I have been a pastors wife for a number of years now. My husband and I served God in the ministry before we met each other. We can honestly say to each other that we love God before we love each other. We are not offended by it. That is because we know that if we will serve God whole heartedly we will treat each other right. That gives me confidence. Our desire to serve the Lord and similar family values has been the glue in our relationship. We don’t have many other things in common though.
My Journey as a Pastors Wife
Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. We have endured many hard trials. I had relocated two hours away from home to marry my husband to discover that I would barely have time with him. He worked 60 hours a week and we attended church at least three days a week. He always paid home visits to other people during his down times. I really felt bad about not getting quality time with him. It took me years to discover that I am entitled to find happiness and emotional fulfillment from developing a teaching career, reconnecting with family and old friends.
My husband and I both had to overcome sexual distrust due to both of us being sexually abused as minors. It took years to accept that sex is a gift from God to his people. It was part of God’s command to Adam and Eve “be fruitful and multiply.” We have had cold seasons and hot seasons. The good news is that as long as we maintain open and honest communication and dedication to each other we have fallen in love over and over.
We did not have children for several years into our marriage. I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Our son is a miracle child. The umbilical chord was wrapped around his neck 5 times. He was not coming out of me. I had my daughter shortly after that and then the P.C.O.S. returned.
Loss as a Pastors Wife
We experienced the loss of five close family members and additional friends. Him losing his dad and me losing my mom was really heart breaking. My mother died from lung cancer and brain tumors at an early stage in her life. We tried to save her life but could not. His father died from a heart attack. The loss of our parents caused us to grow emotionally distant from each other because we couldn’t quite comfort each other while mourning over a parent. We have learned to accept that there will always be an emotional void for my husband and I that we can’t fill. There will be times that all we can do is stand by our spouse’s side as we watch him or her go through the grieving process.
A number of years ago, he ended up in a car accident and lost his job due to his injury. He was unemployed and I attended work on a full time basis while he took care of two children for several years. We were highly criticized for breaking the traditional role of man and woman. I believe God allowed my husband to be at home with the kids to learn to nurture God’s spiritual children.
Our old church that we served in closed and we pioneered our own church ministry through a larger organization. I was busy working 60-hour weeks and dedicating 23 additional hours to the ministry. I rarely saw my little kids and husband. Quality time with my kids was having them sit on my lap during the preached message in service. I learned to cherish a walk around the block and having weekend dinners with my family and friends.
We worked hard to lead souls to Christ. We sacrificed a lot for the people in the church. And we did not force people to attend church and give donations. Plus we gave money to congregants and held over night prayer meetings to see God perform miracles in the lives of broken marriages, physically ill children/adults and homeless families. God did move on their behalf. He answers prayers.
Eventually I lost my good paying job that helped support the church and keep my husband ministering. After that, my husband went back to work but he made less than half his old salary. We could not live on it. He did not have as much time to visit congregants’ homes.
Sadly, when the congregants watched us go through financial trials they criticized us instead of helping us. They thought we were getting paid a salary from our organization. Instead we were paying our organization tithes and volunteering our services. They gossiped and passed judgments based on tradition or superstition and not on the actual Bible. We had to learn to maintain our confidence in God and accept that we can’t make everyone happy.
Now we work several per diem jobs because we could not find full time work, despite having a college education. Our kids are 5 and 7. There a lot of little things that have been happening that have been draining our finances and energy. Despite all that, over the past five years, God has sustained our home. He also provided our needs and medical coverage for low-income families.
As a pastoral family, it’s not easy acting like your life is perfect. Only God is perfect! We all need the grace and mercy of God. How can pastoral families continue to put up fronts that their lives are perfect? Congregants need to understand pastors are not God, and neither is a pastors wife. Jesus is God! I realize that we pastors can be real with the people concerning our circumstances. But we need to maintain a good attitude otherwise we will discourage the people. Good people suffer too. However, it is part of the molding process.
Getting Help When Needed
Today I was driving my car to work and thinking… wow it took me 20 years to realize that God is with me even if I don’t feel His presence. Five minutes later I hit someone’s truck and broke their tail light. The man got out of his truck and yelled at me. I looked at him and said, “It’s my fault!” Immediately his attitude towards me changed. We became very friendly and he followed me to work so I can check in then call the police. I had to teach a three-hour class to adults. My co-workers saw me maintain my cool and said, “You have a great attitude. You are a hard working woman.”
I recognize that we Christians need to be realistic about things and get help when it is necessary. Pastoral couples need to get counseling, prayer and support when it is necessary. Super spiritual people need to see doctors and take care of their mental health. Spiritual health depends on physical and mental health too. Feeling God’s presence is actually a physical phenomenon because it affects hormones in the body that one feels. Sometimes a hormonal imbalance or physical ailment can cause stress that will make someone feel less spiritual and depressed. Christians need to stop blaming the devil for everything and start taking responsibility for their own actions.
Trusting in God as a Pastors Wife
If God is for us, who than can be against us? Trials come and go. We get beaten up by life, but, when “God is on the inside working on the outside oh what a change in my life!” All these trials have caused me to trust in God more and more. I believe God is able to perform more miracles now than ever. Through all the tests I have many testimonies not to glorify myself but to encourage you sisters, as a pastors wife to be proactive about maintaining Hope, Faith and Love. But the greatest of these three is LOVE.
God loves you and your families. He will not let you down! Continue to HOLD ON to his unchanging hand.
This testimony was written by a Pastor’s wife that wants to remain anonymous. But we thank God that she shared this with us because of the hope it can bring to others.
— ALSO —
Here is an additional article you may find to be helpful as a pastors wife: