll do just fine.

        Not all “1st ladies” are good ones — but maybe it’s because they’ve taken their focus off of God and onto themselves and others. (We see that certain Pharisees and religious leaders in the Bible did that and Jesus criticized them for it.) Keep your focus on Christ and you will do fine in whatever way He calls you. I hope you will.

        If you need extra insights and help with this journey God is taking you on, go into the “Links” part of this section of the web site and visit the various web site links we provide — contacting those that you believe will best help you. Again, I hope you will. As they say, “Go with God, girl!”

        “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance, the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

        • Lue says:

          (USA) I have always thought and believe that I was going to be a pastors wife someday. Yesterday, I was sitting down having lunch with my boyfriend (my soulmate) and we were talking about how people love their titles (dr., pastor, bishop, etc) and I said when I become first lady outside of church I don’t want to be called that my name Lue will be just fine.

          Unknowing to me he is going to a seminar this week for pastors. After he told me we laughed about it cause he thinks that I would be a great 1st lady and I said I don’t know. I’m shy, quiet and a loner so to take a role like that would really be out of my comfort zone. But I believe and trust in God and know that he makes no mistakes. Whatever my role with my soon to be husband is, I submit to you Lord.

      • Jacki says:

        (U.S.)  I Penny, Please read my post to Cindy. I tell people all the time that I love people, but I can do with them or do without them; far as “dealing with them”.

        I was recently told that my (future) husband is a Pastor, and it remains to be seen what happens. I say to myself that God would not do this to me if HE didn’t think I could handle it.

  2. Vanesther says:

    (UNITED STATES)  I am a pastor’s wife for 7 years, and I have lots of questions. One is should a pastor wife be a member of the church her husband is pastoring?

    • Jacki says:

      (UNITED STATES)  I think the wife should be a member of the same church, yes.

      • Carla says:

        (USA)  Yes, you should be a member of your husband’s church, because his members will feel if you don’t want to follow him and be a member why should we? You know him better then we do.

  3. Patra says:

    (DENVER)  I think as the first Lady, the first job you have is supporting your husband, so I think the answer should be yes.

  4. Patra says:

    (DENVER)  I am a pastor’s wife for 2 years and I want to get another opinion on what is the role of the first lady within the Church?

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Patra, As you pray, what is the Lord revealing to you? Keep seeking His heart and the mission He has specifically for you in this. He will tell you. Don’t look at the mission of other Pastor’s wives –that your mission must be the same. It may have some similarities, or maybe not. God has a plan particularly for YOU. He will show you what role you are to play as a Pastor’s wife, and also as a woman of God who is married to a Pastor. But He has a specific mission for you. And keep in mind that your role may change during different seasons of your life. It’s important to keep seeking Him and your relationship with Him and beyond that, He will show you.

      • LINDE from South Africa says:

        That is a very important point you highlighted that we all individually, irrespective of the title, hold or where we are placed in the house of the Lord its of utmost importance that. “We love the giver, more than the gift” because as young women we start to enjoy the luxuries that come with being a first lady forgetting that we are placed on earth to do the will of the father. God has many things that he would like us to achieve in order to bring back the children from the wilderness.

        I feel as a “first lady” understand that your role is to be a woman of prayer with GOD to help you deal with all that comes your way. As a first lady your major role is to be a mother to the children that GOD has brought to his house and you must have a heart of compassion. You need to be supportive. If you feel that it’s all too much you can always then find a woman of GOD far away from town who can be your mentor and your heart so that you can always have clear thoughts of what to do in situations where you feel your hands are tied. Pray to God and ask him for someone you can relieve your stress to, or the BEST OPTION OF ALL IS THE TALK TO GOD. HE KNOWS WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU.

        BE A MOTHER
        BE DAUGHTER
        BE STRONG AND POWERFUL IN PRAYER
        BE A HUMAN BEING BUT NEVER CHANGE
        NEVER EVER EVER STOP BEING YOUR HUSBANDS FRIEND AND NUMBER SUPPORTER.

  5. Amarachi says:

    (USA)  Hi im writing a book and I was wondering if you can tell me all the positions that are in the church and what are their roles. Like the first lady, the deacons and so on. I would really appreciate it.

