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A Bundle of Myrrh

"My beloved is unto me as a bundle of myrrh." Song of Solomon 1:13

What One Pastor’s Wife Wishes You Knew

October 22nd, 2014 by Aubri


In continuing with my October theme of Pastor Appreciation Month and the honorable Martin Luther, I’m happy to share some more thoughts on being a pastor’s wife from my dear friend and fellow pastor’s wife Kristi.


Kristi writes:

My personal thoughts on this subject are just that: PERSONAL. My experience has some similarities to other pastors’ wives; it has some unique things about it as well. It is a huge blessing to be married to a pastor, despite the fact that I often forget it. I grew up as a teacher’s kid and also a pastor’s kid. I KNEW lots of stuff about the pastor’s family even before I married a pastor. I have a better understanding and more compassion at times because I grew up in a pastor’s family, but I still feel the same hurts that other pastors’ wives feel. There is no magic formula to be a great pastor’s wife. Simply be yourself. Uphold your marriage vows. Love your husband. Forgive your husband. Know that he is God’s servant to the people in your church family. I am blessed to be a pastor’s wife, and I thank God that I serve in this vocation.

1. The church called my husband, not me. The call documents were written for my husband. He is the man you called to be God’s voice to you in this congregation. While you may think I know the ins and outs at church, the contrary is the truth. I don’t know all of the theological answers, and I don’t claim to know them. That’s why you extended a call to my husband to be your pastor. I am willing to be his secretary and take messages for him, but please don’t ask me to answer questions that are really designated for him. As a friend of mine once said, “That’s not part of my pay-scale.”

2. Please don’t assume that I know everything that happens in the church. For your benefit and mine, too, conversations that you hold in private with him are kept private by him. Church business is not pillow-talk in our home. The truth is this: I usually am one of the last ones to know what’s happening at church. People are often shocked by this, but it’s true. My priority interest lies in my home, not in the discussions that are held at the voters’ meetings.

3. My house is mine, but it’s not really mine. I am blessed in that we do not own our home. We don’t have utility payments, mortgage payments, and the like. We are working to save as much as we can for a future home purchase. However, we do not have the power to make structural changes to our home either because the house is not ours. It’s a Catch-22. The church members respect the privacy of my home, but the house still belongs to them.

4. Our church family is just that: our family. Neither my husband nor I grew up in this congregation. I don’t know everything about everybody. (See #1.) It’s hard to break into the unintentional (and intentional) cliques that have formed at church (and I’m a very social person). It’s nice to be included in the chit-chat that happens after church. We believe, teach, and confess the same things that you do, and that makes us family. Our own families live HOURS away, so we are thankful when you extend kindness to us. We treasure the times that our families visit us because we don’t have the luxury of taking weekends for travel on a regular basis.

5. My children are just that: children. They are not the perfect example for every church family to follow. Yes, it would be nice if they behaved like little angels every single time that you saw them. However, that’s not even close to reality. The pastor’s family has rough stretches, just like every other family has rough stretches. We do our best to present our best to God when we attend church.

6. I have a name, and it’s not “the pastor’s wife.” When you introduce me to somebody, please tell her my name. So often I hear, “This is our pastor’s wife Kristi.” I don’t hear other people being introduced as the plumber’s wife, or the coach’s wife, or the farmer’s wife. While it is an honor to be known as the wife of the pastor, it’s also nice to be known for me, just me.

7. The best thing you can do for my husband is this: Receive God’s gifts regularly. My husband is God’s man FOR YOU! The pastor wants you to hear God’s Word and receive His good gifts at every opportunity. If you want more to do, then pray for him. He prays for you often and cares for you as God’s dear child. Please pray for your pastor as well.

2 Responses to “What One Pastor’s Wife Wishes You Knew”

  1. Katy says:

    This series is great! I’ve sent them to our pastor’s wife (and my good friend)

  2. rebekah says:

    Amen to number seven!