Groomed to Be First Lady in the Church

Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

God 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!

Being or becoming a pastor’s wife is one of those situations in which we can see Him work in amazing ways if we truly seek His will, His heart, and His plan for our lives.

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 web site link below:


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 web site link below to read:


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:


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


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 web site link to read:


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.


Print Post

Filed under: Pastors and Missionary Marriages

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


47 responses to “Groomed to Be First Lady in the Church

  1. (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.

  2. (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.

  3. (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?

  4. (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.

    1. 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.

  5. (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?

  6. (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.

    1. 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.

  7. (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.

  8. (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?

    1. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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?

  11. Hi Cindy: Thank you for the information you have posted. I am a pastor for 4 years now. As things are taking off now and I know I struggle in areas as public speaking and DELAYED OBEDIENCE. I laugh when I seen that in your reply to J and Penny. I have delayed in much. My husband tells me all the time there is more to me than I think.

  12. I realized a few years ago that I wanted to become the wife of a pastor. However, I’ve struggled with understanding the Bible verses due to how they are written. I just can’t grasp what’s being said. A couple of weeks ago I met someone. He is a pastor among many other great things. Because he is and has already been in the word and is sooooo knowledgeable already of the word, and I’m in the very beginning of it All. How can I prepare myself for all that comes with learning the word, reiterating the word and becoming a First Lady? How does one prep themselves for that when their mate is already there and you are trying to get there?

  13. The articles are so helpful. Thank you from my heart. As I prepare to marry a pastor my heart is full of love and passion are truly there, yet the thought of being his wife and his role as a Senior pastor overwhelms me. I know the Lord makes no mistakes but my flesh is shaking like a leaf at times. Again thank you so much. Oh, my wedding is in December.

  14. There is no such thing as a ‘first lady.’ There is no such biblical role in the church as – the pastors wife. But lo and behold, women talking about how God is granting them the title. Telling them at a young age that – ” my will for you is…To marry a Pastor.” I would be careful with all of these thoughts ladies. You may be confusing God’s voice with your own. God can use your life as much as he uses as pastors outside of the church or inside of it as a servant of God. He can use a carpenters life (obviously,right?), a fisherman, a salesman, etc. If you truly think that God’s will for your life is to get married to a certain person, then by all means go ahead. But I doubt that was why you were created.

  15. Hello fellow first ladies.. Yesterday June 5, 2016 I became the first lady of my church of twenty years. I must say that it’s something I never thought in a million years would happen. My pastor just recently died and the church decided that my husband would be the best candidate for the job. My concern is that I don’t know what to do. I know to pray but concerning my calling I’m little confused on what to in the ministry. I sing with praise team and also I work with young wemon in the church so my thing is – what’s next?

    1. To God be the glory for choosing your husband as the pastor of the church, just be “his wife.” You can continue serving with the ministries that you are already serving. May you be an example of the biblical guidelines of a “leading lady”….and be yourself. Be Blessed.