  6. Jannie says:

    (USA)  My fiance is a pastor. He is currently attending seminary and is not leading a church at this time since we have relocated. I am also called to preach and teach (I was an associate minister at a church before we met). Sometimes, I feel as if I am not giving my dreams enough attention because he requires and relies on so much support from me (I love him so I am ok with supporting him).

    We both know that God is calling us to start a new church together. Before we met, God revealed this to me. However, at the time I didn’t know my fiance was a part of the vision. I love him and embrace my role as first lady- I just often wonder how my calling as a minister and wife will be balanced. Any advice?

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Hi Jannie, How I love your heart and your vision and the grace you are giving your fiance! From the little I can tell from your comment, I believe that he will be a blessed man if you marry him. I also sense in my spirit that you will be blessed as well in marrying him, IF you are both the types of marital partners that each of you need. You may each have great hearts and be loving people, but that does not mean that you would be good for each other, to marry.

      Before you commit yourselves further in your relationship, I encourage you to do a few things. The first, of course, is to pray with and for each other. I can’t imagine that you aren’t doing that, but I need to say that in case you are both finding yourselves so busy that you have neglected this part of your relationship with each other and with God corporately.

      And then carve out some time (probably several blocks of time) to truly talk to each other about your future together. It’s great to dream together (it’s one of the things that becomes a “lost art” for those who are married — one of the reasons they lose their zest in being a couple together who have, show and give love to each other in big and small ways). But you and your fiance also need to talk more about specifics. What does he see as his role in starting a church? What are some of the specifics that he sees as his role in what he believes God is calling him to do? What do you see as your role in starting a church? What are some of the specifics you see as your role in what you believe God is calling you to do? How do your roles overlap (which can be good), but also what are each of you willing to do to help the other live out the vision God has given you? Be specific, here.

      You’ve already expressed that you feel that you are not giving your “dreams enough attention.” Talk about that. Don’t let that slide. It’s good to be brave at times, but sometimes we are braver than what our relationship needs to survive and thrive. See what each of you can bring to the table so that you will be able to give attention to the calling that God has given you. Remember, you will be a marital team. Practice on the areas that you can do this right now. Sometimes the roles will tip a bit where one will be doing more of the “heavy lifting” in the relationship, than the other, but eventually, the other will do his or her part in some way to “even” things out a bit so the other feels fulfilled too. The “scales” will never be equal, but it’s important that you both experience fulfillment in the place in which you are at the moment.

      Talk about having children and the responsibilities this will bring — particularly in how it will divide the time you will have available for ministry work. Read 1 Corinthians 7 together — particularly as it pertains to verses 25-35. How will EACH of you make sure that you don’t neglect each other and the responsibility you will have to tend to the “concerns” of your marriage partner when ministry responsibilities and opportunities come up. Your time will no longer be “your own” to go about the Lord’s work. As we’re told in 1 Corinthians 7, your time will be divided — and this will be especially true when and if children come along. What boundaries will you put into place to protect your marriage, your family life, and also still be able to tend to the concerns of the church you will be shepherding?

      You may need to renegotiate those boundaries as new things pop into your lives, but the point is that you need to start somewhere. You had best not neglect your marriage to the point where one, or both of you, is feeling alone and abandoned. And that happens. It happens quite often. And if it’s not dealt with properly, your relationship will grow to be unhealthy and will pull you into a bad place as you go to minister to others. It’s better NOT to marry, than to marry and hurt each other because you didn’t have it within you to be the marriage partner that the other needs. Marriage is a living picture of Christ’s love for the church, so God expects us to take care of this picture, or don’t take it on at all.

      Too many couples neglect this aspect of marriage and ministry. They don’t talk BEFOREHAND to make sure you are each on the same page on the important matters of marriage. And then they stop talking with each other, and settle for talking AT each other, after the wedding and allow life to slide them away apart and away from the calling that God has given them.

      I encourage you Jannie, to be very intentional in pursuing this. NOW is the time to talk, and if God leads you to progress in your relationship, do what it takes to make sure that you keep talking and dreaming and making goals together — helping each other live out your God-given potential.

      • Jacki says:

        (U.S.)  Hi Cindy, I enjoyed reading your message. I “discovered” & wrote this website down, and hope you will get back with me. But, I am interested in knowing how I can truly, truly prepare myself for my mate God has promised me.

