One of the toughest jobs in the church is that of being a pastor’s wife. No doubt I have one of the best in Cheryl. (I would say the best, but I have a co-pastor and he has an excellent one also!) Cheryl has a full-time professional job, is an excellent mom and wife, but the demands on her as my wife are often overwhelming. Still she handles it with grace and a smile.
I want to help you know how to honor and protect your pastor’s wife. Here I am not talking on behalf of Cheryl. She would never ask for this and frankly we are in the best church environment I have ever experienced as far as the way our staff and spouses are treated. I know, however, because of my work with pastors outside of Grace that many pastor’s wives are facing burnout, a sense of loneliness, and often struggle even to come to church.
If you want to treat your pastor’s wife well: (These may work equally well for the husband of a pastor or minister, but I can only speak from my perspective.)
- Do not put too many expectations on the pastor’s wife. She cannot be everywhere, at everything and know everyone’s name and family situation and still carry out her role in the home.
- Do not expect her to take your side on an issue opposing her husband. She will protect him as you would your spouse.
- Protect the pastor’s wife from gossip. She does not need to know the “prayer concerns” that are really just a way of spreading rumors.
- Let her have a husband and enjoy her family time. The pastor is pulled in many directions. If you can limit your demands on his schedule to his normal working hours it will help the pastor’s wife have a family life also.
- Include her without placing demands or expectations on her. The pastor’s wife is often one of the loneliest women in the church. She rarely knows whom to trust and often is excluded from times that are just for fun.
- Never repeat what she says. If the pastor’s wife happens to share information with you about the church or her personal life, keep it to yourself. There will be temptation to share her words as “juicy news”, but you will honor her by remaining silent.
- If your church really wants to honor the pastor’s wife, find ways to give her time away with her husband and/or family. That is probably what she needs the most.
- Pray for your pastor’s wife and family daily.
Feel free to give a shout-out to your pastor’s wife here on this post and share ways you can honor your pastor’s wife. If you are a pastor or pastor’s wife, I would love to hear your thoughts.