The Pleasures and Pressures of being a Pastor’s WifeNovember 13, 2018
A matrimonial ad in one of the more popular Christian magazines read “Looking for a suitable groom, height: anything above 5.6 feet; job: should be earning enough to look after himself + 1; complexion: vanilla or dark cocoa is fine, spirituality: God should come first, me second, everything else afterwards.” **Pastors please excuse. Pastors please excuse??? Why do most women not want to marry pastors? A few reasons cited were, “They don’t earn enough or they don’t earn at all”, “They are always busy with ministry, family time is never a priority”,“They make plans on the go”, “you have to attend every service in church by default come rain or shine”, “The wife is expected to cook for unlimited guests.” These all sound like genuine concerns. I mean none of us would want our significant other making plans without consulting us (especially to the in-laws house), or be permanently consigned to the kitchen. Let’s take a look at the joys and sorrows of being a pastor’s wife.
In times of tragedy, the congregation members rally around the pastor’s family providing love and support to the family – hot meals, rations, love offerings and emotional support.
Pastors are constantly invited to speak in different churches. Sometimes in the same city, another state, or even another country. Most wives are invited along for these trips. Not only do they get to experience new cultures, and lands but they get to meet new people and form lasting friendships with other godly women.
Many church members have such love and respect for their pastors that they are moved to sponsor the pastor’s children’s education, a vehicle, or even a home. In today’s day and age, with the cost of things being what they are, this is quite a relief for the pastor and his wife.
Pastor’s wives get a chance to mentor many young women from the church and from the community as well. They get to counsel young women, help them out of tough situations, and play a part in their spiritual development.
Through bake sales, charity bazars, Christmas, Easter, and outreach programs, pastor’s wives get a chance to interact and make a real difference with others from the community. (When a pastor’s wife who was known to be shy and quiet passed away, the turnout for her funeral surprised her family. The church was packed and the roads crowded with many mourners. So many people shared how her kindness had impacted their life).
A scrutinised life
A pastor’s wife’s life is constantly under observation. When one’s life is gauged through the lens of a microscope, it can get very stressful. Her clothes, tone of voice, and body language is looked at closely and she is judged.
Emotional and physical burnout
Ministry time doesn’t end at Sunday church service. A pastor’s wife needs to run her home, be a counselor and comforter to people who come to her for counsel, accompany her husband on house visits and mission and preaching trips, reach church well before the service starts, cook and feed the many guests that visit her home.
The wife has to often sacrifice spending time alone with her husband because he has committed to meeting people from church. Many times the children and wife have to forgo family time on public holidays, Christmas, and other school holidays because they have church commitments and events.
Being a pastor’s wife has its highs and lows. But like with everything else in life, God’s love and strength and help every pastor’s wife enjoy and endure whatever lies in store for them.
In Time of Reckoning, Sheba Thangiah, wife of Senior Pastor Paul Thangiah of Full Gospel Assembly of God Church shares her journey on being the wife of one of the busiest pastors. Read about her seasons of joy and contentment and her seasons of loneliness and despair.
Author: Team Bay