        Recently (and in the past, spoken & in dreams) I’ve had a preacher who doesn’t know me from Eve, spoke to me and told me God said my husband is a Pastor. I will see him at a church I will be visiting, and he will know me when he sees me. I am a little excited, and I hear all the time that the role of a Pastor’s wife isn’t easy, by no-means. But, what are some things I can do to prepare, other than seek The Lord about it all? All comments are welcome :-)

        • Cindy Wright says:

          Hi Jacki, In answering your question, all I can say is that if God did indeed “promise” you a certain mate, then He will teach you how to be a good wife to him. The best way you can prepare for whatever calling God gives you, is to be a student of God’s… learn to be “content in every circumstance” — whether it’s one you like or understand or what, and whether it’s in the timing you think it should happen or not. Remember, He tells us that His “ways” are not our “ways.” You may be 70 or 80 (or 110) when you marry this man, if this is truly God’s promise to you. There are all sorts of adversities you will experience, if God is going to use you in this way. Ask any Pastor’s wife.

          I’m reminded of something that I wrote in the back of my Bible from notes I took on a sermon I heard a number of years ago from Pastor Scott Engleman. It has stuck with me all these years as being a profound truth that needs to be noted and always remembered. He said, “The point of life is not to focus on the blessings of life, but to be a part of God’s bigger story. Think of Mary (the mother of Jesus) and how she suffered so much more when she said ‘yes’ to God than she had ever suffered before. But God used her life in immeasurable ways for the good of more people than we could ever imagine.” How could she have prepared for and then endured the absolute heart-ache she would encounter and the adversity, if she had not totally given every fiber of her being to serve God, no matter what came her way?

          If God did give you this promise ahead of time (which I’m not entirely sure He did… just because you have dreams and such and even a word of knowledge from a preacher, it doesn’t mean that these are promises… there are a lot of other things they could be, as well… I’ve seen this to be true… so I caution you on this matter), but IF He did, He’s not going to leave you high and dry. As you lean into Him, and not “unto your own understanding” you will do well. If you are willing to sacrifice beyond whatever you thought you would have to, and God brings these circumstances about that require your sacrifice, you will do well as you surrender to His will. Center your attention upon the Lord… learn from Him. Study God’s word continually so you are prepared for all that can occur, when temptation and spiritual warfare attack you — which they will. Live as a woman after God’s own heart, and then you will be unswervingly solid IF you marry a pastor and WHEN the enemy of our faith attacks you (which is something you can count on).

          Consider something that Bible teacher Beth Moore said, “We will lose our strength when we wait upon the event, but our strength will be renewed when we wait upon the Lord.” If this is a waiting room time for you, embrace Christ, your Bridegroom first –learn all you can from Him and from our Heavenly Father, with the Holy Spirit, our Wonderful Counselor as your Guide. Don’t look so much for the “event” but rather for the Lord to guide you each day in that which He wants to teach you … abide in Him.

  7. Stephanie says:

    (USA)  Wow. All of my life I seem to have been searching for that special task that I will hold in in the church. For so long, I have run from GOD and the things that he has revealed to me.

    Once when I was in my earlier 20’s and in an abusive relationship, my mother whom I fought with constantly because of the relationship, told me on the way to church one Sunday morning something that has never left me some 10 years later. She said, “God is waiting on you to get your act together, so HE can send you the right man.”

    About 2 years ago when I was deathly ill lying on what should have been my death bed, my best friend’s co-worker whom I had never met, encircled my bed with some of her other co-workers, a nurse, my mom and prayed an atomic prayer. Then she leaned over and whispered in my ear, “you will lead God’s young women in a mighty way. I know that HE has called you to be an Evangelist.” Through all of the pain and morphine, I cried like I had never cried before, because I had never shared this with anyone, although I knew it was true because the Lord had spoken this to me some years before.

    Yesterday, I was in the restroom at church, that I have only been attending for 10 months, with my 2 year-old daughter, and the minister of music walked by and looked at me and with such a bright expression on her face said, ” You look like a first lady, (chuckle, chuckle) and walked away saying, “Yep, I believe you are going to marry a pastor!”

    What is crazy, is that every, EVERY time someone prophesies something into my life, GOD says it and shows it to me first. Loud and clear, never any room for guessing, I know what it is right away… and I right I way I begin to bargain with God, how I may not be the best person for the job.

