Tips for a New Pastor’s Wife
Here are a few tips that I have gathered from my own experiences and those of other pastors’ wives who shared their insights with me. I am praying that these tips will help others from making some of the same mistakes that we made.
Think quickly and strategically
A pastor’s wife must be able to see the end result of her words or actions. She must learn to think through various situations in the flash of a moment. She must realize that the reputation of her husband and future of the church is always at stake. This is especially important in church business meetings. It is not the pastor’s wife job to rescue her husband. A quiet and meek spirit will do more good than her cutting comments. Unkind comments could cause weaker members to leave the church and other members to lose respect for her.
Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer…
Be willing to sacrifice and remain steadfast during adversity
The pastor’s wife must learn to stand strong and be willing to sacrifice. If she starts complaining about the finances, others will view her as ungrateful and not willing to sacrifice. There will be times of financial crisis and controversies in the church. Finances may be low one year and high the next. If finances are low in the church, she should avoid making showy, extravagant purchases. Even if she can afford those purchases, she may offend those who are on a tighter budget. People often make judgments with limited information.
Jeremiah 12:5 If thou has run with the footmen, and they wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
The pastor’s wife usually knows things that aren’t yet ready to be released or talked about publicly. She must be trusted to keep these confidences. She must learn to answer questions without giving out confidential information.Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Release control and delegate responsibilities
The pastor’s wife must wear many hats. Her husband may want her to oversee different areas of the ministry (office, nursery, children’s classes, ladies’ ministries, etc.). As she begins to trust others and delegate responsibilities, she will begin to see the women of the church grow spiritually and various ministries of the church grow. Proverbs 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hand; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Help your women find places of service
One evangelist made a statement that is often true. He said, “Women initiate most conflicts in churches.”The emotional make-up of women sometimes prevents them from seeing all the facts of certain situations. Helping the women of the church to grow spiritually and helping them find various areas of service could be very beneficial to your ministry.Although the pastor’s wife may have her own area of personal interest, she can help balance different needs within the church. Since the church has a variety of gifted women, she should look for opportunities for these women to exercise their gifts.
An excellent book to read on this subject is Produce the Juice by Steven Currington. There are also free gift analysis tests on the internet. Adrian Rogers, Love Worth Finding, has an excellent booklet Unwrap Your Spiritual Gift. Here is a sampling of the gifts listed in those books.
Prophecy-one who boldly proclaims the truth (Help other women to get involved)
Service-one who identifies undone tasks in God’s work, however menial, and uses available resources to get the jobs done. (Decorating, office skills on computer, cook meals, many other tasks)
Teaching-one who has the ability to instruct and communicate Bible truths which leads the learners to grow spiritually. (Teach children, ladies, or teens)
Exhortation-one who encourages and comforts others to be all that God wants them to be. (Make visits and send cards to encourage)
Ruler/Leader-one who is able to motivate others to get involved in the accomplishment of special goals. (Organize ladies for various meals, cleaning projects, showers)
Giving-One who shares her resources of time and money with liberality and cheerfulness. (Help raise money or give money for special projects, use gift in ministry of hospitality)
Mercy-One who is sensitive toward those who suffer. It might be physical, mental, or emotional suffering. (Makes hospital or nursing home visits)
Be willing to make unpopular decisions.The pastor’s wife must seek her husband’s counsel and beg for God’s guidance when making decisions for the various issues that might come up in the church. Some decisions that she and her husband make might be unpopular. When unpopular decisions are made, she could even begin to experience feelings of exclusion from the other members. This may lead her to try to change her husband’s mind. Remember, he is the man of God. Your advice and counsel are invaluable to him, but you must not pressure him because of your emotions. When your husband makes a decision, think carefully before you try to convince him to change his mind.
Extra note: There were many times in our ministry that I didn’t agree with my husband’s decisions, and I tried to change his mind. Looking back, I am glad that he used God’s wisdom instead of my emotions to make his decisions.
If people begin questioning you or your husband’s leadership, remember this: It’s not what others think or say about you. The truest thing about you is what God says about you.
Isaiah 43:7…I have created him for My glory. Col 3:12 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
Learn to cope with conflicts in the church
The pastor’s wife can’t hide under the bed and wish that all the problems of the church would go away. Conflicts sometimes bring about healthy spiritual changes in the membership. As conflicts arise, the members begin to learn how to handle conflicts in new spiritual ways.
Galatians 6:1 Brethern, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Don’t feel guilty about spending time with your family. I spoke with a Pastor’s wife this week and asked her the greatest thing that she had learned as a Pastor’s wife. She shared with me that she and her husband never felt guilty about spending time with their girls. Whether it was planting a garden or serving the Lord together, they considered it all the Lord’s work.
Psalm 71:18-19 Now also when I am old and gray headed, O, God, forsake me not; until I have shewed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.