    For years even until this day, I have sought out the friendships and relationships of men, trying to avoid my certain task. I did not think that GOD could use me to be anything of special character. I’m a single mother of one and have not had the best track record with men. I’m in school now to become a doctor and have chosen a career over ever trying to have a successful relationship.

    Just the other day my mom brought back up to me the conversation we had over 10 years ago, and chills ran through me. I have for so long been so terrified because how in Heaven’s name could GOD have the audacity to call someone like me! But HE has, HE did and HE still is.

    My first lady broke this down for me, how can imperfect people learn from someone unlike themselves? In other words GOD wants people just like me. So I began to meditate on these things that people have prophesied over my life and am learning to be the woman who GOD has called me to be.

    Just the other day GOD said to me as clear as a bell just as if HE were buckled in the frontseat on the passenger’s side right beside me, “Begin to walk in a spirit of EXCELLENCE. When you walk in a room be a woman of Awesomeness and let them know that I am GOD and that I have called on you for a most prestigious task. You are the right and ONLY person for this job… wait on ME, and these things shall come to pass.”

  8. Leslie says:

    (USA)  My comment is to Stephanie… Chills ran down my spine when I read your testimony. So much of it, has been mine. One of my best friend said to me years ago, “Les, God gave me a message to give to you. He said “tell Leslie I have my hands on her, I’m just waiting on her.” We didn’t know what it meant, and I asked her over and over, was she certain. She was very certain on what she heard on that night as she lay in the bed in total silence.

    That was well over 8 years ago… I am a playwright. Have produced spiritual/inspirational plays about women of the Bible and the issues that Christian womem deal with. I believe my calling lies in my passion of the dramatic arts (acting, directing and playwriting). It seems when I visit other churches, I always get called out by a Prophet or someone who possesses the gift. I was once told by another preacher (female) “I don’t know you, but God told me to tell you, that only you can do it.” I still don’t know what she meant.

    My favorite scripture that is ME and speaks to ME all the TIME: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 This became my scripture after meeting a man of God at my church’s revival. I heard his voice behind my favorite song “Total Praise!”

    When I heard his voice, I knew he is the one. We live in different states, but that’s okay, I believe God is working on us both for what He has in store. I just have to remain faithful and obedient to see where God is going to lead us. I constantly pray for his health, strength and safety… that he is covered to continue to do what God has called him to do. I love what God said to you “walk in excellence…!” That’s my motto for my business “Always strive for excellence!” I pray that God uses you for His glory as you uplift the Body of Christ! Just as I plan to do for myself! God bless you!

  9. Praise says:

    (USA)  Cindy, I’m not a wife yet. I longed to be married, but I think at this time in my life, the Lord must not want me to be married. But as I read your comments, you are very encouraging to women. If the Lord blesses me to be a wife (aging gracefully), you have certainly encouraged me to continue to be a Godly Woman. I know that I have assurance of the Lord Jesus Christ, that if I hold to His unchanging hand, whether I get married or not, my goal is to get to heaven and minister and bring as many as the Lord God shall call with me. I want to see His face in Peace. Thank you for the encouragement. God Bless.

  10. Jeannie says:

    (UNITED STATES)  My husband has been Pastor for two years now and I feel that he is trying to erase me. When I raise my hand during church meetings, he does not call on me. Someone else usually points out the fact that my hand has been up for a long time. I have taken a very low profile in an effort to avoid intimidation but he has accused me of trying to “run the church”.

    I went to him for approval for everything that my committee was supposed to do and he called himself “thinking about it” for two years. Of course this made my committee a joke. He is courteous and polite to all others but usually displays a short tempered and brusque manner. When we are invited to other churches, even when he is the guest speaker he does not introduce me; these are just a few of strange little ways.

    He has told me that he doesn’t “need me and” he is “not going to ask me to do anything”; I am so very tired of his childish approach to management that I could scream again! How do I cope with someone who needs help? I’m capable of being helpful in many areas; but he does everything possible to keep me from helping with anything and help is so desperately needed.

    This translates to estrangement in our marriage, he tries to leave me out of everything except when he wants an attractive woman by his side to attend some function or the other. I am ready to throw in the towel and leave!

    • Gail says:

      (USA) I feel for you Jeannie. Be assured that as you are also God’s beloved child. God sees and will deal with the disrespect from your husband. Pray and ask God to show your husband that as it is stated in Malachi 2:14-15, that he is dealing treacherously with you. He is also in violation of what it says in Ephesians concerning marriage. If there is a Bishop or overseer that you can go to then ask your husband if the two of you can seek his counsel, or better yet maybe you could go yourself and have the Bishop or Overseer to speak to him. Finally, if he still does not repent, then refuse to be his arm candy at the next event. -G. H.

  11. Terrelyn says:

    (UNITED STATES)  Hello, I’m 22 with lots of passion and drive to do whatever the Lord wants me to do. Is it weird to want to be a first lady? I hear that many women who are called to be First Lady’s don’t necessarily want it at first. I have so much I want to do for God’s kingdom but I also understand that I have to wait on his timing, and if it lines up with him then it shall come to pass.

    I want to start a battered women’s shelter, self worth & empowerment Christian camp for teenage girls and a dance ministry. I’ve came a long way on my journey. I’ve stopped the college lifestyle, the drinking and going out. I plan to remain celibate until I’m married. I just want make myself available to God.

    Sometimes though, I feel like I’m not doing enough, or God has me at a stand still. I know God has many things that I’m supposed to do but how to get anchored is the problem, if that makes sense.

    Being a woman of God for many years, do you have any wisdom for me? If you can pray for me as well, that God gives me guidance… Thank You God Bless.

  12. Lisa says:

    (USA)  I have been a first lady for 11yrs. When I met my husband in college, I was very much involved in ministry at my own church. My husband then informed me that the Lord called him to Pastor and he demanded that I leave my church to be with him. Every since then, it seems like the more I try to do to help him with different aspects of the ministry, the more he shuts me out. This is very painful for me and is pushing me farther and farther away from him.

    He believes that I am a distraction all the time. If I call him from work to see how he’s doing, he will respond in a very short tempered and aggravated manner. If I make any suggestions to assist him in endeavors or mission, he will not listen and shut me down.

    At this point, I don’t know what to do. I want my marriage to last but I am feeling so hopeless in this marriage, as if he really does not need me. I’d rather be with someone that respects me and honors me for who I am and what I have to offer than to continue this relationship with my husband. Please help me! I am so ready to give up and I don’t feel motivated to go to the church anymore.

  13. Vanni says:

    (USA)  Hello, I am a Pastor’s Wife of 2 1/2 years now. I have been uncomfortable in this role; however, I have really tried to stay true to who I am and not become what I think others want me to be. I have a growing family and recently decided to step down from different ministries I’ve been involved with so I could really focus on my husband and our children.

    I originally wanted to be involved and help my husband with different ministries, but I have realized that maybe that wasn’t the best thing. So, I’ve decided to focus on raising our kids, focus on supporting him emotionally and keeping our home running smoothly. What are your thoughts on this?

  14. Violet says:

    (USA)  Hi, I’m married to a guy who has always been active in various roles at church. He works a regular job but is just about to retire from that to take on a role as Associate Pastor (he’s gone to seminary on the side for a long time and is almost ready to graduate). I’m a wee bit petrified of this. I’ve seen the scrutiny a pastor’s wife falls under. Also, our adult daughter lives with us because she is disabled, and I often feel like all my capacity for giving to others is used up!

    I sometimes struggle from the years of isolation and such (we live in the country, though our church is in town). I cannot imagine that anyone else here can relate but I’ve been trolling the internet hoping to find some book or some website or… SOMEthing that would help me with this scary new venture. Thanks for letting me vent anyways :)

  15. Almetya says:

    (CLARK)  Here is my question and it was asked by the first Lady of my church. In the absence of clear rules in the church, what do we have? I find your discussion very interesting I will be back to join the in. Thanks

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Dear Almetya, This is where prayer comes in. I’m not giving you a simplistic answer here, but truly, when there aren’t “clear rules” put forth in scripture, that’s where we need to others, who are godly in their wisdom (the Bible talks about the benefit of talking to wise counselors) and especially talk directly to God on the matter.

      We have an article in the “Communication Tools” topic titled, “Decision Making Checklist.” It would be good to pray, read, and then point-by-point, go through this list with God over whatever matter you are facing. There seems to be a lot of wisdom contained in this list. If you are sincerely seeking God, you will gain wisdom through this list, through scripture, and what God shows you as far as whether you are seeking an answer in truth. I hope this helps.

  16. Gloria says:

    (USA)  Hi I realy enjoyed reading this post. I will getting married soon and needed to know qualifications of being a first lady. This post was very helpful thank you and God bless.

  17. Annette says:

    (USA)  I am so happy that I found this discussion. I was saved by the end of 2010. God called me to the ministry to preach. I was attending a church then was called and led to another church who is led by a single pastor. So I’ve been there nearly 8 months. I am currently in the churches minister in training program and am really growing spiritually.

    I noticed that my shepherd acts standoffish with me. He gives no eye contact when he does speak or hug however, he seems to treat me nice but has never taken any time to get know anything about me. This was fine because I am not the type of woman that will stay in his face but I began to notice that he doesn’t treat anyone else in leadership or any other member the way he acts when he is around me. So I thought that he disliked me for reasons unknown to me.

    I began to pray to God about how I was feeling. I began to become discouraged about my calling and being under his ministry. Well, last month after prayer about the situation I believe that the Holy Spirit placed in my heart “he is to be your husband.” I was blown away. Now I believe that God has called me to become the first lady of the church. Do you believe that God has perhaps already spoken to my pastor first about me because he is the man? I will approach him with this. I am just praying that in due season, God will give him boldness to approach me. Any insight or feedback is appreciated.

  18. Carla says:

    (US) Hi, I have been dating a Minister for almost 2 1/2 yrs now and he has recently been offered a pastoral position. We are planning to marry at the end of the year but I am straight terrified of becoming a First Lady. I have talked to his Bisop’s wife about my concerns and she she always tells me that God has already equipped me for this position.

    I am a very quiet and conservative person and not that good at speaking in the public. I know it’s in me but I don’t feel like I have the confidence I need to be in this position. I been reading up on what the role of the First Lady is and I’m thinking how in the world am I going to do this. Can you please give me ideas on what to expect as the First Lady?

  19. Pst Blessing says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA) Thank you very much for this article. God led me to this site in my quest for solutions. I am a pastor whom God has laid in my heart to start a ministry. The challenge is like most of the contributors, my wife did not ever foresee being a pastor’s wife and God later called me into ministry.

    In my naiivity during the time I served under another ministry, she received a lot of abuse from the seniors to the extent that she was expected to perform without her personal welfare being taken care of; we were part time and the ministry doesn’t pay part time ministers. She really needed support to understand this new role and help with her insecurities, yet people expected a maturity from her that she was not equipped to show. I also did not help matters by expecting her to understand the hardship of ministry and the rewards that follow obedience.

    As partners we are in love to pieces. The huge fights we have had and still do are around ministry and her desire not to be dependant on the members for a living a thing. She has seen many a pastor’s wives being instulted by members. She always says that people say a man will choose not to work for himself to become a pastor who depends on other people’s monies.

    I understand that with my qualification if I use it, yes I will get a good job since I hold an honours degree, but the heavenly calling never gives me peace as I have attempted to do it for her.

    I have also tried to link her with other ministers’ wives who I feel could help to no avail as she feels it’s a statement I am treating her like she needs mending. How best can I help her grow more and be equipped for this new role? Stay blessed and thank you in advance for your assistance.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Pastor Blessing, I can well appreciate where you are coming from and the calling you feel upon your life. I also appreciate where your wife is coming from because those of us in full-time Christian work (or are married to someone in full-time Christian work) can sometimes have expectations thrust upon us, which are problematic, to say the least. I can’t help but point you to 1 Corinthians 7, which talks about the responsibilities of those who are married. If you want to serve unhindered (or serve at all in certain capacities) your marital status plays a big role in this. You aren’t as free to pursue the passions of your heart, unhindered, in ways that you would have been if you were single.

      I realize that your “calling” didn’t show itself before you married. As you said, “God later called me into ministry.” But I believe that sometimes the tugging we feel on our hearts, though it may be strong, is a vehicle God uses to help us sort issues out that are important for us to know. Let me explain. My husband and I did not come to Christ until a year after we were married. As we grew in Christ, I felt the tug to be a housemother — for us to be houseparents at a missionary school (a live-in school where missionaries’ kids reside when their parents are serving in dangerous or isolated places and the children need safety, and a more rounded education). I talked to my husband in every way to try to convince him that this would be a good thing for both of us to do. I knew that I could love those kids and give them back to their missionary parents, when the time was right. And while I believe God gave me that love, He didn’t give my husband that calling. As a result, we have never done this. I still sigh when I meet someone who is doing this as their ministry. But I also know this is not to be, for me. I am married and if my husband can’t equally participate or at least move to a location where I could be a teacher at one of these Christian schools and he is supportive in my ministry, then I am to release this dream –this “calling” as such. In the meantime, God has shown me other ways to minister, particularly now, with Marriage Missions. I KNOW I am living out what I was called to do. My ability to teach and love others who are younger than myself is being full-filled. It has just come in a different way than I thought it would.

      Now, that isn’t to say that you can never pastor a church again. But unless and until your wife can see herself in some supportive role, you may either need to wait and pray for another way to minister (perhaps marriage-mentoring together, or ministering in some different way –part-time or full-time), or wait and eventually your wife may be supportive in a way that you hadn’t seen previously. There is ministry that can be done even during waiting room times in our lives.

      Let me explain something more. My husband and I do not do this full-time. I do… we made that sacrifice a number of years ago for me to quit my job so one of us could dedicate ourselves to Marriage Missions full-time. I don’t get a salary for this at all. In fact, we pay IN, quite a big chunk of my husband’s salary to make this ministry possible. We have since the beginning and so far God hasn’t changed that. And yet, I work between 40-50 and sometimes 60 hours a week at this, week after week, year after year without receiving anything financially. My husband works this part-time (although I wishes he could do it full-time), but we need to have SOME type of income. Plus, the financial needs of this ministry are ever-growing. But he works a full-time job. He is in Christian broadcasting and has been for over 34 years. His heart is in marriage ministry now, but his full-time job is in ministering through Christian radio.

      HOWEVER, he also loves the fire department. For a number of years (before God called us to marriage ministry) he would volunteer at the city fire department, talking to the fire fighters about Christ and interpersonal issues. Eventually, the city asked Steve if he would be the fire chaplain for their firehouses. This was a volunteer position, and it required a lot of time. When he was first asked, I didn’t feel he was called to do that. He did, but I didn’t. We fought a lot about it. Eventually, he knew that if I wasn’t supportive, he couldn’t do it. He told them no. That made for some tense and confusing time. Over the course of several years, they asked him again and again. I have to tell you that my heart was torn. There was something inside of me that made me know that he couldn’t do what they were asking –he wasn’t ready (and might never be), but he didn’t see it.

      Through a long string of events, God showed me that Steve WAS eventually ready. And when they asked him again, I told him that I felt he could do it and I would be supportive in whatever way he needed. He served in that capacity for a number of years before God called us to leave that city for him to manage a different Christian radio station elsewhere. He did a GREAT job. And he was good at it. But through the whole process, we learned to NOT serve any ministry in any capacity, unless the other spouse could fully support that decision.

      Pastor Blessing, your wife may or may not ever be ready to support you in what you now feel called to do. Please trust in her heart. Perhaps God is impressing something on her that you aren’t aware of at this time. Perhaps you aren’t ready like you believe you are, or perhaps she isn’t ready, and perhaps one or both of you may never be ready. I encourage you though, to pray for her to be wise and discerning in this. And also, pray for your own longings and your heart –to release them to the Savior’s care. And know that if your wife ever does consent on this –to allow you to minister full-time, that you will stand before your congregation and anyone else that insults her or puts unfair expectations on her, that you will fully support and defend your wife. You are her husband first –a bridegroom of Christ, whose first ministry is to his bride. You represent Christ to her. All other ministries stand in line behind that first mission. Don’t ever repeat your non-supportive behavior again.

      If your wife is ever to “grow more and be equipped for this new role” …and if she is ever to be in this role at all, grow first yourself, in your commitment to her and in your trust in her as your partner. Above all, trust God that He will prepare her for this role and tell her that He is calling her to this role, if she is ever to enter into it. This is a faithwalk… and I’m not sure that she is the main one who needs to apply faith and learn what needs to be learned here. It seems that both of you have some learning to do. I hope this helps. Please know that our prayers are with both of you.

  20. Given says:

    (SA) I have been a Pastor’s wife for the past 13 years since I got married. In the recent few months our church was going through a difficult time where we were betrayed by people in the leadership whom you expect to be your prayer warriors and intercessors in the Lord. We no longer have trust anymore and we feel God still wants us to be their shepherds irrespective of all that happened. The challenge we are facing is, how do we put together the broken glasses even when the cracks are still visible?

  21. Sam says:

    (USA) Stop calling pastors’ wives first ladies. This concept of first lady is not found in anywhere in the Bible. Stop copying from or following the worldly. Remove that title of ‘first lady’ and God will show you your role in the church.

    • Kathy from United States says:

      Amen! I agree. The term first lady comes from the white house. No where in the Bible does it speak about first ladies. It’s the hearts of men who came up with the term. I didn’t know women can be called to be first ladies. We are called to spread the gospel. This term is just to boost the egos of different indiviuals. If you truly want to make a difference become more like Jesus :) he will lead you into all truth.

  22. Robin says:

    (UNITED STATES) I have started dating a pastor. We have known each other all our lives. I am so awful that my style (flashy) for a 1st lady. I know God wouldn’t put me in a situation I couldn’t handle. I don’t know. Help me out ladies.

  23. Nicole says:

    (UNITED STATES) Hello, I am a newlywed wife. My husband and I were spoken over to be called to do many great things in the Lord’s work years ago. He was called to be a Bishop, and I, a mother of many nations. I didn’t know what that Biblical referencing meant at the time, but a minister and mentor of mine told me that it referred to being a First Lady. I have the type of personality where I care deeply for people, I am a people person, and my spiritual gift is love. However, I feel that at times, I am struggling with lining up to what God has planned for me in his ministry. All I ever want is to fulfill the gospel and help others come to know The Lord, as I have done. My husband has grown substantially since his calling… but I’m dealing with stagnation on my part. I want to do all that I am required to do in the Lord, and be an effective partner in Christ to my husband, as well. What do I have to do?

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Fall upon your face before God and ask Him. Tell Him your heart’s desire and line up with the work He is doing. Don’t put a time table on it, because this may be a time where you are to wait upon the Lord… maybe not, but by humbling yourself and praying, you will eventually know as you seek, knock and ask and wait upon His answer. But don’t be surprised if He comes in ways that you didn’t expect. It may be through grief, trials, tough times, easier times… He works in and through it all. Look for His way of growing you. Don’t be stuck in thinking that God will do things a certain way and as a result you can serve Him accordingly. God can’t be boxed in to our expectations. He often works in ways we cannot see or understand, but if we keep seeking Him through it all, we will fall into doing His will, and for you, to “be an effective partner in Christ” to your husband.

      One book that often helps me during waiting room times is Oswald Chamber’s book My Utmost for His Highest. But above all, get into your Bible and pray and seek God’s heart. I hope and pray this helps in some way, Nicole. My prayers are with you.

  24. Jegg from United States says:

    Hello. I’m just wondering how first ladies handle ex-first ladies that believe they are STILL first ladies; they just won’t let go!

  25. Rachel from United States says:

    Hello, I’m 22 years old. About two years ago I met a man that was interested in me. Due to the fact that he was a pastor I wasn’t paying him no mind, because I believe that the main focus in every relationship should be trying to head towards marriage,and being a First Lady is something that I’ve never even thought of in my life. After inviting me to his church a few times we started talking more often but I was still holding back. Because of that I believe he also started pulling away.

    For about a year we stopped talking. After that year he began to have a closer relationship with my older sister, and she started pushing us toward each other again. We started dating, and for 7 months now he’s been the best thing that ever happened to me! I know he genuinely loves me too. But our personalities are completely opposite. I know for a fact that I have a calling to be a singer but for years I’ve let fear come in the way of my gift.

    After we started dating he began to get me more involved in the church. I’ve been praying to God for more wisdom, but sometimes I feel like I wouldn’t be able to do it because I know it’s not going to be easy. I grew up in a church but I realized that I didn’t have a personal relationship with God, and I don’t even have a lot of knowledge the word of God. Slowly I’m learning with his help. We pray together and he also prays for me but sometimes I wonder if he really is the man for me! My personality is also very quiet, shy and I would even say awkward. Sometimes I feel like God brought him into my life to push me towards my purpose and my gift because this is the only man that encourages me to do the work of God. But then I find myself asking God if I can handle such a big role. Since I met him I’ve grown immensely. Sometimes I find myself even preaching to myself but I believe there’s still a lot of work to do. My question is, is being a First Lady a calling or do you learn how to do it?

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